As a wedding planner, mood boards play a huge part in my overall planning process. I can chat with clients all day long about the style they want to convey, but it’s not until I see this aesthetic laid out in an all-encompassing, cohesive format that I’m able to truly get a feel for the atmosphere we’re creating through our design. A mood board manages to condense countless meetings and conversations into one single image—and that image then acts as a catalyst for every single design choice we make in order to execute a client’s event vision. In other words, if a picture is worth 1,000 words, then a mood board is certainly worth at least 10,000 emails. (You can quote me on that.)
When it comes to wedding design, planners often love looking to the runway to see what they’re in store for in the upcoming season, as it’s no secret that runway trends often dictate wedding trends. I was so excited, then, to hear that Pantone had teamed up with New York Fashion Week to create the Pantone Spring Fashion Color Report for 2017. With hues both bright and earthy, we love that the shades Pantone chose are all about the great outdoors, while still managing to convey the overall aesthetic we saw in New York Fashion Week.
Because we love few things more than high-fashion and eye-catching colors, we were so excited to hear that the International Academy of Wedding and Event Planning chose us to judge its 2017 Spring Pantone Mood Board Design Competition. We had the honor of sifting through all the entries, and, as we selected one winner for each of the ten individual Pantone Spring Fashion Report colors, we kept an eye out for the following criteria:
- A definitive color palette: Do the selected images support the provided Pantone color palette? Is it clear exactly what colors we are working with or is the palette convoluted?
- Cohesiveness: Does the imagery and overall aesthetic of the submission feel cohesive, or does it feel disjointed?
- Balance: Is the weight of the images balanced throughout the board? Are the colors in the images balanced? (Image placement is key when creating a mood board—balanced boards look and feel so much better.)
- Comprehensiveness: Does the board give a wedding planner a solid understanding of the client’s vision and the overall desired look and feel of the event?
- Completeness: Does the mood board thoroughly address each aspect of wedding design? (i.e. florals, invitation suite, place settings, etc.)
- Clarity: Are there any elements that clash or that could potentially confuse the end user?
And the winners are…
PANTONE 13-0755 Primrose Yellow – Board by Shelby Howard
Primrose Yellow sparkles with heat and vitality. Inviting us into its instant warmth, this joyful yellow shade takes us to a destination marked by enthusiasm, good cheer and sunny days.
Why We Love it:
- The descriptives from The Pantone Color Institute above could not be more fitting for the winner of the Primrose yellow mood board. This board is inviting, warm, joyful, and cheerful. How could the weather not want to be sunny on a wedding day like this?
- We also love how well this mood board is balanced, color-wise (notice how the weight of the yellow shoe image on the right balances the Pantone swatch on the left).
- We love that this board (like any great mood board) includes inspiration for all of the various elements that go into event design—attire, decor, stationery, cake, florals and even cocktails.
- We’re swooning over Shelby’s consistent use of similar floral designs and patterns that all have the same look and feel, especially the striking similarity between the invitation and bridesmaids dresses.
- Pineapples are the quintessential symbol of hospitality—the pineapple cocktail embellishment is southern hospitality at it’s finest, and we love how this contributes to the overall look and feel of this stunning mood board.
Invitation: Printerette Press
Table setting: Martha Stewart Weddings
Cocktails: A Night Owl Blog
PANTONE 13-1404 Pale Dogwood – Board by Josephine Mulle Schønwald
Continuing the tranquil mood, Pale Dogwood is a quiet and peaceful pink shade that engenders an aura of innocence and purity. The unobtrusive Pale Dogwood is a subtle pink whose soft touch infuses a healthy glow.
Why We Love it:
- This board is feminine and sweet. Pantone describes “pale dogwood” as a quiet and peaceful pink shade that engenders an aura of innocence and purity.
- Pale pink and blush tones have been a mainstay over the years when it comes to weddings—and we love that this soft hue will continue to be a popular color for weddings.
- Josephine’s consistent use of images with roses, touches of foliage and various types of dainty white flowers throughout the board strengthens the overall aesthetic, and makes the board feel beautifully cohesive.
- It’s the little details that go a long way with this board. A naked cake and hand-stamped iced cookies reinforce the overall “sweet” and “downhome” mood of this board, yet the beautiful images of the signature cocktail (in pale dogwood pink of course!) and the beautifully tied cocktail tables convey the fact that this couple loves a well designed wedding.
