What’s the difference between an Inspiration Board, a Mood Board, and a Palette?

 

Wedding-ceremony-vision

Photo courtesy Craig Mitchelldyer

Early in wedding planning, even before the gown or the venue is chosen, most of you are thinking about look and feel. When you close your eyes and picture yourself entering the venue on your big day, what do you see? What flowers are you holding? What colors are surrounding you?

It's a big choice and the heart of wedding design, and it can be overwhelming. Equally confusing can be the many options you have for gathering your ideas in one place. You've probably heard about mood boards and inspiration boards, palettes and swatches, but what is what?

A mood board is the broadest tool used early on to help you determine the most general ideas about look and feel of the wedding. Not limited to actual wedding services, you might pull in photographs, videos, songs, words, and even poetry that evokes the mood you want to set for your special event. I really love the mood boards over at The Wedding and Event Institute Blog, here's one example:

WEI-Tiffany-Mood-Board

An inspiration board is the next building block of creating your wedding design. Many of you may have started a Pinterest account and it's a great way to easily create inspiration out of your collected pins.

Pinterest-wedding-planning

Once you have set the mood of your wedding, use an inspiration board to collect specific photographs of actual flowers, invitations, linens, stages, mandaps or huppahs, ceremony backdrop, room layout, and so on. Lots of folks interchange the terms mood board and inspiration board, but I feel like the inspiration board is a more specific tool.

An inspiration board can also be tweaked to become a story board later on – necessary for design-intensive weddings. A story board is just that: a detailed board that tells the event's story from start to finish, from the actual color scheme and entry points to the venue, to the lighting settings and tablescape. These depict final choices and elements. Most of the time, we accomplish the same thing at EJP Events by writing a detailed setup narrative, but in some cases, a story board is definitely needed.

A palette is just a selection of possible colors for the event. This is a great way to communicate to your vendors so they are all on the same page and using the correct warmth, hue, and saturation as they produce your wedding attire, linens, tablescape, and flowers. I love the palette tools over at ColourLovers:

Wedding-color-palette

Finally, a swatch is a sample of a design item, usually a textile/fabric that you use as a sample of the texture and color you would like to see. It is the physical version of the digital palette.

Thanks for reading this post! You might also like this post about 5 tools to help you choose a color palette for your wedding.

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