GUEST BLOGGER: Michele Sparks | Freelance Apparel Designer
While I have not yet taken the leap over that exalted symbolic broom, had rice thrown at me with the hopes of a fertile union, stuffed a delicious piece of the most expensive pastry known to man (a wedding cake) into the loving face of whomever would sign on with me for life (GOD HELP HIM); I have from time to time wondered how I would go about it.
I imagine that I would approach planning my wedding like I do most things that have resulted in success, and that would be with a visual plan. You see, I am a designer by trade and things make sense to me when I can experience them by the senses. Sight for me would be the most relied upon, but not necessarily the most important. Visual planning for a designer is normally referred to as “mood boarding”, and is something we designers do before each season. We look at current events, go to trade shows, travel to shop foreign lands, visit local artists and then throw everything up on a board, or in the best-case scenario, a room dedicated for the sole purpose of inspiration. Everything that has been gathered from your inspiration hunting is methodically categorized and placed strategically so that it can be experienced in the most logical way to bring about fruition.
You can do this for your wedding by purchasing a few foam core boards (any office or art supply store), thumbtacks, and removable tape to set your magazine tears and mementos to. You could utilize online mood boarding sites such as Pinterest; however personally, I would use Pinterest only as an auxiliary tool, because it is mainly visual and somewhat impersonal. I find the tactile nature of keeping an actual board is a more intimate and organic process, and in the end that is how I would want my wedding to be.
Once you purchase your basics, start your “mood boarding” journey by thinking about the components most important to making your wedding day the best day of your new life together. This will differ from person to person, or rather couple to couple. Please do not forget to include your groom/bride, as it is his or her day too!
If it were my wedding, I would call to mind all of the events that I have attended that moved me in some significant way. When I think about those gatherings; they all somehow engaged most, if not all, of my senses. By taking the time to connect with your guests in this way; you are moving them from not just attending your wedding; but being PRESENT in one of the most important moments of your life.
With that being said; I would create five boards that represent each of the five senses. SIGHT would include your wedding dress, the wedding party’s attire, color theme, cake design, table settings, venue, etc. SMELL could include your venue’s location (think near the ocean – sea air), a commissioned perfume for the bride and groom (Princess Grace commissioned Creed to design a perfume for her wedding to Prince Rainier), your fragrantly favorite flower being present at each table setting. SOUND would of course include music, as well as other things that bring you comfort such as the sound of rain, the ocean, a crackling fire, or a waterfall. TASTE, think about the best exotic meal you ever had, where it was, and how you can best bring that experience to your guests. TOUCH, maybe it is the cotton count of your table linens, to the paper quality of your wedding program, to a pleasantly tactile item included in your guests’ gift bag.
Start with a few objects for each designated board and let it grow organically with time. As you shop and go about your daily routine; take time to be in the moment. See, really see what moves you as beautiful. Hear the sounds that speak to your heart and move you in the best of ways. Go and experience restaurants that serve the kinds of cuisine that are reminiscent of the meal you had ten years ago that your memory will not let hold off of, then add mementos from those restaurants to your mood board.
Planning your wedding is an arduous task, even with the help of a wedding planner. However if you keep your eyes, ears, nose, taste buds, and feelers open; take time to build on your mood boards, your wedding will have organically planned itself. And in the end, what could be better than that?
I can tell you what would be better than that! Think ten years after your wedding day has passed, of a guest recounting all the positive memories they took from your wedding. How much they loved the sound of the nearby ocean, how every time they smell jasmine they think of that day, how that salted bass dish served inspired his or her trip this past year to the small fishing village in Spain where you originally had that dish, and so on….SO MUCH BETTER.
Contributor, Michele Sparks, is a freelance apparel designer living in Southern California. She has designed for Licenses such as Disney, Puma, Betsey Johnson, Rampage, and Roca Wear; as well as Private Label design for Dillard’s, Kohls, and White House Black Market. To learn more about Michele, visit her at www.michelesparksdesigns.com“.