Courtesy of Elizabeth Messina
MarieMerin Productions in New York City. "Think about what puts you in a euphoric state and you'll be able to put your style into it based on that memory," Smith says. "When couples talk about memories, they realize it would be a great wedding style." For example, if your favorite memory is hiking together in the mountains, an outdoor fall wedding with rustic colors may be the right fit. Don't rule anything out during the initial brainstorming sessions: You may be totally against a ceremony in the sand, but if your favorite memories are of beach vacations, you may want incorporate those oceanfront feelings into your celebration in some aspect, whether it's cool Caribbean colors or a seafood feast.
Think Big Picture
Focusing on a memory and building a style around it is also a great way to make sure both the bride and groom are well represented in the wedding. "Brides are now realizing it's important to bring the groom's interest into the wedding theme," Glauberman says.
Think about what you'd like to loosely base your theme around, whether it's a color palette (ruby and rose), destination (Bali; San Francisco), season (spring flowers; winter snow), idea (nature; bridges; romance), time of day (mid-morning brunch; evening cocktails) and location (a vineyard; a backyard tent).
Imagine what you envision for the cake, flowers, bridesmaid dresses, and lighting. Starting with these little details can help you formulate the big picture (for example, picturing your ladies in floor-length red satin frocks may indicate you're leaning toward a formal evening affair, while the dream of a homemade pie buffet means you might prefer a more casual, offbeat reception).
To start, get creative by making an inspiration board. Flip through wedding, fashion, design or home magazines and cut out images that appeal to you. You may be surprised that they all form a cohesive message, like preppy and nautical or vintage bohemian. Style Your Dream Wedding by Susie Coelho is also a great place to begin (the book breaks down wedding style into classic, contemporary, beach, countryside, garden, fanciful or exotic), Think about which photos and ideas speak to you, or start with the fun online quiz that may point you in the right direction of your perfect wedding style.