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Top 5 Reasons to Create a Mood Board

When I was in college studying textile design, every assignment started with visual research in the library and a mood board. Back then (since I’m so old), our mood boards weren’t digital. We made photo copies of books, ripped pages out of magazines, and cut little swipes of textiles that we taped onto a piece of foam core. Old school.

While I enjoyed the final product of having a mood board to design off of, I never wanted to do the research part. I felt like I was copying someone else’s work by putting designs on a mood board. Couldn’t I just sit down and come up with some spectacular design right from my brain with no research at all? It’s that “designing”? Grabbing ideas out of thin air? Well, not really. All design comes from somewhere. For weddings, that “somewhere” is your mood board.

I was too excited to get to the designing part of the project that I didn’t feel like doing the most important part: the research on aesthetic.

The mood board is what all design decisions come back to. It’s a singular document where you can see your whole entire event in one place. The stationery, flowers, linens, textures, and venue are all right there – immediately you’ll be able to see if a decor item doesn’t fit into the aesthetic before purchasing it. I could never design an event with first creating a mood board. Read below on my Top 5 reasons to have a mood board for your wedding.

(don’t feel like reading? Download Mood Boards 101 and you are good to go.)

Top 5 reasons to have a mood board when designing your wedding (or designing anything, really):

1. Have a single starting place for all your decor

Remember in school when you had to write an essay? The first step was making an outline of the essay, then fill in with sentences, and finally with paragraphs. The mood board is the outline of your event design. In the mood board, you should include images that convey color, texture, flowers, lighting, your venue, materials, and general mood inspiration. I go over all of this in way more, almost too much, detail in Mood Boards 101. All good design has a starting point. Your mood board is where you start to design your event.

2. Decor decisions are easier with a mood board

Once you’ve designed your mood board, you can start making decor decisions. Without a mood board, deciding between sequin linens and velvet linens could be a challenge. One is so sparkly! The other is so smooth and luxurious. Girl, go check your mood board. Which ever linen could seamlessly live inside that board is the one to choose. Same goes when shopping at Home Goods or picking out a florist. Compare the aesthetic of what you are looking at to your mood board. Does it fit? Great, get out that credit card.

3. Keeps all your decor cohesive

The biggest challenge that couples come to me with is that they are worried that everything is going to look good together. They aren’t able to visualize in their head if their cake topper will mesh with the style of their cake. Or if the centerpieces will jive with the table linens. The mood board helps you keep all of your decor cohesive. Because you are using the mood board as a starting point to make decisions off of (ahem, #2 above), all of your decor will automatically go together.

When working with a wide variety of professionals for your event, send them all your mood board. As they all work off the same document, your cake and flowers and stationery and linens will magically look cohesive. Actually, it’s not magic, it’s all the mood board just doing what it does.

4. Helps communicate with wedding pros

This is my favorite reason to have a mood board. It helps amazingly when working with creative wedding pros. Your florist, caterer, baker, lighting designer, your stationer, even your planner will benefit from you creating a mood board as one of the first steps when planning your wedding. When a couple comes to me for their wedding design or flowers with a mood board, I want to hug them! It could even be as simple as a Pinterest board or a few images in a google doc. Being able to see what’s inside your brain, what you are naturally drawn to, and the types of decor that you love is priceless in starting our working relationship together. My job is to take your crude mood board and turn it into a refined version of it’s self. Like when you get your make-up done at Sephora.

Visuals always cut down on misunderstandings over email. We all call the same color different names: is it light purple, violet, umber, smokey blue…etc?? No one knows what color you are referring to without a visual reference. In comes the mood board to save the day!!

5. it’s fun

Wedding planning is supposed to be fun, right? Forget about the money arguments, the stressful budget, the sticky family situations you have to navigate by diving deep into design. It’s your first opportunity to use the creative side of your brain. No spreadsheets or emails or check lists or contracts. Simply you, a bunch of beautiful inspiration images, and a few hours to create a stunning mood board to use as you design your event.

For those just beginning with putting together your wedding aesthetic, I highly recommend signing up for my Free 5-day Course on How To Design Your Wedding On Pinterest.

Are you ready to refine your mood board into a beautiful, cohesive representation of your wedding ready to send to vendors? My Mood Boards 101 download and Mood Board Templates will guide you in creating a mood board. They are really simple, drag and drop, templates full of information on how to use your board when it’s done.

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Three ways to use rose gold flatware

Remember when gold flatware was everywhere? Every pin, inspiration image, and editorial shoot used gold flatware. Let me tell you – rose gold flatware is the next big thing. It has a warm tone that works with a variety of color palettes and aesthetics, where you can see below.

For Oriental Trading’s site Fun365, I used their shiny rose gold flatware to create three distinct tablescapes. See all the detail and links to buy mostly everything in these images over on the Fun365 site.

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Floral Design for the Lend & Gather Conference

Did you catch my post yesterday? It was a summary of the talk I did at the Lend & Gather Conference here in Brooklyn about ways rental companies could improve from the eyes of an event designer. I also provided the flowers for the conference, which was at one of my favorite Brooklyn locations, The Wythe Hotel.

In collaboration with Patina Rentals, we designed a room that was inviting, comfortable, and full of pops of color for the conference attendees. Designing florals for conferences is a fun challenge. The tables need enough room for swag and notebooks and coffees and waters. The flowers need to be fully instagrammable – colorful, beautiful, easy to move to locations with more natural light. We took inspiration from two rope walls that we saw at Patina Rentals showroom. Custom made in their studio, the geometric design of the rope was reminiscent of the Brooklyn Bridge. Perfect for our location!

We started with this design board:

Pretty right? Colorful summer pops, geometric aspects, and flowing greenery vibes. Here’s how it came to life: Thanks to Lend & Gather for having me at their wonderful conference.

Photos by Bonnie & Lauren.

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