Dreaming a Reality

With two friends getting married, I've been grilled a lot about my own wedding experiences. One friend is a bit of a hot mess and seems to have no real vision for her wedding. The other friend is so set in her vision that she's unwilling to listen to advice, even though she asks for it. For the most part, I try not to say too much. Weddings are so personal that more often than not, you don't really want to hear what other people have to say. Nevertheless, it's interesting to be on the other side of it after having done it myself. These are the first friends that I've had who have gotten married since A.P. and I tied the knot last year and so I've gotten to really reflect on which things I did well and which things I could have done better.

One of the things I did early on, maybe even before we got engaged, was make inspiration boards. I did this because A.P. and I entered a wedding photography contest that Feather Love had a few years back. Sadly, we didn't win. But that contest forced me to really comb through things I'd been bookmarking, downloading, etc. and really decide how I wanted our wedding to look. I see a lot of weddings where there doesn't seem to be an overall vision, just a lot of details thrown together. You wouldn't think it's important, but making inspiration boards really does help you figure out how you want your wedding to look. Heck, you could even put photos in a folder and lay them out on a table! The point is, for any successful, large-scale event including weddings, you must look at all those images together.

One of the things I've always wanted to do was show these inspiration boards that I did way, way in advance as compared to actual elements from our wedding. I remember when the Budget Savvy Bride did this type of post after she got married (btw, that link took me forever to find! Geesh!). So, without further ado, here is my version of that post, three years later.

Okay, so this first inspiration board had several elements that I ended up incorporating. First, I bought the yellow teapot:

Of course I incorporated a ton of birds, and wooden ones, too, albeit not those up above in particular. Instead, here was my take on those bird tags. I made these based on a DIY tutorial on Scissor Variations, the blog for Papier Valise.

My love of the mason jar/vintage hankie flower vases was definitely reflected in the favors we made for our guests: homemade cake mix and a box of sparklers, because that's what we did on our first date.

The felt ring pillow adorned with birds was definitely something I was inspired to do. My take on this pillow was actually based on the same birds that appeared on our invitations:

The green tea tin was a fluke! I found this picture on some wedding site, and then randomly found the exact same tin on eBay. Of course I snapped it up and put it in the head table's centerpiece:

I did not wear a veil. The reason for this is because I didn't get to finish making mine. I was totally making one JUST LIKE THAT, too! I didn't finish, and my friend tried to finish it for me, but she didn't get to finish it either. So, I didn't wear one. Sometimes I get bummed, but I'm mostly okay with it. Honestly, I only get sad because it just seemed like such fun to wear one! When do you ever get to wear a veil again??

We did have a birdie cake topper, though we opted for one based on a DIY tutorial I saw on Once Wed:

The vintage soda crates for escort cards with the moss and clipped cards was totally what I ended up doing. We used gold paper clips instead of clothespins since we used those same gold paperclips on our wedding invitations. Here's our take:

Finally, my dress was handmade, but totally based on the J. Crew Daphne dress, something I've blogged about many, many times. Here's my version of the famous Daphne:

Now, here's my second inspiration board:

The pictures in the top and bottom left-hand corners are of Lovely, which is where we got married, so check that off the list. I did not wear green heels, but I did wear green shoes!

And my bouquet? Well I pretty much ripped that one right off! It was from a wedding I saw on Once Wed, and I fell in LOVE with it (and the wedding...it's where I got the idea for the bell jars, too). It was so unique looking, and I loved that it had Spanish Moss, which is quite possibly the only thing I love about Florida, and which we had throughout the wedding.

We didn't do picnic baskets, but I totally incorporated covering the mason jars into those favors up above. As for the pictures with the bell jars and glass apothecary jars, well, I used those in almost every centerpiece:

The point is, ladies, if you dream it, it will come. You just have to map it out. I've thrown a lot of really awesome, super pretty parties, my wedding being the biggest of them all. The key to any beautiful event/party/wedding is to have a vision. So, I've given a lot of advice about a lot of different wedding-related topics, but the advice I have about the look of a wedding is to build a coherent vision for your event. It's nice to have a bunch of great ideas, but it's even better when they're narrowed down to one look, feel, and some recurring elements used in different, beautiful ways.

Did you use inspiration boards? Do you use inspiration boards for other things? I also like them for fashion!

(Inspiration Boards Made by me 2 years ago...I do not have the links for the photos anymore, those some were posted here ages ago; Yellow teapot photo by the Half-breed Swede; All other photos by our Chicago-based wedding photographer, Theresa Scarbrough)

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