Follow me:

Where to start when you’re newly engaged

Christmas, new year AND an engagement?? Talk about ending 2016 in a big confetti bomb of amazingness! From Arrow and Twine to you, we say C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S! This is a fabulous time and we hope you enjoy this new cloud of happiness that you are currently floating around on.

One question though…How long was it before everyone (and we mean everyone) started asking the inevitable, ‘Have you set a date yet?’ At first, you may have casually waved this question aside with a ‘no,no, you must have misunderstood, we only got engaged yesterday,’ but this has probably quickly morphed into, ‘We got engaged andnowedonotknowthedateyetbeforeyouask.’ It’s enough to send the most serene of newly-engageds into a frenzy of panic. And out of nowhere, you turn into the stressy, frantic bride or groom you swore you would never become, who wakes in the night only to think, ‘What if the venue gets booked up five years in advance and no others will take us and the band will not travel more than 1 mile from their house and we have to get married in our garage. I’ll just wake [insert name of bewildered spouse] to share my concerns with him/her.’

Fear not.

There is one very easy way to bring yourself back to your zen-like, newly-engaged contentment, without leaving all wedmin behind completely. So, before you book anything, before you get sucked into the vortex of Pinterest and besieged by the wonders of Instagram, let us give you our best tip on where to start your wedding day planning: a mood board.

Yes, mood boards are no new concept, and they may seem a little woo-woo when all you want is to get the damn photographer booked. But believe us, they are the best place to start for any creative undertaking, and your wedding is going to require you (or a supplier) to get down and dirty in the creative hub, so it’s best to just go at it head on.


To help you put together your own ideas before opening the doors to the deluge of images on social media, we’ve put together five steps to creating your own mood board (using something akin to Apple Pages or PowerPoint).

Step 1

Find your cornerstone image. This doesn’t have to be wedding-related and it doesn’t even have to be a full picture. What it does have to do is encapsulate a mood, or use a palette of colours that really speak to you, and it definitely has to illicit a positive emotional response from you. This image will be the foundation of your mood board and should be the one that keeps you grounded to your vision of what the wedding will feel like (notice, not ‘look’ like). This is the image that all your other mood board elements will hang upon, so make it a good one. Blow it up to be the biggest item on your board and put it in the top lefthand corner a la this one we made when planning for the Wedding Collective Market last year:

bridal market

No, we didn’t want to put down roots and grow cacti all over the building, we just loved the colours and the vibe of the picture. So, we made it our cornerstone image and took things from there.

Step 2

Create three to five same-sized shapes for your colour palette, and then use the droplet tool on your Pages or PowerPoint to replicate the colours from your cornerstone image.


Any more than this and it can become pretty noisy in terms of colours, but any less and you will end up restricting yourself before you’ve even begun!

Choosing your colours now might seem pre-emptive, but it will help SO. MUCH. when you are making future decisions on: decor, flowers, bridesmaid dresses, table linen, stationery etc. etc. It’s not meant to be a case closed decision; it’s just a group of colours that you are naturally drawn to and would like to work into the mood of your day.

Step 3

Choose a few images that complement the cornerstone image, either in terms of ideas or colours. In the Wedding Collective Market example above, we chose the image of the bouquet to help us further establish the colour palette, the bar sign to think about the type of propping and typeface that would fit with the modern, relaxed vibe of the cornerstone image, and the picture of the reclaimed window-come-schedule because we wanted to try out our fledging calligraphy skills on a similar frame we had recently acquired…

This is where you can break into the Pinterest vault, but remember you’re only looking for pictures to enhance the atmosphere and colours you’ve already chosen; you’re not trying to make any decisions about anything. Whilst social media is a wonderful way to scroll through wedding inspo, there are so many awesome images that you can find yourself wondering if selling the house is a viable option to achieve all your saved ideas. Pinterest will not differentiate between a rustic wedding of 20 guests with a budget of £500, and a rustic feast for 5,000 with actual fairies holding chandeliers above the wedding party. And Instagram can wildly skew your perception of budget capabilities (true story). Just skim across the ocean of images at this point and dive in fully once your board is complete and you can use it as a wedding filter, if you will.

Step 4

Add some images of elements that you know you definitely want to involve in your big day. For example, perhaps you really want to use feathers in your decor, or have a certain type of flower for the boutonnieres, or a nine-tired cake with a live swan on top. Whatever your ‘won’t compromise’ items are, get them in there now.

In the below example, the bride really wanted old books and glassware to be used throughout the styling, while the groom’s only stipulation was that we use a an olde worlde map for the table plan. If you know certain elements are ‘must haves’ for you and your partner in crime, then build the board up with these specifics.


Step 5

Use the board. Print it out, pin it up wherever you do your wedmin, and look at it often.

Whenever you’re asked a question about the wedding that requires a decision, refer back to the board and it will (hopefully) give you a starting point from which to figure out an answer. What colour would you like your flowers? Boom: please admire my colour palette. What kind of decor would you like? Ta-da: this style right here, my friend. Do you have any ideas for stationery? Voila: fit it in with this board, amigo.

We’d love to see the boards you come up with, so feel free to post them on our Facebook page so we can oooh and ahhh over your marvellousness. And if you are ready to take the leap into seeing all things wedding inspo in the flesh, then we’ll be at the next Wedding Collective Market on 29 January, at the Glue Factory in Glasgow. Get your tix here and then come say hi to us.


Click here to make your wedding day happen the way you want it to.

Previous Post Next Post

Gimme more