I sat down with Hayley Harding of Hayley and Co. to discuss all things styling. Hayley and Co. offer bespoke styling and design for any occasion, everything from weddings to retail brand launches. After attending an incredible store opening Hayley styled, I knew we needed her help creating the vision for our wedding. Not only is she brimming with ideas, she’s refreshingly approachable and super realistic when it comes to things like budget and priorities. It’s all too easy for me to get carried away, but Hayley asks all the right questions, has all the best contacts and keeps me on track while helping define the mood for our day.
For those of who you are maybe are less familiar with the concept of event styling and design (I know I was…) I wanted to run through a few questions I had before my initial meeting with Hayley.
Images by Joseph Willis via Hayley and Co.
What exactly does a wedding stylist do?
Essentially a stylist’s role is to manage all the aesthetic elements of your wedding or event and bring them seamlessly together on the day. We listen to your personal vision for the day and make this a reality through a design concept which shows how everything will come together on the day. We cover all the details from flowers, lighting and decorations through to your place cards, menus and furniture. We source and manage everything needed to bring the concept to life. We are then there to set everything up for you on the day, leaving you (and your family) to relax and enjoy your big day.
When does the styling process begin? When do you usually meet with couples-to-be?
I like to first meet with my clients 9-12 months out from their big day — around the same time or just after they’ve secured their venue. Any earlier makes it difficult to pin down ideas and the overall vision.
On the other hand I have a number of current clients who have just booked and their weddings are six months away. Once a client has booked in my services, I then ask them to gather a handful of images that they love and tell me why they love them. The images don’t have to relate but it’s a great starting point to see what ‘look and feel’ they are going for. We will talk about budget at this point as well.
What are some styling tips you can share with us?
To me, a wedding (or event) should reflect the client and their personalities. I love to weave a couple’s personal touches throughout an event.
How do you reconcile Pinterest dreams with reality?
Pinterest is a great source of inspiration and a really helpful tool for both stylists and clients. I encourage my clients to not only pin wedding images but also pin images that ‘speak’ to them. These images tell me a lot about the couples style and the things they like.
Images by Susannah Blatchford via Hayley and Co.
You obviously have an elegant, beautiful signature style, what if a bride’s style doesn’t match (or even clashes with) your overall design ethos? Have you ever broken your own rules?
Just as all professionals have different aesthetics, specialities and skills, so do stylists. Therefore it’s important to find a stylist who shares your vision, knows how to make it happen and can work within your budget.
Clients generally come to me as they like my style, but if I felt I was not the right fit for a couple then I would happily suggest an alternative option for them.
What are some wedding trends you want to see more of?
I would love to see more clients experimenting more with lighting.
Do you have a designer or stylist you look up to? Who’s your greatest source of inspiration?
I love to see what other stylists are doing – especially overseas. However I get most of my inspiration from interior designers as I love to play with different textures.
Well, there you have it.
Whether you have no idea where to begin or have a few ideas but are unsure how to execute them, an event stylist can help you put your plans in motion. From the overall vision to the nitty gritty details, Hayley has been an absolute joy to work with. It puts my mind at ease knowing she’s got my back whenever I get slightly carried away and I always leave our catch ups feeling inspired and excited. If you want to see some more examples of Hayley and Co.’s work, visit her website or Instagram account. Believe me, you’ll be scrolling for awhile.
Images by Danelle Bohane via Hayley and Co.