Designing a stunning wedding or styled shoot as a wedding planner (or capturing one as a photographer) is a no brainer. It’s what you do best, right? But, when it comes time to submit your work to a wedding blog or magazine for publication, that dreaded section where you’re asked to write a design statement or overview of the wedding leaves you staring blankly into your screen like a deer in headlights. Don’t get me wrong, the photos showcasing your design are what sets an editor’s heart aflutter, but the creative description that breathes life into shoot or wedding… that, my friend, is the icing on the cake!
When an editor is sifting through the hundreds of submissions received on a weekly basis, a submission that has thoughtfully written content ready to go is more likely to be moved to the top of their “yes” list (as long as it’s a fit stylistically). Why? It saves them time – time they would have spent writing a post to accompany the photos themselves. In fact, some blogs are just as much about the story as they are the images. I’m seeing this become even more true as wedding bloggers and editors are not only wanting to provide pretty inspiration, but also pay homage to marriage and the beautiful stories your shoots and weddings tell.
Feeling stuck? I like to get the creative juices flowing by going through the photos one by one (tip: multitask by using this time to pick your favorites for a submission gallery). While you’re reflecting on the shoot or wedding, make notes on the details. I do this for my wedding PR clients and it helps me craft a beautiful story — and I wasn’t even at the wedding or styled shoot. Imagine what you will recall when you take the time to do this!
Don’t think something is noteworthy? You’d be surprised! Sometimes it’s the small touches and little décor items that make the biggest impact in your story. Were heirloom vintage décor items part of the design? What was the groom’s reaction when he saw his bride for the first time? Did the couple name their signature drinks after their pups? Include these types of details as they’re what give the design that much more meaning.
I know what you’re thinking… how can I do this for my styled shoot? There’s no real couple to talk about! While that might be true, when dreaming up your shoot, you likely had an inspiration couple in mind, right? Pretend they’re an actual couple and use them in your story. For example, you might say something like:
“Our inspiration couple loves to host intimate dinners on cool autumn nights, sharing good food and even better cocktails under the string lights and mingling late into the night fireside with dessert. The vendors wanted to recreate that vibe with a long estate table beneath Edison lights and a family-style menu that started out with charcuterie and expertly-crafted cocktails that were (almost) too pretty to drink. It’s important that the couple’s guests feel welcome and cozy, so on the back of each chair was a throw blanket and atop each placesetting was a name card and an individually wrapped s’mores favor to enjoy post-dinner and dancing by the fire pit.”
Yes, it takes some thought and work, but it’s so worth it! You’ll make your editor friends’ jobs easier, you’ll give your clients a beautiful memento when their wedding is published and you’ll already have the perfect Instagram caption ready to go once it’s time to share the shoot or wedding on social media. A true win-win…win!