Destination weddings in Ireland and DC/MD USA. Your Irish wedding planner – styling and coordination to die for weddings since 2006. Based in Dublin and Maryland.

Style Me This: What Is A Wedding Stylist? And How It’s Your Best Kept Wedding Day Secret


The wedding world has been steadily changing. Long gone are the days of cookie-cutter weddings, indistinguishable from one couple to the next save their names on the invitations. Today, couples are embracing their diversity, realizing they are unique in this world and their wedding day should be a reflection of that. We’re seeing much more attention to detail, unique colors and decor, a surge in destination weddings, and an emphasis on quality and creativity.

And with the addition of Pinterest, wedding blogs, inspiration boards, and more, the modern day couple have an incredible amount of readily available information to guide and inspire that far exceed the bridal editions of the magazine section we were limited to ten years ago. But with that flood of information and images can also come panic, a feeling of being overwhelmed, and confusion. Your dream wedding day can become a cocktail of ideas, some complimenting one another but others dangerously close to ruining the balance and flavor. If you find yourself in this position now, or are keen on avoiding it to begin with, consider incorporating a wedding stylist into your wedding day planning.

What Is A Wedding Stylist?

A wedding stylist is a translator: we translate your vision of your wedding day — down to the smallest detail — into a reality.

We have an eye for balance, texture, color, and environment, and use those skills to create a beautiful ambience for your wedding day. Much as a stylist can help you pick out an outfit, match accessories, and make sure you’re appropriate dressed for your event, a wedding stylist will work with you on every element of your wedding day to make sure it all comes together in a way that  makes sense aesthetically and that is also consistent with your vision.

We take careful inventory of your likes and dislikes, getting to know you personally as individuals and together as a couple, so we can accurately reflect your uniqueness on your wedding day. We listen to your vision, suggest details that will compliment your ideas, and work together with you to create a bespoke wedding ceremony and reception.

We help guide couples who feel lost in the planning process, who many need some help figuring out details like flower choices or reception decor for example.  And we help fine-tune details for those couples that have a good grasp on their wedding aesthetic already.

Most importantly, we communicate your vision to your vendors, making sure everyone is on the same page aesthetically to create a cohesive look on your wedding day that will present and photography beautifully.

The Difference Between a Stylist and Wedding Planner/Coordinator

Many couples assume wedding planners and stylists are the same thing, but they are very different.

A stylist will focus on the aesthetics of your wedding day: conceptualize an overall theme, design a custom color palette, figure out elements to incorporate into your ceremony, design details for the reception, consult on stationary, etc.

Conversely, a wedding planner will focus primarily on sourcing the right vendors, secure your venue, help navigate you through the legal aspect of getting married abroad, create a timeline, managing your budget, and orchestrate everyone the day of your wedding.

There are certainly planners who are also stylists, and stylists who also plan and coordinate. At Waterlily Weddings we have a talented team who work within their sphere, then come together as a team with you from start to finish to ensure your dream destination wedding in Ireland is a reality.


What A Stylist Does

A stylist’s primary job is to extract the couple’s vision and then fill in any gaps if needed. We’ll start by encouraging you to brainstorm your dream destination wedding in Ireland, and sharing with us any inspirational images, items, or traditions you want to have present on your wedding day. As stylists, we may push you out to get inspiration from a variety of spheres — fashion, recreation, music — with the goal to get to know you both as individuals and as a couple so we can find those little details that will make your wedding day apart from all the rest.

Once we’ve gathered our information, we will start putting together details like color palettes and themes, and work with you every step of the way, refining and adjusting until we get the right combination and a vision you are excited and confident about.

In addition, we are here to consult on stationary, wedding dresses, veils, grooms suits, bridesmaids dresses, hair and makeup, accessories, guest favors, and more.

We will help you define the ambience you want for your wedding day, how to contrast or keep the same vibe for your ceremony and reception, and will design details to help support that ambience.

A stylist will tie everything together, down to the last detail, so everything from cufflinks to the cake makes sense and is uniquely you. And if need be, we will come to your wedding day and oversee the set up to make sure all is laid out and presented perfectly.

Having a stylist present on the day of your wedding can be an ace-in-the-pocket. Many times there needs to be last minute adjustments to wedding elements, from ceremony to flowers to placement of tables and decor. You can plan for everything, but inevitably something will have to be tweaked. Having a stylist’s eye there the day of your wedding will take the burden off of you and your vendors to make that call. A stylist knows how to work with lighting, and can help choose where to place the Plan B seating arrangement if needed for example to maximize photos that will now be taken indoors. This takes the burden off of you and you can continue to enjoy your morning getting ready. Photographers and stylists are perhaps the best teammates working together. Photographers like to concentrate on the couple, and capturing real-time moments on wedding days; taking time to set up stationary or accessories for shots is both time-consuming for them and frankly not their favorite thing. A stylist works in tandem with your photographer the morning of your wedding, setting up styled shots he or she can shoot quickly so they can go back to documenting your day.


What A Stylist Doesn’t Do

Stylists will help you find locations and venues, but will not book them for you. We are happy to consult on menus and food choices, but will not choose what is served or the cake flavors. We are happy to suggest attire and accessories, but will not order or purchase anything for you. We are happy to source items for you, provide suggestions, and even research for you.

Our very talented planners will help you book venues and vendors, acquire necessary permits, and help you with legal documents.

Stylists will focus on the design side of things to make sure everything looks gorgeous on your wedding day.

The Difference It Makes For Your Wedding Day

The devil’s in the details. Planning a wedding can be an overwhelming experience for many people. It’s easy to forget an element, or end up confused after looking at 300 images of cakes. It can be even more complicated when well-intended family and friends offer their suggestions to the mix.

A wedding stylist can serve as a buffer between all of these things: we can run interference between family to make sure you get the look and feel you want, help filter through the images, and make sure nothing is left out on your wedding day.

We’ve been through it and guaranteed will think of something you haven’t. We know the pitfalls, we know how to work with Ireland’s weather and terrain. We know what will work and what’s feasible, when to push the envelope, and when to scale it back. We think of the “what if’s” so you don’t have to.

Even more so, we take pride at Waterlily Weddings to not recreate the same wedding over and over again. Even though you may choose a popular venue, it will be styled and planned to suit your likes and personalities.


When To Bring In A Stylist

Theoretically a stylist can be brought on at any point in the planning process, but it really works best when it’s at the beginning. Ideally it’s before deposits are put down so that we could make changes if necessary.

Working As A Team

Weddings, like the marriage, is a team effort. Everyone has their part to play, and when working in unison can create a spectacular event. Stylists will work with your wedding planner and coordinator to make sure all of the elements are perfectly executed: for example, the stylist will conceptualize the flowers, the planner will match them with the right vendor for the job, they will work together with you to fine tune the exact look, and make sure they are presented beautifully on the day of your wedding.

This repeats with all of your vendors. Your stylist is in constant communication with you and your vendors, especially as we get closer to your wedding day, making adjustments if needed and making sure everything is staying on track from a design perspective.

The day of your wedding your stylist will be on hand to consult for hair and make-up, helping your bridal party, making sure your ceremony and reception spaces are perfectly set up, and making any adjustments so you can enjoy your wedding day. We work closely with your photographer to make sure all of the moments and elements you want documented are done so.

Our only objective is to create a beautiful end result.

CONTACT US today to discuss how Waterlily Weddings can help you plan and conceptualize your dream destination wedding in Ireland!

Photos by Shane O’Neill

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