On Styled Shoots and Real Weddings

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tumblr is a great social media tool for paying attention to what real brides (and some grooms) are talking about as they plan their weddings. It's not a platform I recommend that businesses use as a true blog since it can't do what you need it to from a marketing perspective, but it is great to use as a listening tool.

I use Tumblr primarily to see what real couples are talking about and where their wedding ideas match up with what the industry wedding blogs and professionals are talking about. In some areas everyone is on the same page. In others, we as an industry are way out of touch with what today's couples think of weddings.

Today I want to share one glaring observation that I see on a daily basis: most real brides do not realize that the inspiration shoots showcased on wedding blogs or in some vendors' galleries are not real weddings. These photos get reblogged (or "tumbled") all the time with commentary indicating that the person sharing the photo thinks it's a real wedding.

It's easy when you're in the industry to spot the difference between a styled wedding shoot and a real wedding. It's not that obvious when your day job is completely unrelated to anything bridal. Another thing to keep in mind, especially if you're a blogger, is that almost every newly engaged bride or groom assumes that a wedding photo online is going to be a "real wedding." Prior to being initiated to the wedding blog world, it never would occur to them that wedding professionals would be producing staged shoots.

Blurring the lines between styled shoots and real weddings may seem harmless, but it only makes a wedding professional's job more difficult when they have to explain to a crushed bride that the flowers she had her heart set on (and created her entire color palette around) don't actually grow in that color in nature and were photoshopped to match the rest of a blog's inspiration board. If you're sharing a styled shoot, please make sure you clearly label it so that a couple can plan a beautiful wedding with realistic expectations.

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