One of our best tips for finding wedding design inspiration that doesn’t lead to sensory overload, forgettable aesthetics or let’s face it, a wedding that looks like somebody else’s is to search for inspiration in unusual spaces. Inspiration is everywhere. I find it in the curve of a branch, the glistening of a mosaic tile, the patina of a weathered building in Charleston… you get the picture. Anything you lay eyes on can be inspiring. Anything can get your creative juices flowing to think outside the box. But when you need a bit more direction and want to avoid the wedding blogs or Pinterest boards that are albeit filled with gorgeous design content, force you down a rabbit hole of cookie cutter-ness… sometimes, you need a few good sources to point you in the right direction.
Some of our favorite categories to inspire the senes include art, nature, interior design, magazines, music, poetry, coffee table books, pottery, creative packaging, travel photos, pigment + pattern play, and when in doubt… our own homes! Sometimes the best inspiration comes from opening up your cabinets + drawers and letting the bric-a-brac of your own life evolve into storytelling elements themselves.
Before getting into our unusual wedding design inspiration sources though, it’s important that we talk about WHY you look in unusual places in the first place. The answer lies in the assumption that you desire a wedding that feels unique to you and only you! Having been in the wedding industry for over 6 years, we’ve seen the so-called cookie cutter weddings more times than we can count. And it breaks our hearts! Weddings should be a reflection of the couple’s individual story and personalities.
As two wholeheartedly unique families and heritages and lives come together as one in a cheerful celebration, every fabric, motif, song, pigment, etc. should be an intentional thread in this tapestry that not only symbolizes the beauty of families blending together, but also the individual passions, personalities and significant moments of the couple as they come together in this new beginning. We believe that no wedding should be a repeat of another because at the core of each is a celebration of individuality and “coming together’ that could simply never be replicated.
Alright, alright – I’ll step off the soapbox now! It’s time to give you some of our go-to sources for unique design inspiration. Build your moodboard with ethereal/aspirational images from the sources below – images that speak to the way you want you and your guests to feel at the wedding, and that speak to your combined passions + story of course!
1. Veranda Mag
This Instagram account is overflowing with eye-catching interiors and landscapes from all over the world. From scalloped umbrellas by shimmering pools to wisteria dripping buildings in the iconic London mews, Veranda Mag never fails to brighten our days and inspire our senses.
Global goodness at its finest, Conde Nast Traveler has been a household name for many years. We personally have a strong background in travel, and it’s one of our greatest passions here at W&O, so we’re always keeping our eyes peeled for unique travel stories that are abundant in culture and rich experiences. If travel sparks joy for you too, get lost in the world of Conde Nast Traveler and you’ll soon be spitballing original ideas for incorporating global influence into your wedding day, be it inspired by the wedding destination, honeymoon, family heritage or places of significance throughout your love story together.
The magic of Anthropologie lies in the experience. We recommend visiting your nearest store in person and being present as the moments unfold. Anthropologie does storytelling better than any retailer we know – somehow, they find a way to give every single vignette purpose from the visual elements to the textural accents to the scents abounding in that corner. It feels like you’re meandering through a Marrakech souk at one point and embracing the luxury, sun-drenched lifestyle of Tulum the next. Every detail counts, and they do a marvelous job of encouraging curiosity. We try to approach event design the same way – telling stories through intentional details that engage + enrapture guests at every turn so the wedding becomes a totally unique (and totally unforgettable) experience in the end.
Music is perhaps the best kept secret for design inspiration. After all, a well-rounded wedding day design encompasses every sense, which means sound too! It’s amazing the power a playlist filled with the right ambient music can have on moments of creative brainstorming. You can fully immerse yourself in the environment, the mood, the experience you want to create and in doing so, you start to think of all these tiny details from that culture or period you may not have thought to incorporate otherwise. Whether it’s bossa nova, French gypsy jazz, Bollywood tunes or classic crooners you lean towards, give Spotify playlists a try and you’ll see what we mean!
5. Beau Taplin
Ahhh, the poets of Instagram. Beau Taplin is undoubtedly one of our faves. We’re constantly inspired by lyrics from songs and excerpts from books, but there’s something about modern poetry that captures feelings in a totally unique way. Take a look through her poems here, and choose one that paints a picture of your relationship best. Then let this core picture of your story together shine through in the design, and be intentional about how you can showcase that! Always keep your eyes on the big picture and your why… aka your forever together.
Similar to Conde Nast, this account is all about travel. While the content across both is similar, Beautiful Destinations highlights many cultural events such as France’s Bastille Day and the Chiang Mai Lantern Festival in a way that levels up on the beauty of the destination itself. In exploring these much-beloved events, we always get a better sense of the people and traditions (and ultimately, the heart!) of certain areas.
One look at AD Magazine and you’ll see why it made our go-to list! Architectural Digest is known for featuring wild approaches to architecture – buildings + interiors that utilize innovative shapes, textures, views and accents that only elevate the ambiance. Delft tiles in tortoise trompe l’oeil, floral-printed tented rooms inspired by Napoléon, latticework cabinets in a soft sage hue… these are the inspiring ideas you can expect to find throughout AD! They even share the histories or foundations of certain design trends too, so talk about leveling up on intention!
Lovers of colorful prints will find heaven here. Land of Belle features one-of-a-kind textiles, ceramics and other home goods from artisans all over the world, so if you want your wedding design to lean on the side of “residential romance”, you won’t want to miss this evocative source. You could even source wallpapers to repurpose as bar panels, textiles for lounge pillow covers and curtains to line your tent here… just to name a few!
A fashion brand based in Paris, Sezane does a great job of balancing inspiring lifestyle content on their Instagram feed with their own quality products. We love the sense of adventure and spontaneity we’re met with whenever interacting with their brand – it always jumpstarts our own unique ideas! How could you not be inspired by the energy of a salsa dance lesson like this?
Besides you and your fiancé, this is probably the most dynamic duo in existence. Travel and food! We never tire of promoting the European approach to dining. Four hour meals with multiple courses and captivating conversation, surrounded by live music and ambient lighting are a regular occurrence, and boy, do we celebrate this approach to meals! Meaningful moments don’t have to be a rarity, and Dame Traveler Foodie is one account that celebrates these happenings all over the globe and captures our hearts every time.
Like we said, you’ll find your best sources of inspiration by looking within. But these are some great places to fire up your creativity on bringing those elements of your story to life through all the senses.
Tell us, what are your favorite sources of inspiration?
Til’ we meet again!