what a wedding planner's styled shoot can really show you

I recently had a consultation during which the bride asked me to define my style. It seems odd, but I was shocked. Not because it isn't an excellent question, but because a potential client has never asked me that before.

As I described my style to the potential client, I thought about the styled photo shoots that I've put together and again reflected on their value. Yes, the beautiful pictures are a product of a "faux wedding;" an entirely controlled environment. But ultimately, a styled shoot is the perfect glimpse into a planner's style--what she designs when she's left alone with her own creativity. 

Photo by Anna Delores Photography. Incredible floral design by Stella Bloom Designs

My work is usually about the clients' wedding day, and that's what I plan and design. Their inspiration, their vision, their budget, their taste. It's one of the most exciting and can be one of the most challenging parts of the job. This is important to keep in mind when looking at planners and their work. Hate that purple that just seemed to be everywhere in the ballroom? It might have been the planners decision, but it was likely a choice made by the bride and the planner worked with what the bride loved.

But what does your planner design when she has no client? That's the true reflection of her style.

"But I'm the client; it's about my style!" You're absolutely right, but even in spite of countless conversations with the bride to determine her style, her vision, and her spirit, there will still be a moment of question--a moment when a split second decision needs to be made. A moment when the original idea for the escort card display didn't work or when you realize the extra photos to display were never really assigned a place to be displayed. In those moments, your planner will make the decisions. In those moments, you want someone with style.  

So when looking for a planner, check out the types of brides she works with and pay close attention to the little details; the little vignettes and displays that were likely left to her. But also, investigate what she does with her own inspiration and find someone with a style you trust.