Before you even start planning a wedding, you need some inspiration! I’m not one of those girls who has had stacks of bridal magazines hidden under her bed since junior high. Sure, I dreamed about my wedding… in fact, somewhere on my computer there’s a Word doc with a list of things I wanted to have at my wedding. It’s been a while since I’ve read it, but I’m pretty sure it includes something about peach bridesmaids dresses with puffy sleeves and the song “Wind Beneath My Wings.” Needless to say, none of those little-girl dreams are making it into my actual wedding. 🙂
Bridal magazines used to be the universal go-to for inspiration, but with the advent of the internet they’ve fallen a little in popularity. Being a digital girl myself, I much prefer browsing on my iPhone or my MacBook to dragging around stacks of glossy magazines. So let me tell you about my favorite wedding inspiration sites.
Billed as “the Ultimate Wedding Blog,” Style Me Pretty, or SMP as it’s been fondly nicknamed, is a treasure trove of wedding inspiration. With an average of 80 posts per week, no matter what your style, you’ll probably find something you like here. Posts are tagged by color, location, and style and often include vendor information. SMP also has a Little Black Book full of recommended vendors. I found a lot of great inspiration on SMP and also had a lot of fun perusing the often jaw-droppingly gorgeous photos.
Ruffled features real weddings, often with more of a DIY and vintage focus. One of the coolest parts of the site is Recycle Your Wedding, wedding classifieds where recent brides sell some of the decor and wedding-specific items they’ve used. Our wedding is a little bit rustic and vintage chic, so I found lots of great inspiration here.
The Wedding Chicks is an adorable, beautifully designed blog that features a great mix of real weddings, DIY tutorials, a vendor guide, and a shop with custom favors and gifts. The free printable section is full of signs, table numbers, labels, menus, monograms and invites.
Elizabeth Anne Designs features gorgeous weddings and a vendor guide. Their inspiration boards -my favorite part of the site- are beautifully curated and sorted by color and style.
My favorite way to absorb all of these blogs is via RSS reader- I use Google Reader. They’re all in a wedding-blogs folder, and when I first started thinking about our wedding I spent a lot of time reading the posts and gazing at the photos. But what’s a girl to do with all of these gorgeous pictures and maybe-useful tutorials? If you run across something you think you might want to use, or even just something you really really like and you’re not sure why, save it! Initially I just starred posts in Google Reader that I liked. But sometimes I would go back to look at a starred post and completely forget why I starred it- the cake? the dress? So I created a folder in Dropbox where I saved all of the pictures I wanted to refer to later. There were several problems with this approach- the photos weren’t tagged or sortable, there wasn’t a great way to look at them all at once, and sometimes I wanted to save more than just the picture, like some explanatory text or even the source. Also, my Dropbox isn’t unlimited, so eventually I would have run out of space.
So I turned to Evernote. I’ve posted about my love for Evernote before, and it’s still my favorite place to collect notes, recipes, and things I just want to remember. Evernote was a great place to put all those inspiration pictures that had been languishing in my Dropbox and actually add notes and source information. But as I went along in the planning process, I discovered a better place to store my inspiration pictures.
If you’re a female between the ages of 20-50 who spends a lot of time on the internet, you probably already know my final solution. Pinterest, of course! Pinterest is easy to use, full of eye candy, and unlike my other options- social! My main wedding board is full of inspiration, tutorials, and things for my “to-buy” list. I have separate boards for our engagement photo inspiration and wedding must-takes – different shots and poses that I fell in love with and knew I wanted to use for our big day. Pins are searchable, taggable, and easily viewed- the trifecta I needed all along! I pinned bouquet inspiration, bridesmaid jewelry options from Etsy, cake ideas, and dresses I loved. I also spent time perusing other boards in the “Wedding & Events” category. If I ran across someone who had the same wedding style, colors or just good taste I followed their boards for even more inspiration. At first, we weren’t sure what kind of theme or style our wedding would have, so I just saved everything that I loved. As I went back through my inspiration pictures, I began to see connections between all of the photos I loved, which helps me solidify my ideas. Pinterest also enables me to easily share things with my fiancé and my bridesmaids- they can all see exactly what I’m thinking and it doesn’t get lost in any emails.
As my ideas began to gel, I saved my favorite pics in Evernote with notes about what I liked and didn’t like to use when meeting with vendors. But vendors are another topic for another post!
Brides (past, present and future!), where did you find great wedding inspiration? Any blogs you love that we should all know about?