Should You Ever Consider Buying a Wedding Dress Before Getting Engaged?
There are a lot of sides to this argument.
By Jenn Sinrich
September 27, 2019
Photo: Diane Hu
Whether you’ve stumbled across the wedding dress of your dreams at a can’t-pass-up price or know that your engagement is just weeks away, you might be eager to begin the search for (and lock down) the gown that you’ll wear on the most important day of your life. But should you ever go so far as to buy a wedding dress before you actually get engaged? Opinions on this tricky topic vary.
Diane Lloyde Roth, celebrity and wedding stylist and owner of L’Armoire, considers it not only bad luck to purchase the wedding dress before getting engaged, but also just bad form. In addition to being presumptuous, you also don’t know where you’re going to get married or what time of year, both of which will play a large part in picking a dress. “For example, if you are getting married in the summer, you don’t want to be wearing a heavy gown,” she says. “Also, the style will reflect the location, whether it be a beach wedding, a formal ceremony in a church, or perhaps a more casual wedding location.” Another important factor that she points out is that body size and shape as well as style changes over time, so if you’re not getting married in the next calendar year, you might find yourself with a dress that’s the right size and/or a style that’s no longer “in.”
Jodi R.R. Smith, owner of Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting, on the other hand, doesn’t think this idea of buying a wedding dress before you get engaged is as crazy as it sounds. “Weddings can be very pricy affairs, so if you’re able to find a dress you love even before the engagement is official (or even before you find your significant other!), go for it,” she says. “Think about it this way: Brides who wear their mother’s wedding dress technically have their dress before they have the ring, so why should this situation be any different?”
Danielle Rothweiler, owner of Rothweiler Event Design, feels that there are a few scenarios that make sense for someone to consider buying a wedding dress pre-engagement—one being if she and her other half are discussing a future engagement that happens to be quite informal, especially if the engagement period is going to be short. “Most wedding dress take nine months to one year to be ordered and then altered for the bride, so if you’re talking about getting married and setting up details including the date and have limited time, you should start shopping in advance,” she says.
Kimberly Lehman, wedding and event planner at Love, Laughter & Elegance, feels that the decision is really dependent on the bride herself and her unique situation. “A wedding dress is one of the most personal and expensive purchases that someone will ever make, so there are a lot of factors to take into consideration,” she says.
Bottom line: What’s right for you might not be right for your friend, sister or co-worker, so take the advice you’re given lightly and ultimately go with your gut. If it’s the dress of your dreams, why let it go to another bride?
Recently, my husband Mark and I celebrated our 20th Wedding Anniversary. We rarely have pictures taken together, and never in a formal setting. Since I produce several styled wedding photo shoots a year, I thought why not create one that represents my hubby and I. This was a fun one to put together. I sent the photographer’s gallery right over to Shafonne Myers at the Pretty Pear Bride blog, and she loved it! I want to thank all of our wonderful vendors who helped us celebrate. We could not have had a more wonderful evening! Enjoy!
Today’s styled photo shoot is in celebration of the 20th wedding anniversary of Kim of Love, Laughter and Elegance Wedding Planning with her husband, Mark. They decided to have it take place in a location that means a lot to them: Spring Hill Historic Home in Massillon, Ohio. This venue has been the setting of several of her styled bridal photo shoots, and is a treasured location in their hometown. They chose a vibrant color palette of purple and orange, as those shades represent their individual high school colors, and added lavender, pink and gold to complement. Everything turned out so amazing!
What was your design inspiration: My husband Mark and I recently celebrated our 20th Wedding Anniversary, and we wanted to have some new photos taken for the occasion. We wanted an elegant, formal look. We sat down together and decided on the color palette of purple and orange. These are the colors from each of our respective high schools. They are bold colors on their own, so to soften and balance the look, we added lavender, pink, and gold. We also wanted to have the photos taken at a location that is special to both of us. Spring Hill Historic Home, in Massillon, Ohio is one of the original homesteads in the the town of Kendal, which later became the city of Massillon. This estate is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and was also a stop on the famous Underground Railroad. Mark grew up in Massillon, and I have produced several styled bridal photo shoots at this venue. We love it there. It is an amazing place to visit.
