Those of you who follow me on insta will know by now that I am a huge lover of a well-styled cake area. In this blog I am going to share with you some of my favourite cake styling area tips. I am Zoey, a wedding designer & stylist and this is my blog that will hopefully inspire and encourage you along your wedding planning journey.
Why style the cake area? A cake for your wedding or any event can be a big investment. So, why stick it in the corner on a small round table? Well, usually because that was the done thing or because you have way too much to think about planning, and the thought of adding in styling a cake area makes you want to scream! Well don’t worry as just adding a few key elements will make all the difference!
Wedding cakes are pricey! And so they should be they are a work of art some of them. It cost a lot to learn the skills to create a beautiful cake that will still look and taste as good after a long day at your wedding. But not just that your cake maker has worked hard and I feel it deserves the right stage to showcase it.
Also, the cake is probably the one thing that is guaranteed to be seen by everyone. Every wedding I have been to or designed I always see guests, suppliers and even staff searching out the cake for a look. If all eyes are on the cake you should really make sure it look amazing. It is also a chance to have some fun and add your personality.
If you are a cake maker, stylist or even venue reading this looking for some ideas. I would encourage you to make that extra effort and offer the couple the chance to style heir cake area. Work with local stylist or hire companies to add this an option or buy your own stock. I hire my stock out and most can be posted to other suppliers and it is a great option for cake makers.
My top tips below work for couples, cake makers or anyone looking to up their cake styling game!
Work with yours or the couples overall wedding design. Make it an extension of the day its self. I think this is important to mention for cake makers. If you are offering the set up and styling ask for a moodboard, speak to the stylist, florist or planner if there is one. Make sure the design works for the wedding as much as it does for your cake.
Add varying heights. Add elements to add interest like candles, vases, signs and florals. Think about textures and using a mix. Chiffon, tulle, linen and cheesecloth fabric all work great. Order an extra runner if doing the styling or if a cake maker think have a go to stock of these. The cake area is a great place to splash out and get a hand dyed silk runner.
Think about the colours and textures in the cake and how you can work with and enhance them with the styling.
This is the space to go all out! As mentioned it is the area most guests will see. You will have photos taken here to remember for the rest of your lives together. So have fun, think big and see what you can come up with!
Try to think past the standard table. Look at plinths, swings or whatever you can imagine up. If using a table use a mixture of stands, or unique backdrops. I love Bramble sky’s collection, below are a few of my favourites. This goes for both couples and suppliers. Look at what you have and then imagine how you can take it that one step further.
Sometimes a great backdrop is enough, using plinths instead of a table. Getting a wow factor cake stand. It doesn’t take much to so even if you pick one thing and think as big as you can with that it will make all the difference.
This one I always advocate with my couple and fellow suppliers. It is harder as a DIY couple as you really won’t have the time. If you have a stylist or planner or great hands on venue then ask them about moving items for you. This goes for all of your items and spaces not just styling the cake area.
Take what you can from the ceremony to use at your cake area. Whether that be florals, candles or fabrics. The main one though I think is he best to reuse is a backdrop. I actually have most of my backdrops in two sizes, one for the ceremony and then the cake area. As it saves the time moving and frees it up for adding to another space if and when required. I suggest moving the ceremony back drop behind the cake. Then after the cake is cut, move the tables or plinths and you have a photo backdrop for your reception guests.
As I keep mentioning whether a couple, cake maker or stylist. You need to work with the other suppliers, find out what they have that can be moved and reused. Let them know, especially the florist as they can make them easily movable. Or give you instructions if needed. Have a plan of what will be reused and make sure everyone who needs to be is aware as the time frame is usually tight so planning ahead is a must!
The cake area is a great place to share more of your personality or love story. This can be in little ways, like a topper or signs. You may add decorations, pictures that tells a story of the two of you. For me creating emotion is the great event design and using personal items that the guests can connect with does this. It can be so simple as grandmas cake stand! Most guests know what it is and has their own story and emotions attached to it. A small little detail that will have a huge impact.
Placement! Tradition is on the dance floor or next to the top table! Who cares about tradition though! These can work well and mean the guest can see the cake easily throughout the day. But sometimes I feel not always practical.
If you are going all out and making a big feature of the cake area then a little out the way is a better choice. Make sure it is not a high traffic area. This could effect guest flow when moving throughout the day. Also, not out the way too much no one knows where it is!
lastly, look around and see what you are placing it near or in front off. Sometimes you have no choice but fire extinguishers, window with a terrible view or worse curtains! These things can have a huge impact on the final overall look. This is when you have to consider a backdrop to cover certain feature of the venue.
I hope you found this useful. I am working hard on my blog to overall aspects of wedding design and styling. To help not only couples but other wedding suppliers to understand and use design. If you are looking for a designer for any type of event get in contact I would love to chat! Or if haven’t already grabbed my wedding cake styling guide free now.
Colourful styling at the new Giraffe Shed wedding venue. I am Zoey, a wedding designer and stylist and this is my blog that will hopefully inspire and encourage you along your wedding planning journey. Today I am sharing with you an oldie but a goodie! I don’t get to do colourful too often and I must admit I am a neutral and moody lover myself. But a bright colourful wedding really does cheer me up!
