Once the excitement of your engagement settles, the realization that you have to plan your wedding sets in. The trick to pulling it all together is defining and maintaining your overall vision, including a style and a color scheme.

As soon as you step into the world of wedding planning, you'll face a zillion choices. Making all those decisions can be overwhelming without a clear vision for your day.

The guiding principle for your day could be as simple as a pink and green palette or as specific as a modern day "Great Gatsby" party. Where you start and how far you carry the concept is entirely up to you. No matter how elaborate you get, simply having a common thread will pull the whole day together.

So before you try on a single gown, book a band, or sample a bite of cake, you need to look at the big picture and determine what kind of style and vibe you want to set on your wedding day.

Close your eyes and dream.

Close your eyes and picture your fantasy wedding. What do you see Is it a candlelit ceremony in the fall? Are you walking barefoot on a beach in the summer?

Don't worry if your ideas don't mesh or if you can only picture your dress at this point. This kind of free-form fantasizing will help you identify your dream scenario.

While you are picturing your perfect wedding, here are some of the questions you can ask yourself to help you:

- What capacity is the wedding (Big, I will invite everyone I know. Small, is going to be an intimate event with just close friends and family)?

- Outdoor or Indoor?

- In town or destination wedding?

- Modern, classic, romantic, vintage, rustic, or glam?

- Spring, summer, winter or fall?

To help you get a better idea of what you want, spend some time gathering inspiration. Check out bridal magazines, blogs, Instagram, Pinterest, but don't just limit yourself to the obvious sources. Something as unlikely as a wallpaper pattern, or a scene in a movie can spark your ideas.

Creating an inspiration board is one of the best ways to get your wedding color and style ideas out of your head and into something more concrete. All you need is bulletin board, a sketchbook, or a virtual inspiration board. Then add simply the images, the fabric swatches, quotes and pictures that you collect. Soon, you should start noticing a pattern, a common style, theme or color palette emerging. From this you can start building your vision.

These design boards, are also very useful if used to communicate with your vendors, because they get a better idea of your style and preferences. Since your definition of "classic", may not be the same as your planner or florist. Visual references and examples are an essential tool for making sure you and your vendors are all speaking the same style language.

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