Describe Your Flowers: Our florist Kristi, of Precocious Petals, created some amazing floral designs for our photo shoot! She created a large rustic arbor piece, with hanging jars, moss, bright flowers and tealight candles, that we used as the space to renew our wedding vows. She also created a several small bouquets that we placed in front of the arbor for a soft, finished look. On our cozy dining table for two, there was a circular hooped centerpiece that was just darling. On our cake table, we placed Kristi’s pretty two-toned domed rose centerpiece. My bridal bouquet was a lush delight of blooms in oranges, reds and pinks. My husband’s boutonniere was comprised of a rose and berries, and tied with a thin gold ribbon. Kristi used Gerbera daisies, leather leaf fern, salal, Ming fern, hypericum berries, snap dragons, a few succulents, and lots of gorgeous roses in her designs. We loved her work so much!
Describe your cake: When Sarah asked me about the cake that I envisioned for this occasion, I gave her the colors we were working with, and told her to let her imagination run wild. She created a gorgeous 3 tiered confection that took my breath away. The cake was iced in a delicate shade of lavender. The bottom layer was covered in lavender and gold ruffles, and at the front of the top two tiers there was a molded decorative piece that was brushed in edible gold. Along the side of the cake, cascading from the top to the base, was a waterfall of flowers to match our color scheme. Our cake topper was made by Power Laser Cut, of a black acrylic that read, “Cheers to 20 Years”. We also had a tray of beautifully hand decorated cut-out sugar cookies, made by Heather Kay, to match our “”Cheers to 20 Years” theme. Everything looked too beautiful to eat!
Tell us about your attire choices: My husband, Mark, has always looked great in a suit. I wanted to make sure he was looking very dapper for our anniversary celebration. He wore a dark charcoal grey suit, with a subtle light blue pinstripe. We added a silvery grey dress shirt, bright orange skinny tie, purple and orange argyle socks, and classic wingtip shoes. Mark wore his own wedding ring. He also wore custom made cuff links that read “Cheers to 20”. Those were provided by Over the Moon Bridal.
I wanted my overall look to be glamorous, rather than bridal. I chose a floor length, deep purple ballgown, with an empire waist, and ruched bodice. It even had pockets, which I loved! Since I am not very tall, more of a fun-sized woman, if you will, I chose darling lavender suede heels with dark purple trim to go with the gown, and give me a little height. So cute! My jewelry included my own wedding rings, a long necklace with gems in shades of dark pink and purple, a bold bangle bracelet with stones in the same colors, and delicate purple earrings to match. In my hair, I wore a silver comb, that was decorated with silver leaves and white floral beads. I have to also thank Aimee Alessi and Kassidy Haubold for their awesome hair and makeup skills. I felt like a princess!
Please describe your DIY, handmade or personal details: One of the prettiest pieces that we used in our anniversary shoot, was the custom laser cut charger plate, from Power Laser Cut, that read “Mr. & Mrs. Lehman”. It was too nice to put under a plate! So we held it up between us during our photos to show it off. We will be displaying that piece for years to come in our home!
Describe the tablescape elements: We had two tablescapes, one for our cozy dining area, and one for our beautiful desserts. Our dining table was set up on the porch of the Spring Hill home. I covered the table with a floor length lavender tablecloth, and added a dark plum table runner and a length of sheer gold tulle for some sparkle. The tableware was a lovely combination of old and new. The gold glass beaded charger plates are my own, but I layered two antique china plates with different decorative floral patterns that belong to the Spring Hill Estate. The flatware and heavy white embroidered linen napkins are also part of the Spring Hill treasures. The water glasses are from my personal collection, as are the purple and orange champagne flutes, We had custom menus, place cards and a table number made by Emmy Anastasia designs, to enhance the look of the table. The centerpiece by Precocious Petals was a gold circular hoop, surrounded by lush blooms, succulents and greenery. We added a few votive candles, in orange and gold, to set the mood.
