Richmond Wedding

6 TIPS TO GET FEATURED

Styled Shoots seem to be my love language huh? I talk about them non-stop and today I'm focusing on the all important submission. We spend so much time and money creating bridal inspiration and submitting to blogs such as Ruffled and Style Me Pretty can be nerve-wracking! Getting a no here and there is going to happen no matter what- it sucks, but the great things is there are dozens and dozens of great blogs out there to get featured on so you can just try somewhere else! Hooray! I wanted to share some tips that I've learned over the past year of being a part of and putting on editorial shoots. Keep in mind the smaller blogs too! Of course to get that yes from blogs like Style Me Pretty and and 100 Layer Cake is so exciting, but sometimes the smaller blogs give you better exposure. You stay on their front page longer and in turn getter more traffic to your website.

These are little tips to help you get that yes from editors. My tips focus on online weddings blogs and print submissions may be a little but different, but regardless these are the 5 things I think about when a Styled Shoot is on the schedule. 

Photo by Alicia Lacey Photography.

1. DETAILS

When it comes to details, blogs love them! Portraits of brides and grooms are of course stunning, but blogs really (and I mean really) love details. The paper products, accessories,  the dessert table, the table settings- all are so important. My tip? Make your details unique yet not so out there. Blogs love things that are creative and different but that real brides can attain. 

2. BE UNIQUE 

I've said this before, but it's so important. With the abundance of styled shoots happening everywhere we look, you have to stand out. Think outside the box and make an idea your own. The same things seem to be done repeatedly. Be fresh and use that creative brain of yours! I think as a general rule, you should be your own self in this industry. It benefits everyone. Show that unique side in a styled shoot. it's the perfect platform to be you.  

3. VERTICAL IMAGES

Allow for the majority of your images to be vertical. Editors love to pair images and verticals alway look better on a webpage layout. You have to style and and shoot your designs for a submission. Keep that in mind. 

Photo by Courtney Morgan Photo. Ribbon by Ruffled Lane.

4. FOLLOW BLOG RULES

Each and every blog has it's own set of procedures for blog submissions whether it's through their site directly, two bright lights, or through a gallery link. Be sure to check with the site you are submitting and follow each direction perfectly. It makes it so much easier for the editors and staff involved and you're more likely to get that yes. 

5. CREATE A STORY

This is my favorite tip. When I start an idea for a shoot, I think about a story. Readers of blogs want to see a story created through your images. For one, it makes your editorial more relatable. Brides want to be able to see themselves in this beautiful setting you are creating. Stories can be told in so many different ways. Through beautiful meaningful  details, the bride and grooms models, the setting. The options are endless and can really make you stand out. 

6. YOUR SUBMISSION TEXT 

Tell the editors all the things! What was your vision going into this shoot, tell them about the details, the flowers, the DIY elements, Tell them your story! 

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Another tip, the more vendors involved (the more URLS) the better your chances! Be sure to credit every vendor too! This seems like it would be obvious, but sometimes a vendor gets overlooked especially with sneak peaks on social media. It's time consuming to get every vendor tag and double check you didn't forget anyone, but it's oh so important. No one wants anyone's feelings to get hurt. Make list of everyone involved with their names, business names, social media handles, and website. Once you comply your list, email it to everyone on board so everyone can easily credit everyone when posting.

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Good luck sweet friends, just remember to be your true self and make an idea your own. Be intentional and use shoots to express your style and set yourself apart. 

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Warmly,

Michelle 

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MY WHY

The smallest title for probably the most meaningful blog post I've ever written. 

Welcome back to the blog friends. It's been a while hasn't it? I've taken some time away from this little space and it was MUCH needed. I felt like I was just blogging to blog a couple of months ago and I didn't have a clear vision of where I wanted my little corner of the internet to go. I fell in love with writing here last year, but a path was needed (as well as a carefully curated blog calendar) and guys, I'm back for good. We're kicking off all new blog posts today with an important one. If you follow me over on IG, you'll know I was at Creative at Heart Round 4 in Maryland last weekend and I always leave that conference on a high filled with motivation and a positive outlook on this little business. There was just something about round 4 that made it such a special experience for me. Every CAH does that, but this one just had that boom about it.

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Image by Andrea Pesce Photography.

This post I'm about to write stems from Tiffany Farley's speech from this past weekend and all the way back to Bonnie's speech last November in Charleston at CAH round 3. It's about building a business and brand around your why. Basically we all want our businesses to be profitable because there are bills to be paid y'all. But that's not your why. It's not my why and it really shouldn't be anyone's reason for wanting to start their own business. 

So what is my why? Well, it's something I've never shared before ever to anyone really. Chris is my reason for starting creating centerpieces on our kitchen island, but why did I turn it into an actual business? Why do I love to invest in each couple of mine and be a part of the biggest day of their lives? For starters, I never thought I would get married. I was always a relationship girl (6 year high school sweetheart, 4 year relationship before Chris) but I never thought I would be the one in the white dress with every detail perfect, and having a grand sparkler exit of most girl's dreams. I know it sound silly, but I really did think that that was for other girls, not me. See, I didn't have the greatest childhood. I won't go into too much detail as much of it is too personal for me to share here, but growing up was difficult for me. I was the girl who after years of a terrible home experience started high school and basically lived with friends because I didn't want to go home. I was the girl who was parent-less at graduations because they didn't feel like coming. I was the girl that couldn't have opinions at home because they were always wrong. I was the girl who tried to hold her head up high while her home life was crumbling. Family was not a word I associated with happiness or safety. It was a burden and something I just had to deal with. My extended family is all overseas, so I didn't have an aunt or uncle or grandmother to turn to. I just had me and some rather wonderful friends who will forever be special to me. They got me through. I knew what was happening in their houses was normal and I remember thinking at about age 15 that maybe one day I would have a functioning home life like them. Maybe. Then, 10 years later I met Chris. Life as I knew it changed. And with him came this great big family that treated me as one of their own. I had a mother for the first time that I could just call and say hello and ask advice for. (Hi Kathy!) And for the first time marriage seemed like it might be in the cards for me. And it was. On September 20th, 2014 I made Chris my forever. I actually got my happy ending and the word family became the happiest of words and the most important thing in the world to me. (insert dancing lady emoji here) 

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So my why comes from my past. Creating beautiful florals for a bride and her family is a way for me to celebrate something that I never thought I would have. I put a little bit of my heart into every bouquet because as I'm making it, I'm thinking to myself. This is the last thing a bride will hold on to before becoming a wife. And as Mary Marantz would say, THAT MATTERS. There not just roses or peonies or dahlias, they are little parts of a girl who uses this business to celebrate how far she has come in life and gets to love on others because of what she went through. And that little girl inside from 20 years ago is beaming inside of her. My favorite part of a wedding day? Walking into a bridal suite with the most stunning of brides surrounded by her family and friends and I get to hand over her bouquet. Something that has been curated just for her and her story. They are not just flowers, and each wedding is not just another wedding to check off on my calendar. Each one is so meaningful to me.

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And now you know why. 

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Warmly,

Michelle