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Common Mistakes Couples Make When Hiring a Wedding Planner/Stylist

Updated: Nov 8, 2023


Retro-inspired gold platform bridal shoes

Image Via Lisa Jane Photo


If a certain aesthetic is at the forefront of your 'must have' wedding list, finding the perfect suppliers is a must!


I've been harping on about this a lot on my socials, and for good reason.


If you're here reading this, chances are you like my aesthetic. You want the colour and sparkle I specialise in, right? Right.


Planners and stylists (I'm both - loads of us are) differ in style and forte considerably. Like a lot! When we get a call from interested couples, we often pitch against one or a few of our fellow planners/stylists. This is a good thing. You must explore your options and decide which one of us will nail your brief and which one of us will be the easiest to work with. People buy from people.


Aesthetics -


Before contacting a planner/stylist, check out their grid. What part of their aesthetic appeals to you the most? Are their interests similar to yours? Do they specialise in colour? Do they do cool, modern, retro-inspired weddings for rockstars like yourselves? Or, are they more on the neutral side? More traditional?

Aesthetics are everything. What we display on our grids and websites is what we do best. It is our niche. There is no point in comparing two very different wedding planners/stylists if you know what you want. It just doesn't make sense. Find a few who speak your language (aesthetically), and then start the talks.


Price


Yes, we all value our services and time differently, and not all of us fit into everybody's budget. Shop around for sure. Compare. Weigh out the pros and cons. Some cost a bomb, some are middle of the road and some charge considerably less than others. But cheaper isn't always better. It's like clothes shopping. You know cheap clothes aren't good quality and ultimately won't last you long. You will get what you pay for is a saying for a reason. We all know this! If the price difference is the only reason you choose a planner, there is a high possibility that that price difference will cause you disappointment.


Previous experience at your chosen wedding venue


This is a big bug-bearer of mine. Couples often choose suppliers that have worked at their venue before. Be it a florist, photographer, props people, or planner/stylist. It somehow makes them feel more confident that they will do a good job. But this is often a mistake. If you want to create something unique that hasn't been done at your venue before, booking a supplier that hasn't worked there might be the way to go! They will see your venue with fresh eyes, approach the design process untainted by previous experiences (the brain is a funny thing - it has a muscle memory!), and come up with something new. Do you want to re-create someone else's wedding? No, you don't.


Experience


You shouldn't necessarily book wedding suppliers according to their years of working in the industry. Yes, experience is important, but not always the winning factor. Hear me out. If you're anything like me, you're into design and coolness and are always on the lookout for something fresh. You would like someone who has exploded onto the scene and everyone is talking about/wants a piece of them. I'm not talking about clueless newbies. Most of the new talent has worked in a creative industry of some sort before - as I had in advertising for example. They often have transferable skills that give them heaps of advantages and a fresh new approach to wedding planning and design.


This new talent creates ripple effect trends that loads start to copy.

Most importantly, new and upcoming talents are hungry for work and will be generous - and eager to please their clients - good work brings in good reviews and prestige. Also, they will always be more affordable than a planner that has 20 years of experience and has churned out hundreds of (samey) weddings, now charging 20% fees of your total wedding budget. Yep, you've read this right!


Where to spot new up-and-coming talent


If you're design-orientated and are looking for non-traditional cool wedding suppliers, go follow wedding blogs that discover and talk about them. Check out their Insta feed and images (below every image you will find the suppliers who created that shoot/wedding listed). Visit these blogs' websites where you will find recommended supplier listings.


Some of the best places to find cool wedding suppliers are (using smaller blogs on purpose as they tend to discover new talent first):



The good news is, that you can go meet some of the coolest wedding suppliers in person at wedding fairs.


Smaller independent wedding fairs showcase carefully curated wedding suppliers (suppliers have to apply to them and not all are acceptedl!), unlike the huge soulless national wedding fairs. They want to bring you THE coolest of the cool with the most creative-looking stands! Not to mention their DJs spinning cool tunes and cocktail bars to keep you watered!



The first one is the smaller of the two, The Un Wedding Show, on 26th and 27th Feb, at Shoreditch Studios. The tickets cost a tenner.


The second and THE place to be if you want the full shebang, is the Most Curious Wedfair, on 5th and 6th March, at the Truman Brewery, Shoreditch, where you can meet yours truly this year too - and I'm going to be doing a special 10% discount on all my packages to those who book me at the fair.

This one is not to be missed! Tickets cost a tenner.

I'll be running a competition over on the gram this week, giving away two tickets for the show. If you don't follow me yet, do, and enter. Good luck!


Styled shoots and what they're all about


Loads of stylists, who want to seriously niche down and only speak to a certain audience, only display images from styled shoots in their galleries. This doesn't mean that they haven't done loads of weddings! It's simply the case of wanting to attract their dream clients.

And then some couples are extremely private and don't want their wedding publicised on social media or people's websites. Yes, I had to sign a non-disclosure before. And that's fine. We must respect people's privacy. It is their special day after all.


But that leaves us, the creatives, lacking vital visual marketing materials, hence the need for styled shoots. We must keep our feeds fresh and relevant.

It is our way of creating inspiration. Some are non-paid collaborations, and some are paid for. If the venue approaches me to help them rebrand as they want to appeal to a different kind of clientele, then I get paid to do that. If I'm organising my own shoot, I'll spend my own money to pay for the models, studio/venue and feed the crew, etc. I invest in my business in this way, so I can show you what I can do for you.


Organising a styled shoot is almost the same as planning and styling a wedding - equally as complex but on a much smaller scale. Wedding stylists do these shoots to show couples what can be done. It's all about inspiration.


If, after reading this, you wish to have a chat about your wedding dreams and plans, fill out the enquiry form and book a no-obligation discovery call. (But only if you can handle a serious amount of enthusiasm!)



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Whole Lotta Love,


Zuza xx

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