Okay, people, let’s get this one thing out of the way – wedding stylists are different from wedding planners, whatever you may have heard. They can, in reality, be one and the same in a combined role, but whilst the wedding planner oversees the overall wedding, the wedding stylist is focused on the aesthetics – they set the scene and provide a stunning visual backdrop for the wedding day itself.
A wedding planner organizes the wedding day planning by sourcing, managing, checking, controlling, and ensuring that nothing can go wrong and that everything that needs to be done before the big day, is done – wedding planning is the overall organisation of the event.
Whereas a wedding event stylist is less of the planning and much more like the pretty make-up of a wedding where décor, colours, fabrics, flowers, ambience, tablescape, lighting, photography posing stations are just part of the wedding design process.
So, why hire a wedding stylist? As experts with wedding design, stylists will help create a bespoke concept to fit their clients’ personal styles.
And stylists can take all the stress away of the wedding, and in the end, everything from the ceremony and reception, flowers and tablescape, stationery as well as the bride’s wedding dress will fit harmoniously together. Joy!
Wedding stylists are therefore the designer for the overall look and feel of the big day – so if you are perhaps overly interested in Pinterest’s latest trends, love the idea of themes and ideas, and get excited about colours, props, and all things wedding, then maybe the life of a wedding stylist is the one for you?
Because let’s not forget that hiring a wedding stylist can be an absolute life-saver for many couples who aren’t so confident or have the physical time to pull the visual ideas of the big day together to create an eye-catching, beautiful wedding theme. It’s all very well having loads of images on Pinterest, but if you’re getting married if can be quite difficult to put that ‘look’ you’ve seen into reality, so – ta da – step in wedding stylist!
A good stylist can work with a bride and groom to pull all those ideas together to then create a unique and personalised wedding.
So, when a client needs help coordinating the dresses, flowers, table decorations, invitations – in fact, anything where a design is involved, a wedding stylist is there to make the vision a reality on a special day.
The Role of the Wedding Stylist
As a wedding day designer, the wedding stylist’s role is to create concepts from scratch – from the mood board to the wedding day event itself.
From overseeing the perfect colour palette to sketching and creating wonderful and perhaps ingenious floral installations, a wedding stylist personally comes up with every visual concept and instructs every single detail of the look and feel of the wedding design style.
Stylists work closely with the planners and florists, venues, and the bride, or groom, to bring their visual dreams to life. They can work to a given brief, or come up with an original idea of their own once meeting their clients and appreciating how they tick. Basically, they take all their clients’ favourite things, combine them together and deliver them with aplomb. Great job, huh?
So, in a nutshell, if you are a professional wedding stylist, you will assist in coordinating décor from a variety of different places to create a unique setting based on the initial ideas of your clients.
A wedding stylist is able to take an empty space and literally transform it with colour, flowers, lighting, speciality linens, centrepieces, candlelight, chandeliers, chairs, tables, chic lounge settings and this is just for starters!
If a client decides to hire a wedding stylist they can also get them to deliver, set up and dismantle after the event, so they can totally relax and enjoy their special day stress-free.
The role of the wedding stylist is therefore quite varied and can change from wedding job to job…
It’s All in the Details
Some wedding stylists want to liaise with the visual suppliers they will be working with to ensure such things like… the cake maker knows when and how the table is being styled, or to check in with the stationery supplier on when the menus and place cards will be delivered, and that the wedding calligraphy is exactly how the clients chose it to be.
All those tiny but essential little details that make a wedding ultra special often require more creativity and vision than the wedding couple can muster alone. The role of the stylist is all about crafting clear, workable concepts and communicating with all the wedding vendors to achieve this, so the day goes seamlessly and looks like a visual feast.
With a creative eye and a great understanding of people, a good stylist will be able to work out what makes their clients tick.
This, together with the ability to design a celebration that truly reflects their client, regardless of whether the intention is an extravagant wedding for literally hundreds of guests in a vast venue, or a more intimate celebration in a favourite restaurant, is why a stylist is an important cog in the wedding wheel when it comes to visualising the details that make the couple’s special day.
Wedding Stylist on a Budget
The thought of designing the wedding vision straightaway conjures up many images of an extravagant celebrity wedding with mountains of flowers, silk ribbons and luxurious venues – however, the reality is usually the challenge of creating the perfect wedding scene on a shoe-string budget.
This is when the best wedding stylists can really use their creative energy in wedding planning. If a client can’t afford copious bundles of flowers, or candles, then coming up with an alternative to creating that romantic ambience is the real challenge.
