Before I was even engaged, I was obsessed with all of the beautiful weddings on Style Me Pretty. My friends and I used to joke and say: "That girl stole my wedding!" Truth be told, it is a great source of information for brides-to-be and has truly become one of the most popular wedding blogs on the internet.
You can imagine my delight when I was able to meet the Founder/Editor of Style Me Pretty, Abby Larson. I asked her the question that has been on my mind since the first time I visited the site, "How can I get my wedding featured on here?"
How has SMP evolved over the years? What do you hope for in the future? Is there anything special coming up soon?
I started Style Me Pretty after selling my wedding invitation line. I was simply looking for a way to stay connected to an industry that I loved, while buying myself some time before figuring out what my next step would be. In the early days, I didn't have access to the vendors and the crazy gorgeous real weddings that they were crafting, so our content was much different. I designed custom inspiration boards for readers looking for advice, I talked about trends, about color palettes; ideas that were really my own. Although those features created incredible reader loyalty, it was always the real weddings that won people over and generated the most buzz. So we've since tilted our content a bit, to feature a myriad of weddings and ideas that brides can swoon over. The result is an awesome combination of ideas and inspirations for brides on any budget with any wedding style.
The future for Style Me Pretty is so very bright. We (yep, I'm a team now!) are exploring the idea of honing the tools that we've already crafted, adding on new innovative ones and branching out into a few different directions. No matter which way we go, however, the mantra will always be the same: to bring style savvy weddings to the masses.
What advice can you give to brides planning a wedding on a budget?
Some of the most beautiful weddings that we've featured to date were those planned on a strict budget. It's often times the budget brides that aren't afraid to get their hands dirty, to design a day that is filled with personality, with spunk and with a style that relates only to them. And it's those weddings that we tend to remember the most. So first and foremost, don't be afraid to really get in there with your wedding details. Have FUN and don't take wedding design too seriously. Instead of creating a menu that is uber-luxe, design one that is memorable...passed platters of grilled vegetables and meats, gourmet pizzas, taco stations, things that get your guests buzzing and don't break the bank. Instead of going all out with fancy linens and over-the-top florals, deck your head table out in the most gorgeous pieces a girl could ever wish for, then skimp on the rest. Your guests’ eyes will naturally go to the single showstopper. Think about all of the details that you can craft...from linen table runners placed over inexpensive white rented linens, to the paper pieces all custom stamped with your wedding brand. The affordable ideas are literally endless.
As a mom, how do you manage a growing business and family life?
We build in a lot of help. And because I run the business 50/50 with my husband, the balance of roles is much easier to manage. He gets up with the kids while I start working (or keep sleeping). The sitter starts at 8, then at 4 I close everything down and spend the rest of the evening with the babies. There are moments in every day where I am not sure that I will make it until 8PM when they are tucked sweetly in bed. And there are moments in every day where I honestly can't believe my luck in scoring such a great job that allows me to be so close to the babies. It's a dance, really. A very imperfect dance, not always a balanced dance, that we simply "make work" for us. And we're grateful beyond belief.
Since SMP, what has been one of the coolest experiences you’ve encountered?
CBS Sunday Morning filmed our family as a segment on industry changing blogs. We were profiled along with two other incredible brands and although it may seem minor in the grand scheme of things, it was an impossibly great moment where we realized that we have done just that - We've helped to change an industry. And that in and of itself is SO cool.
If you didn’t create SMP, what do you think you would be doing?
Something creative. Something fun. I worked as a glorified secretary for a hedge fund in the two years prior to launching my first business. And I found myself crying every Sunday night, dreading the idea of going back to work, filing for hours, watching my passion and fire and spunk slowly disappear. When I found the courage to quit that job, despite the great paycheck, I knew that I would never go back to that lifestyle. I would always push to do work that gave me energy, that gave me life, and that challenged me creatively. And the rest is history.
The question every bride wants to know, what’s the criteria to have your wedding featured on SMP?
Although we don't subscribe to any one aesthetic, there are a few things we look for. Pretty, of course. The wedding has to pass the pretty test. Great photography, fun, personality-filled details, an edited style. We look for flowers that make us swoon, couples that are madly in love, a sense of grace built into the structure of the day. We want to see details that our readers can steal and make their own, ideas that they might not have thought of, new approaches to traditions and customs. But at the end of the day, we choose weddings that we personally respond to that make our hearts beat just a little faster.
Do you have a favorite wedding post of all time?
I do! But I can't tell you what it is because it's tucked inside the first Style Me Pretty book that Random House is publishing, set to come out in December. I will tell you that it's the most gorgeous, most creative, most fun wedding you've ever seen. Ever. Here are a few of my favs from the blog...
Elopement by Lisa Vorce & Aaron Delesie
Wedding by Jose Villa & Mindy Rice
Wedding by Duet Weddings, Modern Day Design & Elizabeth Messina