Wedding Sparrow in 2014 ~ New Year’s Resolutions ~ Making it happen…

Jan 01, 2014 | Industry
HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone! Hoping your heads aren't too sore after the debauchery of New Year's Eve last night... We're starting this new year with a clean state, making it happen and telling the universe our plans (however vague they are!) so by putting them out there they're more likely to come true! Do any of you have New Year's resolutions? To be honest I've never really made any myself as then I won't berate myself for not keeping them! We're just so pleased with ourselves to still be blogging after launching Wedding Sparrow last May! We never thought in a million years that our fine art niche of a blog would be so well received so quickly and we thank you so very much for all the love and support you've given us over the past eight months. We hope that our little corner of the fine art wedding world gives you inspiration for anything in life. You all certainly provide a constant source of inspiration in ours. Without your beautiful weddings and parties and projects and general love in our direction, Wedding Sparrow wouldn't be here creating and curating the things that we love every day. Laura Gordon Photography - Styling by Wedding Sparrow Photography ~ Laura Gordon Without this being too much of a 'dear diary' moment, here's a quick run down of what we want to achieve in 2014...
  1. Grow but refine our brand ~ A vague one but stay with me here. When you run your own business you're often stuck between wanting everything all at the same time versus what is right for you. I see 'better' fonts, logos, imagery, styling and general amazing wedding-ness on a daily basis but is it really 'better'? What I've discovered over the past eight months is that every wedding blog out there is different. We have different taste, goals, experience and most of all, everyone I have met so far has been so encouraging to every other blogger. I'm grateful for an industry that is so open and welcoming and prepared to not see you as competition but as an ally. I want to continue offering something different to the wedding industry but refine our offering with our quality branding, great customer service for our vendors and a clear brand aesthetic. Stay tuned for new business collateral, a blog tweak and new partnerships with international networks!
  2. More quality styling events in 2014 ~ The thing we get asked the most here at Wedding Sparrow HQ is to work on styling projects with photographers for publication. We're so honoured to have worked with the photographers, make up artists, stationers, calligraphers, models and dress designers we have this past year and the images we have to show are nothing short of incredible. It was never our intention to style anything to begin with. We fell upon it purely by accident. When we were launching the website we needed some beautifully styled imagery to fill the site. We hired the uh-mazing film photographer Aneta Mak to come and photograph a styled editorial we put together in a forest. We hadn't styled before so contacted the best vendors we knew of to get involved and before we knew it we had a very popular styled shoot (see it here) featured on 100 Layer Cake and Wedding Magazine. Before we knew it we had other photographers emailing us about shooting with them both in the UK and internationally! Although we couldn't take on every shoot we wanted to, we got to work on some incredible editorials (an English Country Manor House shoot featured in Belle Lumiere Magazine, a Parisian love shoot featured on Magnolia Rouge, Rustic Autumnal wedding inspiration featured on Green Wedding Shoes, a beach wedding inspiration shoot soon to be featured on Wedding Chicks, and a Pantone Colour of the Year 2014 'Radiant Orchid' inspired shoot soon to also be featured on Wedding Chicks. So while 2013 was busy working on some incredible shoots, we want 2014 to have the same quality but push ourselves that bit further. We will be launching our online styling portfolio soon so if you're interested in collaborating with us in 2014, keep your peepers peeled for our site launch!
  3. Attend more workshops ~ We spent a week in December at Retreat Rome with some incredible fine art vendors and not only was the retreat informative, bonding and inspiring but we got the chance to be involved in our most rewarding event to date when our models that flew in to Italy to model for our styled engagement shoot announced at dinner that night that they were actually at the Retreat to elope and get married for real! Jaqueline and Trebor put their complete faith in our team of vendors to style and plan their entire wedding from the dress to the flowers and for that I will be eternally grateful as the day itself was so exciting, nerve-wracking, beautiful and stylish all rolled into one. And that was just us vendors! Although we would never want to recreate our time in Italy (we just couldn't!), we want to attend more workshops and meet more and more fine art vendors. The passion they have for their art and their brides is second to none. We're constantly inspired but none more so than when we meet you face to face. We have some workshops in the pipeline for 2014 and we're excited to be working with new vendors and bringing you new wedding inspiration - follow us on Facebook for any 2014 announcements!
  4. Travel more ~ A non-work based resolution as much as a work one. We'd love to travel more before we settle and start a family (or get a puppy!) and meet like-minded people (in any industry) and we're determined to make this happen in 2014! Our biggest readership is based in the USA and we'd love to 'pop over' and see you guys. And naturally we couldn't travel all that way and not include a styled shoot whilst we're there...
  5. Give up the day job ~ That's right, we both currently work full time on top of running Wedding Sparrow (another full time job). To be honest I could've given up the day job before now but we are in the process of buying our first home and it wouldn't bode well for me to give up a regular income whilst applying for a mortgage. So until we have the boring part of a mortgage sorted and a house purchased I'll be balancing the two full time jobs with expert precision. I'm also very aware of the pitfalls of working from home too (loneliness, bigger bum from eating, not adhering to a strict timetable, creative stagnation etc) so advice from existing home-workers would be greatly received! Being without the hindrance of a full time job will also allow me to attend more events and travel more - something I've struggled with in 2013...
