This post has been updated with the challenges I have faced thus far as a wedding stylist. You'll need to understand the journey to appreciate what we did for the KEVIYE wedding.
Helloooooo and Happy first day of June! :)
Today is Wednesday (plus 1). We are going to share with you pictures from a wedding we worked on back in March. But before that, I'll share something with you.
My frustration with the wedding industry - Why is there no space for Wedding Stylists?
The flyer you saw above dates back to August, 2016.
I had spent months and pretty much the entire year working on wedding styling, post after post every Wednesday until I got tired. I did multiple photoshoots with some wedding vendors. Most vendors I had reached out to didn't see the need for a wedding stylist at their shoot. One lady in particular had told me that she styles her shoots. But she is a wedding planner.
You can pause here and look through styled photoshoots on any wedding Instagram page you know. Try Munaluchi or Brides or Bella Naija Weddings. You will rarely ever see a weddings stylist being mentioned as part of the vendors in the shoot. What you'll see is "Dress by...", "Veil by...", "Accessories by...".
This has been our reality for the past few years.
Why was it so hard to get brides to see that they need a stylist?
Why was every wedding planner assuming the role of a stylist thereby making my work a lot harder to approach and convince brides?
Why was the wedding industry so unwelcoming to the idea of wedding styling?
I signed up on website after website, paying as much as $350 sometimes and $50 monthly on websites that promise to get you clients, all to no avail.
Most wedding vendor websites don't even have an option for a wedding stylist in their list of vendors at sign up or on the client end for brides to hire; many of them still don't.
I sometimes signed up as a wedding dress designer, or any category that had a slim reference to fashion until I got tired of it all. Below is a screenshot of a website I recently tried to sign up on to connect me to clients. I had to give up and find my clients another way.
There is in fact no space for bridal stylists in the wedding industry (except high-end celebrity weddings) and I have been trying so hard for years to break into the market serving everyday people and carve a niche for the everyday bride. But they don't want me *tears*.
Evolution of the Memkoh Wedding Styling Service
Three years later, after my first wedding styled shoot in 2014, I have been able to nail a client for my bridal styling services.
Back to that flyer you saw, our Memkoh Bridal Box has truly evolved. From being designed to only provide brides with jewelry and accessories for their big day, we now provide gift boxes with day-of-wedding essentials for the entire bridal party. Of course, the bride and the groom are not left out of this experience.
So even though those three years that felt like a delay, I developed my craft and expanded my portfolio of Wedding Styling services for my clients. You can now get styled right from your engagement shoot to your honeymoon while also taking advantage of the Memkoh Bridal Box.
It has been years of growth and tears. Words cannot express how I felt when my first client, Dr. Abiye sent me pictures from her wedding. Abiye and Kevin have become our number 1 wedding client and their wedding dripped with class and most of all, Timeless Opulence. Her dress was timeless, especially her custom-made reception dress which we provided accessories for. This is a wedding I will always love and I want to thank Kevin and Abiye for letting Memkoh be a part of their day.
P.s. Look at their wedding decor! Isn't it beautiful? What is more beautiful is that we recently switched our website colors to colors in the purple color family because purple symbolizes wealth, royalty and that is everything Memkoh is. It was amazing to see that our first client was a true reflection of our ideals.
It's not about how long we waited; it's about how well our first client set the pace for hopefully bigger weddings we will work on.
The KEVIYE Wedding
The KEVIYE Wedding was a blast to work on. We did so much work and it is evident from the pictures you are about to see.
Although we know the bride personally, that doesn't mean it was easy to convince her to hire a bridal stylist. Right from when she was engaged, I told her "I'm here if you need anything for yourself or your bridesmaids". It's never that easy, really, to trust somebody with your wedding past the known wedding planner that everybody hires. This has been the challenge of pushing our wedding styling services but we strongly believe that with time, we will be telling couples "No more appointments available".
This couple entrusted us with much more than just shopping for them. I mainly shopped for the bride and her bridesmaids because thankfully, her groom was as involved as she was, even to the point of getting his outfit sorted by himself. She was confident that he will nail it and he did! This bride is the CEO of L'aviye by the way. She makes gorgeous African print clothing.
Without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, here is the bride's review *drumroll* (In my head, this is a speech. LOL)
Review from the Bride, Dr. Abiye, CEO of L'Aviye
Yes, you read that right. Are you shocked? Are you surprised? Are you still in awe?
I'm not going to do too much talking.
Wait for the pictures.
How MEMKOH Styled KEVIYE Wedding
a) BRIDAL STYLING
Like you read in the bride's review above, we were to provide accessories that complement all 6 of her wedding looks. We shopped for her shoes, jewelry, clutches, earrings, hair clips and other accessories. We even included shape wear for the bride because your wedding day is not the day to run around for control wear. Like this bride, you may not need one but it is highly advisable you check off your list of "just in case" items, which we did for this bride, Dr. L'Aviye.
More pictures of some of the bride's accessories are at the end of this post.
b) MEMKOH BRIDAL BOX
We created and designed custom gift packages for the entire Keviye wedding party, aka bridesmaids and groomsmen.
The bride told me her budget. It was left to me to split it and make it work for all bridesmaids. We got tote bags customized with each bridesmaid's name as well as gift items to relieve any last-minute or day-of-wedding stress. Our Memkoh Box is a pampering and wedding emergency survival kit. We also threw in a box for the bride (shown above).
She didn't ask for a bridal box quite frankly.
All she wanted was gift items for her bridesmaids but we made 7 gift bags for her bridesmaids and when her groom saw the awesomeness, he requested gifts for his 7 groomsmen as well. In the bride's box, we included a little gift for the groom (not shown).
The couple had their engagement photoshoot in Paris, that's why we got her bridal box that had Paris on it, since Paris held a special memory for her.
We put all her bridesmaids gifts in each bag to make it more compact for shipping abroad...we truly work with you.
Groomsmen Gift boxes
For the groomsmen, we got all their gifts customized, from bottle openers to strings bags and custom shoe horns. The groom knew what he wanted and he gave us the wedding hashtag and wedding date. My job was to ensure that the font, placement and finished products were super!
It is obviously more tricky to get things customized than it is to walk into stores and pick out items for bridesmaids. Everything turned out perfect as you will see below.
Styling the Keviye Wedding Summary
Their wedding was SO beautiful and the couple had a blast! Get ready to swoon over these pictures.
We threw in a gift for the couple - a customized chopping board - as our way of saying thank you for trusting us. This process wasn't an easy walk in the park but the best part of our job in this wedding was seeing the couple work with us! They responded to texts, emails promptly and trust me, communicating with your wedding vendor gets half of the work done, especially when you have 3 days!!!
#KEVIYE2017 was a success and we are happy to have been a part of it.
Contact us for your Bridal Styling consultation below. If you mention KEVIYE, you'll get 20% off your consultation fee.