3 Rookie Mistakes When Planning a Wedding Editorial

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Happy New Year, peeps! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season filled with only the most magical moments! Ours, here in the Danish countryside was quiet and hyggelig. We had friends over, played tons of games, and had the most delicious roast duck.

Floral centerpiece in red hues
Gorgeous winter wedding tablescape. Photo from Greg Finck. Florals by A very Beloved Bloom.

Now, are you ready for the new year’s challenges and adventures? Because I am certainly not. I am just a bag of emotions at every beginning of the year: hope, excitement, and anxiety cohabit very well for the first few months until I adjust my vision and my goals. But I am eagerly waiting to see what 2019 unfolds and if my plans and projects come through. Last year was quite a fantastic year for me and its peak was reached in November when I planned my first wedding editorial. As with everything new, I was excited but a bit terrified as well. I have been planning this styled shoot for the early autumn days all summer long, but for different reasons, it got postponed, a thing that came with its own separate set of challenges.

Rugged greenhouse filled with roses
Perfect greenhouse venue for any season. Photo from Rebecca Taylor.

One of the reasons for changing the date and of course the vision board I have built many months in advance was that I couldn’t find the conservatory I wanted to create the entire shoot around. Copenhagen has quite a few gorgeous ones, but they either weren’t available by being fully booked because the wedding season was still in full swing at that time - early September or the locations weren’t interested in joining a style-shoot. (I feel that the concept is not very common or popular in Denmark). Another possibility is that these venues just didn’t want to work with a noob like me in the wedding industry, which is totally understandable. Due to either of these, my September board transformed in a November one and I couldn’t be more happy with how things unraveled; however, this brings me to my first mistake.

Bride and bridesmaids holding floral hoops
Bride and bridesmaids holding floral hoops. Photo from Alice Cunliffe Photography. Styling by Helaina Storey Wedding Design.

Time management

Though I am a control freak, this seasonal change bloop overthrew my planning. Though I have a to-do list for my official to-do list, and I plan everything, and I use two different printed calendars and a digital one, my plans did not hold. It left me with only a couple of months to organize it all and pitch the vendors. Not only that the time-frame was now out of balance buuut I also “succeeded” not to allocate enough time on the day itself for the vendors. So everything ended up being squashed - setting up the tables, light try-outs, the cake needed a bit of mending and so on.

This big mistake brought the following consequences:

  • The stationery, which arrived from Spain, reached us 40 minutes into our style-shoot. (Lots of fretting had happened around my mailbox).
  • We didn’t have time for lunch, just some overly sugared snacks, which made us more tired and crankier.
  • We didn’t have many breaks either.
  • We hurried up to make sure we shoot all the frames we wanted.
  • And we had to compromise: some of my beloved details received less attention than others.
Winter Wedding Tablescape
Winter Wedding Tablescape. Photo from Simply Sarah Photography. Florals by Magnolia Ranch.

Understimating the creative process

What I mean by this is simply that I didn’t count in how versatile is a tablescape or any wedding decor, and how many detailed shots you can get out of it. I couldn’t stop arranging and re-arranging for better shots, for different angles. I fiddled with the stationery and the tableware much more than my “Plan of the day” allowed me to. But that is because styled shoots are a creative process and no matter how you put it down on paper or how well you plan it before, there should be time and space to create and brainstorm during the shoot, for better results and more fun too.

Not pitching in due time to enough vendors

Pitch the shoot to more creatives. I had a list with the vendors I wanted to work with, and I only invited those, out of which most declined being either very busy or not interested in the concept which left me with barely the minimum of wedding suppliers needed to plan a wedding editorial.

The consequences that followed this mistake were:

  • Adding more stress leading up to the day than necessary because almost until the due day I wasn’t sure who is in or not. Lots, lots of stress.
  • Everything ended up being a DIY kind of affair. I actually enjoyed doing most of the things by myself, but I think that the creativity of more vendors on the spot would have made the shoot even more extraordinary than it already is. So the lesson here is plain: better to have two wedding cakes to shoot than none.
Pretty little wedding cake
Pretty little wedding cake. Photo from Katrina Nicole Photography. Cake by Not Just Cheesecakes.

There have been more mistakes than these of course, but I feel that if I hadn’t had these to deal with, the others would have been of little consequence. And still with them all, I am so happy I had the opportunity to work on a wedding inspiration shoot with such lovely people that I look forward to presenting to you once the editorial is published (fingers crossed!). I am pretty sure that when you see the amazing photos, you won’t notice my mistakes but you will be able to appreciate our creativity and love for the concept we came up with for this late autumn editorial.

For next time I have yet another real wedding to share with you, to inspire you with and spread the love. Have a fabulous first weekend of the year!