Our desserts were placed on a large antique round table in the parlor of the Spring Hill home. I covered the table in a dark plum cloth, and layered a sheer orange scarf, that was embroidered with silver sequins in a floral design, on top. Our gorgeous three tier cake and silver tray full of had decorated sugar cookies were placed on the table, along with my personal cake cutting set, I also added several orange and silver votive candles and a beautiful arrangement of two-toned roses from our florist Kristi to complete the very lush and romantic display.
We have been blessed to have our article featured on the Pretty Pear Bride blog! In chatting recently with Shafonne Myers, founder of Pretty Pear Bride, we covered a wide range of topics relating to the plus-size bride. One of those topics included confidence in being a plus-size woman. Also relating to having confidence as a woman with curves, we discussed posing in different types of photography: engagement, wedding, and bridal boudoir. Bridal boudoir is such an amazing experience! Very empowering, and you feel like a queen. She asked me to share an article I wrote regarding this subject. Please enjoy!
Today we have my good friend and fellow bridal industry wedding planning maven Kimberly Lehman of Love, Laughter & Elegance: Wedding & Event Planning sharing some invaluable insights into bridal boudoirs. Ladies this is something that you can do at any size.
Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! There are many events that will take place during your engagement and wedding planning, and one of them might include a bridal boudoir photo session. What is a boudoir session, one may ask? It is a photo session, in which you are posed by a professional photographer, wearing pretty lingerie. Often, professional hair styling and makeup are also included in a boudoir session. This photo session may take place in a photography studio, hotel room, or one’s own home. Sometimes photos are taken in outdoor, urban, or unexpected, non-traditional settings. The photos are then often given to your future spouse as a gift before the wedding, or as an anniversary gift.
That’s the basic definition of boudoir photography.
But it is so much more than that! Photography is an art form, no question about it. Boudoir photography is that same art form, elevated. It is sensual, soft, cozy, romantic, lush. It can also be edgy and raw, blatantly sexy, and badass. As Patrick Swayze once said in a famous movie, “it’s a feeling, a heartbeat.” Nothing could be more true about this artistic medium. An experienced boudoir photographer can pose you in ways that will bring out curves that you never thought you had, and will show your inner goddess off to perfection. It will leave you feeling glamorous, sexy, and empowered in a way that will keep you (and your significant other) smiling for years to come.
So, what can you expect to happen during a boudoir session? During your initial consultation with a boudoir photographer, you can discuss what you like to wear, whether it is lacy and daring, or soft and sweet. Some of the best boudoir photos I have ever seen have been with the model in an oversized, slouchy sweater, with one bare shoulder, and a pair of warm and cozy socks that reach above the knee. You may prefer to don the bridal undergarments that will be worn on your wedding day. Add your veil for a soft, timeless romantic look. If you or your intended are sports fans, why not go for a playful look with a favorite team jersey? Perhaps you would prefer a button-down shirt and a tie for a classic, professional vibe. Or would you like to go for an all-out bombshell look?
The options are endless, as are the wardrobe choices. Play around with different types of looks to see what complements your figure. Don’t forget to consider the shoes, stockings, jewelry and other accessories that will complete your ensemble. A few props can also enhance your photos, like an antique hand mirror, or a soft blanket that feels amazing against bare skin. If you want to feel like a queen, by all means, bring along a tiara. It’s your day! Anything goes!
During your consultation, your photographer will also talk about posing, and how many settings and wardrobe changes you will utilize. You will want to schedule your photo session a few months before your wedding or anniversary, so that your photographer has enough turn-around time for editing your photos, and to place your order for prints or an album.
It’s perfectly natural to feel a little bit nervous about an intimate photo session like this. You will relax once the camera starts clicking, I promise. If you would feel more comfortable with having a gal pal to accompany you to your session, definitely ask. Perhaps they would like to participate in a session as well. Always more fun! Also, go easy on the alcohol and salty foods a few days prior to the photo shoot to prevent bloating. Be sure to drink lots of water, to stay well hydrated, and set your skin to glowing. Enjoy being pampered by a hair stylist and make up artist prior to your photo session. This is your moment to shine, and revel in all of your womanly glory.
I highly encourage all women to schedule this type of photo session for themselves, at least once in their lives. It doesn’t matter what age you are, or size. All women are beautiful in their own unique shapes, and skin tones. The overall experience is amazing, and one that you will never forget! You will come away with quite the boost in self-confidence. You will feel very empowered, and ready to take on the world, in this next chapter of your life.
