When thinking about what to write for one of my first posts in the blogosphere, I thought it might be good to start where I start when planning an event. That is, inspiration boards. With each new event, it’s important to begin with a simple brainstorm. With a good majority of the events I plan, I start by getting to know the client and understanding what it is they want to accomplish with the occasion. In some situations, it’s as simple as a “celebration.” Many times, in my first meetings with clients, they divulge some goals, and more often than not, they’ve already come up with a theme. Themes are good to have, but sometimes it’s more important to focus on the vibe you want to evoke with the event. And from there, themes, colors and even décor and flowers will just fall into place. So, I begin this process by starting an inspiration board. I literally purchase a peg board, foam core board, whatever it is…just something to begin gathering photos, elements, fabrics, together to bring the event to life. Magazines and books are a great place to start. I’m a visual person, so when I see something, it sparks ideas. And don’t limit yourself to wedding magazines. Go broader…deeper, by looking at fashion magazines, home decorating and lifestyle publications. Many of the events I do follow color schemes of in-style fashions. Or, by looking at a living room photo in a magazine like Domino, I come up with a look for the event space. So, stretch your imagination a bit and you’ll be shocked at what you find and what ideas it spurs. Sometimes even movies get my mind going! And finally, I start collecting the “elements.” This could be a really colorful leaf I find while out walking the dog. Sometimes it’s a piece of fabric or ribbon I find in a furniture store, or even a piece of china or jewelry I spot in a boutique. You’d be surprised; a pattern on a plate can create an entire theme for an event. For example, my grandmother had some divine Amari china and it made me think, how gorgeous a blue and white themed event could be. Simple white flowers and beautiful navy blue linens—ahh, CLASSIC! Sometimes by collecting these items, you’ll end up landing on a color scheme, which is most helpful in the early planning stages. But most importantly, this process gets your mind going. And ultimately, helps you narrow your focus. My best advise—just open your eyes. Your girlfriend’s handbag, your beach towels, bedding—really anything and everything in our daily lives can inspire us. Anywhere you look, you may get your next big idea. So good luck and be creative!