INSPIRATION in the wedding industry – Real talk
Stop the press, I am blogging again! I couldn’t quite believe it when I looked at my last blog post this morning to see that I wrote it in December. WOW! That time just flew by. Some significant events have taken place since, no I don’t mean the birth of Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, or Love Island being back and almost over … I’m talking about the fact that I totally got married and loved every minute of MY big day! Eek – more on that in a future post I’m sure.
The topic of this blog post might well end up being a bit controversial (oohh eeerrr. Pause for your excited anticipation of what’s to come!). It’s about my struggle to stay relevant, exciting, even a trend setter in the wedding industry and to be recognised as such. Being a ‘stylist’, there is so much pressure to stay ahead of the game, to not recreate, to bring a fresh vibe. But the truth is, everyone is inspired by something – especially in the wedding industry. I’d be a liar if I was to say that every single shoot I’ve styled was NEW and exclusive. What it has been though, is true to me, and to my style and brand that I am so carefully trying to build. I may have seen something somewhere, and thought, ‘oh, that would be cool on a tablescape’ or come across an interesting colour match/clash and thought ‘wonder if you could combine those two colours together with flowers in a bouquet’. To claim complete originality though, is insane. I mean who do we credit the very first use of the jam jar to? A trend that has been around for waaaay longer than I have in the industry! I challenge you to find out!
So where am I going with this post? Well, I’m going to share with you some of the frustrations that come along with this job. And I’m going to share with you some freaking awesome images! Wait for it!
Exhibit A: Inspiration board …
(credits at end of post)
This inspiration board is something I played about with way back in December last year. I loved the minimalism of the tablescape, the fresh colour palette and the use of balloons in the styling. A month or so later, I got together with some of my amazing supplier friends and we pulled off the most insane styled shoot at Pant Du, a local vineyard and cafe. Using elements from this inspiration board to build the look and feel, we created something pretty and romantic, but also modern and trendy. The images are 'DA BOMB'. I kid you not! And we have all been itching to share them with you - to show that we are pushing boundaries and being creative and that you can too in your wedding styling ...
But in that attempt to get the images out there, via the biggest possible platforms, we have found our images waiting in inboxes, being judged and compared for originality against other styled shoots who may well have been inspired by the very same images as we were. This is fine, of course - but it's also really sad! There are hundreds of stylists, photographers, florists etc out there all creating amazing work but also on that hamster wheel just trying to get featured. And why? We could have shared our work back in January, but we didn't. If we share it now, will we look like we are re-creators or will someone still be able to see the originality in our work? Do you even care? Or do you literally just want to be inspired?
We have all had featured work before, and it has been amazing – and of course I would hope that we will be featured again someday. There is something so rewarding about that ‘featured on’ badge landing in your inbox. Kind of the same as when you hit a certain number of likes on an Instagram post (Ok, so that feeling hasn’t been felt in a while thanks to some questionable algorithms that definitely weren’t built to support small businesses. I digress. Sorry).
But, this week, I have reached a kind of ‘light bulb’ moment in my path towards business goals, and decided that I shall no longer create in order to get that badge for my website. I shall create for myself, for my own personal development, and mostly … for you! This will hopefully mean that I have more time to be creative, and to share my creativity with you as I won’t be sitting around after one shoot twiddling my thumbs for that gratification of someone telling me that my work is good and original and ‘fits’ into what they are looking for. Because, well, that is contradictory in itself!
Another feeling that I have battled with in the wait to share these images, is guilt. Huh? Well, as the stylist/planner of these shoots it is me who has convinced my wonderful supplier friends to give up their time on a quest to bring my vision to life. They have invested their time and effort, for me. So, for their work not to be shown proudly is rubbish. We live in North Wales, we have a cracking lot of suppliers in the area. Ones that I would recommend and do battle for. But lets be honest, we are a small fish in this wedding industry – especially those of us trying to be the ground breakers and the trend setters. We don’t have huge budgets like those in the larger Cities of England, across the pond in the US or in beautiful Australia to throw at marketing campaigns and doing weekly shoots, so when one comes along, we give it our all. And we should be proud.
I’m conscious that this may just sound like the rant of a disgruntled stylist, or that I am in some way saying that we should boycott blogs. I ABSOLUTELY AM NOT! I love following the Instagram feeds of all those wedding blogs who share beautiful content and do exactly what they are meant to do – inspire people! I also love reading said blogs and gathering tips and ideas that I can share with my future brides and grooms. Yes, I am frustrated by the difficulty in breaking through into them but I’m just not going to let the opinions of these blogs affect me, knock my confidence or shape the way I work any longer. I feel so powerful right now. HAHA!
So here you go … a snapshot from our ‘Modern romance’ shoot at Pant Du. You’re welcome.
Keep following us, keep supporting us, keep allowing us to inspire you, in our own 'little fish' way!
Pantone’s 2019 colour of the Year ‘Living coral’ has a beautiful tone perfect for spring/summer weddings, but it has a vibrancy to it that brides and grooms might shy away from. The inspiration behind this shoot was therefore to bring a lighter, almost airy feel to what could be an otherwise bright scheme.
What better than balloons to bring the airy feel?! And that is where the concept started. Mixing modern touches with a romantic, light feel whilst incorporating a muted coral tone.
The stationery pairs modern lettering with a sketch of a vintage hot air balloon floating away, the tablescape is kept to a few key pieces of modern pottery and tableware, sitting neatly under a floating balloon installation. The bridal look achieves the balance perfectly, with the main gown, Amy Mair Couture’s ‘Fiorella’ paired with slicked back hair and a bare lip.
The evening look of the Mira gown also provides the perfect floaty silhouettes that we were looking to achieve.
The whole shoot is perfectly complemented by the beautiful flowers – each selected for its coral like hue or soft texture. So pretty, so modern ... and it makes me so happy!
Styled shoot dream team:
Photography: Heledd Roberts Photography
Planning and Styling: Jade Leung Weddings and Special Events
Venue: Pant Du
Flowers: Scent with Love
Cake and treats: Hayley's Piped Dreams
Make-up: Colur Anest Parker
Hair: Bridal Hair by Lindsey
Bridal boutique: SWS Bridal Boutique
Gowns: Amy Mair Couturef
Shoes: Rachel Simpson shoes
Rings: Angela Evans Jewellery
Table vases: Glosters Pottery
Stationery: Magnetig Designs
Model: Helen Mai
Inspiration board credits:
Table flowers via 100 Layer Cake
Tablescape via Wedding Sparrow
Photography: D'Arcy Benincosa
Stylist: Tess Comrie
Flowers: Tinge Floral
Stationery via Pinterest (source unknown)
Cake via Style me Pretty
Photography: Megan Robinson Photo
Cake: Flour & Flourish
Balloons via Pinterest (source unknown)
Model and flowers via Hey Wedding Lady
Photography: Justine Miton
Flowers: Fall for Florals