The shoot was set in this gorgeous new wedding venue in South Wales, The Giraffe Shed. I headed up there in the summer with a brief of colourful, festival style, I had to add a little edge though! Which, I hope always add!
This venue was the making of Hannah and her husband, Hannah is a photographer and you can certainly tell, not just for the amazing lighting throughout the venue there are some pretty amazing photo backdrops too. I certainly fell in love with this venue, a modern blank canvas with some industrial elements, that pretty much ticks all my boxes.
I decided to add some industrial elements to the styling to work with the venue. Then the rest was all about the colour! I used all jewel tones. It is really important when working with a colourful palette to keep to the same shade, tones or tints. It gives a well-designed feel and adds luxury.
My favourite part was the chair ribbons. I spent longer than I care to admit messing with the ribbon and deciding a way to thread them. Just tied on looks nice but I feel the weaved look just lifts the design and looks super stylish! We kept the table minimal as there was so much going on with the chairs and colours. Just some key elements to add the industrial modern feel.
If you are looking for a wedding stylist for a colourful or any wedding, then get in touch!
Photographer: Jade Maguire Photography Venue: The Giraffe Shed Dress: Shikoba Bride Models: CJ Carpenter / The Unidentified RockerLeather Jacket: Ophelia Rose Cake: Cow and Cake Glitter: Luna Glitter Bar Flowers: Bizzi Lizzi Flowers Styling: Zoey Louise Design Newspaper: Photo Press Stationery: Knock Knock Penny Studio Lighting: Peter Lockwood Hair: Ypdws Elinwyn Bridal Hair Make Up: Toni Searle MUA
What is a wedding designer? So I get lots of questions about what I do, how I compare to others and my packages. I call myself a wedding designer and stylist! I do still resonate with this title and will carry on offering styling services but as my skills and passion have developed I am pulled more towards the design aspects of events. You may have noticed my all-new website and branding. So my focus is moving towards designing over styling, I will still style wedding but slowly my assistants will take over this part more and more,
For most planning their wedding, everything is all new to them. They come across all these terms they just have no ideas what they mean, wedding planner, stylist, designer and venue decorator. I find a lot of couples see me as a venue dresser so get caught up on the items I am providing. Couples get to use of all my items they need though. As they are booking me to design their day and not just turn up with hired items and go before anyone arrives. My focus is not the items it is the overall style and design. My items are there to help bring the vision together but my main focus is designing a day that is perfectly you.
This is part of my reasoning to shift toward event design, I feel it is clearer for couples and is a truer reflection of what I do. So why event design and what does it really mean?
S. Brown 2013
For me, any event but especially weddings is about creating an experience. A carefully planned, well thought out wedding allows you to control the feelings and experience of your guest. Yes a focus is on the look of the day but that is to set the scene, it is then important to tie in all other elements creating a unique experience the guests will remember forever. I think of it as telling a story and walking your guest through each chapter or playing out the stage version right before their eyes.
One thing I hear a lot, I mean a lot! ….. is, but will the guest really remember what colour the napkin (or insert any small item) is? No, I hope not! That is not what it is about, picking all these key elements so they effortlessly marry together and not stand out is the aim. They may not notice the matching grey linen napkins and tablecloth but am sure they would notice the harsh bright white nylon ones you may pick because well, no one really notices the napkins anyway do they!
The design process starts at the beginning, from your first choice which is usually venue and photographer. Picking the right style venue that is practical but also you love is key to the whole design process. Then, making sure you choose the right photographer to capture every moment just how you envisioned it. Every choice you make big or small plays a part in the overall experience of your guests and the memories you and they will have forever. You only do this once right? Let’s make sure you look back on it in 10 years time with the same love and devotion you will feel for your other half on the day!
A planner focuses on logistics. Coordinates the whole day and all suppliers. They are super organised, checklist in hand. They make sure the day and the run-up goes with our a hitch. Or if it does you would never know about it. Planners are great for the design couples who need some help bringing it all together and keeping everyone organised.
They are in ways a design-led planner. It is not just about the pretty. They work with you to design an authentic day that is both beautiful and practical. It is about the guest experience and creating moments with a well-curated design. They work with a source all visual and create suppliers that enhance the design of the day. This is for the couples that want an experience over a wedding, their guests to not just be wowed but remember for a lifetime.
An on the day designer in ways! They are all about the pretty. Curating pieces and styling them to perfection on the day. Working with other visual suppliers on the day for a cohesive look. This is a great option if you want to handle the design yourself but need an expert eye on the day and before to make sure it all fits perfectly. Head to my what is a wedding stylist blog for a more in-depth definition.
They are more a hire company. They have their stock you hire, usually includes set up also. You choose your items from their stock and they set it up or you collect. Very cookie cutter, one size fits all. Great choice if the design is not a big focus for you or you are a DIY couple.
I say this a lot as I truly believe it. Yu should do you research, meet with them and make sure you really are the right fit. Okay, everyone has a budget. You need to look past this though and make sure you trust and connect with them, as they will be a big part of your day. I always do my best work when i have the freedom to get imaginative and I have trust from my clients.
So this is a question I feel is something a lot of couples think about when they start searching through the minefield that is wedding planning. Now for most all this is new to them and can seem daunting and a little overwhelming. All these new terms to learn and figure out, traditions your being told you must follow. The must-have new items and the wedding colour choice everyone seems to ask you about. So let’s break it down and explain exactly what a wedding stylist is and why they can be a crucial part of your wedding.
