What is a Styled Wedding Session?

March 16, 2021

Have you been a part of a styled session before? If not, you’re missing out on a valuable marketing and networking tool! Styled sessions are a cornerstone of the wedding industry and can be carried over into other genres of the professional world. 

Lauren Gray

Wild Fyre Co. | Kansas City, MO | FB & IG @wildfyreco

What is a styled session?

A styled session is telling a story about a wedding day by collaboration of local vendors. The images are generally used to advertise anything from the food to the venue. The sessions are also great because you may find vendors that you truly connect with that you’re confident recommending your clients to them!

Who is included in a styled session?

Styled sessions are a lot of  hard work by many vendors! In the wedding industry, usually a styled session will be hosted at a wedding venue. A model couple will be chosen to represent the newlyweds in the photos and they will generally be wearing couture and jewelry from local boutiques. If food and decorations are included, local bakeries and decorators will have the chance to show off their craft. Hair and makeup artists who work in the bridal industry have a chance to show off their artistry by styling the couple and whoever else is included in the shoot. Whether you’re choosing real or fake flowers for the arrangements, there are many options for local florists or companies who create fake flower arrangements that would love to be a part of the session!

How do I find vendors to coordinate a session?

No matter what your role would be within a styled session, finding vendors who fit your aesthetic is the first step! Find a venue that you really like, as well as a photographer (if you’re not already!), makeup artist, hair stylist, models, and boutiques for the dresses or suits. You can add in more vendors if you’d like to expand, but reach out and attempt to schedule a session! You may have to contact a few different vendors in each category, but the outcome will be beneficial for all parties involved!

How can I organize a color scheme and aesthetic?

If you like creating and coordinating, this step is for you! Searching apps like Pinterest will be your best bet. Create mood boards with images that fit the overall theme that you are looking to achieve for your styled shoot. Create a new document and make a collage of all the different things that you’re looking to shoot, as well as inspiration shots for different final pictures you’re looking to capture. Going into a styled shoot with a clear vision and knowing which kind of shots you’re wanting to capture for each vendor will make taking photos easier. Be sure to include photos of items from each vendor on the mood boards to make sure each vendor is benefiting from the collaboration.

What kind of back up plans should I have in place?

If the venue happens to be outdoors, have a back up plan in case of inclement weather. If the venue has an indoor area or covered patios, see if those places will be sufficient to set up in. You may have to get creative with this one! Make sure to keep some back up models on hand just in case the couple doesn’t work out, as well as a few back up makeup artists and hairstylists. When it comes to preparation, be sure to have a detailed schedule for all parties involved to ensure the styled shoot goes smoothly.

How can I get these styled sessions published?

Styled sessions are popular images to submit to magazines and publications. Many times, the images will be submitted for publication before they are ever seen by the general public or used in any type of advertising. If you plan to shoot for publication, preparing your photos for an editorial style will be your first step. Make sure to take a lot of photos so you can get the right images for each part of the wedding. Most publications require the photos to not be shared anywhere prior to the issue release, so do not share any of the photos until you have finished the publication progress. You can search online for wedding publications that accept submissions and get published!