When I first started reading wedding blogs, I didn't really understand what styled shoots were all about. Why would they have fake couples, set up tables that no one would be seated at, and go to all the bother of creating bouquets and centrepieces that would hardly be seen?
But as a blog editor, I now know that not only do they show couples unique and new ideas, but they let vendors flex a little creative muscle. They push new trends, they encourage personalisation, and well, they make for some seriously pretty eye-candy.
We've been lucky enough to feature a lot of gorgeous styled shoots on the blog this year, from all over the world. So as with the rest of our Best of 2016 round-ups, it's been pretty tough to select our favourites.
But we reckon this line-up might just convert you to the merits of the styled shoot, and show you just what a variety of concepts, colour schemes, creative ideas and talented vendors we shared on the blog in 2016.
A few of our favourite shoots this year… enjoy!
1. Fine Art Inspiration from Greece
This shoot at Methoni Castle in Southern Greece, all the way back in January, had us enamoured with its dreamy light, atmospheric setting, and beautiful style and decor.
Captured by Alexis Rose Photography, as part of a Boheme Workshop with Vasia Photography and Artiese Studios, and styled by Tahnee Sanders of Celsia Floral, if you want to create a romantic destination wedding with a stylish, alternative feel, this is how to do it.
2. Atmospheric Romance in Havana
This gorgeous shoot was a firm favourite this year, and while we could credit the beautiful wedding dress or the textured table setting, it's got to be the Havana backdrop that made this one so special.
With photography by Gaby Rguez Photography and styling by Birds and Honey, we think this one will inspire lots of couples to consider eloping to Cuba, or at the very least, adding Havana to their honeymoon itinerary.
3. Whimsical Sleeping Beauty Shoot
This whimsical Sleeping Beauty-inspired shoot featured a crack team of UK wedding vendors, a stunning venue, and some of the most opulent decor ideas we shared all year.
Photographed by Jessica Withey Photography, with styling by Mr & Mrs Unique and The Bijou Bride, this is one is a flower-lover's dream.
4. Retro Elopement from LA
This retro elopement shoot by XO & Fetti was just so cool, showing couples how to bring out their playful side, and rock a fun, stylised look on their big day.
Think awesome vintage style, a retro downtown setting, and super sweet details for an elopement.
5. Dreamy Beach Inspiration from Spain
Blues and greys were massively popular for wedding dresses in this year's styled shoots, but this one sealed the deal for silver as the perfect hue for all things dreamy, romantic and so stylish.
But this beautiful beach shoot by Aleksandra Semyonova and Mendelssohn International Wedding Agency wasn't all about the dress, it gave us gorgeous ideas for florals, beauty, and refined informal dining by the sea.
6. Sweet St. Tropez Elopement
This gorgeous St. Tropez elopement certainly stands out as a favourite of the year for us, and it massively popular with you guys on Instagram and Pinterest too.
Photographed by the wonderful Ashley Ludaescher Photography, and planned by Beautiful Occasions, it's got the most chic style, the most pretty blooms, a real life couple and a moto getaway!
7. Cool Wabi Sabi Inspiration
We love styled shoots that have a real concept behind them, and this cool Wabi Sabi shoot from over the summer was all about the Japanese philosophy and aesthetic for nature and minimalism.
Photographed by Siobhan H Photography, with styling by Always Andri, this shoot is contemporary without being cold – perfect ideas for an understated bride or groom.
8. Luxe Film Photography from Barcelona
Oh gosh this shoot was a beautiful one – sometimes I still look back on it and swoon!
Captured in Barcelona by Lena Karelova, on a workshop by Marina Muravnik, with planning by Oh My Love Wedding, from the opulent florals and the gorgeous style, to the stunning film photography, this one has so many wonderful ideas, you're going to want to recreate them all.
9. Refined Take on Tropical Wedding Style
This shoot was a helpful one for anyone getting married somewhere exotic, who wanted a take on tropical wedding style, without going kitsch.
Captured by Megan Wynn Photography and planned by The Wedding Bliss Thailand it's vibrant yet luxurious, with an abundance of local floral and foliage, a white sand setting and contemporary bridal style.
10. Cute Kittens and Chic Style
And last, but certainly not least, was an adorable kitten-filled shoot by Sanshine Photography, and Charlotte Munro Styling that even had the dog-lover in me cooing.
With a chic dress, gorgeous beauty ideas, stunning styling and unique florals, this shoot was about so much more than those fluffy felines.
Check out more of our favourite posts from 2016, from weddings, to films, to planning posts.