We have been featured in the Southern Celebrations Magazine Lifestyle Edition! We were blessed to have been asked to write an article for the Vol. 9 Lifestyle Edition, about sibling rivalry. This is a little bit of a departure from our usual articles that have been published, about weddings, events, or styled photo shoots. But as we enjoy writing, it never hurts to stretch and grow, and take on different topics. So, please feel free to read and enjoy.
Sibling rivalry is one of the most common dynamics in family life. Dating all the way back to “The Beginning”, the earliest example recorded was that of the brothers Cain and Abel. In the biblical Book of Genesis, Cain and Abel are the first two sons of Adam and Eve. Cain, the firstborn, was a farmer, and his brother Abel was a shepherd. The brothers made sacrifices to God, each of his own produce, but God favored Abel’s sacrifice instead of Cain’s.
Cain, jealous of his brother, then murdered Abel, whereupon God punished Cain to a life of wandering. Cain then dwelt in the land of Nod, where he built a city and fathered the line of descendants beginning with Enoch. The narrative never explicitly states Cain’s motive for murdering his brother, nor God’s reason for rejecting Cain’s sacrifice, nor details on the identity of Cain’s wife. Some traditional interpretations consider Cain to be the originator of evil, violence, or greed. According to the Book of Genesis, Cain was the first human born and Abel was the first to die. This might be considered an extreme example of sibling rivalry, but teaches us an important lesson: that we as parents and caregivers must learn to deal with the feelings and actions of siblings in a loving, productive manner. Otherwise, things can get out of hand really quick.
Sibling rivalry is defined as the competition between siblings, blood related or not, for the attention, approval, and affection of their parents. This “competition” may also include caregivers, other adult family members, teachers, and community leaders. Jealousy and fighting among siblings is very common, and often starts after the arrival of the second child in a family. This can continue through childhood, into adulthood, to the dismay and frustration of many parents. Fortunately, though, this phase may not last forever. Many siblings grow close in their relationships as adults. There are many ways to help children express themselves positively, and to develop important skills like cooperation, and empathy.
There is no singular cause for sibling rivalry. It is a complex mix of personalities, wants, and needs from several children, being handled by one or two adults at any given time. If you have ever seen television programs that have dealt with sibling rivalry issues, like “The Brady Bunch”, “Growing Pains”, or “Full House”, you may be nodding your head in agreement. “Ah, yes!” Those television shows may have been a little over the top at times, as they are for entertainment. However, we all can certainly relate to the challenges in the relationships that the family characters displayed with each other. There are several aspects of a family’s dynamics that may add to sibling rivalry. Also, there are many ways how to help promote harmony among siblings.
First, remember that each child is an individual being, and are looking to show the world who they are. They want to develop their own special talents, hobbies, and dreams.
This is especially true of multiples like twins, triplets, etc. Don’t favor one child over the other. Don’t compare apples to oranges, and don’t try to fit each child into a neat little box. Embrace their individuality, what makes them uniquely “them”. Celebrate their achievements and joys equally.
Children may feel that they are not receiving enough attention, either positive or negative, from a parent or caregiver. They may have trouble getting a parent to respond to them as they are accustomed to, especially after the addition of another child to the family. Depending on where the child is in their developmental growth, can affect how they handle being a big brother or sister, and learning to share time and attention with the parent and siblings.
Much like adults, if kids are bored, “hangry”, or need a nap, crankiness ensues and fights may begin. Try to head this off at the pass. Keep activities, easy snacks, and comfy lounge areas available. Trust me, it will save many headaches. The same goes for showing children how to be self-starters with activities. Enjoy more family time together, sharing meals, and fun learning experiences.
Children often fight more when aggression and fighting is perceived as normal and a good way to fix situations. Remember, children learn from many sources, but parents and caregivers are the first examples. They watch and often copy the behaviors of adults. If there is a lot of fighting, negative emotion and altercations, it’s really not a healthy situation for all concerned. Counseling may be recommended for family members in order to find ways to resolve conflicts positively.
