We'll Miss You, Style Me Pretty

If you follow or admire vendors in the wedding industry or have looked at photos online of weddings, styled shoots, and beautiful inspiration, chances are you may have some across an image that was shared first by Style Me Pretty. Over the past ten years, SMP has risen to become America's top wedding blog, with one million Instagram followers, over 5 million Pinterest followers, a book, and more images published than anyone can likely even count. 

As a wedding planner, one of my business goals when I started East Made in late 2015 was to have my design work published on Style Me Pretty. A styled shoot, yes, but more importantly, even a real wedding. I had always admired the gorgeously styled invitation suites, perfectly crafted bouquets, and all of the well thought-out details that the blog espoused. Its aesthetic was a pillar in the wedding industry, and was a portion of the feeling I longed to achieve with my brand, enabled by the right photographer and the right detail-driven bride.

I was so over the moon for our first SMP real wedding feature - again, styled shoot features were one thing, but I really felt like I had "made it" when such a prominent blog wanted to share our real wedding styling. I remember thinking after that, "okay, maybe I can really do this work, and be not only a planner, but a stylist/designer, too." And throughout that year, 2017, Style Me Pretty graciously featured our work many more times, and I never tired of that thrilling feeling of having our work and our efforts be so appreciated. 

This image is from our first Style Me Pretty real wedding feature, and this wedding is still a favorite of mine: 

Shortly thereafter, I became a "Little Black Book" vendor guide member, and more wedding vendors and brides started to notice East Made. I started to receive real destination wedding inquiries, and those coveted inquiries from brides who shared our deep appreciation for details and styling. And all of this happened in only a year and a half, thanks in large part to the national exposure and our positive relationship with this one, big, blog. 

Now in 2018, I'm sure you can imagine my surprise this week when I received a generic, mass email stating, with no explanation or reason, that Style Me Pretty would be shutting down it's website for good. (Actually, I first found out when I saw 10 different "OMG" texts on my phone from other vendors, and then went to check my email.) Understandably, the wedding industry as a whole, was floored. Even some of my brides reached out, asking if I could share the scoop, if I knew the reason why, or if I understood what was going on. The truth was, I really didn't. I could barely wrap my head around the news myself. And I felt like I needed a few days to process everything, and think it through calmly, and even days later I'm not sure how to react to it.

All of the emotions are there, and they hit close to our hearts as wedding vendors because these businesses we have built up are our babies, whether we have been in the industry for 3 years or 20 years. All of the time, energy, and money we have invested in creating shoots and weddings reflective of our brand, all of the time spent with our brides longing to share their amazing weddings and having to wait months until publication to do so, and all of the images that Style Me Pretty has put on Pinterest that continue to drive great traffic to our site - gone, by the end of this month. Sure, we still have the images on our desktops and websites, but publishing a wedding or a shoot somehow makes it feel more alive, like it is your own special little offspring that you've helped create, and you're sending it off into the online world to be loved, admired, and shared. 

So, as a recap of our Style Me Pretty features, and to ensure they continue to be seen, I'll be sharing screenshots of all of them here on the blog over the next few weeks. And, I will also hope that the current efforts by the founder of SMP and other industry peers to restore the blog are heard, and realized - because what a save that would be! And, if not, we'll bid a fond and sad farewell to the blog that was so instrumental in helping to establish our little brand.

Elizabeth GopalComment