Wondering how to showcase all your best wedding ideas in pictures? Here are our top 10 tips for creating a gorgeous wedding mood board.
Wedding planners, need a better way to showcase your creative vision? When it comes to effectively communicating your wedding ideas, pictures say it all.
Dazzle your clients, understand their vision, and make them feel completely comfortable trusting your expertise—all by creating a simple mood board filled with well-curated stock wedding photos.
With this bespoke visual aid in hand, you’ll have the happy couples thrilled with your role in their big day!
10 Tips for Creating a Show-Stopping Wedding Mood Board
1. Understand the Couple’s Vision
Even the most expertly designed wedding will miss the mark if it isn’t tailored to what the couple wants.
Before you start building out a wedding mood board, take some time to get to know the couple and dive into their vision for the big day:
- Is the venue indoor or outdoor?
- What time will the ceremony take place?
- How many guests will attend?
- What attire will the couple wear?
- What’s the dress code for guests?
- What kind of food will be served?
- Will there be live music? A dance floor? An open bar?
All of these details add up to form the overall vibe for the event—a vibe that your wedding mood board should definitely capture.
Pro tip: Along with these questions, consider doing a “creative vision lightning round”! Grab a few dozen stock wedding photos and cycle through them together to get your client’s two-second gut reaction: thumbs up or thumbs down.
Then use the “thumbs up” photos as a starting point for further inspiration and research.
2. Include Their Big Ideas for Wedding Decorations
Almost every couple will have a few (or maybe many!) items already picked out for their big day. Maybe it’s a family heirloom veil, a culturally significant color, or a specific type of wedding arch.
Once you’ve uncovered these essentials, ask your client for some pictures to add to their wedding mood board. Building on a foundation of your client’s specific preferences will help make sure that your recommendations feel harmonious.
3. Expand Their Vision with Stock Wedding Photos
With some starting information in hand, you’re ready to extend your client’s wedding decor inspiration into a fully fledged vision board—showing off your creative magic!
This is where professional stock assets are a lifesaver.
You won’t have to worry about taking your own images (who has time for that on a wedding day?!) or potentially overstepping client privacy by sharing photos of your previous work.
Need a very specific image to bring your one-of-a-kind wedding theme to life? Create any image you can imagine with Shutterstock’s AI image generator.
4. Place the Major Pieces First
A great starting point for any wedding mood board is the big stuff—the cake, flowers, place settings, centerpieces, lighting, aisle decorations, linens, lighting, and more.
Choose a few of these foundational pieces as focal points for your mood board, as they’ll play a huge role in establishing the overall theme of the wedding.
5. Add in the Details
One of the most important wedding planning tips is to pay attention to the details, and the same holds true for wedding mood boards!
By layering the right details onto your board, you’ll bring the vision to life in a richer, more tactile way.
These details might include:
- Paper textures
- Typography (e.g. for place settings or buffet signage)
- Napkin rings
6. Get the Color Right
Any bride or groom who’s agonized over the right shade of wedding party attire can tell you—color matters! And, on a wedding mood board, color is often what stands out most—so it’s worth taking the time to get the color of every single photo right.
If you’re finding wedding stock photos on Shutterstock, try the advanced color filters to narrow down your search. Grab a few similar-looking images with different colors and lighting to see what feels best on your board.
Pro tip: Beyond illustrating color through photography, it can be helpful to create a wedding color palette made from simple squares or circles.
7. Look Beyond Wedding Photos
While many of your wedding ideas can and should be communicated through actual wedding photos, it can be helpful to round out your mood board with images from outside the wedding world, too.
For best results, look for imagery that matches the color, mood, and theme of the event—pulling from diverse areas such as:
- Food and drink
- Historical themes
- Cultural themes
- Abstract photography
- Natural scenery
- Fabric patterns
- Architectural designs
- Movie scenes
- Seasonal imagery
- Books or other literary imagery
8. Style Your Wedding Mood Board Images
A few well-chosen photo edits can mean the difference between a wedding mood board that feels like a homemade collage and one that looks like a professional vision board.
You don’t have to make big changes to your wedding pictures, either! Small edits like cropping or applying a photo filter (which you can do directly from the licensing page in Shutterstock) can go a long way toward making disparate imagery feel more intentional and cohesive.
Pro tip: The same photo styling works to build your brand, too. Get these tips and more in our Small Business Brand Kit:
9. Aim for Balance in Imagery
The best wedding mood boards do more than just capture a vibe—they give a clear indication of how the entire event might look, even though not every single detail is included on the board.
Before you present your wedding ideas, pictures, and overall design concept to your client, check for balance in the imagery:
- Are all the different visual elements represented? You don’t want a million pictures of the flowers, for example, and none of the fabrics or glassware.
- Is each stage of the event represented? The ceremony matters, but so does the reception and send-off. Is there a rehearsal dinner and brunch? Make sure each part of the event has some kind of visual representation.
10. Curate, Curate, Curate
Less is definitely more when it comes to mood boards. One perfectly on-brand stock asset will be far more effective than five images that are almost right.
When your mood board feels nearly finished, take a good hard look at it. If possible, remove one or two images.
Pro tip: Don’t forget the title! This could be a snappy summary of the wedding theme (Art Deco or Modern Country, for example), or simply the couple’s name and wedding date.
Wedding Ideas & Pictures for Inspiration
Want some concrete examples of wedding ideas in pictures? Here are some memorable examples from the Shutterstock library. License any of these images to add it to your own wedding mood board!
Decoration Ideas for Weddings
Ideas for Outdoor Weddings
Ideas for Beach Weddings
Wedding Ideas for Fall
Ready to Build a Wedding Mood Board?
Time to flex your creative muscles—and there’s no better way to get started than with Shutterstock Flex!
With all-in-one access to millions of stock assets, you’ll have the FLEXibility you need to create bespoke mood boards that will wow your clients on one of the biggest days of their lives.
License this cover image via Oleksandr Kavun.