A stylist firstly is not to be confused as a venue dresser! A venue dresser has a selection of stock you pick from and they set up and take away. You usually pay per item hired. As a stylist they are there to help design your wedding, working with you to help bring your vision to life. So like me, some stylists do have a collection of stock items. Their clients can pick from these, mine are included in my package price. Their fee also includes the sourcing or making of extra items to make sure our vision comes to life. This means you are not limited to their stock meaning the styling possibilities are endless.
Stylist are usually the go-to person for all creative suppliers for your day. Taking away all the stress from you on the run-up to the wedding. It also means that you know that every little detail is going to coordinate and be styled to perfection. Your stationery, cake, florals and any extra finishing touches. For me, I supply my couples with a look book which is passed on to all suppliers to make sure their vision is understood by all. I am there from the night before or first thing in the morning through to when your guests sit for your wedding breakfast. Then of course there to supervise the clear down the next day.
I usually say think of a stylist as a design-led wedding planner you have booked for on the day. As they are there to help you make all the important decisions running up to the day. Then there to deal with any issues that may arise the morning off. For me, a wedding is about celebrating your love story with family and friends. So, styling is about getting to know you as a couple and bringing your personality out in fun quirky ways.
I have my set items to make the process as easy as possible. As we all know how stressful and time-consuming planning a wedding can be. I love to design, source or make personalised items for my clients. This can be anything from a themed table plan to a show-stopping ceremony backdrop.
So I hear you, this is all amazing but weddings are expensive and I can just do all this myself can I not? Yes of course and no one is stopping you! Sourcing all your co-ordinating trusted suppliers and design item and making all your items should not be taken lightly. It is a fun process, especially for the creatives, but it is time-consuming and at times stressful. I love what I do and I know I am very fortunate but even I wouldn’t want to spend my wedding morning rushing around setting up all the items. Why would you? When you could be sat around relaxing and being pampered ready to marry the love of your life.
Also, stylist have great connections in the wedding industry. They can usually source you the best quality items at the cheapest price. Once you add up all those items you have bought, and now stuck with. The material cost for all the items you’ve made, have you really saved money not booking that stylist?
We all know weddings cost a lot financially! they also can have a big footprint on the planet its self. Hiring a stylist or venue dresser means that these items are being reused. For me, I try to make sure 70/80% of my stock is eco friendly. Because the items are being reused I can spend that extra for handmade, recycled items. I’ve just upgraded my glass to all recycled. These are double the price of normal glass vases so this makes it harder if you are buying for just one wedding.
I make a lot of my bigger items or source local tradesman. Consciously never buy from china and I am looking into offsetting every booking with a tree being planted. I saw the idea recently from kate at little button bakery. I also know and work with a local florist who uses local growers as much as they can. Also, clearing down and disposing of items. It may seem a silly thing but think of all the plastic from your new purchases packing alone. I make sure when binning items that what can be recycled is properly.
For me there has to be trust when booking a wedding stylist, designer or any supplier who is a big part of your day. You need to be able to trust them to understand your vision. Truly get how you want your day to look and feel. Book a consultation, get to know them. Do your research to make sure they have the same style as you, the same values. Don’t go of price alone. Peace of mind is priceless, book a supplier you trust to deliver on your day.
If you are interested in my services or would like to book a consultation to chat and see if we are a great fit, I would love to!
Weekly planning blog, never a blog I thought I would write about. I am not the most organised, following a schedule just feels restrictive to me. My fellow creatives will understand. But I am also very self-aware and I know my strengthens and weaknesses. So, with this in mind, I always made being organised and scheduling a priority. It doesn’t come naturally so it is something I have to work on weekly, daily!
When I think about it now (hindsight) I just wonder why this didn’t click earlier. I think as the communities I was in and any courses I did I was always told TIMEBLOCK, TIMEBLOCK, TIMEBLOCK! The wonderful stories about how productive people are now they started time blocking hooked me in big time. I would be so good for a few days or even weeks sometimes. But then it would go! One phone call, an unexpected issue would throw me off all day. Also, a lot of the time I would get to the end of the day with a little bit of each thing done. Feeling so unproductive, stressed and with a bigger list for the next day!
And wow did I find it! My new weekly planning schedule saved me stress and gave me back time! I am guessing I read about this idea somewhere, really not going to try and take credit. But the idea popped into my head that for now while I research I will do one thing a day. So marketing one-day blogs another etc. I will break this down properly below don’t worry. From my research, I soon realised this is a thing for lots of creative entrepreneurs. The one article that really resonated with me was about how we can either have a Maker’s Schedule or a Manager’s schedule.
It talks about how we are taught to have a schedule like a manager from a young age with school and work. Scheduling hours, meetings working with hour slots. The thing with creative people who have creative tasks to complete is that they take longer than an hour and actually being focused for longer than an hour is more than possible when doing something creative. Also, how some people just have this creative mindset and like me, a call, a meeting in the middle of the day just throws me off. Bad or good news unexpectedly usually even throws me off as my focus just goes!
I honestly believe changing my weekly schedule was the best business move I ever made! I will have to adapt this as I go with more wedding meetings and life getting back to normal. But I will always keep a similar structure, especially for my creative days. So it is a similar idea to batching your workload. This is batching but also themed days.
