MOOD BOARDS - First things first, let's create a mood board. I'm sure you have a Pinterest board but you can't print that and slide it in your binder. Well, I guess you could but let's be real....there's 12,674 pins. LOL! This can be done digitally using Adobe Illustrator, PicMonkey, Canva or any other collage type software. Do you already know what your colors will be? If so, add them first. If not, start by adding your favorite image or two and draw your color inspiration from there. Old school? Cool! The same project can be done 3-dimensionally. You can incorporate printed images, paint swatches for color, as well as fabrics for texture. When you meet a vendor, bring this with you. Don't be scared or intimidated! No one expects it to be perfect. They only expect it to be 100% you and your personality! I promise, they will appreciate having a visual of what's going on inside your brain.
From this point on, you can refer back to this board when making any decor choices. Does it fit with the overall look? Is it cohesive to what you have imagined? Over a long planning process, your ideas can be all over the place. By having a mood board, you can quickly compare new thoughts (or suggestions from others) to your original vision and toss out those that don't flow with your design.
In our Facebook group, we will have Mood Board Mondays. This is where you can share your mood board with everyone. (Example of a mood board)
Once you have decided on your venue, you can begin to create your layout. Many venues have a floor plan and will provide you with a blank copy. If not, no worries. One of my office MUST HAVES is basic graph paper. You can find this at any office supply store or Wal-Mart. There's also a cool website called Social Tables where you can do this all online for free! Get the measurements of the space and draw it out to scale. If someone besides yourself is doing the set up, they will LOVE you for doing this! There are tons of things to consider when laying everything out. So, before you begin this process make sure you have answered the following:
(Example of a blank venue layout)
How many guests are you expecting?
How will the food be served? Plated meal, stations, buffet. (Your caterer may do the layout for you. If not, you definitely want their input on where to place food areas to ensure a good flow.)
Will there be a bar? If so, how many?
Size of dance floor?
Where are the doors located?
Having been around catering all of my life, one of my biggest pet peeves is a long waiting line for food. Don't be scared to post your layout in our group for pointers!