- This board design is so well balanced. Smaller image columns on the left and right frame the larger center images and draw the eye into that stunning naked cake.
Bouquet: Laurel Weddings
PANTONE 14-4620 Island Paradise – Board by Marie Alsleben
Island Paradise is a refreshing aqua that calls to mind a change of scenery. A cool blue green shade that speaks to our dream of the great escape, Island Paradise is emblematic of tropical settings and our desire to unwind.
Why We Love it:
- With just one glance, Marie’s mood board told us exactly who we are designing for: a bride who is creative, fearless, and absolutely in love with all-things blue, blue, blue. She is both a statement maker and disarmingly sweet. When a board can communicate that much about a bride’s personality in just a few images, it hits the nail on the head for us.
- Cohesive colors across all of the images do a great job of reflecting what Island Paradise is all about.
- We love the addition of the hand image—it’s not something most people think to include on a mood board, but a bride’s hand can tell us so much about her overall style. Nail color, rings, and bracelets all help to convey her personality. In this case, we loved the attitude the hand image gave this board.
Hand with jewelry: Kanji Ishii
Bride: Amanda Diaz
Flowers: Birthdaywishes Expert
PANTONE 15-0343 Greenery – Board by Nicola Jackson
Bringing forth a refreshing take, Greenery is a tangy yellow-green that speaks to our need to explore, experiment and reinvent. Illustrative of flourishing foliage, the fertile attributes of Greenery signals one to take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate.
Why we love it:
- Nicola’s consistent use of images featuring mums throughout her board lends a wonderful cohesive feel—it feels like all of these images could have come from one wedding. (Sometimes, mood boards can feel disjointed because images are pulled from so many different sources. This one didn’t have that issue at all.)
- The even balance of colors feels professional. Greens, whites, and blacks are all placed well throughout the board—there’s no “too much” of any one color in any one spot.
- This board’s imagery helps to convey a number of different aspects of a wedding. We love that Nicola included everything from cake design to typography inspiration. Overall, her board communicates a wedding that is fun, modern, and organic.
Bouquet: Perfectly Pearl via Intimate Weddings
Tablescape & Cake: Blooms by the Box
Drinks: Classic Bride Blog
Shoes: Knots Villa found via Mariage.com
Bouquet: Will Hartl via Brides Magazine UK
PANTONE 17-1462 Flame – Board by Florie Jobez
A red-based orange, Flame, is gregarious and fun loving. Flamboyant and vivacious, this wonderfully theatrical shade adds fiery heat to the spring 2017 palette.
Why we love it:
- With Pantone Flame as the anchor color for design, we loved that Florie’s board allowed us to easily define the supporting colors: varied shades of red, with splashes of orange and gold.
- The overall look and feel of the images in this board tells a cohesive story of the style and design of event: a bright and colorful Indian affair or a southeast Asian inspired wedding.
- This board is very well balanced—drawing our eyes to the larger, more stunning images (like the beautiful bridal bouquet or the stunning sunset).
Tea Time moment: Marrakesh Hua-Hin Resort & Spa
Pantone Flame: @www.pantone.com
Wedding cake: Zahari, Edible Art by Dina
Invitation: Nulki Nulks Wedding & Event Stationery Design
PANTONE 17-2034 Pink Yarrow – Board by Emily Lancaster
Tropical and festive, Pink Yarrow is a whimsical, unignorable hue that tempts and tantalizes. Bold, attention getting and tempestuous, the lively Pink Yarrow is a captivating and stimulating color that lifts spirits and gets the adrenaline going.
Why We Love it:
- Mood boards are a great way to infuse your couple’s personality into the event—with one look at this board, we know that this couple loves to have fun! It oozes personality at very first glance.
- Design for this event is anchored in pink yarrow, but the fun, whimsical side of this event is brought to life with punches of lively accent colors (like soft oranges and pops of greenery), which reinforce the casual, care-free vibe of this event.
- Emily’s consistent use of colors and floral choices made the board a cohesive one.
- Emily did a great job choosing a wide range of images to convey this event’s aesthetic—from colorful balloons to bright pink heels to whimsical aisle petals, every image chosen feels chock-full of personality and pop.
