Okay, I understand all the reasoning. I get it. As an artist I fully relate – you want to protect your copyright, your ideas and all the hard work you have put in. You also want to ensure that you are the one that receives the credit – that you are out in the spotlight and no-one else. You don’t want anyone to rip off your ideas and get paid for it whilst you get nothing. I get it.

I have been through some interesting copyright struggles myself being involved in a range of artistic disciplines and this is what I have worked out. Share. It’s the only way. It reduces paranoia, it lets up stress so you can create more.


The no-photography rule at many bridal fairs and bridal salons is becoming increasingly a problem I think. Firstly, I think it is counter-productive. I think Brides and Grooms SHOULD be allowed to photograph what they see. I know the arguments…..especially from dress designers…

“The gown design will be stolen and they will go elsewhere and get a dressmaker to make it” – Answer: Yes they will.

But at the end of the day you can’t control all that – no one can – if a Bride wants it bad enough she’ll find a way….she’ll look all through your website for the design…she’ll take a pencil and paper and make a full sketch of it…..she find your dress in a magazine and rip out the picture…. the only thing you can control is – nothing.

So I think embrace it……..it will only increase your exposure…..Think about it………she takes a photo of the dress she likes……she shows all her family and friends……..she puts it up on facebook and all the rest asking everyone what they think……..she may even mention your name………and you never know – it may end in a sale….maybe more from word of mouth. It’s FREE PUBLICITY!!!!


Many years ago I was at a bridal fair and innocently taking photos of the pretty stuff. The organisers came up to me and told me that a dress designer had seen that I was stealing her desgins. Say What???? They then made me go through my photos and delete the ones with her dress. I wasn’t a bride at the time – my friend was getting married and I was looking at ideas to help her – but had I been a Bride WELL!!! I would have NEVER bought anything from that dress designer – I would have concluded she was paranoid. And then I would have shared the experience with all I knew.

What if that dress had been THE ONE??? She would have lost a sale and got negative publicity.


 So my suggestion……Relax. Be flattered if people copy your work. Smile as one of my trendsetting photographer friends does in the knowledge that your work is that good people want to copy it!  And Bridal Salons….should also ease up on this rule. Brides want to know what the h*ll their dress looks like on them – in a photo. They want to check that the boning in the corset doesn’t stick out when they stand side on in a photo – that the shape is as really as flattering as the bridal salesperson is saying it is ….and they can’t remember what all the different dresses looked like when they get home so they either give up and go look elsewhere, get underwhelmed and go elsewhere, or just feel annoyed they can’t recall and go elsewhere!!!!! More sales down the drain.

If they have a photo they can refer back and remind themselves that actually – that dress did look pretty good on me….I think I’ll go buy it.  Personally, as a photographer, I wouldn’t buy a dress that I couldn’t have a photograph of myself in. I just wouldn’t. I would go elsewhere. I would want photos of everything.

wwww.flickr.com Jordan Verlage

Decorations, flowers, cakes…these are all things you want to get exposure on as a small business……most Brides don’ t have the time to rip your work off – they may take an idea here and there and translate it into a DIY project but generally they can’t be bothered with the bigger stuff and that’s where you come in!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They quickly realise it’s often easier, cheaper and faster to just go to the people where they saw the idea in the first place and get them to do it.

One final note……..the Bride/Groom is NOT thinking about you as a designer at this point, she is generally not interested that you are on your way to becoming the next Oscar de la Renta, or are one step away from having a full spread in Vogue or that you are a ‘Couture’ designer now as opposed to a dressmaker……she is only interested in one thing DOES SHE LOOK GOOD IN YOUR DRESS?  She may mention your name to everyone afterwards when they all comment on the dress, or if she puts her wedding on a blog or magazine….So put the ego away is my suggestion and make it about Her. You’ll be surprised at how much better that works out.

Brides to Be and Brides ……I’m interested to hear what you think about this! Or of any experiences you have had at Bridal Fairs/Salons.

2 Responses so far.

  1. Julie says:

    I agree with your sentiment. It annoys me that I can’t take images so I can remember things. At the last fair I went to I saw an awesome display for a reception and by the time I got home I had no idea who had made it so couldn’t track them down. It was a shame and a problem solved with a photo.

  2. Dee says:

    I completely agree with you, Fleur. Positive word-of-mouth advertising is the most valuable of all!