Planning a wedding isn’t so different than branding a company or another type of event.  In the branding world, you want to ensure that there’s a certain level of visual cohesiveness at every touch-point – or a visual strategy from start to finish. Beginning with your save the date card all the way to your thank you notes after the wedding. So I’m going to walk you through these same principles and how to apply them to curate your wedding style!

how to curate your wedding style

START WITH AN INSPIRATION BOARD

If you haven’t started creating your wedding Pinterest boards, consider this your permission slip to go ahead and go wild on the platform. Create a new board, and start pinning anything and everything you love as it relates to your wedding. Keep in mind your personal style and the story that you and your partner want to tell during the big day. You will see your wedding vision come to life all on one board. And don’t limit yourself to just wedding-related pictures as inspiration can come in many forms.

Once you feel like you’ve pinned a decent number of images that represent a wide range of content, go back through the board, reevaluating the pins and making notes on each photo. Take out pictures as you start to curate your wedding style and add any specific styling detail that resonates with you that you’d like to see incorporated. Share this board with all of your vendors to they understand exactly your vision for the wedding and how to what to curate your wedding style to your personal taste.

cactus themed wedding invitations

DETERMINE YOUR WEDDING THEME

Does your inspiration board have a lot of blues? Do you want a wedding on the beach? Then maybe a nautical theme is right for you. Do you have a longstanding love affair with pink and like modern decor? A pink modern wedding might just be up your alley. By determining your theme, this will set other elements of your wedding such as the dress code and the type of affair you are throwing. Stick with your theme in every part of the wedding; changing up the fonts for example will look a bit confusing. Make decisions and stick with them throw-out the process to curate your wedding style.

white wedding reception table decor

PULL IT ALL TOGETHER

Make a folder and include samples from all of your vendors. Add color swatches, textures and finishes that make your wedding come to life. This will help to have all the elements take shape and ensure your wedding has a cohesive look. Do you prefer the lace linens over the sequin ones? Once you make these decisions you can start to take other options out of your folder and put your own spin on the customization. You don’t want to copy everything about someone else’s wedding, make sure your wedding speaks to your style. This will make an easy reference point for your vendors to understand your vision exactly exactly how you picture it. And if you’re one for sharing little hints on social media, these little details also make for the perfect behind-the-scenes post as you lead up to the big day and give your guests a preview into the type of wedding your are throwing.

Now’s your time to put your vision board to the test and become a stylist! You want your besties to be comfortable and look and feel their best, but also for their look to help establish your colors, dress code and theme. Depending on whether or not you are opting to make the choices or letting them choose themselves, these are the decisions that need to be made to complete their overall look!

THE DRESS
Consider your bridesmaids body types, especially if you are only selecting one dress style. Pick a dress based on the neckline, waistline and length that will look best on them and go perfectly with your dress code. With the high costs of alterations, some brides are letting the bridesmaids choose the style from the color she chose.

Your bridesmaids outfits have a lot to do with the overall look of your wedding. Their look plays a key role in establishing your wedding colors, theme and dress code. The dress is hugely responsible for showcasing your wedding colors, but also to set the dress code. Before you select your bridesmaids dresses you will want to consider the following; your venue, theme, dress code, body styles, colors and trends. Are you having a nautical wedding? A vineyard wedding? Knowing what your venue and theme will help you decide which colors will go best with your venue and showcase your theme. For establishing the dress code, you may want short dresses for a more casual wedding and long dresses for a more formal wedding. Ladies come in all sorts of fabulous sizes so you will also want to consider busty, tall, curvy and slender body types and how the dress may look on them. Some brides will opt to pick the color and let the bridesmaids choose the style for a mismatched look. Are you traditional, or what to try a trend? Lastly and arguably most importantly, will will need to determine the color or colors! One trend I’m seeing lately is ombre colors in the same family (this bride mastered it!) or sequin dresses in all different shades. If ordering the same color, have the ladies all purchase from the same stop so the dresses come from the same dye-lot.

