Just like every other girl on Pinterest I had a board dedicated to my future wedding, continuously pinning unique placecards, bouquets I liked, elements to add personality…etc.
However once we choose our venue + with the date range we were given by our families, (almost) all of it went out the window.
LeBraun and I had always pictured a late autumn / early winter wedding featuring deep burgundy and navy with copper accents. Perhaps even some snow outside. So when our families gave us a date range of end of July through mid-August we were thrown for a loop.
Luckily we’d discussed and always had our heart set on a small destination wedding. However with any destination wedding, especially one where you don't have family or friends already “on-the-ground” at the location, you have to put your trust completely in your wedding planner and their team—a things that sounds simple, but for a hands-on person like myself can be challenging and a true test in trust.
Thankfully we were blessed to have the fabulous team at Belle Destination Weddings & Events in Maui handling our event.
WHY DO WE NEED A WEEDING MOOD BOARD?
Making a wedding mood board is one of the most helpful activities you and your fiancé can do in the wedding planning process, and one I would recommend doing sooner than later. You can always update it, but it gives you a great jumping off point—helping to make decisions about the look of your day and define the overall vibe of the wedding.
It also helps focus in on what’s really important to the two of you for your big day, and makes communicating your vision to vendors way, way easier. Words can be misinterpreted easier than pictures.
Remember, elements don’t need to be exact, but need to help communicate your vision…things you like / don’t like, etc. Make sure to be thoughtful in your decisions. For example, if you’re wedding is in December chances are your centerpieces won’t contain sunflowers, even if your heart is set on it. They’re a summer flower.
To get started, try answering these questions as a couple or separately then discussing together. Remember the first rule of marriage is be willing to compromise.
- If you’ve picked a date: What time of year / season is your big day?
- If you’ve picked a location: What’s the weather like at the location during your date?
- If you’ve picked a venue or know what you’re looking for: Will the ceremony be inside, outside, or some of both?
- Are there any colors specifically important to you?
- What five adjectives would you use to describe your day? Here are some popular options: Rustic, Modern, Bohemian, Industrial, Classic, Vintage, Adventurous, Colorful, Minimalist, Bright, Exciting, Cozy, Romantic, Glamorous, Intimate, Casual, Formal, Elegant, Whimsical, Beachy, Carefree…
None of these words are exclusive and can be used in any combination; however I would recommend sticking to a max of five words so the direction doesn’t become convoluted. These adjectives will also be used to guide your mood board.
- When your friends and family look back at your wedding, how would you like them to remember it?
- What elements would you love or hate to see on your wedding day?
- Think about any weddings you have attending. Was there anything specific you loved or hated?
- Brides: Think about your dream gown. Is there a specific style or era of dress style you are drawn to? Elements like art deco beading or layers of ballgown tulle can lend themselves to different styles of events. Once you actually go to some bridal appointments you may even be surprised at which dress you say “yes” to. And shh…you don’t have to be obvious about your dress plans to your fiancé, just casual mention that you like, for example, texture if you’re looking for a gown with elaborate beading. Boys have no clue about anything, and that’s just the truth. :)
- Anything else that is important to you on your big day?
Note: You mood board will evolve over time as your event comes together. We added and removed things as we honed in on each element, but a mood board is perfect for referring back to when making decisions. Continuously ask yourself, "Does this decision reflect our overall vibe / theme?"
OUR WEDDING MOOD BOARD
Try and answer the questions above without reading through this next part first. I don’t want our decisions to affect your decisions.
Here’s how we answered each of the questions:
- If you’ve picked a date: What time of year / season is your big day? Summer, early-August
- If you’ve picked a location: What’s the weather like at the location during your date? Upcountry Maui, Hawaii with a temperature average of mid-80’s in August.
- If you’ve picked a venue or know what you’re looking for: Will the ceremony be inside, outside, or some of both? Ceremony and reception both outside. Since our venue was on an olive farm we would already be surrounded by tons of greenery and wanted to focus on greenery with floral accents (roughly 75% greenery / 25% florals).
- Are there any colors specifically important to you? Nothing specific.
- What five adjectives would you use to describe your day? Timeless, lush, fun, romantic + intimate
- When your friends and family look back at your wedding, how would you like them to remember it? Memorable, laid-back + joyful
- What elements would you love or hate to see on your wedding day? We would love to serve an interesting and delicious meal, incorporating local flavors—something you wouldn't expect at a wedding.
- Think about any weddings you have attending. Was there anything specific you loved or hated? Great music, delicious food, and a variety of seating / tables are musts.
- Is there a specific style or era of dress style you are drawn to? I love accenting my waist, emphasizing my boobs (tastefully of course!), and was definitely set on a flowy, large yet light, ballgown. When else can you wear a giant white gown? :)
- Anything else that is important to you on your big day? Having a top-notch photo and video team was important to us. I didn’t factor in to our mood board, but definitely was important for budget and timeline purposes.
OUR INITIAL WEDDING MOOD BOARDS
So without further adu, here’s what our initial mood board looked like. Since we were working with a team across the country, we wrote what we liked about specific images on our mood boards so avoid misinterpretation. We also added an additional page for floral and decor elements specifically since the planner was handling all vendor communication.
All these photos came from Pinterest. We don't own them.
OUR FINAL WEDDING MOOD BOARDS
As the planning process went on, we were able to narrow done on our mood board and really define the style with the help our planner, venue, floral, and decor teams. Note how the final mood boards (below) are more cohesive overall while still capturing our laid-back, timeless vibe.
Without these mood boards we wouldn't have been able to clearly communicate our vision for the big day. And since LeBraun and I are both terrible decision makers, having a visual aid helped us express what we were thinking to everyone involved.
WHERE TO FIND WEDDING INSPIRATION FOR YOUR MOOD BOARDS?
Inspiration can come from everywhere.
Use any combinations of your five adjectives for more tailored results on Google, Pinterest, and wedding websites (like Style Me pretty) searches.
Also use words relating to location, venue style, season, and size of event for additional results.
For example, we researched “vineyard wedding,” “orchard wedding,” “summer wedding,” “Maui wedding,” “intimate wedding,” and more.
These options should yield tons of results. Save your favorites in a folder on your computer or to a Pinterest board—something easy to reference. Once you feel like you’ve found your defining images, narrow them down and create an initial board that encapsulates the spirit of your event.
And don't think all your searches need to contain the word "wedding." Sometimes "party" or "event" can yield a wider range of results.
When you’re ready to get more specific, try the searches again but instead of following the adjectives with “wedding,” use “florals,” or “decor,” etc.
Add these to your initial designs and make sure to carry a copy with you to all your meetings and give a copy to each of your vendors. Just make sure to give them updated versions as you go along!
Happy mood boarding!