Balloons via Design Love Fest
Bouquet: Flowers Gypsy Floral and Events Paige Newton via Moncheribridals.com
Bride: Kelsea Holder
Flowers: Lilies of the Field via Wedding Chicks
PANTONE 17-4123 Niagara – Board by Shelby Howard
Comfortable and dependable, Niagara leads the Pantone Fashion Color Report as the most prevalent color for spring 2017. Niagara is a classic denim-like blue that speaks to our desire for ease and relaxation.
Why We Love it:
- Everything about this board speaks to a dreamy seaside soirée. It’s one of the most cohesive boards we’ve ever laid eyes on.
- I love that this board is anchored front and center with the tabletop image and ocean in the background—this really helps to set the tone and gives this board an incredible sense of place.
- The images selected perfectly mimic the gradients found in the anchor ocean image. Fading from blue to white is a common theme throughout this board—creating a clear and cohesive vision for an oceanside affair.
- Consistent use of imagery defined by ocean-inspired decor items (oysters, coral, shells and driftwood) gives event and floral designers who might use this board a clear picture of the elements they can potentially work with to bring this mood board to life.
- Clear glass (found in the cake stand and candle holders) is reminiscent of water, adds interest, and ties the design back to the ocean—while adding some balance to the overall board.
- The splash of blue glassware on the tabletop anchors niagara blue to the tabletop.
PANTONE 18-0107 Kale – Board by Jennifer Bensley
Evocative of the great outdoors and a healthy lifestyle, Kale is another foliage-based green that conjures up our desire to connect to nature, similar to the more vivacious Greenery. And, just as we see in nature, this lush and fertile natural green shade provides the perfect complementary background to the more vibrant tones in the palette.
Why We Love it:
- Right from the first glance, this mood board tells a cohesive story. Jennifer did an unbelievable job of making sure the event-vision was clear right off the bat.
- We could practically feel the textures of the images through the screen. Soft, flowy ceremony fabrics and bridesmaids dresses are begging to be touched.
- This board manages to feel organic and bohemian, yet refined—which can be a truly difficult balance to strike.
- This board brings Pantone Kale to life in every way—every single image is so well chosen and placed, creating an overall vision that we can’t take our eyes off.
Drape Tent via Bespoke Bride
Dress: Belles and Bubbles
Dress: Belles and Bubbles
PANTONE 19-4045 Lapis Blue – Board by Bec Minns
Conveying even more energy is Lapis Blue. Strong and confident, this intense blue shade is imbued with an inner radiance.
Why We Love it:
- From top to bottom, this board is saturated in the anchor color. Bec brought PANTONE’s Lapis Blue to life beautifully.
- We love the inclusion of the image of a Volkswagon Van. It helps to convey that earthy, radiant, energetic vibe that Lapis Blue is all about.
- There’s just the right about of white in throughout the board, providing us a visual break from all of that super saturated blue without feeling distracting or like it’s taking away from the anchor color.
Ring : Todd Hunter McGaw
Van : Studio Belle
PANTONE 14-1315 Hazelnut – Board by Claudia Marsh
Rounding out the spring 2017 colors is Hazelnut, a key neutral for spring. This shade brings to mind a natural earthiness. Unpretentious and with an inherent warmth, Hazelnut is a transitional color that effortlessly connects the seasons.
Why we love it:
- Claudia selected images that work well together to define the vision for this wedding: effortless classical elegance with beautiful soft textures and flowing fabric.
- While the board is anchored around beautiful neutral hues, we love that the touches of greenery in the two images balance the board overall and add visual interest, while also playing into the natural earthiness that is quintessentially “Hazelnut”
- This board has a serious dream factor—something about it feels so warm, effortless and airy—just like the Pantone descriptive of the Hazelnut shade itself.
Ceremony: Holeigh V Photography
Ice Cream: via the Sugar Hit
We hope these boards leave you inspired, refreshed, and ready to douse your next wedding (or outfit of the day) in some serious color. We would give anything to see these beauties brought to life—and we truly cannot wait to see what the Spring 2017 wedding season has in store for us. We are so thankful to the International Academy of Wedding and Event Planning for letting us judge this colorful and creative contest. For those looking for extra inspiration and top-notch training, you can find their campuses all across the globe, including in the UK, Australia, Arabia, North America, and New Zealand.