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Wedding Style and Inspiration Q&A: Decide on Wedding Style
How should I go about deciding on my wedding style?
First, keep in mind that there are two important choices you need to make when picking your wedding style: the color palette and the style itself. The two reinforce and complete each other, i.e. a formal, classic style tends to call for formal, stately colors like black, white, silver, aubergine, gold and/or hints of pale or bright colors (think Chanel). Keep both in mind as you're looking for inspiration, and let the two inform each other.
The most obvious places to start looking for inspiration are wedding magazines and wedding blogs. Some of our favorites are:
- 100 Layer Cake
- Erin Ever After
- Grey Likes Weddings
- Snippet & Ink
- Once Wed
- Style Me Pretty
- Martha Stewart Weddings
Take these in small doses. Set up a Google Reader account if you don't already have one, and add the blogs to your reader. Check it once every couple of days and star items you like. To avoid wedding overload, look for ideas beyond the wedding sphere. We love graphic design, packaging, entertaining and DIY blogs such as:
- Oh So Beautiful Paper
- Oh Happy Day!
- A Subtle Revelry
- Oh Joy
- Design Sponge
- Design Work Life
- Lovely Package
- Grain Edit
- Design Seeds is a blog exclusively devoted to color palettes.
- And don't forget Etsy, where (with patience) you can find hundreds of independent vendors with great design, craft and DIY ideas and products for sale at reasonable prices.
- Start keeping a few boards on Pinterest (or an equivalent image collection application) of images and items that appeal to you.
- Pick out anything that speaks to you, whether it be a cute DIY project, a color palette, a fabric pattern or typeface.
- Keep separate boards for color palette, style and DIY ideas.
- Keep your eyes peeled as you're shopping, vacationing, or running errands-you might find something inspiring at a restaurant, flea market, gift shop, supermarket or your mom's attic.
As you collect and sort your ideas, you'll start seeing trends and be able to hone in on the style that best reflects you. Most people like a mix of styles-for example, pretty and feminine, with a dash of bohemian.
If your inspiration includes physical objects, and even if it doesn't, try making a physical inspiration board or two (this is how professional stylists do it!):
- Get a couple of 30" x 40" foam core boards from an art supply store and start printing images you like and pinning or taping them to the boards.
- If you have more than one idea or aesthetic, group images onto different boards. You can narrow and edit once you get all your ideas on the wall and see what's working.
- Keep adding as you find new ideas.
Finally, pick the style that will guide your wedding design. Be sure to choose a look that is broad enough to give you enough variety to craft the many elements of a wedding. Tips:
- Edit, edit, edit. A color palette should be no more than 1-2 dominant colors and a couple of complementary accent colors. Similarly, your style should hang together-it can be eclectic but tell a cohesive story with a unifying plot or theme and no more than a couple of subplots.
- Keep in mind that some weddings featured on blogs are styled photo shoots, created as portfolio pieces or for press-some of these ideas might not be feasible even on the most gargantuan budget because they weren't made to be replicated in a real venue for a hundred guests.
- You might find that your taste evolves as you begin your research. Give yourself time to let ideas settle.
- Try our Inspiration Board App-it lets you fill out a quick quiz and gives you an instant inspiration board to help you get started.
- If you need to get grounded, check out A Practical Wedding (blog and forthcoming book). Remember, your wedding is about the act of marriage at the end of the day.