Inspiration

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I’ve had a few questions about how I find inspiration, so I thought I’d take a stab at answering them here.

I really believe that inspiration can be found anywhere, especially when coming up with a vision for a special event. Things that I think about when I make these boards are:

1. What season is it?
2. What is the mood of the event? Is it formal, casual, or something in between? Is it grand or intimate? Sophisticated? Playful?
3. What is the location? Inside or out-of-doors? How can I play up regional/local elements? Does the architecture/scenery inspire me?
4. What single element can tie everything together? Is it a theme? A certain flower or fruit?
5. How can I stretch this idea? What is unexpected but fits perfectly with all the other aspects?

A note about color schemes: Sometimes I do have a palette in mind, and that’s what I use to come up with the other elements of a board. Other times, I have all those other things in mind, and I pull images together that fit, and a color scheme emerges. While having your colors all picked out can focus an event and help pull everything together, I think it can also be limiting and too obvious. To avoid this, I try to make room for color families – so if I’m mostly working with celery green, I won’t automatically abandon celadon or pine. I’ll see if I can make them work with the rest of my vision.

So, that’s it. I hope this is helpful for those of you planning your own events, and either way, I love to hear your ideas and try to pull them together in a cohesive board.

PS: Yep, I just use Adobe Photoshop to put these boards together. It’s a little tricky if you haven’t used it before, but play around and read the tutorials and you should get the hang of it.

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  1. Marilyn

    Thanks for sharing your inspiration process. I love this site because I am guaranteed to see something absolutely beautiful everyday.I have one little question. How do you create your photo collages, is it photoshop? Would that be giving away your trade secret if you told us?

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  2. Becca

    Hi Kathryn,I’d love your help on putting together an inspiration board, if you don’t mind! I’m going for “natural glam,” but have no idea how to tie the two together.It’s next September, in a natural history museum (complete with dinosaurs!) and I know I want to incorporate candles, brown kraft paper and bakers twine wherever possible. However, I also know I want long banquet tables with red glass chargers and tall monochromatic red centerpieces.I feel like these things are totally separate, so I would love your help if possible!Becca

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  3. emily

    I also love your site and find myself visiting your site first thing after work! I would also love you help with ideas for my up coming september wedding (original!) My colors are grey, cream, and marigold. Classic outdoor wedding with a quirky twist. YOur site has given me tons of ideas, but if there was anything you could think of that could be helpful…that would be amazing!!! ps thank you in advance!

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  4. erin

    Hi….I’d also like to say your boards are incredible and I was wondering if you might be able to help me with some inspiration. I’m planning a wedding for next October, and the bridesmaids will be wearing crimson red and my gown is lacy ivory. I’m having trouble finding complementary colors that will help with the soft, romantic feel that I’d like to achieve. I would appreciate your help so much. Thank you!

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  5. ali

    Thanks for sharing your wisdom with all of us. You have such a fabulous eye. Love the strawberries! Cute + classy.

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  6. Viva

    Thanks for sharing :) Adore your boards!I want to do some boards myself (totally different, non-event, non-wedding, however)…but how do you find your images so fast?

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  7. Kathryn

    Viva,If I see an image I like, I save it. So I may have an image for a few weeks (or months) before I actually use it in a board. That’s really the best advice I can give about that – just keep an eye out for beautiful images and save them in a place where you’ll be able to find them again easily. Best luck!K

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  8. Jasmine

    Hi Kathryn,I love your boards. I look forward to your RSS feed everyday. I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind helping me make an inspiration board for my upcoming wedding. It’s on my to-do list, but I think you’d do a way better job than I could. :)I’m having a pink/brown/cream outdoor wedding next summer in San Diego. It’s going to be close to the waterfront. I’m looking for something simple, but romantic. And thanks for the tips. I’ve started my own files and they’re growing a lot already!thanks.

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  9. kiwafruit

    I just found this post through Wedding Bee (and Miss Earrings – http://www.weddingbee.com/2010/06/26/wedding-inspiration-8/) and it is so helpful! Thank you!

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