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Creating an Idea Book

In order to begin the planning process, the best thing you can do for yourself is to create an organized book of all of your ideas. How much more simple would it be to create something that you can take to all of your meetings, and every person you talk to can get a defined visual of what it is you are looking for? Think of the stress you won’t have to deal with!

Let’s get started:

Once you’ve booked your venue, ask for a copy of the floor plan.  I would also recommend taking some photos of the facility including the bathrooms and the kitchen as well as the reception area. This way you can have a feel for what the room looks like and better visualize your ideas in the space.

For this, you can use paint swatches, fabric swatches, or magazine cut outs of the colors you would like to incorporate into your design. I recommend two colors and a neutral (white or cream). If your dress is cream, pick cream as your neutral, otherwise, you run the risk of your dress looking dirty against stark white accents.

This is something I found extremely helpful even with my own wedding. Scour magazines for all of your favorite looks. Even if it’s just an element of a dress, include it, and make notes next to it explaining what you like about it. Separate the looks into categories in the book by dress style, design elements, and accessories.This way when you go to your appointment, you can show your ideas to your dress specialist, and she (or he) will be able to help you find the perfect dress more quickly, and the process will run more smoothly. What more could you ask for? NOTE: I recommend putting this in the back of the book if you plan to keep your dress a secret from Mr. Right. Then you can flip through your ideas with him without running the risk of spoiling the surprise!

By finding different arrangements, bouquets, etc in magazines, you can attend your meeting with your florist with a head start. Also, be aware of what flowers are in season during the time in which your wedding will take place. If you’re asking for a specific flower out of season, the florist will have to have it shipped from a different part of the world, which means higher cost to you.

Table settings:
By including different styles of table settings, you allow your party rental company to get a feel for what you’re looking for, and they can show you all of the different options they have for you that match your look.

While custom cakes can be more expensive, including pictures of styles that you like will help your pastry chef envision your perfect cake.

Include everything that you find inspirational, even if it isn’t within your color theme. Chances are, you can find the look in your colors. It will also help you determine what to use for party favors, treats, and other ideas that you would want to incorporate into your wedding or reception. You can also add photographs you’ve taken to this section. If you are working with a planner, or planning yourself, this category will help you define your theme and add your and your fiance’s personality to your big day.

Even if you aren’t Rembrandt, you can put a couple of ideas on paper and it will help illustrate what you see in your mind’s eye.

By having a collection of your ideas in one place, you can be sure that your vision will be clear to all who are helping you plan your big event. It will also assist you in creating a cohesive look that carries from the ceremony to the reception seamlessly. Remember to have an editing eye, and most of all, have fun!


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