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I'm Hannah B, wedding & portrait photographer based in New York State. I'm a lover of intricate details and story telling- both visually & through writing. Here you will find glimpses of my life as a photographer, wife, mama, dog-lover & Chick fil-A obsessed creative!

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Bridal Tip Friday, For Brides

March 15, 2019

Creating a Cohesive Wedding Theme- From Start to Finish!

When it comes to wedding photography, my favorite galleries always have one thing in common: cohesiveness.

Of course, every wedding day is different, no two are alike! (I think that’s why I love them so much!) Every weekend is an adventure full of new personalities, unique love stories, and all the intricate details.

If you’re aiming to create a wedding day that flows together beautifully, it’s important to strive for consistency from the very beginning. There are SO many venues, styles, and color schemes out there, so narrowing it down can be difficult.

Below, I’m sharing how to create that consistent theme from start to finish! Which, if done correctly, can result in creating those cohesive, stunningly-seamless, Pinterest-worthy wedding images you’ve always dreamed of!

You just got engaged! HOORAY! Amidst all the excitement and celebration, I’m sure your mind is already racing with everything that needs to be planned. For starters, I want you to take a step back and just envision your perfect wedding day. What do you see? What time of year is it? Climate, location, venue, etc? Think about the large elements that first come to mind. Those are where you should build off from the very beginning!

Choose your theme: Romantic. Whimsical. Modern. Rustic. Vintage. Garden Party. Casual. Bohemian. Southern-Inspired. Formal. Traditional. Nautical. Tropical. Natural. Travel. Your options are truly endless!

Do you have Pinterest? Of courseeeee you do! What 20-30 something woman doesn’t?! Have you explored different styles there? Or maybe you have been dreaming up this day for a while. Go through and select your absolute FAVORITE pins and create a board that will be specifically for your REAL wedding. (You know, if you’re anything like me, you’ve planned 30 imaginary Pinterest weddings and we’ve got to start narrowing it down to one!) 

Choose a venue. Take into consideration the time of year and intricate details you love. Are you getting married on a beach? At the Four Seasons? In your parents’ back yard? On a vineyard by the mountains? Think about what style is going to fit well with your venue (and visa-versa)!

Go dress shopping. Find your perfect wedding gown that fits well with the venue you’ve chosen. By choosing your dress alone, so many other decisions can be made and brought into play. Start with the dress, go from there! 

Choose the bridesmaids dresses and color palette. Does their style match your gown? Does the color scheme you’ve chosen fit well with the dress your heart is set on?

Flowers. After the bridesmaids’ dresses are chosen, decide what florals would compliment your gown and their dresses best. Take images of both to your florist appointment. Brainstorm with them!

Centerpieces & Tablescapes. Are you using florals from the florist? Decide together what would match your venue, layout, etc! Table cloths, chairs, flowers, vases, candlesticks, greenery, signage, and all the other decor really work together to create the wedding reception style. Be sure to hire vendors you trust! Their artistic eye is going to take SO much stress away from you. Remember: They are professionals so you don’t have to be! Together your vision will be brought to life.

Invitations & Paper Goods. My biggest pet peeve is seeing an invitation that doesn’t match the feel of a wedding day. If you choose an invitation with loose, organic, fluffy florals…then your bouquets on the wedding day should be exactly that. Consistency is SO important, friends. If your bridesmaids’ dresses are dusty blue, your invitations probably should not be bright yellow! If you’re getting married at the Four Seasons, you shouldn’t include rustic elements, such as burlap and lace, on the invite. In order to create a consistent theme, everything needs to remain cohesive. This is the first impression your guests will receive of your wedding day, so make sure you’re giving them the vision you’ve worked so hard to create!

(Plus, you’re doing your photographer a REAL solid when they go to photograph your invitation suite with your wedding day details and everything flows perfectly together!) 

Gifts and Details. When purchasing gifts for your bridal party and soon to be husband… keep that color scheme and theme in your mind at all times! Robes or jammies should reflect similar colors you’ve used in florals, dresses, etc. Jewelry that you and your bridesmaids wear should remain consistent with your wedding band and engagement ring. Extra bonus points go out to those who choose a perfume bottle and ring box that match your color scheme!  While making any wedding related decision, your mind should default back to that original idea board and overall feel you’re trying to achieve!

Cakes and Desserts. Remember all the details you’ve formulated thus far? When searching for cakes or dessert inspiration, be sure to keep all your flowers, decor, and the overall color scheme in mind! Share your floral inspiration with your baker/pastry designer and make sure they have a thorough understanding of the overall vibe of your wedding!

Stay true to the season you’re planning for. Pies, coffee, spiced drinks, and cookies make the perfect fall desserts. Bright colored cupcakes, citrus treats and fruity beverages are the perfect summer refreshment! Remember the season & stick with it!

Lighting, lighting, lighting! I saved this one for last, but it is arguably the most important! From start-to-finish, you need to consider the lighting on your wedding day. In your getting ready room, during the ceremony, outdoors for bride and groom portraits, and within your reception space! I’ve actually written an entire blog on this, but have yet to post it. Promise, that’s coming soon.

–If you’re planning a backyard summer wedding, you should have plenty of natural light for most of the day. Consider globe lights that line the property and fill the tent for dancing hours.

–If you’re aiming to create a natural & romantic feel on your wedding day, opt for lots of candles during the ceremony and reception, accompanied by greenery and loose bouquets.

–Maybe you love the Bohemian style wedding decor! Opt for lots of bright colors against contrasting backgrounds.

(In my opinion, as the photographer, it’s always amazing to have bright, light, airy spaces. Natural light is my favorite light, and I will never complain about rooms with lots of windows!)

When it comes to planning your day, the options truly are endless. Feel free to mix and match different elements that make your wedding day perfectly complementary to you and your future husband! There are no rules here! Above all else, make sure it fits who YOU are in this season of life, and enjoy every moment of the process. Planning can be stressful, and over committing can so easily steal so much joy from your day. Find what’s most important to you, and commit to it, girlfriend. You’ve freaking got this.

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