London's wedding industry is brimming with incredible creatives, and we were lucky enough to fill our trip with vendor networking, venue research, and trend sourcing. We are so grateful to have been able to sit down with a few of London's most talented female entrepreneurs to talk shop and learn about their experiences in the UK wedding industry.
And Your Story | www.andyourstory.com
Inna Yurchuk from And Your Story met us for coffee at the lovely Gail's Bakery and we couldn't help but be inspired by her passion toward her couples and the artistry she creates. As a film photographer focusing on weddings and family sessions, you'll find her work featured in international blogs such as OnceWed, Magnolia Rouge, Rock My Wedding, and many others. She is based in London, but travels frequently all around the world for her clients and commercial projects.
Tell us some trends that you are seeing for the 2019 season that you are excited about. I'm loving the little things that I see in weddings - the small details. I always ask my brides to show me their wedding dress before the wedding day so I can visualize how I will pose them. Lots of brides are now going for the pant suits rather than big dresses and or gowns that are becoming more fashion forward – and I love it! I’m seeing cocktail hour replacing the reception on a lot of weddings and also lots of smaller, destination weddings.
What is your favorite venue in the UK? Anything with lots of natural light. Ideally a mansion house or old English garden home with lots of history. (Side note: we're obsessed with the venues in London and how rich with history they are - #droolworthy).
Who is your ideal client and what do you love about them? Someone I can be friends with! Couples in their mid-thirties, who know what they want in a relationship, and are into the arts, fashion, travel, and are well-read. A couple who is in it not to show off, but really for themselves and to share the day with their families. I love when a couple is authentic and warm and they put their heart into it. It does not necessarily have to be a big wedding or large budget, but it’s important that I feel a good vibe and connection with them.
How do you define your style when it comes to shooting a wedding? I always say wedding photography is the hardest photography because it includes everything. I have to be a good photojournalist and catch moments as they happen. I also need to build a rapport with clients really quickly so they open up. I have to be a good portraiture photographer and be able to walk into a space and analyze the light. So I would say my approach is a mix of fine art and a classic approach, where I slow down, visualize the shot, and direct my couples into it.
When you’re not doing photography, what would someone find you doing? I try to choose a spot in London to explore and people watch at a coffee shop with my laptop. I never get tired of it! I can go to a museum and stay in one area all day. After four years, I know London pretty well because my clients take me places and organize shoots in multiple different locations. There is always so much going on in London - that fear of missing out will kill you here if you let it!
Iris + Co Floral Design | www.irisandco.com
Gemma, owner of Iris + Co Floral Design, sat down with us at Feya Café in the Mayfair area of central London. She brought with her a gorgeous, organic, blush bouquet for us to use for our branding shoot the next day. We could tell just by her personality that she had a bright and creative aesthetic. You’ll find her work featured in B.loved Blog, Bride and Tonic, Bride Magazine, and so much more. Her approach to styling and designing bespoke floral packages takes every aspect of the client into account, which was absolutely evident in the piece she created for us.
Who is your ideal client? What do you love about them and what do they love about you? My ideal client is someone who is really creative. Their house is really beautiful with bits of vintage and things they’ve created themselves. They want impact with their flowers and something really unusual as a real talking point. Maybe they are not quite sure where to start so they come to me for a bit of inspiration. They love color, lots of dark rich tones and powerful deep colors. When I find them, we just click and I know when they’re my people.
Tell us some trends that you are seeing for the 2019 season. People are going for different shapes with their bridal bouquets, not round but more loose shapes. A trend that I’m really loving at the moment is using JUST greenery, even for the bouquets. I love foliage! I honestly think for my own wedding I might just have foliage, but maybe that’s a bit wrong as a florist! I’m also seeing a lot of tropical, bright colors and dried flowers. Bleached flowers are big trend right now, but it is really, really not eco-friendly. The environmental impact is so so bad - they go through six different types of toxic bleach! I try to be quite eco-friendly as a florist but it’s hard because it’s actually a really non eco-friendly industry! I try to avoid using the foams that are non-biodegradable, as well.
When you're not creating floral goodness, what would someone usually find you doing? Well, lots and lots of interior design because I’m moving! But besides that I’ve gotten quite into styling. I’ve done a few styling workshops to style my product better and to also style my house nicely! I’ve also been taking some calligraphy classes, because I’d like to be able to write on the button holes for the boutonnieres to add more value to my products. The other thing I love to do is travel - my aim is to go to 5 countries per year! I actually went to Dublin last weekend for my boyfriend’s birthday, and in a few weeks we’ll head to Barcelona for a long weekend.
How do you define your style and approach when it comes to executing a wedding floral design? My approach is always big, bold, and creative. I advise my couples to invest their budget into a big centerpiece, rather than lots of little flowers everywhere. Something that will be a wow factor! I also do a lot of work to reuse their arch because I know it is such an investment. What I also try to achieve with my designs is something that really reflects the couple as well and create something that has their personalities in it. I had a groom whose family was from Scotland, so I put thistles into their design. Or maybe a relative who passed away with a certain favorite flower. I find my couples really appreciate that! It has to be meaningful because it’s such an emotional day, and it’s so important to me to make it special for them.
Rebecca Carpenter Photography | www.rebeccacarpenterphotography.com
Rebecca met with us along the mews in Notting Hill for a quick branding photo shoot. We instantly connected to her outgoing personality and felt an immediate comfort level - it seemed like we had been friends for years! The images she captures on a wedding day is a combination of bright moments and intimate emotions, and she won't hesitate to have a fun time with her couples in the process. If this perfect vow renewal with her husband in Las Vegas doesn't convince you of her fun spirit, we don't know what will.
Tell us some trends that you are seeing for the 2019 season. Hoops is a big thing that exploded at the end of last year - usually as displays behind the ceremony or as bouquets. Also now people are investing in floral installations as a main centerpiece for photographs. I am also seeing flower arches in front of the church and then moved inside the venue – I am loving that trend!
What is your favorite venue in the UK?
Church ceremonies are great but the downside is how dark they can be inside. It’s hard as a photographer if there isn’t much light. There are quite a lot of restrictions in a church and you have to stay in a certain area. The thing I love about church weddings is the bells afterwards. It’s the quintessential British English church wedding. You actually have to pay for the bells and the bell ringers!
I have dream venues that I would love to shoot in – Aynhoe Park is on my bucket list. It’s so bright and is an incredible estate. I love where I got married too - it's by the sea and called East Quay Venue. There is also The Lost Orangery and Pynes House - both are so beautiful. This year I have very few repeat venues which keeps it fun, exciting, and fresh. Couples tend to panic if a photographer hasn’t worked at their venue before, but it all depends on the light and it is good to have a fresh pair of eyes.
When you are not doing photography what might we find you doing? Going out for dinner with my husband. We love going to restaurants and I am just always eating! I also love the seaside and I am always booking my next holiday! We are going to Santorini in May. It’s been on my bucket list and I just decided to book it. Holidays are really important because I find it really hard to switch off! I also love Netflix and chilling in my pajamas and meeting up with my girlfriends.
What do you love about your business or photography in general? What I love about the wedding industry is that it is ever-changing and full of surprises. No two weddings are the same, every couple is different! And you are capturing one of the best days of their lives, which is a privilege. The photography market is so competitive and over-saturated (more than any other supplier I would say). And when the couple has chosen you over all of the other photographers, it is a big deal! I try and get very very close to my couples and get to know them so they are as comfortable as possible. I genuinely get really excited and feel like it’s MY wedding day because I am very emotionally-invested. I really do want them to have the best day ever.
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