THE DOWNLOAD... TRENDS, INSIGHTS AND INSPIRATION FROM OUR PANEL EVENT
Last night we hosted the first of our studio sessions, a panel discussion with some of the most well respected creatives in the fashion and wedding industry:
- Benjamin Wheeler, editorial wedding photographer
- India Sehmi, content creator and tastemaker
- Antoinette Lettieri, head of events at the Lanesborough hotel
- Sophie Lewis, CEO and creative director at Ruth Kaye Design
- Jess Kaye, Co-founder of The OWN Studio
We talked about the latest in fashion, event styling, photography and this is what we found out.
Big thanks to our drinks partner DRINK AMIE and amazing florist Fiona Fleur who created a stunning autumnal installation for the event.
PLANNING A WEDDING - WHERE TO START?
After getting engaged, take some time to let things settle. It’s easy to rush into planning but enjoy being engaged before you dive in.
When it comes to building out your vision and aesthetic for the wedding, look at everything that inspires you and build out the big picture before getting stuck in smaller details. Think about where you live, where you love to travel to, passions and hobbies and what you and your partner do for a living. Try and shape your own creative vision before getting onto Pinterest because you can get swayed and easily distracted.
Your wedding stationery is the first thing people will see from the wedding so it will set the tone for the day. It is effectively your branding. Put some time into developing a brief for your stationer and give them time to work with you on it creatively. Take into account the time of year, the vibe of your venue (is it clean and minimal? Ornate? Relaxed?) a word you want to evoke as well as things that inspire you. Your stationery becomes the thread that ties the rest of the aesthetic together so be sure to share it with all your suppliers and get granular with things like pantone colours!
In the past couples were happy to choose from a menu of options but now everything is much more ‘bespoke’. This idea of personalisation has been around for a while but it’s been taken to new heights post-covid. Weddings are more about creating experiences that are uniquely personal to the couple, no-one wants to feel like their guests have seen the same wedding before. Think about ways to make every touch point personal like miniature illustrations of each guest as a place name or menus painted on to plates that guests can take home with them.
Drink Amie organic rose
HOW TO TRANSLATE YOUR DAY TO DAY STYLE INTO BRIDAL
When exploring wedding wear for the first time it can feel overwhelming. Even the most confident and assured of dressers can find it tricky to translate their everyday style into bridal. This feeling can often be compounded when people book lots of appointments and try on a huge variety of dresses/separates/tailored pieces all in one go. Often they’ll have multiple voices in the room giving their opinion too, which can add to those feelings of confusion. Without first identifying a direction and considering their style they can quickly feel disenchanted with the process, something you obviously want to avoid at all costs!
Some simple prep before booking any appointments is the best way to avoid this trap. Start by building a visual moodboard, jump onto pinterest and instagram and find references that resonate. Our biggest tip is to look outside of any bridal references as that can be quite restrictive. From street style inspo and runway to red carpet events and fashion shoots, there is tons of inspiration out there. Once you’ve amassed everything, there will be some common themes. Are you into more fitted, structured styles? Do you like things a little more oversized? Is there a particular fabric that is coming up time and time again? What necklines are you loving? Overlay all this with your own wardrobe and think about the necklines you wear. Use all of this insight to pull together a definitive moodboard, which will become your north star when going to appointments.
The other bit of prep we always recommend is identifying your three key style words (a la the Alison Bornstein Tik Tok Trend). The idea is that these three key words become your North Star and all your fashion choices should be seen through that lens, so if a bridal outfit doesn’t ladder up to your three words then it’s not for you.
Florals by Fiona Fleur
2023 FASHION TRENDS TO WATCH OUT FOR
Since covid there has been an explosion of joy with bigger parties the norm again. We’ve definitely seen this translate into fashion. 2023 is set to be the year of deconstructed dressing with a huge uplift in requests for cool separates. Brides love how separates allow them to change up their look from day to night with minimal effort, not to mention the added eco-benefit of being able to rewear them long after the wedding day.
Evening outfits are continuing to grow in popularity, with sequins and feathers hot for 2023. Brides want the second outfit to be as sustainable as possible so they will wear the outfit for years to come.
We’re also seeing people being more adventurous and mixing fabrics and textures. More traditional bridal fabrics such as organza, mikado and chiffon are being reworked into contemporary styles and silhouettes and layered together to create a uniquely modern look.
HOW TO FIND A PHOTOGRAPHER
Another area hugely important to brides is photography. Choosing the right photographer to capture your wedding is a hugely personal thing. There are lots of fantastic wedding directories out there with amazing recommendations, so I would definitely start with somewhere like The Lane. It’s so important to find someone who you can envisage spending the whole day with. You need to have a great connection with your photographer - the images will be all the better for it. The photography is a collaboration between the three of you. Stylistically and aesthetically you both have to be in the same space for it to work, so do a deep dive into your photographers portfolio and instagram and make sure you love their aesthetic and the way they tell stories. Your wedding is essentially a story-telling moment and that’s what great photographers do, they tell a story with their images.