THEIR SHOES
Perhaps most important if your bridesmaids are wearing short dresses, but also consider your venue and comfort. Is your venue on grass? How high is the heel? If you are letting them choose, establish guidelines such as a closed-toe nude pump. If open-toe, treat them to a pedicure!

THE HAIR
Depending on your dress code and venue, work with your hairstylist to help decide between an up or down do. The hairstylist can also do the bridesmaids hair if you fit it into your day-of getting ready timeline. A great bridesmaids gift is to give your bridesmaids a beautiful clip to wear in their hair. Before making trial appointments read 10 Tips for Your Hair and Makeup Trials.

MAKEUP
You can also have your makeup artist do your bridesmaids makeup on your wedding day. Most brides like the soft makeup look, but work with the makeup artist to see if they need a little more color to make their features pop in pictures.

JEWELRY
Another perfect bridesmaids gift is a piece of jewelry to complete their look. Make sure the necklace, earring or bracelet go with the dress and don’t distract from the dress and her overall look. Settle jewelry photographs best in photos.

NAILS
Treat your ladies to a mani/pedi before your rehearsal dinner. Determine a color or set guidelines such as soft colors, light pick, nude or french. The color you want them to wear is also a great gift to include in their bridesmaids gift.

Before you got engaged you were rarely in front of a professional camera. Now with all of the wedding related events, photo sessions and the actual wedding oh-my how times have changed. So when it comes time to take center stage for your engagement session, how do you ensure your engagement photos look natural? You want your love for each other to be at the forefront without any awkward poses. Fret not my friends, here is my insight on making sure those engagement photos look natural and capture the true you, and let’s be real… are mantle worthy!

how to make your engagement photos look natural

BOND WITH YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER

This might be the most important tip! If you’re not feeling your photographer’s personality during the consultation, you’re likely not going to vibe with them during your engagement session. The last thing you want is a photographer who makes you feel uncomfortable. Go with your intuition when selecting your photographer. If it feels natural with them when you first meet, you’re on the right track. Your photographer will be spending a lot of time with you (not to mention all day on your wedding day), so make sure you click!

engagement photos on a bike

ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS

In my Questions to Ask series, I breakdown all of the questions you should be asking your photographer. But there is one question you should be sure to ask your short list of photographers. Ask about the photographers process before and during the session. Talented photographers have detailed processes in creating a great end result. Make sure the photographer asks you questions as well about you as a couple and how you wish to be captured. Talk about how to blend your style and home decor, along with your wardrobe and locations. You do after all want these photos ending up on your save the date cards! Figuring this out ahead of time will build confidence even before you step foot in front of the camera.

engagement photos when it's snowing

DON’T OBSESS OVER THE DETAILS

Once you’ve worked out all the details leading up to your session, trust in the plan you choose. Obsessing over the weather, your coordinating outfits and location decisions will drive you crazy. Overthinking all of the details can take you away from being yourself and looking natural. Make a plan and then stick with it to make your engagement photos look natural.

engagement photos on top of the rock in new york city

BE YOURSELVES

When the day finally arrives you should already have bonded with your photographer and know what to expect, so now it’s time to be YOU. At the beginning people tend to be a bit nervous and that’s okay! Most photographers are good at getting couples to relax and help with your nerves. Photographers pay attention to little subtleties, whether you smile a lot, and how affectionate you are towards one another. These subtle mannerisms are the real you and if you’ve picked the right photographer, they should pick up on that. If the photographer directs you to do something that isn’t natural to you, speak up!

romantic engagement photos

FOCUS ON ONE ANOTHER

Don’t only focus on smiling for the photographer, embrace one another. Let the photographer do his job of observing you, not you observing the photographer. Make each other laugh, hold hands, be with each other – together in the moment. Try to quiet your thoughts and be present, focused on each other. Trust me, if you ignore your photographer and give all of your attention to one another, you will create natural looking photos just by being yourselves.

