With such a strange start to 2020, what should have been a busy year for the wedding industry, new decade, etc, turned into a year of creativity instead.
With all weddings postponed or cancelled many smart, savvy wedding business owners have been turning their skills into producing styled shoots. Creating new content for their social media, websites and maybe even being featured in blogs and magazines.
If you wish to plan a styled shoot but really don't know where to start, here are a few tips for you.
If you love statistics then let's start here with some, 24% of couples will book their wedding in the next three months, 26% will book within the next six months. This leaves around another 50% who are looking to book within the year. Your business needs to be out in front of them and looking fabulous.
I have been busy this year helping clients plan their styled shoots, we started with one in February for an Indian Destination wedding planner, just before the lock down and then as soon as the Corona doors opened we were out and hosted another one of my clients first styled shoots, that had been postponed from March.
I have since created one more and have a few more planned this summer, both for clients, and one for my business. All these images on this blog post are from these recent shoots.
So let me take you through, step by step, how to create a fab styled wedding shoot.
Step One, what is the shoot for? It is for your website, social media, or to be featured in a wedding blog, magazine, or an e-book to gain more exposure for your business?
When planning your shoot do make sure you know what your end goal is, this will help you define your look, attract your ideal clients, or be aligned to a wedding blog you wish to be featured in.
Step Two, having decided what your shoot strategy is, create your inspiration boards. It is important to create these ready to send to potential collaborators, showing them your vision and the exact look you wish to achieve.
Use Pinterest to gather your ideas but do create boards to share as this is much more professional and something you can keep coming back to if you get sidetracked, which of course often we do on Pinterest!
Step Three, location, location, location. This is massively important when you wish to create your shoot, the venue needs to align with your brand, it should be a venue or location you wish to create weddings at. For example if you do a beach shoot then this must be something you will be featuring as a location for your planning business. If you hate beaches and wish to work in stately homes or luxury hotels, then choose this style for your location. It sounds so simple but I see so many get this wrong.
Step Four, choosing your collaborators. Once you have planned your shoot make a list of every supplier you would love to be involved. Wedding dress, shoes, jewellery, flowers, furniture hire, stationery, accessories, photographer, cake, etc. Instagram is a good source to finding fabulous suppliers local to you, or joining local business Facebook groups, if you haven't built up your network yet.
Make sure the suppliers brand aesthetics align with yours, reach out to them and ask them if they wish to collaborate with you. Send them your inspiration boards along with a bio about your shoot. This will be a description of what is involved, who is collaborating so far and tell how much visibility they will gain from being involved. This could be just on Instagram and social media or explain if you are planning to submit to one of the wedding blogs or magazines. A collaborator will want to see the value for their business before they agree to become involved.
Step Five, find good models, if you don't have great models then your shoot could look stilted, find people who are in love already or who know how to work their stuff in front of a camera.
Step Six, planning the shoot day. It is important to have the shoot planned, timings, what time you expect each supplier to turn up, organising it so there is enough time to set up table displays, get hair and makeup done and making sure you are not wasting suppliers time. Do make sure the photographer has a list of all the details you wish to be shot and a time that piece of content will be ready for them.
If you are planning to get sunset shots work backwards from the sunset time. Send all suppliers a copy of the timings and what they are expected to do on the day. Do also make sure you detail out collection times of items.
Step Seven, it is important to detail out either in an email or a contract what will happen with the images after the shoot and what you expect of everyone involved.
Do make sure the suppliers all receive relevant fabulous images of their work and all or a selection of images of the overall shoot to spread the love. It maybe the dress designer would like a few and a general portfolio of the shoot but not necessarily all the floral images or stationery.
If you are distributing images out do make sure everyone involved has a list of the suppliers that worked on that shoot and ask them to tag them. It is social etiquette.
Create an Instagram group for your shoot, if anyone posts notify the group so everyone can go over and like and comment on your post.
If you are planning to submit your shoot, ideally wedding blogs wish to be exclusive, this doesn't mean you can't share any on social media or personally blog about it, but what it does mean is don't submit the photos to a few blogs, do one at a time until you are accepted.
Step Eight, details, do make sure when you are creating your shoot you have lots of details to photograph. This doesn't need to be complicated but adding in things like cocktails, accessories such as jewellery, stationery, flat lays, etc, all help to add more content to your shoot and means more fab images to share on your social media.
Finally do make sure your shoot is insured. Make sure all the suppliers have their own insurance should something get damaged or lost. For example a dress getting damaged, lost by a courier company, a piece of furniture being damaged during the shoot.
Do also make sure you are covered, if you are already running a wedding business your insurance should cover you but check with your insurance company what exactly is covered, usually it is an accident or injury. loss of personal possessions
If you would love more information about creating styled shoots or would love to read about my Styled Shoot Wedding Bundle you can find out more here.
Laura has worked in the events and wedding industry for the past 30 years. Organising corporate events for clients such as Time Warner Bros and Jigsaw in London before she decided to follow her dream and move to Spain over 20 years ago.
As a trained interior designer and stylist, Laura saw a gap in the market 15 years ago for stylish weddings in Spain and Reviva Weddings was created. Six years ago Laura started mentoring new and established wedding business owners and has since gone on to create The Business of Weddings. Since then she has helped lots of wedding business owners create wildly successful businesses and you can read all about them on her testimonials. There are more so do check out her Instagram and Facebook too.
If you wish to start your wedding business or are just feeling tired and stuck, not getting clients and those all important bookings in then you are in the right place. Laura runs a private free FB group, the Business of Weddings Lounge and also runs a Wedding Business Owners Membership Club, The Wedding Edit Membership Club.
If you would love to get your Styled Shoot Wedding Bundle pack or join the Wedding Edit Membership Club you can find out more here.
All images are from styled shoots I have helped my wedding business owners with. I provide a comprehensive service taking them through the stages you will receive in The Styled Shoot Wedding Bundle Pack or they are included in my Wedding Edit Membership Club.
Credits go to Ocean Weddings in Spain for being a fab client!
Images by Eloy Munoz Photography.
Dresses by Silvia Fernandez
Florals by Rando Floristeria
Stationery by Papelosophie
Accessories and Styling by me.
Hair by Maite
Make up by Liza Mayne