PHOTOGRAPHY TRENDS AND INSPIRATION
When it comes to photography I look for inspiration outside the wedding world. Fashion and lifestyle magazines like CEREAL, cool architecture and of course fashion photography. Find inspiration elsewhere and work out how to translate that into your wedding, this is what will make it really unique.
Flash and film are continuing to grow in trend. So often now I will shoot half film/half digital whereas before it was much more the other way. Flash is popular for that 9pm dancefloor moment, as it gives you that very ‘1930s style’ glamour moment.
There’s a fantastic campaign on instagram started by a photographer friend of mine in New Zealand, #momentsovermountains. I love this idea of prioritising the special, unique precious moments that happen in every wedding, over more staged one-on-one moments with the couple. Early on it’s helpful for your photographer to understand the balance you’re looking for in your imagery.
I always advise my couples to avoid structuring the day too much when it comes to photography. You need to trust the photographer you’ve booked and give them creative freedom to tell the story of your day.
Think about fabrics that shoot well - chiffons, organzas and silks are a dream to work with because they drape beautifully and you can get the most incredible movement. Flowing fabrics can actually make you feel more relaxed and move more naturally which is great for photography. If you’re going for a more structured / fitted style perhaps think about how you can bring another fabric with more movement into the mix; add a chiffon cape or tulle veil for example.
CREATING A MORE SUSTAINABLE WEDDING
Having a sustainable wedding is so important. Weddings are a big investment from a time and of course financial investment, but there is a lot of waste that goes on which obviously isn’t great for the planet.
So how can you make your wedding more sustainable?
- Create keepsakes and things people want to treasure forever - momentos such as monogrammed linen napkins as a place name or handcrafted illustrations of each guests are both beautiful aesthetically and provide a personal take-home for your guest
- Repurpose flowers from the day - move flowers from one venue to the next, for example the church to the venue (this is more common than you think), think about what’s in season and only buy into local seasonal flowers to save on carbon emissions. Foraging is another big trend (particularly when it comes to wild flowers) so explore this with your florist
- There are some amazing charities that organise for your flowers to be distributed to hospitals or care homes after the wedding, such as Floral Angels. It’s a brilliant way to extend the life of your flowers and brighten someone else’s day.
- When shopping for your outfit be mindful and think about how you can rewear it after the wedding, with the help of some tailoring or perhaps even dyeing the outfit (when shopping always ask if the fabrics are suitable for dyeing as not all fabric can be dyed)
- If you are thinking about an extended wedding wardrobe then rental is always a really great option. HURR have a pop up in Selfridges which allow you to try pieces on before renting them so it doesn’t have to be last minute and you can then book it in advance
HOW TO THROW A REALLY EPIC WEDDING PARTY
A sense of pace and rhythm is so important. Your event needs to have a beginning, middle and end. Avoid leaving your guests after the ceremony to go off for a private couples photo shoot as this can slow momentum.
Music can make or break a party so do your research. Consider having a live element, or mixing a DJ and a live musician together. When briefing the DJ, don’t just tell him the songs you would like him to play, also tell him the songs you DON’T want played, as this is just as important!
HOW TO BE SAVVY WITH YOUR BUDGET
When working with suppliers who do a lot of bespoke work (for example stationers) be straight up and put a number on it. It will save a lot of back and forth and mean you can get started on the creative sooner rather than later (the best bit!) Suppliers don’t really mind either way and will fit their proposal to suit your budget, so it’s always best to start with this. There’s no wrong or right when it comes to big or small budgets - it’s what’s right for you.
Don’t try to spread your budget across too many areas - choose your priorities and do them really well rather than doing everything but with little effect. For example, when it comes to stationery you might decide not to print your save the dates (and do digital instead) and put more of your budget into a stand-out paper invite.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST VENUE
When it comes to weighing up the logistics, a scorecard can sometimes be helpful as you’re able to quickly see which venues best suit your needs. When it comes to choosing it from an emotional point of view however, it’s super subjective. Go with your gut instinct and take mum/dad/friend for a second opinion.
It’s worth thinking about the flow of the venue through the lens of your priorities, for example if the music and dancing is the part you’re most excited for, try not to go for a venue where the dancefloor is in a separate room/area as it will split your guests and make it harder to keep a buzzy atmosphere.
Jess Kaye, Benjamin Wheeler, Antoinette Lettieri, India Sehmi, Sophie Lewis, Rosie Williams