Studio tour: Weddings by Socialites

Name: Kelly McWilliams
Location: Cape Coral, Florida (South West Florida Gulf Coast)
Company: Kelly McWilliams' Weddings by Socialites

What do you do? Wedding Planning & Design (Primarily Destination)

What is your aesthetic? Polished, pretty and light

How does your studio style convey your professional aesthetic? I chose this studio space because it had everything I needed to feed my creative mind.  It's full of light and the waterfront setting just screams destination wedding.  When I designed the studio interior I brought in pieces that were eclectic in the most subtle manner.  Meaning that there isn't anything “matchy matchy”, but it does all flow.  Many of the decor pieces are from the weddings we've done in the last few years, so they're good memories as well.  I adore fresh flowers and plants, but I do not have a green thumb.  So, yeah, I have to make weekly stops at the landscaping store for not dead plants. I still can't believe the fern in here is still green after nearly 3 weeks.  One thing I have to point out is that I do have a least favorite part of the studio.  I'd feel like I was lying if I pretended it didn't exist.  Behind my desk is the “storage and assembly area” It's jam packed with everything we use to physically create things.  I just don't like that there's so much “stuff”.  But the truth is, we use all that stuff and it has to be within reach.  I do love that its behind my desk so that I only have to look at it when its time to cut, tie, and glue or to grab a beer from the fridge for a groom who is over talking about linens and floor plans.

Favorite part of your studio? I can't pick a single favorite. I love the view of the palm trees in the breeze from my desk for when I'm doing logistical work.  I love meeting with clients in the sitting area because it feels so comfortable; very natural for just getting to know one another.  Finally, I adore my photo art gallery.  Seven of our favorite photographers have gorgeous large images of our clients on display right now.  Oh one more thing, I love how much open space we have.  It's actually big enough for a cocktail party for 45 in here.  Our clients love my addiction to books and magazines, so the library is their favorite part.  I'm pretty sure I have Barnes & Noble beat with my collection.

Where do you go for inspiration? Three places, I have a favorite shop that I find the most wonderful decor pieces in.  Many times I'll design an entire wedding around one piece.  I stop in probably twice a week just to look.  Second, I read.  I read both wedding, entertaining/cooking and design (books, blogs and magazines).  I never copy, but for certain the images make my gears turn.  Lastly, I go out to dinner and to parties as often as I can.  I find the more that I am exposed to entertaining, the more I have a mind to push the envelope.  So when I have the opportunity, I love to get “fancy” and celebrate anything.

What tool do you use in your business that you can’t live without? My bedside notebook and my iphone. They keep my creative thoughts and logistics available to me.

Is there anything you’d upgrade to? This studio is a dream come true.  I can't imagine an upgrade is possible.  Although, I'm also a gadget girl and I'm dying for an ipad and a touchscreen monitor.

Anything else we should know? My motto is Work hard, smile alot and work very hard.  I think everyone should try it.  It works, promise.  My business is boutique.  As much as I would love to design 30 weddings a year, I just can't.  For me it is so much more important to get the 15-20 that I do take, to be the most outstanding celebrations possible.  For me, its just as much about the experience (For the bride & groom and their guests) as it is about the aesthetic.  That means spending more time on each one and having relationships with my clients.  As much as I love creating events, I also love educating about them.  So I love speaking at events to industry professionals and hosting events for brides.

[images from Impressions Photography]