The tool I use for this is asana. I use to have a paper diary and I do still use pads for note jotting but sharing a business and hiring people asana is for me the best tool to plan. I have a board for each month and tasks for each week and work through them on a coordinating day.
I try to also focus on 1 or two platforms also. So I will do a whole day of Pinterest. This means I can usually get a full month of pins for all 3 websites. I do between 5 to 10 pins a day for each site. Easier for Urban as this has older content to repin.
Or I will do Instagram and Facebook. Again try to schedule a full 1/2 weeks for Instagram and usually I can get a month of Facebook done. At the moment my content is being made only a week or 2 ahead. I am in the process of getting 2/3 months ahead so planning and scheduling Instagram and Facebook will be easier to batch.
I know blogging is technically marketing also. But writing blogs to me is more creative and I need to be in the mood and flow. When writing a weekly blog was on my to-do list I would always put it off and find ‘more important things’ to do instead. I would say blog writing and me actually falling in love with the process is all down to this batch daily working. Giving myself an hour to write a blog is just to stressful. The number of times I start my Tuesday and I just start writing and the first blog may never make the cut. but once in the flow I then write good quality content and can batch out 3/4 blogs. Some days only one if a big one.
I also break up days into research days. Days where I just go back over old blogs for urban. Updating content, SEO etc. Some days it is all SEO, research for key words, updating seasonal content for key words and optimizing sites.
This is when I work on weddings. When back to normal I will book clients in for meetings and consultations. Right now things are little different and I am using the day to streamline my client onboarding. Working on client experience and how to make this feel more personal and higher end. While at the same time not taking a large chunk of my time.
I schedule calls for this day with my couple when possible. I work on couples design briefs. Research suppliers and supplies. I also do design training on these days. I love to be always doing some sort of learning, whether it be business, SEO or design.
I work on creating digital products and updating Etsy. Again I break this up so one week I will work on designing and then next week on mockups. Then uploading on to Etsy or website. I have just hired a VA so I can focus more on the design side of things and she does all the uploading for me.
I am working on a wedding and event design course at the moment. Slow progress as I want it to be perfect and cover everything but I also use Thursdays for this.
I leave Friday open for meetings. To catch up with any bits needed in the week I didn’t finish in the week. It is also great for when things pop up I wasn’t expecting I know I can get it sorted on Friday. I also use Friday for filming youtube videos if needed. Or content creation for socials.
I like to keep it open as much as possible and not make my workload to big on a Friday. That way I can hopefully be done earlier afternoon ready for the weekend ahead. We also loan a horse so I have to be done to go see Archie.
If I don’t have a wedding I will have the day off. I sometimes also film on Saturdays. Sometimes I am not in the mood to film on Friday or I have some left to film of that week’s video. If I am working I try to do it early and be done by 12 at the latest. I am getting better at taking time off, workaholic over here!
Again another mainly day off. I look over my week and add any important bits to do that week on each day. Also, I like to learn on Sundays so will do some reading, watch a webinar etc. I usually, listen to at least one podcast a day anyway and youtube on in the background with certain tasks. I am a big believer in learning and always developing my knowledge to help me grow as a person and business.
I hope you found this blog post useful. If you are struggling with scheduling your week or feel you are just not getting anything done. Give this a try and see how you get on! I think others think I sound a bit dramatic when talking about this but it has honestly changed my life! I would like to hear your thoughts, any scheduling tips you may have. Let me know in the comments below.
So I think this is my most asked question! I can see why, I am not aware of anyone else who charges this way. Well, stylist/designer anyway in the UK. The price of a wedding stylist varies with each supplier. There are some in America, in particular, Sinclair and Moore who charge similarly. I took his training even though he is a florist. As I wanted to learn from someone who charged like me but at a much higher price bracket. I knew it was working for me and my couples but was it scalable as my business and pricing increased.
I actually decided to package this way on my own though. But why? Well, I was starting to fall out of love with my business already! It had only been a year! Now I knew there was more to this than just styling, don’t get me wrong! But I felt most of my time was spent sending out quotes per item, then a new quote to remove something. Then changing again, adding more, losing bits as the budget changed. An admin lovers dream I am sure! For me, it was sucking the joy out of it all!
As everything was focused on the items and their price the fact they got me styling or designing their day was usually forgotten. It was all about price and I had made it that way! The price of a wedding stylist covers much more than the price of the items.
So confession time! I spent a few months packaging my items up. Styling packages where you picked a theme and got all the styling bits you wanted. I reached out to suppliers to offer flowers, stationery and favours. But again it just wasn’t me! I was doing the opposite to my mission, my values and my passion for event design. I had literally made cookie-cutter packages! Yikes!!!!! I went down hill fast!
So I took some time I looked at my brand again. I looked at what I wanted personally in my future. I looked at why I started my business, what I wanted to offer and be known for! It was none of the above! I then walked through my client journey. I looked at the wedding planning process. I asked my couples and other couples. What do you find stressful? What is hard? What can I change?
It was pretty clear. My items are not what they are buying it is not what they are paying for. Yes, I carefully select them and have some of the most unique, luxury and eco friendly on the market. But I curated them, I spent the time sourcing, testing them.
