Oops – should I not say that out loud? Since news broke of Style Me Pretty’s closure, slated for the end of April 2018, a lot of wedding photographers have chosen this time to speak out about “finally getting back to what matters most.” In their opinion, SMP lead to an increase in clients who believed they needed perfectly styled weddings and thus forced photographers to capture details instead of moments.
Here’s why I think that’s okay.
Platforms like Style Me Pretty and Pinterest really changed the way we think about weddings. In the case of Pinterest, it made a lot of what industry vendors call “budget brides” realize they too could have elevated elegance without the elevated price tag. DIY has become king for many getting married these days. And I love it! As a new(er) bride myself, I remember I specifically asked my photographer to capture the details because my husband and I invested our time making things by hand and I love of all things pretty (see what I did there?). We both have what many call “expensive taste,” or as the saying goes “trying for champagne on a beer budget.” Because of this, we wanted to have those details captured because we worked hard to create them. From the invitation suite that I designed, printed, cut, tied, stamped and calligraphy-addressed myself. To the terrariums I figured out how to make via trial-and-error using plexiglass and E600 glue. Even the Welcome Bags for out-of-town guests that we hand-picked items for and packed ourselves. Capturing those was important to me because the majority of my family traveled 900+ miles to be in attendance and I wanted to ensure they knew how truly thankful I was they were there.
And the ring? Damn right I wanted that photographed in a styled environment. It combines the stones from my paternal grandmother and his paternal grandmother’s original wedding sets. My paternal grandfather passed the ring on to my husband a few years prior, but sadly passed away just a few short months before our wedding. So yes, I wanted to honor him by beautifully capturing a photo of the ring containing the stones from the ring he proposed to my grandmother with.
I wanted all those details photographed because cumulatively they were all part of our wedding. All part of us. And all pieces and parts of what we loved about our wedding weekend.
Don’t be ashamed to ask your photographer to capture these details. Details you’ve worked hard on. Details you’ve spent your valuable time hand-selecting. Details you want to show future generations.
You’re marrying your best friend. Your soul mate. And both of your families are coming together to witness it. My husband and I viewed our wedding as the biggest party we’d ever get to throw for our families. We wanted to make sure everyone had a good time all weekend long, not just at the actual wedding. Capturing the moments between guests and the newlyweds are so important too. After all, that’s why you’re having a wedding – to get married.
Our actual wedding day was perfect. The weather was ideal, cloudy and cooler. The backdrop that Tim and I built together one weekend from scratch out of pallets in our garage with our dogs at our feet, looked stunning draped in flowers. The cocktails were flowing while people played corn hole on boards Tim and I built and still have in our side courtyard at home. And guests took home those terrariums I built as reminders of our day for years to come.
But you know what our families loved the most? They loved the Open House Brunch we threw at our home the day before. Our humble three bedroom, 1200 square foot home was filled with almost 40 people all the way from Fort Wayne, Indiana to Jacksonville, Florida. Gathering around our dining table and in our lanai, drinking mimosas and eating blueberry muffins. And that evening, after the rehearsal, those same 40 people joined us at the rehearsal dinner, gathered around a long farmhouse style table, eating seafood and drinking beer while playing billiards and sharing stories.
It was beautiful. Those are the moments that clench my heart.
And none of it was captured in photos.
All that to say, if you want the details captured at your wedding – ask to have them captured. I understand and appreciate how much all of that means to you. It meant a lot to me too. And I’d be happy to capture them for you on your wedding day. But please also let us capture moments between people. Grandparents laughing. Flower girls giggling. Uncle Bob showing off his crazy dance moves. The two of you, soaking each other in and stealing glances.
All of this combined is what makes a wedding beautiful.