Stress, in both the parents’ and children’s lives, can lead to less time spent together, and more frustration overall. Make sure each child has their own time and space. They need alone time, as well as time to spend with each parent one-on-one each day. Kids value the time they get to spend with mom or dad, just to tell them about their day, and what’s going on in their world. Listen closely and carefully to each child. They also need time to spend with their friends.
Schedule regular family meetings. All members of a family should work together make
decisions that will affect the daily life of the family. Working together builds unity among the family, and bolsters trust and self-esteem. It is the perfect opportunity to share the successes and joys of each child. It is also a great time to develop positive social skills and attitudes.
A short time ago, I was asked by Valerie Pritt, founder of the Engaged Wedding Planner Academy, if I would write a guest post for the blog about how to plan a styled bridal photo shoot. I happily agreed, as this is a subject I am quite passionate about! (If you would like to check out some of my past photo shoots, please feel free to hop on over to my media page.)
In this article, I outline the different stages of planning and producing a styled photo shoot, from a planner’s prospective, and my personal process. Please feel free to comment or ask questions relating to styled photo shoots. Enjoy!
Today we have Kimberly, founder of Love, Laughter & Elegance Wedding and Event Planning, giving us great advice on how to do a styled shoot. She has planned and participated in over 14 styled bridal photo shoots since 2016. All of her styled bridal photo shoots to date have been published, both in print and online. If you have plans of doing your first styled shoot soon, this article is a great place to start.
HOW TO DO A STYLED SHOOT
Styled photo shoots are not a new concept. Photography has long been a huge medium for commercial business advertising, as well as creating aesthetic artwork. Newer photographers are highly encouraged to participate in and host photo shoots, as a way to develop their skills, and create content for their portfolios and social media outlets. Not every photo shoot has to be elaborate in subject matter and style.
WHAT IS A STYLED SHOOT?
A photo shoot could be as simple as a pretty little girl, twirling in a princess dress, in a park setting. Or, one may shoot a romantic picnic setting with an attractive couple. Often, a single female model is the subject, clad in a stunning outfit, with hair and makeup professionally done. The model might carry an oversized picture hat, or a lush bouquet of flowers, or an adorable puppy. The options for choosing what, where, and when to shoot photos are endless. Our world is a continually evolving source of inspiration for photographers, and videographers, to capture and create appealing images. In turn, the need for appealing images especially applies to the event, entertainment, and hospitality industries, who in turn use those images to attract customers.
As a wedding planner with more than twenty years of experience, I have a sincere appreciation for amazing photographs of a beautiful wedding or event. I love to look at magazines and books, as well as online at blogs and social media sites that feature gorgeous weddings, styled photo shoots and parties. Having worked with numerous talented photographers over the years, I have learned about different styles of photography, such as moody, vibrant, and light and airy.
I understand the differences between candid photography, portraiture, and photojournalism. I know that shooting photos in natural light is vastly different from shooting in a studio, or indoors in a venue that might require additional lighting methods. Also, that editing photos correctly, and consistently, takes considerable time and effort. I love it when I receive galleries full of stunning photos from a photographer, from a recent wedding or styled photo shoot, that we worked on together. I greatly appreciate photographers, and their hard work. This is not only a job or career for them, it is a passion, and a labor of love.
Photographers are obviously key players when planning a styled photo shoot. But what about the other vendors? What roles do they play in the process? In all honesty, planning a styled wedding photo shoot is much like planning an actual wedding, just on a smaller scale, that involves other creative professionals. As a wedding planner, when I am organizing a styled photo shoot, I come up with a game plan.
HAVING A GOAL
First, I determine what my goals are for producing a styled photo shoot. Usually, the goal is to submit the professional photos for national publication, both in print and online. When the photos are published, this creates exposure, not only for myself, and my planning business, but for all of the creative entrepreneurs that contributed their time and talents to the event. Exposure, in turn, will drive traffic to the websites of the vendors and models involved, and will generate inquiries and bookings for their services.
Another, secondary, goal is to create something unique and beautiful, just for my own personal creative aesthetic. I have to admit, once one has planned a styled shoot, it becomes quite addictive. Especially if you love to see your work published, as I do, being shared with thousands of people.