They are buying me, my design knowledge, my unique style. My precious time, designing, styling amd sourcing items. In a sense the way I packaged my service before they paid for my items and got my time for free! Of course, included in the price but I am sure to most it came across as free. I understood then why I got price shoppers. Why people swapped and changed their items constantly! Why I felt undervalued!
So I changed my services. I charged for the most precious thing we all have, time! It is what I give my clients back with my service, time to enjoy their planning stress-free. No time wasted checking every little item they can afford as their budget changed.
My items come ‘free’ with my services as they are not what couples are paying for. They are paying for my experience, expertise and most importantly my time to design and style their wedding.
Ironically with this package it also freed up my time more. I was doing constant admin and stock checks. I am now given the freedom to get creative and design something that was personal and unique for my couples.
That was always my mission, my goals and always will be. This day is once in a lifetime for most. It should be a reflection of both your personalities. It should tell your love story, share a part of you with all your guest. Create a moment in time for you and your family and friends that you will remember for a lifetime.
That doesn’t come from counting the number of tealights ordered. It doesn’t come from me being restricted with my design based on budget or fear of looking like I am trying to overcharge with all the items I suggest.
For me, great design is in the details. When you are hiring item by item the little details are the ones that go first. It’s restrictive, stressful and joyless! My couples love the freedom and the time it gives them back. It gives them the space to think up unique personal items, decide and have the budget to spend on the extras like linens, glassware and candles.
Restrictions, so I do have a few. When I send a proposal it is on the understanding the scope of the wedding won’t change much. I charge a flat fee working out time and staff needed for the wedding described. This usually includes travel and expenses when possible. If no venue is booked this will be added after.
Also, for larger items, they are hired out to suppliers and sometimes couples. So these are only if available. If you have your heart set on a certain backdrop mention it when booking as we will let you know if free. We also hold any items we feel we may need for your wedding once the booking is confirmed. So this only affects if pre hired. Which normally hire items are not booked up till a few months before, so only happens on rare occasions.
I do charge extra for some items. Which are not mine but I source and offer at cost price. Like linens, napkins, crockery and lighting. If ordering on a large scale we do recommend placing the order directly with the supplier though so they can deliver and set up.
But not for me or my items apart from the items mentioned above. Things like candles, bespoke or personalised items and any little one-time use items are not included. These can be sourced by us and bought by couples. Or we offer a shopping service for what I call the design details. We will source, shop and grab all those last-minute key elements to complete the design. This is offered for both styling and design couples.
These are not included but I can recommend florists to suit your style. With my design couples I will work with the florist to come up with the floral design elements. Styling I will work alongside a florist and can recommend if needed. If you just want a few floral elements this can be provided by us. Loose greenery or a few bud vases as extra details. The florals themselves we can source but the cost is not included in any package.
I have been asked a few times if this includes on the day stationery. No, it doesn’t. For full design, we work closely with your stationery and design the on the day elements to work with and enhance the design. The stationery items themselves are not included.
We do have a selection of signs. These are standard signs. No personalisation included. But we do have a mix of acrylic and wood signs, table numbers and blank seating charts to add seating cards.
Normally the answer is it is the same price. We have had a booking as little as 15, pre-covid as well! As this service is best suited for a smaller wedding. Definitely 100 and under, more you will have to source items and have higher staff charges. We do throw in extra items and we can focus more on the little details and go all out with big insulations the smaller the numbers!
However, we have just realised a micro package. Weddings 40 guests and under. Normally we would charge our minimum fee and throw in a few extra items. Maybe lighting or some personalised signs. It also usually means we go all out. We have more time to work our magic so get even more wow factor.
But with covid, we know this isn’t really your choice. Or you may just now love the idea of a micro wedding! So for now, possibly forever. We are offering our styling packages for a crazy price of £849!!!! Say what!!!! This includes all items needed just like our normal package. For 2021 and 2022 weddings only and under 40 guests!
This won’t be like if paying full where we give free personalised signage or go all out as a smaller event. With the price lower you will receive all the items you need like someone booking with normal numbers. Travel and expense cost may apply. Get in contact to find out more!
These are My top 5 most frequently asked questions. Head to here for the full FAQ and answers, I am always updating this as new ones come in. Or send us an email and we will answer any questions you may have!
I hope you found the price of a wedding stylist blog useful. If looking at a stylist for your wedding just remember to look for ones you connect with, whose style you love. Value their time and expertise over just the price of the wedding stylist.
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I just loved being involved in this Manchester elopement styled shoot. I love a city-centre wedding, a cool couple and the only thing to make it better, a bike! Yes, I super gorgeous, wanted to ride off on a motorbike!!
I have decided to break my shoots down in more detail. Show you the design process and take you behind the scenes a little more. This is to help those planning shoots themselves. I struggled when I started to find information on planning and implementing a styled shoot. Or even couples as this can be adapted to designing your wedding.
For this shoot, I was approached by Chelle, a wedding planner. She had an idea that she wanted a motorbike, it to be an elopement in Manchester. She needed help getting her ideas down as a design. The first step was a venue, once she had this sorted I could work on the design of the shoot. I suggested hotel Brooklyn as I know Chelle loves New York. In her head for the shoot, it was an American couple eloping. They said yes! So with the brief and venue, I could get to work on the design!
