Skip to main content

What's Up Weddings

How To: Navigate the Sea of Wedding Inspiration

Jul 10, 2014 09:47PM ● By Anonymous

While this is certainly an exciting time—with seemingly endless inspiration for weddings of all shapes and sizes—it can also be extremely daunting for brides looking to plan the perfect day. Gone are the days of simply worrying about colors and venue. Today’s brides can have ten different options for placecards alone—and most likely none of those involve the traditional paper tents.

With so many ideas at the touch of their fingertips, how can brides possibly land on a vision for their big day—style, details, vendors and all? We posed that question to five local wedding planners, asking for their best advice on navigating the sea of wedding inspiration. Their responses are a must-read for anyone starting the wedding planning process!


Kari Rider
Owner, Kari Rider Weddings and Events, 443-534-4257

I have a love/hate relationship with all sites related to wedding inspiration. I love them for the beautiful pictures, inspiration and ideas. I hate them for their unrealistic images—like thousands of origami cranes (FYI don’t do this!)—which can make brides’ heads explode. So how on earth do you navigate all this inspiration? To start, I recommend pinning and gathering anything that is appealing to you. That will hopefully expose you to different wedding styles, themes, color palettes, etc. Once you have a good number of images collected, start analyzing them looking for similarities. Trust me, you don’t want a rustic, nautical, romantic, vintage, glam, DIY wedding. It won’t be pretty! Pick a style you like best and run with it. Just remember to keep it cohesive!

All of the details at Tim and Abigail’s vintage wedding were perfectly cohesive, with the help of Kari’s planning. Photos by Drew Noel Photography.

Parting Pinterest Words: I suggest gathering your ideas and images as a tool for wedding vendors, not just for your own vision. Your board can act as a “lookbook” for your planner, caterer, florist, baker, and others, helping to bring your ideas to life.


Adriana Del Sesto
Event Planner, 2hands Studios, 410-533-8414

When it comes down to it, planning your big day is not just about your vision. For most couples, it’s about making your vision come to life in a way that doesn't pull too hard on your purse strings. This dilemma seems to be amplified for today’s brides, who are inundated with inspiration from blogs, social media and Pinterest. To avoid a vision that outweighs reality, I always have my couples start off by sharing their overall budget and number of guests. Then I ask them what their top five most important things are for their wedding day. Is it the food, dress, atmosphere, music, lighting, ceremony, guest list? Once we prioritize where to spend the bulk of the budget, we can use the inspiration from Pinterest, blogs, and social media to bring the couple’s vision to life. My best piece of advice for anyone starting the planning process is there is no right and wrong. Follow your gut and make decisions that embody who you are as a couple. Your vision may be more of a reality than you think if you prioritize and keep an open mind.


Once couples decide on their overall budget and guest list, Adriana says, they can start to decide where to allocate funds and which details to incorporate, like Ellen and Chris did at their Chesapeake Bay Beach Club wedding. Photos by Natalie Franke Photography.

Parting Pinterest Words: A lot of the pictures you see in the wedding section of Pinterest are the result of a styled shoot and not from a real wedding. Sometimes these looks are hard (and expensive) to create. When interested in a particular look, see what photos you can find from real weddings to create a scene that is attainable for your big day.


Charlotte Jarrett
Owner, Charlotte Jarrett Events, 443-254-4064

Your wedding day is the one day that is shamelessly all about you and your beloved, so be sure that it truly reflects you from start to finish. If you hate big crowds and don’t love to be the center of attention, then keep your wedding small and intimate, skip the 200-person guest list, and instead of a sweetheart table—where some couples feel like a zoo animal on display—choose a head table for yourselves and the bridal party with seating on all sides. This style of table feels more like a cozy family dinner and allows everyone to interact with each other and have a great time. If you are not a fan of fancy and formal, don’t feel the need to have an over-the-top wedding because that’s what you think a wedding should be. The bottom line is this is a celebration of your love and commitment, and everything about the day should be something you feel comfortable and happy with.


Be sure that your planning truly reflects who you are a couple, Charlotte Jarrett recommends. Alex and Roger did that perfectly for their Annapolis Maritime Museum wedding. Photos by Laura-Chase McGehee.

Parting Pinterest Words: Go nuts in the beginning, pinning everything that appeals to you. Then search for an overarching theme and create an edited inspiration board from there.  


Angie Hilz
President, AJK Events, 410-544-6281

One of the words I hear a lot from couples today who are starting the wedding planning process is “overwhelmed.” That’s why I suggest hiring a wedding planner in the early stages of planning, even if it’s only for their “month of” package. Doing this early will allow couples to utilize their planner’s vendor referrals. This ultimately saves a couple time because they aren’t randomly picking people from a website or online directory. This doesn’t mean that the planner will take over; they are simply there as a sounding board, providing their opinion and support to avoid that feeling of being “overwhelmed” and allowing coupes to enjoy the wedding planning process.


Hiring a planner early, even for a “month of” package, will give you access to their vendor referrals, Angie says, making the decision on who to hire for the everything from the cake to the flowers to the band to the venue much simpler. Photos by Kyler Bergner Photography.

Parting Pinterest Words: Regardless of what package you choose from your wedding planner, your Pinterest boards can help them navigate your vision and put you in touch with the right vendors to make these details a reality. So be sure to include images that are detail specific—everything from centerpieces to favors to cakes that reflect your taste.


Margo Fischer
Owner, Bright Occasions Wedding Planning, 202-320-5600

With so much inspiration available today, picking a specific wedding theme is becoming increasingly more difficult. My best advice for brides today is to try to incorporate meaningful details—be it colors, patterns, symbols, flowers, favors, etc. I’ve had couples pull details from their dating history, their hometowns, their shared interests. The sky is the limit! I’m actually working with a couple right now—who are self-described “math nerds” to plan their Pi Day wedding, which, of course, will include pies! Your wedding is a reflection of who you are as a couple, so incorporating personal details makes the most sense.


Incorporating meaningful details will make the decision-making process much easier, Margo says. Meghan and Nick did just that for their nautical themed wedding. Photos by Dunks Photo.

Parting Pinterest Words: Pinterest is a great tool for finding and organizing inspiration. But with so many images popping up every minute, couples can really get overwhelmed. My best advice is to stop pinning once you've found images that capture the look you want.