20 Places to Find Wedding Inspiration, Both On and Offline
When it comes to planning a wedding, some couples thrive on the process, revelling in color schemes, concepts, and themes. Other couples dread this part, finding it all too overwhelming. Whichever camp you fall into, at some point you’re probably going to need a little help to awaken that creative spark and settle on your signature wedding design. After all, your wedding should be unique and memorable, just like your romance! It should tell a story through all the senses that will stay in the minds and hearts of your guests for years to come. So where do you start? Where are the best places to find wedding inspiration?
The first thing to note is that not all of it can (or should!) be found online. Yes, there are some incredible resources available to help you find wedding inspiration and you should take full advantage of them. But it’s just as important for you to get out and about and experience some sights, smells, sounds, touches, and tastes that will get your creative juices flowing.
Here are 20 of the best places to find wedding inspiration, both on and offline.
Pinterest. Let’s start with the obvious. Brides and grooms have been flocking to Pinterest since 2010 – in fact, around 40 million people use the site to plan their weddings each year. It can be a goldmine of images and ideas, but one of the best ways to use Pinterest is to organize your ideas. Don’t limit yourself to the site, but instead, use it to create specific boards around your décor, flowers, etc. and share them to help you communicate with your vendors.
Instagram. Insta is another of the first places that couples go to find wedding inspiration (although its limited search functionality can make it a little harder to find exactly what you want). Thousands of photographers, planners, florists, dress designers and other vendors have Instagram accounts where they share images from their weddings and creative shoots. But sometimes it’s the most random content that can spark an idea, so keep your mind open as you’re scrolling through your feed, searching hashtags, or hitting the ‘discover’ tab. And don’t forget to follow me for ideas too!
Real weddings. This isn’t about simply ‘copying’ other couples. Real weddings can be a great source of ideas that you can use as a starting point and then add your personal take. In fact, there’s something about seeing how an idea works in a real context that can take it to the next level. To find real weddings, browse photographers’ websites, wedding blogs, and wedding magazines. Another bonus is that many real weddings are often a little more realistic than the ones you’ll find on Pinterest and Instagram!
Your home. There’s a lot you can draw from your own lifestyle, especially your personal taste in décor! Which colors are you drawn to? Which styles or eras? Are there any fabrics or patterns that you had to have? (Bonus: you may be able to incorporate some of your wedding décor into your home later!)
Your closet. There’s a reason why some of your favorite outfits appeal to you. Maybe it’s the color mix, pattern, or texture. Maybe it’s the feeling they give you. Looking through your wardrobe can be a good way of reminding yourself of some of the things that make you feel good.
Your bookshelf. From favorite children’s books and fairytales to coffee table books full of architecture or fashion inspiration, there are often lots of ideas to be found on your own bookshelf. Or, if a friend or family member has an impressive collection, ask if you can spend some time browsing their library.
Your family’s wedding albums. Incorporating some ideas from your parents’ or grandparents’ weddings is not only a way to add some vintage flair. It’s also a lovely way to honor and connect with them. If they have an object you can use, like a cake topper or veil, it also becomes a way of creating a family heirloom.
Your wedding venue. If you already have your wedding venue booked, then it’s the perfect starting point for your wedding design. Think about the landscape, architecture, décor, colors, and textures and how these could be turned into design elements. If your venue has a special feature, this is a great way to make it shine!
Your favorite restaurants or bars. Many restaurants and bars hire top designers to create their aesthetic. If you absolutely love the vibe at a local eatery or watering hole, think about how you could reproduce that look and feel in the context of your wedding day.
Shop windows. Shop windows and installations are often incredibly creative and offer innovative displays. And that makes them a great source of inspiration! Look out for seasonal displays from department stores and boutiques. If you like something, be sure to snap a few pictures on your phone.
The mall. Beyond shop windows, the mall can be a great place for inspiration. For one thing, you’ll get an idea of current fashions and homeware. You’ll also get a good idea of what’s easily available. You may even pick up some perfect pieces for your big day!
Your local nursery. There’s something so calming about a nursery, isn’t there? I love being around all the fresh flowers, plants, and herbs. If you’re short on ideas for your blooms or greenery, this is a great place to start.
The great outdoors. Of course, you shouldn’t limit your natural exploration to the nursery! Go out for a hike in the mountains or a walk along the beach. Take your phone along and snap pictures of colors, textures, and shapes that appeal to you. There’s so much wonder to be found in nature!
Interior design magazines and websites. There’s no doubt that interior design trends are one of the best places to find wedding inspiration (I look there too!). Many interior trends naturally make their way into weddings, so it’ll put you ahead of the curve.
Fashion shows. Fashion is another area that influences wedding design trends. Look not only at the clothes coming off the runways, but at the fashion shows themselves. These are often themed and many have wow-worthy elements like paper or floral installations that are great for inspiring your wedding.
Antique shops and markets. If you’re anything like me, you’ll love a good flea market. I always find these a great place to spark ideas and to unearth unique pieces. Antique stores and thrift stores are also great options.
Art districts, museums and galleries. Take some time to stroll through a local art district or visit galleries and museums together. Whether your style is modern or from a classic period, you’re sure to find an idea (or ten).
Vintage magazines and catalogs. You’d be amazed how much fun you can have paging through old mags and catalogs, looking at the vintage fashion, hairstyles, and décor. Even if you’re not planning on having a vintage-style wedding, you may find something old that you can make new again.
Travel. Needless to say, if you’re having a destination wedding, you should look to your location for ideas. But even if you’re getting married at home, you can bring elements from your favorite destination(s) into play!
Your wedding planner or designer. Think of us as your ultimate design resource! We’re always dipping into all the sources above (and many more beyond) with our eyes wide open for fresh takes on ceremonies and receptions. Wedding planners also have a clear practical sense of what works, and how to make those crazy dream ideas a reality! We can often take clients’ ideas to the next level or suggest ways to incorporate personal touches they may not have thought of.
What are your favorite places to find wedding inspiration?
Image by John and Joseph Photography Inc.