Visualizing Your Wedding

July 2017

Visualizing the final look of your wedding is a challenging task, even in an age when Pinterest and Google images are at your fingertips. Sure, these tools are valuable for inspiration on individual details such as your dress, floral arrangements, table décor, etc. And let’s not forget those fancy wedding boards modeling themes and colors that make styling look effortless and perfect.

But let’s face it: those images on the wedding boards were likely done by wedding planners who have been there, done that. For those of us who can’t afford thousands on a wedding planner, we have to figure out that final look on our own. The whirlwind of colors, textures, styles, and themes can be overwhelming to visualize altogether. Yet with some fun and easy techniques, you can mix and match the central elements to see how everything will blend.


1)    Start with the Dresses

Once you’ve decided on colors and a venue, the next step is finding those dresses. The bridesmaid dresses should reflect your colors and style. For instance, you might choose pastels and chiffon for a spring wedding. For a formal evening wedding, you might have jewel tones and duponi. Perhaps you’re picking one bridesmaid dress for everyone, or maybe you’re letting each of your girls pick from one designer. To help you decide, try putting together a mock-up.


You can do this in one of two ways. If you have technical skills, you can do the mock-up in Photoshop. Find images of the dresses you like online and open them in Photoshop. Use the Direct Selection tool to select the part of the image you want to keep, then go to the Layers Panel and double click the “Background” layer to make it editable. Then go Select—Inverse, then Select—Modify—Feather. (Feather 1 pixel.) Finally, hit Command or Control “X” to cut out the background. Then start a new file and dump and arrange all your images on it.


If you’re not techy, don’t sweat. You can do the same thing on paper. Find your online images and place them into a Word document or any program that allows you to resize an image. Print and cut out your selections. Then on a poster board, use removable Scotch tape to attach the printouts. I suggest the removable tape instead of glue so that you can rearrange as you like.


2)    Add the Flowers

Once you have your dress and your bridesmaids’ dresses chosen, it’s time to move on to the flowers. If you chose bright colored dresses, a modest bouquet might be in order. If you chose neutral dresses, then go for the vibrant colors. Like before, search Google and Pinterest for bouquets you like. I recommend trying bouquets of several different colors. Color patterns I initially thought would look good ended up being too overpowering. You never know until you try!


3)    Venue

It’s also helpful to do a Google search for your venue. If you’re doing your mock-up digitally, then drop in an image of your venue as the background. It won’t be a perfect fit, but you can get an idea. If you’re doing everything on paper, then print out your venue’s picture as large as you can without distortion and tape it next to your dresses. With all your style choices together, you should get an idea of how everything will look. You can also do similar mock-ups for your reception tables and centerpieces.


Once you have these three visuals down, the rest of your event designing should go smoothly. Include similar colors and motifs in your invitation and cake designs. Bring your mock-ups to meetings with vendors, especially the florist. Just make sure you respect their creativity and allow them some wiggle room with your ideas. Nothing is going to look EXACTLY like your mock-up. It’s meant as a guideline.

Bottom line, this is the event that marks the beginning of a new start for you and your honey. Have fun and make it you!