Creating an Inspiration Board

You know how it feels. You have a pretty clear picture in your head of how you want the details to be for your wedding or event, but when it comes to being able to tell someone, or make sure you really like an idea, it can be very easy to get overwhelmed.

One of the best ways to capture your vision is to create an inspiration board. You can actually create it on a piece of poster board but you can also use a journal or notebook with sleeves in it. You can also look up inspiration board makers online and capture all of you images there. Or use a graphics program online if you want to capture the images on your own.

Inspiration boards have been used by designers and planners for years — they are just a simple way to visually see what you like all in one place. There are no hard and fast rules — make it your own! Just remember, an inspiration board is not a shopping list! It’s just an effective tool and just a starting point.

Why is it a great idea to have one?

  • Focus: An inspiration board can help you narrow your focus and turn it into a cohesive vision. It can act like an anchor for your vision going forward.

  • Communication: It can be a simple and effective way to share your vision with suppliers, family, or planners. It also allows collaboration with others.

  • Inspiration: Hopefully it will keep you from getting overwhelmed. When your enthusiasm dips, looking at your board is a great way to get excited again.

Some of the details and ideas you may want to include on your board:

  • your color palettes and patterns

  • stationery ideas

  • type faces (and logos, if you're interested in sporting some monogram motifs)

  • fabrics (table linens and drapery)

  • cakes and desserts

  • flower arrangements

  • fashion (bride, groom, bridesmaids and groomsmen)

  • favors

  • signature cocktails and catering

Here’s how to get started:

Gather your images.

Whether from printed pages or pictures you find online, collect the images that reflect the colors you have in mind, and these don’t have to be wedding images. It can be the certain blue from your favorite flower, but try to get it on the board somehow.

Add images of the kind of event you want — sophisticated? Rustic? Whimsical? Casual? Traditional? And where you want it — beach, garden, home, church, etc.

Include images of details you are totally over the moon about — do you want fireworks? Dancing under the stars? Certain floral designs?

Select your favorites.

Now, start to narrow down your collection. Choose the ones that speak to you the most, and that give you a feeling of joy. This is the creative process, so have some fun! Trust your gut and when it feels right, you’ll know you are done. Remember you are just trying to get the overall feeling and ideas, so you don’t have to include everything.

Put it together.

If you are doing it online, use Photoshop, Word, Publisher, Paint, Canva…any program you are comfortable with. Set your images up in a way that you like, whether in a grid or not, but keep it simple. If you are making an actual board, cut pieces and pictures, and place them on the board or in the notebook in a way that makes sense to you, and be creative with your labeling or in putting down your thoughts and ideas.

There are so many excellent resources now, in print and online, that you should have no trouble finding lots of ideas to get you started! Just remember — this is your big event, so let your individuality shine through! Don’t compare your wedding or special event with others! And just enjoy the process!

“Every human is an artist. And this is the main art that we have: the creation of our story.”

don Miguel Ruiz

What's Trending for 2019

Every year, new trends replace some of the more traditional ideas for brides to consider. Here are five of the hottest things you may see at this year’s weddings.

Branding & Design

Consistent branding of the wedding is becoming more of the norm. Starting with the Save the Date cards all the way to the program and signage at the wedding itself, more brides are turning to custom stationary companies to handle the design and printing of every element from start to finish. Brides are also looking at Pinterest and Instagram to find creative ways to express their personalities. We’ll see more monograms printed on napkins, koozies, and more as they try to create a wedding that unique to them. Also, couples are giving personalized gift baskets and boxes instead of favors, especially for destination weddings or venues where most guests are coming from out of town. These are ways that the bride and groom can show their thoughtfulness to those coming for their special day.

Bridal Fashion

Thanks to Meghan Markle, you can expect to see traces of her ceremony and reception dresses when you’re shopping — as well as a resurgence of the bridal tiara. Other elements that are rising in popularity are statement bows, puffed sleeves, sparkles, and 3-D floral elements. You may also see geometric patterns and shapes in dresses, as opposed to sweetheart necklines and lace. There will be more straight lines used in dress designs. Another trend is the bridal jumpsuit! They are a popular choice for more casual, smaller weddings which is an overall trend for 2019, but also a fun option for rehearsal dinners and other wedding celebrations.