CHOOSING YOUR DESIGN
The next step in my planning process is to create the overall aesthetic for the styled photo shoot. I take into consideration several factors, such as the time of year for the shoot, whether I want to hold it indoors or outside, potential locations, theme, and colors. I think about the potential available models and creative professionals, and any special elements I might wish to incorporate, like a vintage vehicle, or certain types of flowers.
Then I start looking online for photos that might work well together to reflect the overall theme. Pinterest is a great resource for putting ideas together, as well as Canva, and sometimes I use Google Images for additional inspiration. Then I compile all of the images I really like into one inspiration board, and that becomes my reference for the styled photo shoot. I share the inspiration board with my models and vendors, so that they have a clear idea of the overall look I am trying to achieve.
PICK A LOCATION
Setting the scene is the next step. Everyone always says, “location, location, location”. It is very true. The location selected for a styled photo shoot, can, in part, determine if a submission will be accepted for publication. That is not to say that you cannot take a “blank canvas” of a venue, such as a plain party hall, or a warehouse space, and absolutely transform it. It is done by professionals, every day, in the event industry.
If, however, you select a location with historical value, interesting architectural details, or simply gorgeous landscaping and scenery, you increase your chances of having your submission accepted. I try to create a list of potential venues that would work with the theme of my styled photo shoot. Then I contact those venues, and give them a range of calendar dates, to see what might be available. Once an agreement has been made with a venue to use their location for the styled photo shoot, I will begin to contact vendors and models to feature in the photo shoot.
FINDING THE RIGHT VENDORS
Finding the right vendors and models to participate in a styled photo shoot can be a challenge, sometimes. Everyone has busy lives and crazy schedules. Many vendors have families, or other careers, that will take precedence over my request for collaboration on my current project. As I have been involved in the wedding and event industry for over twenty years, I have built an extensive list of vendors that I love to work with and refer.
I am also always open to meeting and working with new vendors, both established, and those that are just starting out. This is where networking skills come in handy, to connect and collaborate with vendors. Sometimes I have trouble finding an available vendor or two to complete my team for the styled shoot, like a florist or baker. I will reach out to my other contacts, for referrals and suggestions. Most of the time, people are happy to help, even at the last moment. Even if we do not have a team member available for every category, like hairstyling or specialty linens, many of my vendors are talented in other areas, and will pitch in to fill the gaps.
My team always comes together to produce an amazing styled shoot. It is often recommended that contracts are to be used when working with vendors and models. My team members work with me on a voluntary basis, and I am upfront with my expectations from each vendor, what their role is in the styled shoot, and what they will receive in return, which is professional photos of the styled shoot to use in marketing and social media. They will also receive credit and promotion when a styled photo shoot is published and shared through print and online media sources. I strongly believe in “community over competition”. I want my vendors and models to enjoy working with me and want to continue to assist me in producing beautiful, inspiring content for everyone to enjoy.
PLANNING OUT THE DETAILS
Once I have my creative team in place, the next step is planning out the details. The details are the elements of the styled shoot that reflect your vision of the event. The big elements will include the cake, the flowers, the models and their attire, and of course the venue or outdoor setting. As important as it is to have those components in your styled shoot, for me, it’s the little details that tell the story of the event.
I will start sourcing small items like jewelry, décor, tableware, vintage greeting cards, fabrics, and accessories. Sometimes I will purchase clothing items specifically for a shoot. I will also look for unique items on websites like Ebay, Etsy, and Facebook resale groups. Local thrift stores are my favorite spots for great deals. As I have planned out my styled shoots, I have discovered that I have a personal style that I deem “vintage with a twist”. I absolutely adore vintage items, and I try to use some in each shoot. Vintage items could be a pretty handkerchief, or a pair of cufflinks for the gentleman.
Sometimes the items are personal to me and my family. I have used my grandmother’s wedding rings and vintage fur stole, my mother’s artwork and hand painted keepsake box, and even my own china and glassware that were given to me as wedding gifts. I often use the same items in different styled shoots. For example, I have used different sets of charger plates in several shoots, my own personal tableware, and linens. Votive candles, jewelry, accessories and attire have also made multiple appearances in my shoots. I try to carry at least one decorative element over from one styled shoot to the next. It creates a consistency in my overall style and branding, and collective body of work.
