by Cait O’Malley, WPICC of Love is Love weddings & events
I’m kind of new to the wedding scene. I have been doing events professionally for more than five years now and I’ve always dreamed of running my own event business. Weddings are new though. I spent a year quietly observing, planning, learning and preparing to launch my wedding and event business. Due to timing of WPIC courses in Ottawa, training was one of the last things on my list. Once I took that course though, I was ready to hit the ground running.
I completed my WPIC certification in December and launched my business and website on January 1st. My design was nice, my copy was pretty solid (putting that communication degree to good use), but my website felt empty. It was missing pictures to stir up emotions in potential clients, give them inspiration and show them, ‘Hey look, I know what I’m doing!’. It’s the age old adage, ‘How do I get experience when no one wants to hire me because I don’t have experience?’ If I were a client and I went to my website and saw it void of any real photos, I wouldn’t hire me either.
So what’s a new planner to do? Cue inspirational lightbulb as I remember a chat back in my WPIC course about style shoots! They are not kidding when they tell you that planning a style shoot is basically like planning a real wedding. They are tons of work. The blessing (or downfall depending on how you like to work) of these beauties is that you are only restricted by your own creativity and imagination. No highly involved bride spelling out exactly what she wants. Just that good old brain, and of course, Pinterest.
It’s kind of tricky at first because you are so unfettered by any limitations that you want to do everything. My style shoot started out with a focus on spring. With a splash of greenery nature. With a hint of rustic. Add a touch of fairy-tale. Oh and lets not forget every single colour that Pantone just listed for 2016. Yep. The results of ‘2016 wedding trends’ search results on Pinterest just threw up on my style board.
Once you narrow it down you need to convince the people that you are dying to have collaborate with you that they are dying to collaborate with you. It’s kind of like trying to sell a car to someone that already has a car. I worked hard to put together a proper style board and a dissemination strategy so that when I approached potential collaborates I could tell them why my shoot would be a good fit with them and what they were going to get out of giving me their services and time for free. Being strategic paid off. I mean paid off literally. I did not spend a single cent for any collaborators but everyone walked out of there benefiting from what they contributed.
So once I narrowed my focus down, I decided to stick with the original focus: spring. Not just, ‘tra la la it’s spring and everything is perfect and very prim and proper.’ I wanted wild, unruly spring. The kind of spring that makes a grown woman twirl and skip through a blossoming field of wild flowers. After all, I wanted this shoot to reflect my personality and my brand. These pictures need to tell potential clients that in my hands their wedding will be beautiful and perfect but that they will also have fun along the way. So there came about the Wild Bloom style shoot.
I have to tell you, I had so much fun on this style shoot that I thought to myself ‘is there any way I can get paid to just keep doing these?’ I got so lucky with my collaborators. Everyone had the exact same mentally as me on this shoot: work hard, but have fun. We blasted Taylor Swift and danced around, we joked with each other and sipped the extra bubbly, we ooh’d and ahh’d at the bride’s gorgeous updo and we giggled and blushed at the handsome groom. The shoot was beautiful and perfect, but we also had fun.
List of collaborators:
Planner: Love is Love weddings & events
Photography: Stacey Stewart Photography
Venue: Lago Bar & Grill
Decor, florals, linens, rentals: Wedecor
Decor accents: Wishes Vintage Event Rentals
Stationery, backdrop and paper accents: Pretty Papier
Desserts: Sugar House Cakes
Models: Alicia A. and Paul H., Models International Management
Hair: Liana Lacroix Beauty
MUA: Dazzling Faces Make-Up Artistry
Bride’s attire: With Love Bridal
Groom’s attire: L’Hexagone
Jewellery: Goldart Jewellery
Videography: The Salt and Light Studio
Custom Hanger: Pure Boutique