  6. Work smarter ~ The key to a successful work/life balance. I fully intend to put into practice a more balanced routine instead of simply dealing with emails and tasks as and when I receive them. I've been reading Lara Casey's (Editor of Southern Weddings) blog and learning how to keep organised (and from a proudly organised person I thought there couldn't be much else to learn - boy was I wrong! I'm a typical INFP personality type so need everything to be organised). Working smarter will enable me to think about the future of the business practically rather than filling my days with being on social media, and generally doing a million things while all the time doing 'nothing'. I'm trying to retrain the way I think and work by having a balance between the technology organisation and the written. I don't know about you but I still need the good old fashioned written notes from time to time as working from my online calendar etc can be too much. Getting organised also includes buying another Mac and sorting out my desk (I've been putting it off until we move house as I thought there was no point but I really think it's not doing me any good working from a disorganised space!). If you have any 'keeping organised' advice, get in touch!
paris-france-european-fine-art-film-wedding-photographer-claire-pettibone-gown Photography ~ Laura Gordon I'm not 'all work and no play' so I do have some personal objectives for the New Year too:
  1. PauseAs I've gained experience working with some brilliant photographers, considerate thinkers and creative business owners, one of the personality traits I've really come to admire in others is the ability to pause... Pause before saying yes or no – I can’t get through a single day in my RSS feed without reading an article about saying no. And while I tend to agree with the intent behind saying no (usually having something to do with work/life balance), I don’t think it’s always the best answer. Hitting the pavement and saying yes over and over again has gotten me so much further down my path than I could’ve ever imagined. It has taught me which opportunities and projects work – and which ones don’t. So these days instead of jumping to commit “yes” or “no” on the spot I say “Let me take some time to think about it. Can I let you know by ?” I need take time to pause and actually think it over and can come back with an articulate and considered response as to why I’m saying yes or no. Pause before nagging – This is more personal but pausing before nagging makes for a much happier partnership. Need I say more?
  2. More quality, less quantity ~ Something that kind of overlaps into my working day too. Quality time with friends and family. Quality time with my husband. Quality purchases. Quality vendors and clients. Giving quality work back. Keeping a quality brand. Don't get me wrong, I'll still always have room in my wardrobe for some low priced H&M goodies...
  3. Less doubt ~ An ongoing battle. Self doubt is my biggest disadvantage in work life and private life. There are a gazillion things I want to do in life and achieve but my self doubt prevents me from doing them more often than not. It's a fear of failure and public humiliation really. Not the act itself. Just like how they say 'it's not a fear or flying you have, more a fear of plummeting through the sky towards a horrific death', or something like that. A positive thought I know! But nonetheless, this is something that is not easily overcome. I know my business is doing well and it serves a niche market and bridal base (and has even won an award!) and my peer support has been incredible, yet there is still that thought 'but {insert brand name/person's name here} is more experienced/better/knowledgeable/known within the industry etc than I am'. I know I'm not alone in this but I want it to appear less in 2014 to enable me to take advantage of new projects, meet new people and push my boundaries as a business owner.
  4. Buy a house ~ Top of my personal list for 2014, we have done our fair share of lining landlord's pockets and it's time to buy a house and be proper grown-ups! We've been saving for some time now and we're ready to take the leap although I'm hoping there'll be something we want to buy out there soon! It will mark a point in our married life we've been waiting a long time for so it's an exciting time! DIY tips and money saving recipes welcome...
  5. Write letters ~ My love of tangible art has grown so much since launching Wedding Sparrow. Whether it be printed photographs, foiled and letterpressed stationery or artwork for the walls I love them all. Fine art wedding inspiration is full of tangible art due to the synonymous quality it brings to any wedding.  Calligraphy, handwritten notes, letterpressed business cards, I want to send more in 2014...
  6. Celebrate our first birthday ~ In May 2014 we will celebrate Wedding Sparrow's first birthday! And we want to celebrate BIG! It's you guys that have enabled us to have such a successful 2013 and we're thinking of ways to incorporate as many people as possible in our celebrations. We've accomplished SO MUCH MORE than we ever thought we would during the first 8 months of Wedding Sparrow including travel to Paris to work on two styled shoots and Italy to talk to fine art vendors at Retreat Gatherings. We've been published in 9 separate publications (printed and online). We also won an award (we still can't believe it!) at Wedding Magazine's Blog Awards at the Ritz London. And there's still four months left of our first year!
We could go on all year about things we want to achieve, do and experience but I fear you'd all fall asleep... So here's to 2014! We'll be growing our business and reaching out to more brides than ever before (keep an eye out for New Year announcements!), new places to see (at new workshops in 2014) and a bigger better world of inspiration for you! Bring it on! In a fine art way of course... Sara xoxo

Photography: Laura Gordon Photography

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