I always start with a story when doing an editorial shoot. I sit and write about the couple, what will happen, their reason for the wedding/event. What feelings and emotions are they feeling and I want to create with the design. If you are doing a styled shoot I highly recommend sitting and thinking about the story you want to tell on the day before any planning or design. The same for a wedding or event, write down the feelings you want to create on the day. How you want the guests to feel. Also, think about the story of the couple or the reason for the event.
A young couple living in New York is looking for a place to elope! The stress of the traditions and expectations of the wedding they have planned is too much! It is not them and they want to just be together and make their love official. The traditional elope in American is Vegas, a quick drive-by style wedding! Again, just not them, even though they loved the concept.
They met while travelling Europe and always vowed to go back together one day. Then it hit them, we go to Manchester the place we met and we elope. Mixing our New York style vibes, the fun drive by feel of a Vegas wedding all together to create the ultimate elopement.
Cool, modern, fun couple. Totally in love and looking for an adventure they will remember for the rest of their lives.
A modern couple so the styling needs to be cool, minimal and modern. With the bike, I came up with the idea of driving in and out of the hotel for the drive-by feel. Then the colours of New York with the yellow and black. Again, still modern, urban and stylish!
Once I have the story and couple, if a wedding shoot, in my mind I then go and look for inspiration about them. Think ideal client work, one for the business owners reading this. The couple is cool, modern and want to be different but also want to bring a piece of them to Manchester. With this thinking, I went with the traditional new york colours, black and yellow. I softened with some grey and made sure the yellow was only in pops. Look at my colour palette guide for how I create my colour palettes in more detail.
I searched Pinterest, not for wedding photos, New York City streets, Brooklyn vibes, yellow and black patterns. Then I searched 90’s high fashion, 90s supermodel shots. I wanted paparazzi style, high fashion city street photography. Also, I looked at motorbike photography and leather jacket images and lastly modern yellow florals. Head to my Pinterest blog for more details on selecting non-wedding photos.
I then set up my mood board template and start to build the mood board. This is the time to carefully curate your pictures to showcase your ideas. When looking and saving to Pinterest, or wherever, you can save any you like. As you are just allowing yourself to fall into the design and ideas deeper and deeper. Now you need to examine each picture. Write the keywords you want to create within the shoot. Then pic the photos that show these words. You can’t be half-hearted about this. You can’t just think that will do. A picture that screams the mood you want to create but is totally the wrong colours. A picture may have some elements but a little traditional when you want modern. These work for extra pictures but not for the mood board.
You have to remember this is going out to all the suppliers. Each person will connect and see something different in each photo. They all have to be spot on, every element, colour, detail has to work for that shoot. If not, don’t use it, get looking for another. I can spend days, usually weeks, okay I’ll admit months sometimes, working on mood boards. Head to my 5 step guide for creating a mood board for my full in-depth process.
This is sooooo important! Putting a call out on a group, or on your socials really isn’t the way to get the right suppliers. That’s my opinion though, others do this and have a great shoot. I suppose it depends on the reason for the shoot. When designing a certain look and feel you need to search out the right supplier for that shoot. I go into this in more depth in my styled shoot guide. I also touch on the protocol of paying for suppliers and who pays who.
You need to consider each area and what elements you need to create them. Then search for suppliers that can do this and are the same style as the look you want to achieve. For this shoot, I was just doing the design so Chelle went off and sourced the suppliers she wanted. This can be hard if you are a stylist or designer at times. If the supplier is not suited then it will show and your design can be easily lost. For me, I step away and accept that I have done the design brief and will work with what I have on the day to best style the elements. It is their vision not mine at the end of the day!
I will always talk through certain elements with key suppliers if styling also. I make a design brief and each element of the shoot is considered in this. Each key supplier will have a section tailored to them. Then all suppliers will receive a copy of the design brief. This is the best way to keep things cohesive and make sure all suppliers are working towards the same vision. I like to choose suppliers carefully so I can give them the creative space they need to create something that suits the design brief.
I knew a lot of the suppliers or at least knew of them so it worked out well. Chelle did a great job selecting the supplier that was the right fit on the day.
With a shoot, things are different from a wedding or event. The supplier I am always most conscious of is the florist. I spend a lot on items with a shoot as I always want it to be unique and offer something new. Because I want luxury, the best and with this comes a cost. I am more than aware though that the cost for the florist is usually a lot more. This means you need to be creative and thoughtful with the styling on the day. Reuse items and especially flowers throughout. Meaning, you need to give yourself self-time to set up each area and move elements and set up the next throughout the day.
As this shoot was an elopement it was nice that there wasn’t a lot of setups. I had a table for two and a cake area! It was a lovely chance to have free time during a shoot to network and relax!
A table for two! I love doing sweetheart tables for a wedding also, going all out so this was definitely my jam! This one was a little different as they needed to face each other. Straight away I was excited to do an off angled runner. You may have noticed I do love layering of angle with my fabrics! I knew Chelle was using a stunning dipped dye Lucy can’t dance dress. So, I wanted to do something similar and created a dip-dye table runner.
I kept the table minimal with black and grey elements. The yellow only from the flowers. I used these stunning plates from Nkuku, black crockery and nice simple grey napkins. We didn’t have a stationer so I made my own with a template from Etsy.
