A Guide to Wedding Style Boarding
When the dust of excitement from your engagement finally settles and you sit down to embark on the long journey of planning your wedding day, it can easily get a little overwhelming. Some couples know exactly what style and vibe they are shooting for, while others have no clue. Maybe you have been long since collecting images in your mind about what your special day is going to look and feel like but the task of putting it into action is all too daunting to handle, without some guidance. Or maybe you have no clue what direction you want to head and you need some full-on reinforcement. Either way, this guide will lead you through some crucial steps in creating a cohesive wedding style. A personalized style board is an essential tool to keep you moving in a consistent direction on all fronts. A tool that allows you to take all of the run-on sentences about what you want your event to look like and condense them down to a visual representation of your personal wedding style.
Okay, so that’s what a style board is but WHERE do you start??
Getting the ball rolling is actually pretty simple…begin by collecting images that speak to your heart! Whether it be via the interwebs or cut straight out of a magazine and pasted onto a physical vision board, images that represent your aesthetic are essential in the process of designing the wedding of your dreams. Over collect, at first! Be a madwoman (or man) and fill up a desktop file or Pinterest board with every image that you find to be beautiful and inspiring. Make sure to cover all of your bases by seeking out a wide range of photos from flowers to dresses, décor, venues, invitations, graphics, and even lighting! Having a clear idea and representation of the styles that speak to you is crucial for communicating your vision clearly to your vendors.
Once you have a surplus of images, some of which may be conflicting, it’s time to edit, edit, edit! Search for consistencies and begin to remove images that do not correlate with those consistencies, kind of like playing the “what doesn’t belong” game. A good rule of thumb for editing your photos down is to think of four main points each time you look at a photo:
1) Location 2) Style 3) Color palette 4) Season/weather
Once you have paired your inspirations photos down, you should have a rough outline of your personalized wedding style. Now comes the challenge of tying it all together. Let’s talk about some key points that you can orbit around, in order to introduce some consistency. First, we have four main points:
-Location (venue choice)
Additional points that stem from color palette and style:
-Bride and Groom/Bridal party attire
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
Arguably one of the most important parts of any wedding (other than the declaration of eternal love to one another, of course) is the location. Venue selection is the first crucial step in molding your style board for success! The venue and the setting will impact the color palette because you cannot change everything about a pre-existing environment (unless you are willing to pay a fortune in rental fees). Decide on a venue with your fiancée and walk through the areas where festivities will be taking place. Take notes on the colors of your surroundings and choose a color palette that works well with those colors and with the overall vibe (AKA is this a beach venue, a barn, a banquette hall, etc). Make sure you take pictures that you can reference throughout the planning process!
During your venue selection, you will also want to strongly consider the season of your wedding date and the expected local weather for that date. An outdoor forest wedding may sound beautiful but if your wedding date falls in winter, this may be a bone-chilling option (unless you are a Southern-Californian). Wind, rain, and snow are also important risk factors to take into consideration.
A wedding style and/or theme is usually a direct representation of your personal style and taste. There are a very wide variety of wedding styles out there, including but not limited to:
-Vintage / Romantic / Vineyard
-Rustic / Farm / Shabby Chic
-Bohemian / Earthy
-Industrial / Modern
-Nautical / Beach-y
-Traditional / Religious
-Minimalistic / DIY
Alisal Guest Ranch- Solvang, CA (Photography: Gina + Ryan Photography)
Rolling Hills/ Rustic Style Venue
Forest Chapel- Mammoth Lakes, CA (Photography: Katie J. Photography)
Mountains/ Rustic Style Venue
Catholic Church- Laguna Beach, CA (Photography: Images By Inda)
Millwick- Downtown Los Angeles, CA (Photography: Burgundy Blue)
Industrial Style Warehouse Style Venue
Balboa Bay Club Resort- Balboa, CA (Photography: Images By Inda)
Beach Style Venue w/ Indoor Ballroom
A color palette is carried throughout the wedding design. It connects the dots between all the separate moving parts to create one large picture, in place of fragmented ideas. Color palettes work alongside flowers and décor to bring your style to life. When deciding on your color palette, you may turn to main colors in your home décor and wardrobe for inspiration, as these are colors you are instinctually drawn to. Also, make sure that your color palette flows well with your venue selection.
