Long before you book a venue, pick out your dress, or choose your bridesmaids, you’ll need to determine what aesthetic or vibe you want to create at your wedding. Whether you haven’t the slightest idea of what you want or you’ve had a wedding vision since you were a child, at the beginning of your planning period you’ll want a way to organize your thoughts, feelings, and dreams surrounding your wedding. One of the best ways to accomplish this is through a mood board. A mood board is similar to a collage in that it’s a collection of images, text, colors, and fonts in one space—but a mood board can be created either digitally or using good old fashioned hard materials.
A mood board is a good litmus test for trying out what you want at your wedding, and let’s be real: it’s just plain fun. Not only will this creative exercise help you understand what vision you have for your wedding, but it will also make planning a breeze. Want to get started creating your mood board? Here’s how to do it right.
Choose Your Mood Board Tool
There are dozens of ways you could create your mood board—and there’s no real wrong way to go about it (this is a purely creative exercise, after all). Still, some tools are better than others to use for a mood board, and here are some of our favorites:
- PowerPoint (yes, the same PowerPoint you used to create presentations in high school)
- Adobe Spark’s free Mood Board tool
Should you choose to use non-digital tools, there’s no need to go out and get anything fancy. Go with a simple poster board or a large blank canvas that you can glue, pin, or tape various items to.
Go Out and Get Inspiration for Your Wedding
No matter if you chose to do a digital or an analog mood board, the first thing you should do is go out in the world and get inspiration. Gather cocktail napkins at a fancy hotel bar, clip out pages from magazines (yes, real life magazines that you can buy at a bookstore or a newsstand), and take pictures of colors, sculptures, flowers, and artwork that inspires you. Go into your favorite boutiques, take a look at fabric swatches, and rummage around your local vintage shop to look for any kind of object that excites you aesthetically. At this point you might not even directly be looking at wedding items, although if you come across a product that you like, be sure to take note of it.
You can also spend time perusing the internet for inspiration. Take an afternoon and look at Instagram, Pinterest, wedding photographers’ websites, venue pages (even if they’re nowhere near where you’re getting married), and blogs for sources to get the creative juices flowing.
Gather Everything Together
After a few sessions of gathering photos, paper products, or other objects you want to pin to your mood board, it’s now time to pull everything together onto your board. You can organize it any way you like—whether it’s all completely random or curated by sections (such as flowers, colors, fonts, reception decor, dresses, etc.). If you run out of space, there are no limits to how many mood boards it takes until you’re completely satisfied and feel that you have a properly presented mood and vibe for your wedding.
Take a Step Back
After you’ve spent so much time creating your mood board, take a couple of hours or even a day or two to take a step back. Come back to it later on and examine the choices you’ve made. Evaluate whether or not you actually like everything you’ve chosen or if you allowed some things on the mood board that you’re actually not crazy about. Use this as an opportunity to further hone in on your wedding vision—focusing on what colors, styles, fonts, dresses, and decorations you really love.
Save Your Progress and Decide How You’ll Use it Going Forward
Once your mood board has been finalized, save your progress on your application or put your non-digital mood board in a place for safekeeping (away from curious pets and children).
You’ll now need to decide how you want to use your mood board going forward in your planning process. Will you want to present it to your wedding planner to help her with booking venues and helping you secure vendors? Will you look back on it periodically to see if what you’re planning is in keeping with your overall vision? Or will you use it as a loose guide going forward?
There’s no wrong way to use your wedding mood board, but don’t be afraid to deviate from it. You never know when you’ll unexpectedly find inspiration after you’ve completed it—and you don’t want to be so tied down to a vision that you ignore something you really love.