LEARN TO BE FLEXIBLE
When I have decided on and collected all of my detail items for the particular styled shoot, it is time to plan out the schedule for the day. This is very much like the way I create an itinerary for a wedding or event for my clients. The only difference is that for a wedding weekend, certain events must happen in a particular order: rehearsal, ceremony, social hour, reception, etc. Within a styled photo shoot event, I have more flexibility in the schedule.
HAVE A TIMELINE
I always state that the schedule is a proposed timeline of events, subject to changes as needed. If a vendor happens to be running late, or if one of models cannot be at the venue at the same time as the other, I can rearrange certain parts of the setup and shooting schedule to accommodate those needs. As with any event that I plan, I am working with multiple vendors and moving parts. It pays to be open minded, and flexible. My goals on the day of the styled shoot are to make sure all of the people and items are in the places they need to be, to do whatever is necessary to keep things going smoothly, and to try to stay on schedule as much as possible. All of my vendors and models understand this concept, and graciously work together to produce amazing results.
SHOOT DAY PROVISIONS
On the day of the styled shoot, I am always the first person on site, besides the venue owner or designated representative. I make sure I have all relevant paperwork, like contracts, contact and social media information for vendors and models, and lists of items and services being provided for the event. I also have a copy of the schedule, and sometimes a list of specific shots that I would like the photographer to take during the shoot. Depending on the location, and time of the styled shoot, I do try to provide bottled water and some snacks for my team. Sometimes the venue will provide those items for us, and that is always a blessing. There are also times that I will mention before the shoot that each person attending will need to be responsible for their own meals.
I usually have my personal supply kit handy at each styled shoot, the same as I do for weddings and events. I include basic toiletries, tape, scissors, pens, lighter, paper products, and trash bags.
Pro Tip: I often bring extra items for styling, like different kinds of ribbon, scarves, silk flowers, candles, and small printed signs. Photographers usually like to pair these items with stationery suites and wedding rings for detail shots. I have seen so many gorgeous layouts, or “flat lays”. These types of photos really help to tell the story of the styled shoot.
DAY OF SHOOT
Finally, we get to work on the day of the styled shoot, setting up décor and putting the models in gorgeous gowns and stylish suits. The shutters of the cameras start clicking, and the models are posed in endless ways, pausing only briefly to change outfits, or to touch up hair and makeup. For as much time and planning that goes into a styled photo shoot, the actual day of the event goes by quickly, and it’s over before you know it. The anticipation of receiving the finished gallery of images from the photographer is sometimes overwhelming.
When I receive the images, I am always blown away from the depth and excellent quality of the stunning photos, and the talent of the photographer that took them. I love working with my talented team members and praise them for all of the help they so lovingly and freely give of themselves to bring my visions to life. I know that I cannot do this alone, and I am exceedingly grateful for everyone that has contributed to my projects, and I love to return the favors by helping others with their projects. Community over competition is a wonderful concept. Please share it with others in our industry. Keep on dreaming and creating!
Kimberly Lehman is the founder of Love, Laughter & Elegance: Wedding & Event Planning in Canton, Ohio. She has been enthusiastically planning weddings and special events for over 20 years. Her personal experience and extensive knowledge make her a resourceful expert within the wedding and special events industry.
We have been blessed to have our Audrey Hepburn – Funny Face Movie Inspired styled bridal photo shoot featured on the Southern Celebrations Magazine website! This feature was also recently published in Vol. 8 of the print edition.
Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire are Hollywood Icons. Funny Face has been one of my favorite movies for as long as I can remember. The fashions (House of Givenchy), the music, the scenery (Paris and New York) are just incredible. I highly recommend watching this classic film! Here is my tribute to them. Enjoy!
“I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.” Audrey Hepburn
Featured in Volume 8.
Audrey Hepburn was a British actress and humanitarian. Recognized as a film and fashion icon, she was ranked by the American Film Institute as the third-greatest female screen legend in Golden Age Hollywood, and was inducted into the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame.