5 Tips for Planning a Styled Wedding | Maine Wedding Photographers

So you want to plan a styled wedding shoot but don’t know where to start. Maybe you want to know even why to do one in the first place. We are here to help! As Destination and Maine wedding photographers we photograph a lot of beautiful weddings with tons of inspiration for couples planning their day, but sometimes we like to get together with our “friendors” and plan something fun.

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It may seem surprising to those not in the wedding industry but I’d say most of us really really love our jobs, so we want to do it all the time! There’s so much inspiration out there at our weddings we photograph every weekend but sometimes we like to slow down and take our time photographing wedding elements and also have full control over the scene. For example, chances are we love your cake, but sometimes we wish it was in better light, etc. On a wedding day, we can’t move that cake, but during a styled shoot we are probably moving that cake all around. This also provides other vendors who contribute to the shoot some really awesome marketing images for their website, blog, social media. It also helps us all connect and get to chat outside of wedding days.

Please remember, if you’re a couple looking to plan your wedding, Styled Weddings or Inspiration Weddings are a great place to start gathering ideas, but a lot of the time a wedding that looks like one of these styled shoots may be out of budget range, so it’s best to work with your planner and your budget to come up with an idea that’s uniquely you!

So now that you’ve got the why behind the shoots, lets cover the how.

1) Start an inspiration board for your inspiration shoot!

It’s also a good idea to keep a visual board to help convey your vision to the other vendors. A lot of the times Styled Weddings are the brainchild of the photographer, but not all the time! Planners, venues, florists, bakers, etc can all lead a styled shoot. Pinterest is a great place to start creating your inspiration board.I tend to wander with my ideas and have concepts for styled weddings bouncing through my head all the time. I find having a pin board for each theme is easiest to keep it all organized. And don’t forget to think outside of the box!

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2) Pick a venue or a location

This one can sometimes be a bit of a challenge based on your ideas. Do you dream of an idyllic winter wedding? Maine wedding venues tend to be closed in the winter, so finding a venue that fits your vision, shares your vision, and is open and ready to help with the project can be a challenge. The more unique the better! Take a look through some local or national wedding magazines, what have they done already? Find a newer venue or something a little off the beaten path - it’s sure to be a hit! Not to mention something a little different is great for inspiration!

3) Find your vendors

You can either start finding vendors for your Styled Wedding before or after you’ve secured your venue. If I’m working with a planner on the project, the planner and I are shopping around and brainstorming together from the beginning. Finding vendors to partake in the shoot is definitely easier once you have a venue and an approximate date. They’ll be able to check their schedules, see if they can make it to the venue, etc.

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I’ll continue to use winter as an example for this article. While you may not have anything happening in February and have lots of time for the styled wedding, a florist might be swamped! With Valentine’s Day around the corner it will be hard to find a florist who can dedicate the time to the project.

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4) Work on your vision together, but allow for creativity from everyone

One of the best parts of working on a styled wedding is getting to have full reign of creativity. But don’t forget to share that fun with the other participating vendors! I like to approach my vendors with a theme and see where they’ll take it. For our Nicte Ha sailboat wedding this past year we picked the colors of the inside of a shell and with it being on a boat, there was definitely a nautical theme. Beyond that each participating vendor put their own spin on what they bring to the shoot.

5) Share those photos!

The whole purpose of a styled wedding shoot, in our opinion, is to share those images with all the participating vendors, build up more connections in the industry, and get those images in front of couples! You can’t do that if you don’t share them! Our goal is to turn around the images, and video, in the same time frame we turn around images for our couples. We want to give all of our “friendors” the same experience that our couples do so they can better refer us. And of course you want those images to hit magazines and blogs while they’re relevant to the season you’re shooting in.

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Brittany and Dean are creative Maine Wedding Photographers who loving having fun with our wedding couples. We work together and separately to capture every emotion and angle on your wedding day. Two Adventurous Souls storytelling style will capture your wedding both in candid and naturally posed images. Whether you're planning an Adventure Wedding, Maine Wedding,  Costa Rica Wedding or anywhere in New England we will be there for you! For more info please contact us about your wedding photography!