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Looking for Wedding Inspiration? Get on Board!
By: Karen Sullen

Now that you've clipped every picture imaginable from all those bridal magazines, what do you do with them?  Don't tuck them away inside folders and notebooks.  Create a collage to help keep you focused.  Nowadays, experts are calling these collages "Wedding Inspiration Boards," and they are one of the hottest wedding trends this year.  Setting the right tone for your wedding involves so much more than just choosing the right colors.  It means selecting the right elements that will present the wedding theme in a beautifully connected way.  When you look at your inspiration board, you should not only see color but an eclectic array of items, like glasses, jewelry, cakes and some untraditional things-wherever you draw your inspiration.  One New York bride wanted to create the NYC experience for her wedding and chose the familiar yellow checkered cab for her inspiration.  Her board included a cab along with some black, yellow and shades of gray elements that really worked in true "Sex In The City" style.  No matter what your inspiration, here's how to create a great board:

Less Is More
Many brides have the tendency to clutter their boards with every photo that catches their eyes.  But rather than inspire, the board confuses.  There are so many elements that it's hard to keep track.  It's best to focus on no more than 8-9 photos that capture the essence of the day you want to create.

Set the Mood
Mood is very important.  If you're planning a garden wedding, look for items that create a soft, romantic feel.  But if a trendy affair is more your style, pick photos of unusually shaped jars, funky toasting glasses and even a topsy-turvy cake!  Focus on the overall effect.  When you see the pictures, you should feel the mood.  

A Guest-eye View
Have you ever heard the expression "You can't see the forest for the trees?"  It happens a lot when planning a wedding.  Brides are so intently focused on the details that they forget about the big picture.  That's where an inspiration board can really help.  It gives you a glimpse of what your guests will see overall, so include one item from a wide variety of categories (bouquet, dress, cake, getaway car, foods, etc.) to see how they all work together.  

Go Digital
With access to so many photos at your fingertips, it's easier than ever to create a winning board with pictures from the Net.  Just copy, paste and resize them into your favorite layout program to create the perfect collage.  Digital boards are easy to share electronically with family, friends and vendors.  Of course, you can always use cork, poster or foam core boards to build one instead.  

Inspiration boards can be an effective tool when working with caterers, cake designers, seamstresses and florists, too!  It shares your thoughts and intents in a concise, creative way.  They can immediately "get on board" with your ideas.