Planners do so much more than just recommend vendors to couples (uh, they build a team of the best professionals for the job! But more thoughts on that in the future). It's your job as the planner to lead the charge in building and executing the vision for the entire wedding experience. From the color palette, to securing the perfect location that sets the mood, to those endless details, you are the person that everyone is looking to for guidance and leadership. And even though you build a team of rockstar vendors for each of your weddings, there are still a lot of cooks in the kitchen - and you are the head chef. So, just as every successful restaurant kitchen has a clear menu for every service, having a master wedding style guide is an essential part of the planning process.
I recently polled our community of planners and asked if they created a master style guide - one document or file that defines the overall look and feel of the wedding - for each of weddings they planned. And the answer was overwhelming; every planner who participated in the poll said that they created a master style guide for their weddings. Which came as no surprise because that is how important creating a master style guide is. And our planners are taking no chances that any detail is not clearly communicated to everyone involved!
We know that there are lots of ways that you can go about building your master style guide and that everyone's process is a little different than the next planner's. So today, we are dishing up master style guides: two ways.
Using Multiple Style Guides
If you want to create something like this style guide from Savannah Kilpatrick, you'll want to start by creating individual style guides that are each dedicated to one element. Some of the individual style guides that Savannah created to include in her master style guide were beverages, styled food, bridal attire, groom attire, linens & table scape, reception and mood. But there are lots of possibilities here! By going about building out your master style guides this way, you can be a bit more granular in your approach because you are not only breaking down each element, you are essentially calling out each vendor's contribution to the overall vision. And since you are including multiple images for each detail, everyone on the creative team can see the overall vision on a more micro level.
We love that Savannah took it a step further and included a Note with descriptions of both the tangible and intangible elements she included in the master style guide for this wedding! By taking the time to explain the details with both images and words, there is little room for miscommunication and you can ensure that all of your vendor team is on the same page.
Building a Single Mood Board
The other option is to create a single style guide that is curated with the best or most powerful images from each of your elements. And just because we listed this option second, doesn't mean we love it any less. This type of master style guide is a great way to communicate the big picture in one go since all of your details are included in one document.
One of the reasons we love this version of a master style guide is because of how easy it is to reference when you are on the go and out on appointments. Because it is a snapshot of the entire vision (read: shorter than the version above), you can quickly refer to it and make sure that elements you are shopping for or discussing on site are cohesive with the design plan.
Sharing Your Master Style Guide
Once you are ready to send your master style guide out into the world, there are (you guessed it) two ways to share it with your team of vendors - via PDF download or shareable link.
Sharing your master style guide is easy, all you have to do is click on the share icon in the upper right hand corner of your screen and:
- Select any color palettes you want to include
- Choose which style guides you want to include (whether it is one or many)
- Attach any notes you want to include
- Choose whether to Download Design PDF or Send Email with Share Link
A couple of tidbits about our shareable link:
- Even if you update images in the style guides the link will stay current
- Any notes you attach will always appear first in the shareable link or PDF
- The order of the style guides will appear in the order you click them into the shared link
Whether you build you master style guide to be more detailed or big picture, the time you invest in creating this document is well worth it. And we know you know that! So, if you have any unique approaches or have an extraordinarily beautiful style guide in your archives, we'd love to hear your tips or see them! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.