The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown us all into a state of uncertainty.
Many people have lost their jobs, seen their businesses stall or were furloughed by their employers. Whilst this is without a doubt incredibly stressful and worrying, we’ve also seen so many people turn the situation on it’s head and use this time to make career changes.
The silver lining to it all has been the opportunity to reflect and decide what you want your life to look like. We’ve been over the moon to see many new faces in the Wedding Academy community. Students who’ve dreamed of working in the wedding industry for years have been motivated to take action and turn it into a reality.
We’ve also been amazed and impressed by the different ways our community has used their time under lockdown to learn, grow and create.
One such person is Wedding Academy student and wedding planner, Emily Stutchbury of In Awe Weddings & Events.
Emily launched her business this year during the pandemic and planned and produced her first ever styled wedding shoot under full lockdown restrictions in the UK. It’s an amazing achievement and no mean feat!
I recently caught up with Emily to find out more about her experience and how she overcame the challenges to create this stunning ‘Inside the Garden’ styled shoot.
Hi Emily, thanks for taking the time to chat with us today. You recently launched In Awe Weddings & Events. Can you tell us a bit more about your business?
In Awe Weddings & Events is a luxury wedding planning service based in the East Midlands and beyond.
Our mission is to plan awe-inspiring celebrations and create inimitable atmospheres, by underpinning superior organisation, sublime style and impeccable operational execution with industry-leading entertainment, exceptional catering, and innovative ideas.
We create, plan and style weddings based on evoking sensory and emotive experiences that will last a lifetime.
You also planned and styled your very first styled shoot during the pandemic lockdown. Can you tell us a bit more about the concept behind your shoot?
Inspired by our recent way of living, I wanted to create something that represented what our current and future brides and grooms are considering at this time, the prospect of an outdoor wedding. It was important to me to reassure and inspire couples during this time, and showcase that garden weddings certainly don’t have to be the BBQ George Banks describes in father of the bride!
We maintained the essence of indoor luxury, whilst encapsulating an alfresco wedding surrounded by all the beauty and freshness of a quintessentially English garden.
Given the lockdown restrictions, what were your biggest challenges and how did you overcome them?
At the time of planning the shoot, the lockdown restrictions were very strict, I couldn’t have entered any indoor venue, or have been able to have a photographer who wasn’t part of my household with me on the day. So I took the opportunity during this downtime to learn a new skill, and experience all areas of the photoshoot from floristry to photography.
As a planner, I believe it’s imperative to understand the level of hard work, skill and expertise of the wedding industry suppliers we work alongside. Without them, their skill, and their knowledge it would be incredibly difficult to provide the degree of quality, service and refinement we promise our clients. So this presented itself as the perfect opportunity to get to know and understand all aspects.
Now let’s focus on more of the positives. What was your favourite bit about the shoot?
I loved watching everything I had imagined in my head coming to life in front of me, the styling was almost like drawing a picture.
Floristry is hard work (never underestimate a florist!) but I really enjoyed the experience of the unfolding journey from ordering online, delivery of boxes, to the creation of each floral element. Flowers are always a huge focal point in my mind when I visualise the style and design of any occasion so its exciting that I now have the knowledge and experience of working with them too!
And how did your Wedding Academy course help you to plan and produce your first styled shoot?
Of course, the floral design stream as part of the Advanced Certificate was the biggest help in terms of production, but the entire section on styled shoots was invaluable in guiding me through the process, and ensuring the shoot was planned and executed as professionally as possible in the circumstances.
The Wedding Academy Pro Facebook group is great for building confidence, it really feels like you’re part of a community, it was only after posting my ideas and receiving such a lovely response from everyone that I actually plucked up the courage to go ahead with the shoot all by myself!
Do you have any tips for other wedding planners launching their business this year under unusual circumstances?
It’s still early days for In Awe Weddings & Events but from a business perspective, this unusual stall in our industry (and lives) has posed as a fantastic opportunity to launch my business. The response I have received from suppliers and support from other planners has been amazing, and I have been able to take the time to learn and soak up the wedding industry without feeling like I am chasing a moving vehicle that I can never catch up.
Thanks so much for sharing your experience with us Emily and we can’t wait to see your business grow and grow!
If you’d like to follow in Emily’s footsteps and make 2020 the year you launch your dream wedding business GET STARTED TODAY and download our Free Wedding Planner Resource Bundle.
Credits: All planning styling, florals and photography by In Awe Weddings & Events, Stationery by Sophie at Lilla I Du, Candles from London Candle Co & Ester and Eric