There's a lot of debate in the wedding blogospere about these styled shoots. If you haven't run into one of these yet, a styled shoot is a small mock-up of a concept that's put together by a team of wedding professionals. The small scale is a hallmark of these shoots. They're generally a single table set up with lots of specialized props. Some bloggers believe these tiny mock-ups are impossible to achieve in the real-world; that brides could not replicate such styles on a grander scale--say 200 people--without breaking the bank. And that in this, styled shoots give a bride unrealistic expectations about what is achievable for her own wedding.
Um, yeah, the points about price and the impossibility of implementing such detail are true. You're certainly not going to buy a full place setting of old-school blue enamelware for each of your 200 guests without spending some major money, much more than it would cost to rent dinnerware. So what? Use these styled shoots as you use any inspiration board: to inspire you. Glean little details here and there and modify them to your tastes, location, and budget.
- Use enamelware as centerpiece vases or to hold favors, ceremony cards, or candy (for a candy bar)
- Name tables after your favorite hikes or mountain peaks
- S'mores are inexpensive. Set up a s'more bar, or tuck the ingredients for a s'more in a cellophane bag, seal with a pretty monogrammed sticker and offer them as a favor
- Use rustic floral elements such as pine cones and Scabiosa Pods in your bouquets and centerpieces. I'm also a big fan of the filer wax flowers. They remind me of meadow wild flowers
- Incorporate rustic, vintage elements like old lanterns, hibachi grills, and even outdoor equipment. These are easy to find at yard sales and thrift stores
- Use maps and visitor guides in your paper elements. Line your invitations with topo maps; back your ceremony program fans with beautiful images from visitor guides, use postcards as your table numbers.
- Are there wooden picnic tables around? Use them for your cake table, guest book, or escort cards.