I love styling a cake area! This one we went for a dessert treat table for two for them to enjoy. A gorgeous black cake and cool modern treats made my styling job so much easier. I used another dip-dyed table runner and then a mix of plates and terrariums from my styling collection.
I kept this styling minimal also, let the treats do the hard work! We moved the flowers over from the table to reuse and also add some yellow. It is important to mention here about the placement of the table. I choice in front of this sign to add to the whole are styling. Picking where you set up is key with a shoot and an event. Look what is behind and speak to your photographer about lighting, background in shots and make sure it will work.
Hopefully, you can see the elements of the design within the shoot. Chelle chose not to go for the more high fashion vibe with the city street shots. I love them all though and it is totally more her style! Enjoy scrolling the pictures and let me know what you think in the comments below! If you want to see the full portfolio and hear more about the shoot its self head to here now!
Planner: MICHELLE AMY WEDDINGS, DESIGNER: ZOEY LOUISE DESIGN, PHOTOGRAPHER: MARNI V PHOTOGRAPHY, VIDEOGRAPHY: CATHERINE LUTHER WEDDINGS, FLOWERS: FLOWER STUDIO MCR, CELEBRANT: CELEBRANT SJ, VENUE: HOTEL BROOKLYN MCR, DRESS: ROCK THE FROCK CHESHIRE, SUIT: GROOM WARRINGTON, HMUA: KATIE, JACKET: ROCK PAPER NIB, CAKE: GRACE EMILY CAKES, ACCESSORIES: GLORIOUS BY HEIDI, COUPLE AND BIKE: HELEN & STEVE.
Spring wedding colour palettes. Spring, the season of new life! The world starts brightening up, lighter days and every one has a spring in their step! Okay, a little corny! But for me also true, I start to feel better, healthier and my mood lightens with spring.
So of course for me, a spring palette needs to be fun, playful and colourful. But also light and refreshing. For this, we have to choose our colours, shades and tones carefully to create the perfect spring colour palette. Toning down colours works very well and is usually associated with pastel colours. You can have a bright colourful palette but that still feels fresh as the colours are toned down.
So I like to break my palettes into 3 colours for most events. I have my base colour which is the one used in 80/90% of the design. Then the main colour, this is the colour of the event or wedding. The colour everyone remembers. You want to use this in pops though, not all over the space so it becomes overpowering. Remember with both of these colours you want to mix in different shades and tones. Don’t stick to the same exact colour for every little item.
Then you have your accent colour, usually a metal like gold, copper or brass. This can definitely be a colour also though. This I use to either tie the colours together or add contrast if needed. You will be surprised how much effect an accent colour can have on the overall design.
You can of course add in a contrasting colour or do a mix of colours. It really does depend on the overall design of the day. But for the majority of my weddings, we work with this style of the palette. If you are new to event design or designing your own then this is the easiest way to build a great palette. I think spring is a good time to mix it up though and really play with your colour scheme and mix up the way you use your colours.
Pantone colour of the year 2021, yellow and grey! Yellow is the perfect spring colour. In this palette, we included the light grey to work with Pantone colours, adding tints to draw it into white. Then the same with the yellow but deepening the shade of yellow heading into the mustard colour you see above. The accent is gold, again to playing on using a mix of yellow shades and tones, you can think of gold and a metallic yellow in a way as it is so similar.
This is a perfect fresh yellow colour scheme. It works for spring and summer weddings. You can mix it up and change the base or accents or even the yellow shades to get it to work well in Autumn or winter.
I love that this palette is modern, simple but packs the wow factor. Here you can swap the main colour to any colour and it will still give a cool modern feel. Yellow works well, it is a great way to do pink also but still have a modern feel.
I love this one for a spring palette. I think it is also a great example of how much changing the shade or tone of colour really affects its overall feel. Using lighter shades of purples and pinks gives a soft beautiful palette. Using the lighter grey as a base softens the feel even more and adds a little freshness, perfect for spring.
This palette is the perfect spring or summer red palette. The greens in the accent come from the greenery in the flowers. Crisps whites help the reds really pop. Giving a bright colourful and fresh palette. It is the perfect spring garden colour palette.
Adding lighter reds will give a brighter, softer feel. Going with darker reds add drama, and created a bold palette. It is definitely the palette for rose loving couples! All you need is lots of greenery and all the shades of red roses and you have the perfect garden wedding style, any guest would be honoured to attend!
This is perfect for an outdoors wedding. Or if you want to create that garden feel indoors. Using pink and red roses as if natural growing around the venue gives a beautiful secret garden vibe. Here we have taken the red and adding more and more amounts of white lightens it to create our pinker shades.
The perfect way to do a multicolour scheme in springtime! I love a modern pastel palette! It is a huge spring trend and I have seen some amazing shoots using this palette! Fun, bright and bold! You can really get creative, with modern floral designs it add a artistic modern playful feel to the day.
It is the perfect choice to use with another huge trend, curved shapes galore! I am loving the backdrops, stationery and everything curved! It add such a modern feel, gives the design a some fun but stylish elements. So I decided that this one will be the one I do some digital designs for.
With my full design clients, I love to focus on the detail of the design. I always do these mockups. Usually the table setting and any feature areas or focal points of the day. If I or my couples can’t envision a certain design these are how I show them and fine-tune the tiny details myself. Now, if I could draw I would but my creative skills never spilt into drawing skills!