Thinking outside of the box when it comes to wedding day decor and the reality of a budget is half the wedding stylists’ battle.
Hiring a stylist might mean that instead of focusing on flowers focus instead on foliage for greenery – trees, plants and leaves can be amazing design décor. It can still hit that wedding mark but can be far more cost-effective. Also – good stylists are usually never afraid to call in a favour from those others in the know. People – family members, for example, will want to help out! A good stylist isn’t afraid to call on someone who’s got fabulous handwriting to be the calligrapher. Maybe one of the wedding parties is a banker by day and an incredible baker by night? Perhaps they could make the wedding cake… A great stylist will try and include as many friends and family into the big day planning as possible!
The Responsibilities of a Wedding Stylist
It’s the responsibility of a professional wedding stylist to work with the clients to make a collection of all the things that catch their eye and may include inspiration from fashion, art, flowers, furniture and any other place they draw inspiration for props, based on what their clients are like.
A stylist will advise their clients what will and won’t work within their venue and the overall style of the clients’ wedding, whilst always coming back to what represents them, as a couple.
So, the first thing is to get to know the couple getting married as well as possible – perhaps meet up for a chat and ask them loads of questions about them and their relationship – perhaps focus on simple things like where they live, what type of clothing brands do they prefer, where they tend to go on holiday – all this reveals so much about their personality, and helps you, as their stylist create their ‘wedding brand’ or vision.
You, as a stylist will then use your skill, experience and eye for design to find a personal theme and a common thread that has emerged from their choice of pictures and materials, and then match it with their personal style as a couple. It’s therefore essential you get to know your clients well when creating the theme for the ceremony and the reception.
The duties of a wedding stylist therefore may include:
- Consulting with the couple to discuss exactly their wedding day vision and possible ideas
- Designing a personal style and concept for the day; from the ceremony to the reception lighting, floral design, decor and furniture etc.
- Putting together a professional inventory for everything needed to execute the design and then source items/provide items/props from your own hire range and services
- Being there on the day (or the day before) to set up, style and pack-down.
Many wedding stylists offer additional services and products to boost their earnings for each job. This may include offering prop and decor hire which requires a stylist to build up an inventory of styling elements such as candlesticks, linens, signage, furniture etc.
Alternatively, some professional stylists offer floral design or stationery alongside their styling services. Whatever skills you have, what space you have access to, and what money and time you have to invest in the different weddings, will decide what is the best route to take your wedding styling business.
The great news for anyone with an interest in working with a couple on the look and feel of their day is that the trend towards more personalised weddings with unique details is driving up the demand for wedding stylists.
Great news if you’re thinking of this design role as a career…
Styling Knowledge is Power
So, how are you going to make the vision of becoming a wedding stylist a reality?
Getting started as a wedding stylist isn’t easy – we’re all creative to a certain degree, as we all have likes and dislikes when it comes to design. But being creative when it comes to a wedding, especially if it’s someone else’s wedding, is a major responsibility and this is when you may need someone with a trained and experienced eye to help you pull everything together.
If you want to combine the creativity of the wedding industry with bang-up-to-date and inspiring education, you should look to the education courses offered by the Global Wedding Academy…
The dedicated styling course, The Certificate in Wedding Styling will teach you:
- How to take your inspiration and creativity and channel it into the design of a wedding
- How to use design tools such as mood boards, colour swatches, fabric samples and flower charts
- To design a table from the bottom up and how to layout and structure each element on it
- To produce your wedding flawlessly considering production and logistics
- How to communicate your design to your clients and produce the perfect client proposal.
And as with all of Global Wedding Academy’s courses, they’re focused on providing real-world, practical knowledge which is especially important when it comes to wedding styling.
Within the course, you will find ‘How to’ video styling tutorials you can replay over and over again, and a variety of different looks and themes are covered, and new content is continually being filmed to update this course to reflect changing trends.
If you think you’d like to offer planning as well as wedding design and styling services then check out the Advanced Certificate in Wedding Planning, Styling and Business which can help you achieve this.
It also includes the training you will need to launch and market your own wedding business.
The Wedding Stylist Community
So, why hire a wedding stylist? A stylist helps the bride find their style and designs their day, sources all the pretty bits and pieces and suppliers to fit the brief, and then makes sure everything is set up just perfectly whilst ensuring their bride and groom gets to relax with a glass of champagne, and be the bride on their wedding day.
And as part of the wedding industry community, as a styling queen, you can get help, support and advice from those also in the wedding-know – the Global Wedding Academy!