I hinted at this special project in the works last week and today I can finally share all of the details with you.

Together with Emily Newman of OnceWed, I’m delighted to announce the launch of Wedding Styling 101: A digital course in the foundations of aesthetics and the art of styling

This course is everything Emily and I have learned about wedding imagery from our combined 22+ years in the industry. It came about as a result of the type of questions I was receiving from you all during 1:1 coaching, studio sessions, and our creative direction and styling workshops.

You wanted to know: How can I shoot the types of weddings I see on OnceWed? Why aren't my submissions being accepted? I don't have stylists at my wedding, so how can I become a better stylist? I know something is off in my work, but how do I pinpoint exactly what it is? How do I book my dream clients?

There’s not always enough time during these sessions to answer these questions in the detail I would like, so I thought it would be helpful if I could get all of this content down in an easy-to-digest format, and allow people to go through it in their own time, delving into the learning on a much deeper level. I think Wedding Styling 101 does just that.

I hope our course will develop people’s understanding of aesthetics and storytelling. I hope it will help photographers have a more comprehensive understanding of the potential of their work. I hope it will help creatives show us more genuine wedding stories that are also more beautifully composed. But mostly, I hope it will help people feel more at ease about what’s being asked of them and their images – so they can let go of the pressure of trying to meet unknown expectations and instead be more free to be themselves as artists and show us more couples being themselves on their wedding day.

If you’re a photographer, planner, floral designer or stylist and this sounds like something you’d find helpful, we’re offering 25% off the regular course price for one week in celebration of our launch. In addition, we have some amazing bonuses offerings including 25% of one-on-one mentoring with me. You can find more information and read all of the details about the course at weddingstyling101.com.

We’re also sharing details of Wedding Styling 101 on Instagram so be sure to follow along with the hashtag #weddingstyling101.


Sorry it's been so quiet here lately but I've been hustling behind the scenes for a while now.  I can't tell you all the exciting things that are in the works right now but I'm so pleased to finally begin letting one cat out of the bag.

One of the questions I get repeatedly is: how do I get to shoot/do the kinds of weddings and editorials I see featured on Once Wed.

Well, I've put together a free little mini course with Emily Newman (as a preview of a giant course we're launching next week) to share the top mistakes we see most consistently in the images that are submitted.



If you're curious or into this kind of thing, you sign up for it at weddingstyling101.com.

We’ll be sharing more news about our upcoming course for wedding professionals on Instagram so follow along with the hashtag #weddingstyling101.


I'm so excited to say...I am looking for two associates to aid with styling, design, and planning for weddings and events. Please read on to see if you might be a good fit....


  • Hard worker committed to delivering the highest levels of service
  • Willing to travel 1-3 times per event
  • Great time management and organization skills
  • Self-motivated
  • Similar aesthetic to me
  • Detail oriented
  • Already knows their way around wedding planning and the wedding world
  • Has a can-do mentality
  • Always wanting to grow and refine their work; open to feedback
  • Is a pretty even mix of left and right brain
  • Not easily rattled under stressful situations
  • Knows how to take charge diplomatically
  • Excellent people skills
  • Is lovely to be around


  • Located in California or New York
  • 3-5 years experience in wedding planning and design
  • Able to attend my Creative Direction + Design Workshop in Serenbe, GA - February 8-11, 2015 if you haven't attended one of my workshops already


  • Sometimes assisting me on weddings where I'm the lead

  • Sometimes acting as lead on weddings that I'll help oversee or help design

  • Manage client emails and communications
  • Track and manage vendor relationships
  • Design and implement overall designs
  • Execute and manage event timelines
  • Manage event budgets
  • Would start as part time work but could lead to full time position


So does this sound like your dream job?? If so, please email me!



Send an email with all of the items below to: info@joythigpen.com

  1. Cover Letter and Resume
  2. Link to portfolio of past work and your Pinterest account
  3. Three individual inspiration/mood boards exhibiting a range of the ideal weddings you'd like to design and produce.

I wanted to share with you some of my favorite frames from part of a shoot we did in Mexico last month. This shoot is coming out in 3 parts, this being the first. I cannot begin to tell you how amazing this location was. You'll get to see more of it soon...

Dresses: Madison James | Photography: Meghan Kay Sadler | Creative Direction + Bookings: Emily Newman for Once Wed | Creative Direction + Styling + Hair and Makeup: Joy Thigpen for Once Wed |  Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Venue: Coqui Coqui Merida Earring: Yvonne Leon