This year, you can expect to see an abundance of bright, deeply colored flowers for bouquets and centerpieces. Industry experts are also anticipating 2019 to be the year of dahlias, as well as peonies, because of the rich, jewel tones and unique shapes, making them perfect for bouquets and arrangements that feel more natural.


Expect to see themed food stations instead of a buffet, such as raw seafood bars, custom pizza stations, taco stands, and more. The same goes for unique drink options and custom cocktails named in honor of the bride and groom. Food and drink choices become even more personal if they have a special significance to the wedding couple or their families.


This year, we may see moodier and more intense colors used, than the traditional muted decor. Copper and rose gold are phasing out and couples are again opting for traditional silver and gold. The rustic barn wedding is also losing steam in popularity and brides are seeking out industrial spaces like old mills and factories. You’ll still see wood and metal accents but used in a more modern way to create unique settings.

With our many different options for outdoor settings at Dogwood Downs, we can accommodate just about any design choice that the bride and groom may prefer, even if they decide to buck all trends and come up with their own unique wedding and reception!

Take it Outdoors!

So you are planning an event and really want to have it outdoors. Maybe it’s a family reunion. Maybe it’s a church gathering, or a corporate event. Following these simple steps will help you plan a successful event!

First, start with the basics. Name your event and secure the date and time. Identify your budget and the total number of guests expected to attend. How are you planning on communicating the event? Social media? Email? Word of mouth? Advertising? Thinking through these things will help you with the following steps.

Securing your vendors. If you are planning on using any outside service providers, make sure you secure contracts with them. The venue you are using might be able to help suggest vendors they recommend. Make sure your plans fit within your budget. Confirm arrival times and responsibilities a week before the event to make sure there are no unexpected issues.

Have enough help. Don’t be afraid to ask for volunteers or family members to help with certain tasks. Ask them early and assign responsibilities before the event so if there are questions and concerns, you can address them with time to spare.

Make your lists and check them twice. What are your set-up needs? Are there any gaps in the delegated tasks or things you haven’t planned for? Parking? Electrical needs? Decor? Signage? These are all things to plan for and have them completed in time.

What can be handled before the event? The last thing you want is to be doing everything the day of the event.

Arrive early. If you are spearheading the event, getting there early will help you organize the team and be ready for any surprises.

Enjoy the day. You may feel overwhelmed with the responsibilities, but make sure to mix and mingle with the guests. You want to enjoy the fruits of your labors!

Follow up! If this is an event you want to repeat in the future, make sure to gather information from vendors and guests so you’ll know what worked and what didn’t work — this feedback will help you in planning future events.

Send thank-you notes! A handwritten thank-you note sent through the mail is still the most genuine way to express gratitude to vendors and helpers. This will help solidify relationships in a positive way and let people know how much you appreciated their help in making the event a successful one!

Dogwood Downs is the perfect place to plan any outdoor event. If you are planning an upcoming event, we’d love to talk with you about how we can make it perfect!

Every moment and every event in every man's life on earth plants something in his soul._.png

Why Plan an Outdoor Wedding?

When trying to decide where and when to plan your wedding, one of the biggest questions is: Will it be inside or outside? Some of the pros of having an outdoor wedding are:

  • Having a beautiful and natural backdrop. It’s hard to beat the beauty and elegance that nature provides! There is almost nothing more beautiful and breathtaking than a natural landscape as your backdrop.

  • There’s less time and effort needed for decorations. That doesn’t mean the decor is not necessary or unwanted — but because you already have the background, the decorations can be simpler with less places to have to add the decor. This can also be a drawback if you are wanting to use extensive sets and decorations, so it will depend on the kind of wedding you are seeking.

  • You can usually fit more guests in a larger space. If you have a large guest list, you can accommodate more people in an outdoor venue than an indoor space, for less money.

  • Wedding photographers have more freedom and space to move around. Inside spaces may prohibit the kind of shots they can get of the ceremony and reception. An outdoor space features ample space and more creative natural backgrounds to give you great photos!

  • Natural light provides better lighting. Depending on the photographer, having sunlight will add an incredible vibrancy to your photos. Of course, there are risks involved with using an outdoor space. Rain or other inclement weather or extreme temperature change is always a possibility no matter where you are. If your heart is set on being outside, contingency plans should be made just in case that happens on your special day.

At Dogwood Downs, we think our lovely, Lowcountry setting is perfect for a wedding and will do all we can to make sure it’s the wedding of your dreams!