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Styled shoots as wedding inspiration

Morning! I thought I’d write more of a chatty post today and take a little break from real weddings, but still with lots of stunning images to inspire you. I’ve been thinking a lot about styled wedding shoots recently – they’re big news since Pinterest exploded back in 2011 and I love them.

vintage suitcase wedding

Image credit Lumiere Photography | the English Wedding Blog

Is that controversial? I don’t think so. I remember reading surveys on big wedding blogs before Pinterest really hit the UK, and inspiration shoots weren’t so popular with blog readers. But the internet is changing and becoming all about pretty pictures – and styled shoots are big news now.

flower crowns ideas

Flower crowns by Pumpkin and Pye | Image Evolve Photography

People used to criticise styled shoots as being fake, too aspirational or unrealistic. US blogs would show dozens of outdoor wedding shoots before UK couples were even allowed to marry outdoors. Florists would go to town on single tables, creating extravagant displays which look amazing… but which would cost the earth to recreate at an actual wedding. Oh, and there were no grooms – shoots were called ‘bridal shoots’ for a reason.

Windflower musical wedding

Image credit Nick Rose Photography | by Petra Opperman wedding planner

That last bit still applies: it’s hard to get hold of tailored suits and male models for shoots! But styled shoots are more about the details now, and plenty include DIY ideas, which is fab. UK brides and grooms actually want to see styled tablescapes and display areas now, because we all want to recreate the looks we’ve seen online.

fairytale wedding collection

The Asrai Collection from Legend Bridal | ZT Photography

Styled shoots are here to stay – they should be used with a little caution so here are my top tips for using styled wedding shoots as inspiration for your real wedding

  1. Pick and choose your ideas – don’t try and do everything you see in a styled shoot; it will cost a fortune!
  2. Consider the photographer – a lot of the magic happens inside the camera, so if you’re creating something beautiful always get a good photographer to capture it for your memories
  3. Cost it out – wedding suppliers get involved in styled shoots for free. The real cost of bespoke stationery, seasonal flowers, vintage props etc. could be higher than you think
  4. Get creative – if styling and design are your thing, you’ll be able to learn from a styled shoot and create your own spin on the ideas
  5. Don’t copy – look for the suppliers’ details if you fall in love with a cake, invitation or accessory. Don’t ever copy it or ask another supplier to do it for you
garden party wedding

A vibrant English country garden party shoot! | Image credit Zen Photographic

My favourite styled wedding ideas shoots

Flower crowns at Hestercombe Gardens in Somerset (Evolve Photography)

Crazy fairytales at Witton Country Park, Lancashire (ZT Photography)

A musical interlude at Cliveden House, (Nick Rose Photography)

A vibrant garden party wedding shoot (Zen Photographic)

Vintage country wedding ideas at Bawdon Lodge Farm (Lumiere Photography)

Something old, something blue (Elisabetta Marzetti on Love My Dress)

The Earth Child on Rock My Wedding (Phil Drinkwater Photography)

Tuscan white wedding ideas on Whimsical Wonderland (Emma Cleveley Photography)

If you’ve been involved in a styled wedding shoot and you’d like to share it on the English Wedding Blog, do get in touch! As well as real weddings I’m always looking for new ideas to share with blog readers. Oh, and if you’d like some calligraphy for your styled shoot email me – I’ll be delighted to help out!

claire gould calligrapher signature

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at www.byMoonandTide.com. Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.

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