Today we have a special treat on the blog. Alex, of Pastiche Event Productions VA, is sharing her wisdom as to where to draw wedding planner inspiration from. Alex has a real passion for event design and loves to envision new ways to present a couple with their most perfect day, drawing on inspiration from a couple’s shared pastimes and personalities to bring it all together. Today she is sharing with us how to go about thinking outside the mood board.
Wedding Planner Inspiration
Mood Boards. The quintessential starting point of any great event. But what do you do when all the mood boards start to look the same? I’ve been running into this disillusionment quite a bit recently. Words like “boho” and “chic” are tossed around with reckless abandon and too many mood boards, particularly for styled photo shoots, have all begun to take on the same flavor. The intrigue is lost as more and more interested parties emulate others with similar inspiration and get away with it by virtue of simply being in a different location. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing bad, per se, about this situation, but for creatives who seek to innovate and inspire, it is easy to get stuck creatively and difficult to look outside the conventional box and really get crazy!
New Planner Have It Rough
If you are a planner who has been in the game for a while, you undoubtedly have a signature style and bride in mind for your creations. One of the most beautiful things about being an experienced planner is that you are sought for that look in particular. It’s affirming and vindicating to be wanted for something you have spent years building up to.
The trouble here is not with long-time established planners, but with new blood aspiring to reach that pinnacle in their first year or two of business. Wedding planner inspiration can be challenging at times. Newcomers run the risk of copycatting and restricting themselves too early and burning out by getting stuck in a rut. It’s dangerous for one to try too early to emulate established planners yet essential for one to take notes on what makes them a success. What a world of contradictions!
My thoughts on the matter are fairly simple but require a bit of risk… Do something different!
The wedding and event industry is forever changing. Brides no longer wear blue to represent innocence or carry flowers to cover the potent odors of having not had their annual bath. White has dominated the wedding dress industry since Queen Victoria chose white for her wedding day in the 1840s and, after the establishment of more regular bathing, floral arrangements became an expression of the bride’s interests and tastes.
Without being consciously aware of it, a modern couple can easily spot a floral arrangement that carries the distinctive look of something from the altar in a small church on a regular Sunday in the 1990s and know it won’t work without really being able to tell you why. This is similar to the fashion industry in that each decade carried its own signature. Bouffant hair fans and bright color blocks all have had their day!
The Challenges of Taste
This is why it is so crucial to think outside the mood board! Aesthetics are constantly shifting and evolving to suit the new era. Traditions (aka peer pressure from dead people) have fallen away from their original intents as new trends take their place. Bespoke wedding days are the new “thing” as every bride spends hours combing Pinterest for something that screams their name that no one has done before in combination with X, Y, and Z.
“Can we create a cheese-based theme?”
“Can I use a birds of paradise bloom with peonies?”
“Can my color palette be all metallics?”
While I do not recommend saying yes to any of those ideas right off the bat, it’s important to be aware that wild ideas do exist in the minds of the public. With every new age bride seeking something specifically created for their special day, industry creatives have to be able and willing to modify their visions to suit those desires without sacrificing their tastes, which are closely tied to their reputations. So how should a professional approach each challenge?
Test With A Styled Shoot
By experimenting! And where is the best place to experiment? Styled photoshoots are made for the challenge! Instead of repeating someone else’s shoot concept, take the opportunity to be innovative.
For example, do you wonder how you would plan a wedding for a couple that is into horror films and want to have a Halloween wedding? Sure, you could have everyone dress in zombie gore with no intention whatsoever of posting that wedding in your website gallery… OR you could experiment in a styled shoot. Think Gothic Romance and throw in a dash of their favorite horror film. Perhaps they loved Freddy Kreuger? Invitations with claw marks and table numbers in similar fashion. Maybe the cake can have a dash of drip effect in a lovely shade of red.
Experimenting with looks like that in styled shoots give professionals an opportunity to see how it would go, to stretch their creative muscles, to contribute without worrying about losses in a concept that doesn’t quite work out, and to enjoy being a little whacky when they normally keep their creative crazies contained.
We are all human. We are constantly learning and adapting. Locking yourself in to one-note aesthetics don’t serve that very primal need we have as creatives to make something new and exciting. Art is experimentation and what is event design but a form of art that reaches people more than many other expressions ever will?
Alexandra Hill, owner of Pastiche Event Productions VA, lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, three children, and their dog. Alex also enjoys leathercrafting and sewing when she has free time, as well as art shows and Renaissance Festivals. She would love to hear your wacky ideas! Look her up at instagram.com/pasticheeventsva