Let me spill the beans. No matter what you’ve heard, yes, styled shoots are a great idea. Especially if you’re new to the wedding industry! Styled shoots are a great way to inspire creativity, show off your branding style, and give you tons of marketing material. Yes, no doubt about it, styled wedding shoots give you a great ROT (return on your time).
Organize a Styled Shoot
Speaking of time, are you wondering how to organize a styled shoot is? If so, don’t worry, you’re not alone. A lot of newer wedding planners have the very same question. So here is the bad news: everything is relative. I can’t give you a concrete answer that will apply 100% of the time because there are tons of variables that have to be considered. However, I will tell you that if you have a fairly robust network circle, a plan, and a whole lot of creativity, you could produce a shoot in 30–60 days.
Here are the steps you need to compete when creating your styled shoot timeline.
Before you begin connecting vendors or venues, first you need to do a little pre-planning. By taking this step first, you’ll save yourself from looking silly in front of vendors. Otherwise, you might look unorganized, unprofessional, and your visions might seem a little confusing. The pre-planning stage is where the magic happens. Where that awe-inspiring shoot you’ve been dreaming about comes to fruition. It could take 1–2 weeks to create a design. You will need to create a Pinterest board and a mood board during this stage. Download our free Styled Shoot Design Worksheet.
Gathering your Team
The next step in the styled shoot process is finding your team. Because photos and florals play such a big part in your shoot, I like to call these vendors your dream team. Your photographer should match your brand aesthetics. This is key to everything—your publications or marketing—everything! And when it comes to your florist, you should seek out a florist who has the same lofty goals as you. When searching for your other vendors, you can use a local FB Wedding Industry group and the HoneyBook opportunities page. This process can take 1–2 weeks, depending on how motivated you are. It’s helpful if you or one of your vendors has a relationship with a venue.
All right, you’ve got one day to create the masterpiece you’ve been visualizing for some time now. How long this day lasts will depend on a few limiting factors. For one, how long will you have the venue? Sunset is another consideration. Since the golden hour is one hour before sunset, this is the ideal time do the bridal portraits. For a better understanding of how to maximize this day, check out our Styled Shoot Workbook. In it, we list a number of things to consider when planning the timeline for the day.
Just because the shoot is over and done with doesn’t mean you shouldn’t complete the last step in the styled shoot process. It’s important that you keep your vendor team informed about what happens next. When can they expect the photos? Which publications are you trying for? Where have you been featured? As the planner, it’s your job to make sure you are communicating often with updates. This step could take 1–4 weeks.
The ingredients for a well-planned shoot may vary just a bit depending on your needs. For example, if you want to do a holiday-themed shoot, you need to have those submitted at least 30 days ahead of time. You also need to take the wedding season into consideration. Vendors may be reluctant to commit during this time because their plate may already be too full. Your first priority when planning a shoot is to figure out your vision. Feel free to download our free worksheet to help you get started.