When I first started delving into the world of wedding design, styled shoots were my new best friend. It was an opportunity to curate the weddings I wanted to be working on, rather than just waiting for my dream client to pick up the phone and book with us.
Styled shoots are a wonderful opportunity to network with other vendors, try new and adventurous trends, and add beautiful images to your portfolio. What I also experienced, however, was what I like to call “the styled shoot let down.”
Now, before I go any further, let me just say that some of my favorite vendors have come together to create some AMAZING styled wedding shoots, which have later led to booking more weddings and getting published in online blogs and magazines. However, as a planner, it can often be a LOT of work, for little to no payoff.
Photographers, florists, dress designers, and hair and makeup artists have something concrete to gain from a styled shoot experience. They provide their product or service, and have it tangibly documented, to be shared online again and again.
For planners however, so much of our work occurs behind the scenes, and is never captured on film. Timelines, email threads, and communication with all of the vendors is something that is such a huge part of the planning process, but on the day of the style shoot it’s often time for the planner to take a back seat and let everyone else shine.
While this is, of course, part of the day to day life of a planner, it can also be trying over time. On a wedding day, we are happy to live behind the scenes because it’s our #1 goal to make the couple shine and have a stress-free day. At a styled shoot however, we’re working to make everyone else shine— and oftentimes not getting the credit or in some cases, even a thank you.
I share this, not to speak ill of ANY of the wonderful vendors we’ve worked with in the past, but more, to help explain why we have taken a step back from them, and now choose to say no when vendors reach out and ask for our help on upcoming projects.
That is not to say that we will never go back to styled shoots, but for the time being, we are “on a break”.