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How To Create a Wedding Mood Board

And why it's beneficial - from the perspectives of both a stationery designer and wedding photographer.

Disclaimer: all photographs were sourced from Pinterest; credit to Rebel Reflect, GeorgiannaLane, and Mohammed A. Alsattar,.

Picture this, you just got engaged and you are starting your wedding planning journey. If you are like me, you've had an inspiration board for years, but it's full of most likely dated inspiration, a million different ideas, and no clear vision about what your special day is going to be like. I joined Kaitlyn of Kaitlyn Cole Photography to give you both perspectives, from a stationery designer and a wedding photographer, on how to create a wedding mood board and why it's beneficial for you when you first start your wedding planning journey!!

Who is Kaitlyn Cole?

Kaitlyn is a wedding photographer in Grand Rapids, Detroit, Charleston and beyond serving classic couples who believe in legacy. By drawing inspiration from old world charm and modern photojournalism, she captures photos for her couples that are timeless and authentic. She's my entrepreneurial-bestie from college, she was my photographer for my wedding AND captured all my branding photos you see on my website. Together, we are so excited to share our insight on this topic.

Quickest note, if you're looking for a wedding photographer, check out her website here, she's wonderful.

What is a mood board?

Alyssa: To me, a mood board is a place where my thoughts and ideas transform into visuals. Before starting any project, I always create a mood board to organize and start to develop my ideas and gather images of where I'm going to pull inspiration from. Many people have a different perception of what a mood board is or what a mood board is intended for, so for me, I'm going to personally relate it to my line of work - stationery design.

Kaitlyn: A mood board is a visual representation of the feelings, look and message you want to communicate to your wedding guests and/or wedding planner.

What makes a great mood board? With examples!

Alyssa: As a designer, I'm inspired by a few things that are always very prevalent and noticeable in my work; that is texture / architecture, typography, floral, emotion, and color schemes. This is what makes a great mood board!! See below.

Kaitlyn: This is my dream wedding mood board. Elegant, coastal, classic. The elements that portray classic are the white satin dress, neutral color palette, and clean lines and typography in the stationery design. The coastal elements are the blues, creams, and greens to represent the colors of the ocean waves, warm sand, and luscious greenery. I would choose a wedding venue that was on a body of water for sure! Lastly, the elegant elements are copious amounts of floral, clean lines, and design as seen in the stationery, and the quality of the rents as seen on the tablescape design.

Why is creating a mood board beneficial?

Alyssa: It's not uncommon for clients to provide inspiration photos of what they are looking for prior to the start of any design work. I actually highly encourage this and it helps me to better understand their preferences before curating a mood board for them. To me, mood boards are beneficial in two ways; first, as a stationery designer, it's very important that my clients know what I'm envisioning for their project to avoid any miscommunication as we get deeper into the design process, and second, a place where I can organize my ideas.

Kaitlyn: When presenting your wedding style/theme to your vendors and wedding planner, different words and styles have different meanings to everyone. Your mood board allows you to clearly communicate the style and vision you want for your wedding day. It’s so important that everyone is on the same page so the vision comes to life in a clear, cohesive way.

If someone wanted a wedding that feels very whimsical, playful, and bright, can you explain what design elements you would incorporate into their design?

When curating your event design, I 100% believe that it starts with the venue. For this type of feel, I’d suggest a conservatory, an art gallery, or a backyard tented wedding. From there, I would recommend a colorful, but more neutral color scheme that continues to be timeless for years to come; the typography would be classy, but whimsical-style calligraphy with a combination of serif to portray sophistication, but a playful nature. When thinking about other design elements, I love incorporating bright floral elements and interactive signage displays to best suit the venue space!

Where do you find inspiration photos and how do you create a mood board?

Alyssa: Pinterest is a great place to look for inspiration, especially for anything wedding related. Although, I find it somewhat difficult to find everything that I'm looking for on Pinterest, so my favorite place to look for stock photos to use in my mood boards is rawpixel!

Kaitlyn: Yes, Pinterest is a great place to get started. I recommend creating a new board and at first and start pinning everything that you like. Try not to solely choose wedding photos, but also pin photos of architecture, textures, fashion, etc. Once you have a board of about 40+ photos, pick the top 5-10 photos that speak to you most. Once you have those photos, look at the primary colors in each of the photos. Pick out the primary colors to create your color palette. Usually the color pallete will consist of about 3-5 colors. Once you have your mood board created, be sure to print it out or save it on your phone for easy reference!


If you have more questions about mood boards and how to create one for your wedding, please reach out to myself or Kaitlyn!


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