So we are working with Palette 5. We have the over all moodboard, this is a quick design moodboard. My couples get one for each area plus a breif in their design plan.
A normal weding mood board would be more in depth than this. I still try not to include to many wedding shots. Flowers are okay but not complete styled looks. We want to be creating something unique not copying.
I hope you found this blog useful and you are now full of spring wedding ideas. Remember to keep it simple with your base, main and accents. Use slightly different colours or shades to add depth and interest to your design.
Check out some more wedding design blogs.
This blue winter wedding styled shoot is still one of my favourite shots. I just love the venue, again it is definitely one of my favourites here in the UK. I love a weekend wedding, why not make the most of it right? This venue is suited perfectly for that vibe.
This shoot was organised by Fiona couture and she wanted it to showcase the blue winter dress she had designed. Her brief was a snowy winter wedding. I wanted to really use the power of design to give a snowy feel even if we didn’t luck out with snow on the day. Which we didn’t unfortunately.
I think it is hard to find a venue that has everything. This venue has gorgeous outdoor areas to marry or host some of the day’s events. It has historic indoor areas, even a pub! However, they also have the tipi for a modern, relaxed feel. The indoor interiors are as beautiful as the views from the windows. A rare all-round stunning venue. It is for sale so hoping it continues as a venue with the new owners.
Let’s get on to the winter blue styling! Even though we were working with blue I wanted a muted blue, a dusky blue as they would say. This is explained more in my colour theory blog but toning down the blue is adding grey, here I wanted it so toned down it is hard to determine if blue or grey. Blue/grey my just be one of my favourite colours. I also used pops of a darker blue for the added interest. Then as the brief was winter and snowy we had a white base.
The ceremony was set up in the chapel. I beautiful historic space in the venue. The room is very dark and even though I wanted a warm moody feeling I also wanted its soft light and snow-like. I decided to cover the back in chiffon a tule, a mix of grey, dusky blue and white. Draping it as organically flowing as possible. I wanted it to soften the dark wood but also naturally mol with the setting not look harsh or stand out too much.
We set the table up in the same room. So we got to use the fire and the insane lighting installation by Peter Lockwood Events and flowered up by Perfect bouquet full of flower. The table set under the lighting I wanted lots of layers to add depth and interest. I added a pop of darker blue with the glassware. Glasses are always a great way to add some colour without it being overpowering. And ass each guest receives one it also adds to the guest experience, everyone loves a fancy glass!
The other area I wanted to make a feature was the cake area. I always love to go all out with the cake area. Its a chance to get creative, add unique personal touches and it a space that every guest sees so should always have that extra detail of attention.
Charlotte Wilcox cakes made not only one stunning cake, she made lots of extra treats. This is a great option for dessert or for snacking later. It also adds to the styling and is a great way to make a feature area of the cake table.
Another amazing part of this day was the access to the outdoors. We got the bride in her winter coat and they spent a couple of hours together and we got some amazing shots. It is the perfect alone time and also you have memories captured forever. Always pre-plan your photo time, how long, what your guests will be doing and what shots you want. Then add on an extra 15/20 min for you both to just be alone and take in the amazing day.
I hope you enjoyed this blue winter wedding styling blog at Upper House Hayfield venue. If you are looking for someone to help design your wedding in any season I would love to chat so please get in contact. Check out all the suppliers involved.
Moody Boho was the order of the day at Owen House wedding barn! Gemma and Jamie wanted a boho feel to the day but wanted it to be a bit edger. It also and to be fun and relaxed! So moody boho was born. We used dried florals and grasses and macrame in deeper darker shades to give a moody feel. While still having relaxed boho vibes.
Owen house wedding barn in Mobberly Cheshire is the perfect venue for a moody colour palette. The barns natural wood and metal elements already give a warm moody feel to the venue. So I worked with the elements of the venue enhancing and playing on the natural darker feel.
The venue is great space. It has everything a couple could need to have the perfect stress free day. The 2 areas for both of the couple’s wedding party to get ready in. They have onsite accommodation and more space near by. Owen House is still a working barn so lots for the guests to see on the day and morning after. My favourite area as to be the photo shed! No need to go find the perfect spot for family and couple pictures they have perfect space with all your photography needs! The fairy light wall is stunning!
For the ceremony, we went with fairy lights and candles for a romantic feel. We used large dried grasses from just Dalilah mixed with pampas grass to give a natural feel. I wanted to create shadows and movement with the darker room lighting with the fairy lights and candles flickering. It really was a beautiful ethereal feel.
The ceremony room is next to the main reception room. It is turned into a chill area after for the guest to relax and enjoy a quieter space.
For the wedding breakfast, we carried on the moody boho feel. We used a palette of mixed grey shades and black for the base. Deep dark reds and burgundy for the main colour and copper for the accent. The colour palette worked perfectly in the space. Using a mix for the base meant that we could lighten the palette slightly by adding the lighter greys on top of the blacks and dark greys. Head to my wedding palette blog to understand more about how I create a colour palette.
Gemma and Jamie were an amazing couple! They wanted a design-focused day and was clear on their vision but they also wanted it relaxed and fun! I think we nailed it they are their guests had an awesome night!