One of the most important things you will need to do when project managing your wedding is to create professional storyboards to convey your inspiration to suppliers and stylists.
For those who are not familiar with a wedding story board, it is essentially a collection of images and ideas that are pulled together either in a PDF or physical board. You might be thinking, isn’t that called an inspiration board? Well, yes it is, however I like to refer to it as a storyboard as I think much more detail is required than simply pictures. There should be dialogue, themes, and an explanation of the story you are trying to tell.
To give an example, in a film a storyboard would be used to convey the direction, shots planned and costumes. For a wedding or event it is quite similar as you should be listing the various stages of your wedding, the song inspiration, the types of photos you’d like, the outfits each person will be wearing and so on.
BENEFITS OF A WEDDING STORY BOARD
A storyboard can be created in a physical form, for instance in a portfolio or foam core board. This is a terrific way to present your ideas in a professional format. Suppliers and stylist will listen and take you seriously if they can understand what you are looking for and see your thought process.
A storyboard can also be created in a digital format by using programs such as Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, CAD or Powerpoint. (Read more technology talk here). You can have links on the page that go to sites that might be helpful for your stylists/suppliers. When I created my storyboards, I inserted music so that when the suppliers opened up the different pages the music changed. This allowed them to hear the mood I was trying to set. Each song reflected the various stages in the wedding.
A storyboard should not be every single thing you’ve seen and like. It should be a well thought out design that has had a number of iterations. Try to keep each stage of the wedding, such as Reception, Bridal party outfits, Ceremony or Garden Games separate. Many brides will mix it all into one board. I think it is really important to see the wedding in stages. Keep it clean and relatively simple in its style.
A storyboard is to help you map out your theme and ideas from day one. You should ideally have a complete story board before you start speaking with suppliers. It is from there that you can adjust and edit your boards to reflect changes, new ideas and concepts. This will really help with managing your planning timelines, what you may need to budget for, run sheets for the day.
A storyboard will always be a work in progress and should be updated on a weekly basis. Provide your suppliers and stylists with updates and the final product once everything has been organised. The can keep abreast of all that you have planned out for the day. This is particularly helpful for photographers, musicians and videographers who will be able to plan in advance.
A storyboard, most importantly, can be shared with suppliers and stylists during their ‘interview’ process. As a project manager, you will be able to convey professionally your ideas in a visual format. The suppliers will then be able to confirm if they can achieve this look and/or provide ideas which might be better or challenge what you’ve already thought up. If they can see your original ideas, they can work with this to achieve a spectacular final outcome. You will also be able to judge whether you think a supplier is capable of achieving what you would like.
A storyboard can help you negotiate concepts with your suppliers. Too many couples underestimate the importance of planning a storyboard. You can then use it to show your suppliers exactly what you are after and negotiate if they cannot achieve the look, deliver within particular time frames or match the standards of other suppliers you are working with. It is a great tool to use to negotiate with your venue if you need "added extras" such as access for pianos, help setting up lemonade stands, moving furniture or moving the dance floor outside (all of which I did it at my wedding!). You'd be surprised how much easier it is to get all your suppliers on board with tricky ideas if they can visualise it or feel the emotion you are portraying in the boards. Make them part of the process and you'll all be winners!
A storyboard can be created by anyone. You don’t need to be a designer to put together a story board. If you’ve created a couple mind map you should already have a bunch of ideas about what you’d like as a couple. Take clean, clear and interesting pictures to reflect some of these ideas. If you work with awesome suppliers and stylists, they should be able to use this as a starting point and build from there. You can even ask your suppliers to provide you with images of what they can do, such as samples or pictures, and these can be included in your storyboards.
Finally, a storyboard allows all your suppliers to work in harmony. If they can see what other suppliers have proposed, they might be able to work in better solutions. Don’t be afraid to put your suppliers in touch with on another so they can work on the design together. I’ve included some samples.