Some common options for color palettes:
Monochromatic – Using different shades of one color on the color wheel and pairing them with one or two neutrals.
Example: Red, medium pink, light pink, light grey, white
Complimentary – Featuring colors that are across from each other on the color wheel AKA complimentary colors.
Example: Aqua, peach, pops of bright turquoise, cream, gold
Analogous – Colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. Often broken up into “warms” (reds, oranges, yellows) or “cools” (greens, blues, purples).
Example: Lavender, sage, cream, white, pops of deep purple
Neutral with a pop of color – This one kind of speaks for itself. All neutrals with one pop of color.
Example: White, dark grey, grey, black, pops of red
Black and White
SEASONS & FLOWERS
You may also draw inspiration from the season of your wedding date, not only for your color palette but also for your floral selections. Seasons, flowers and colors work together in a representation of your style. Different types of flowers will be either in or out of season around your wedding date and this will affect their availability, as well as their cost. Here is a breakdown of typical color palettes for each season. Included are some prominent in-season flowers, many of which are available in a variety of colors. Both roses and gerbera daisies, for example, come in colors that work well with every season and they are a year-round option.
Spring weddings – are perfect for pastels such as peach, lavender, light rose and sage. Darker green and navy are common contrast pops, with white and cream rounding out the palette. Spring also correlates well with jewel tones and nautical themes.
Flower/Greenery Options – Peonies, Roses + Baby Roses, Tulips, Lilac, Ranunculus, Gerbera Daisies, Lilies, Lily of the Valley, Anemones, Queen Anne’s Lace, Eucalyptus Greenery, Amaranthus Greenery, Monstera Greenery
Summer weddings - are often saturated with bright coral, aqua, varying shades of yellow and bold, bright colors. This is a great season for destination and beach themed weddings.
Flower/Greenery Options – Sunflowers, Chrysanthemums, Dahlias, Daisies + Gerbera Daisies, Roses, Queen Anne’s Lace, Eucalyptus Greenery, Olive Greenery
Fall weddings - are all about warmth and hues that represent the changing colors of the season: shades of orange, burgundy, deep purple, and all-around darker color palettes. Pops of black, gold and rose gold can work beautifully during this season.
Flower/Greenery Options – Dahlias, Calla Lilies, Coxcomb, Roses, Gerbera Daisies, Sunflowers, Eucalyptus Greenery, Olive Greenery, Amaranthus Greenery
Winter weddings – are often presented with an extra bit of glam. Shine with white, silver and pops of black. Different shades of blue pair well with silver for a winter wonderland effect. Red can be an impactful winter color, with gold, metallic and sequins making great seasonal accents.
Flower/Greenery Options – Roses, Orchids, Gardenia, Tulips, Lillium Casablanca, Lisianthus, Paper Whites, Leather Leaf Fern Greenery, Italian Ruscus Greenery, Ivy Greenery
Once you have a color palette down, you can determine the color breakdown of your floral design. Make sure you show your color palette to your florist at the design consultation or reference it yourself if you are going for DIY.
Generally, the color breakdown of your floral design will be roughly the same as your overall wedding. Meaning, if your wedding color palette is heavily focused on light pink, cream and sage with pops of bright pink, your floral design should be consistent with focusing heavily on the first 3 colors, while utilizing bright pink as a pop. Your bridal bouquet should mainly consist of cream and light pink, with an accent of sage and just a few bright pink flowers dispersed throughout.
Because bridal bouquets are always a great place to start... we leave you with some of our favorites from the past couple of years. Every single bouquet you see pictured below was carefully designed based on the style boards that we designed for our clients.