Let’s face it, planning a bachelorette party can be a huge under taking. Coordinating with many girls schedules and preferences can be a daunting task. They often live in different cities, or states and many not knowing each other can be a challenge with all the different personality types. With so many opinions and choices how do you even begin? But it doesn’t have to be a stressful job if you know from the start how to tackle it correctly. Luckily there are ways to roundup the other bridesmaids and get them on the same vibes as the brides wishes. Here’s how to plan the ultimate bachelorette party!

SET EXPECTATIONS

First and formost, communicate with the bride about what she wants and what her expectations are. Does she want it close to home? A fab destination? How close to the wedding day? How many days should the party be? How does she feel about decorations that resemble male anatomy? (Some brides do not want this!). Does she want nights out at a bar or a spa-like weekend? Get a sense of exactly what is important to her and then communicate that to the ‘I do’ crew.

INVOLVE THE OTHER MAIDS

Brainstorm ideas with the other bridesmaids by creating an email chain for just the maids without the new ‘feyonce.’ She doesn’t need the added stress! Once decision come to light, relay them to the bride to ensure she’s on board with the ideas. Make sure every idea is at least heard from the bride so everyone feels included and that their opinion matters. But set a deadline for all the bridesmaids to come up with ideas as the wedding day is fast approaching.

THE BRIDE KNOWS BEST

It is after-all HER bachelorette party! Let her voice and request shine through and only voice your opinion when she really needs your input. If you are dominating the decisions, you may be planning the bachelorette party that you want and not hers. Ultimately, you are throwing the party for the bride, but keep her choices at the forefront. They typically want it fun with something that fits their personality and everyone involved. Think drink floats, decorative decor matching tees, and something that fits the brides theme or wedding colors.

BE INCLUSIVE

Do not determine that every bridesmaid needs to fork out $1,000 for the weekend or take a week off of work. Talk to the other bridesmaids about their budget and schedules for the weekend. You’ll be spending a lot of time together in the coming months so ensure your fellow bridesmaids are all of the same page.

USE SOCIAL MEDIA

Create an instagram hashtag for the bachelorette party that is separate from the brides wedding hashtag. This will make it easier to share photos among the group!

CREATE A BUDGET

Make a budget and stick to it! Note how it will be divided up among things like decor, activities, food, gifts, etc. Travel among the bridesmaids will vary so it’s best to leave that out, but note it as an additional cost. Determine who will collect the money and set a due date. Set the due date prior to the event so someone isn’t left charging everything on their card and having to wait to be reimbursed. This also prevents last minute drop-outs; increasing everyone’s costs.

DELEGATE

Just because you are the maid-of-honor or the bridesmaid in change don’t mean you have to do EVERYTHING. Ask for help and delegate tasks to various bridesmaids. It’s great to have one point person for the event, but it’s also helpful to have different people responsible for different aspects of the party; such as designing and ordering matching tees, ordering decor or coming up with the menu and picking up the food. Then send out a group email so everyone knows exactly who is responsible for what.

HELP SORT OUT ANY DRAMA

The bride often feels guilty about everything she’s asking of her bridesmaids during the wedding planning process, and the idea that her besties aren’t getting along can be really stressful. Work it out among the bridesmaids without the bride even knowing there was an issue in the first place!

Classic weddings will forever have my heart. Add a modern twist with the hot pink wedding shoes, mismatched bridesmaids dresses and a horse drawn carriage and this wedding has made its way to my favorites list! The bride stuns in a Vera Wang wedding dress and the groom holds his own in a traditional tux. What do you love most about this wedding?



VENUE The Wit Hotel | PHOTOGRAPHER Brett Heidebrecht Photography | FLORIST Mangel Florist | WEDDING DRESS Vera Wang | SHOES Manolo Blahnik | INVITATIONS Minted | ROBE Amazon | BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES Amsale and Jenny Yoo