The man of your dreams has just proposed. It was the most amazing experience and better than you ever dreamed about. You start to call your family and friends and they are bouncing off walls excited. You even jump on Facebook to change your status and you are officially on cloud 9. You log onto the first wedding website you can think of and it hits you. YOU HAVE TO PLAN A WEDDING AND HAVE NO CLUE WHERE TO START. Now it’s time to come off cloud 9 and get to this wedding planning business….right? Or maybe we can stay on cloud 9 for just a bit longer?
While I can’t promise you that your wedding planning won’t have a single stressful moment…I CAN take some of the stress off when it comes to selecting your wedding photographer. What you are about to embark on is not another, ‘Questions to ask during the photography interview’ that is so commonly seen all over the internet. I mean really…do most brides even know what those questions mean? This guide to help you think. Yes…I said it. I’m not going to tell you what to do. I’m going to make you think about what you really want and what you really can afford.
What if you don’t know what you want? Then this first step is perfect for you. It will give you a great starting point to planning out your photography experience.
Step 1: Ask Around
Seriously…we all know someone who’s gotten married, or know someone who knows someone. They are the perfect people to ask about their experiences with wedding vendors. They can tell you what they loved and hated when working with that person or company. Sit back and enjoy the stories…I can guarantee you’ll hear something you never would have thought about! The other fantastic question to ask your friends, family, co-worker, other wedding vendors…(you get the idea) is what would they do different? Let their life lesson help guide you on what’s best for you.
Your hard work of having a night out with family and friends for dinner and a drink has paid off. You now have a list of wedding vendors to scope out. This can be a huge time saver…and stress reducer. As I’m sure with many cities, Tampa, Florida is flooded with wedding vendors. Some are amazing, crazy talented professionals that truly love their craft. Others are… well, they are not so amazing, crazy talented professionals that truly love their craft.
Step 2: Pick Your Style
The next item on your list of to-do’s is to decide what style you love. A lot can be determined about a photographers style by what they post on their blog, social media and website portfolio. Be sure to find a style that is a reflection of you and your fiance’. Also, don’t forget about album designs. When you meet with a photographer, checking out a sample album is a sure fire way to know if you like the type of album designs they produce. This can also help you determine if an album is right for you.
Step 3: What to Expect
Okay, so now you have a list narrowed down by your loved one’s experiences and by the style you desire the most. It’s time to start getting down to the nitty gritty. Before we whip out the $$ chat, let’s talk about the service you’ll receive. It’s time to reach out to the photographers on your list that have made the experience and style cut. Here’s the first thing you want to find out. Are they available? If so, HOORAY! Next you can start to get into the basic questions, such as: What all do they offer? and How will they help prepare you for getting the most out of your photography experience?. Yes, they should do this! We are the professionals and are here to guide you….let us. 😉 Make sure you get a clear understanding of everything to expect when working with that photographer. (another great reason to do step one.) One last thing for Step 3. Do you like the person you just talked to? Your photographer is with you most of the day. If you don’t like the photographer as a person, this can make for a bad experience for you both, so listen to any red flags you notice.
Step 4: Packages and Pricing
Now we’re down to the last bit…a conversation that can be difficult to navigate. The most important thing you can do is be completely honest with what you can afford. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about their packages, products, services and any other extra expenses you may incur. Also ask about what percentage they charge to book and reserve the date with. Most in the Tampa area charge 50% of your package total, but I’m sure there are plenty that have a different policy.
There you have it my friends! Our guide to helping reduce the stress of wedding planning and help keep you on cloud 9 for as long as possible!
Hire a wedding planner! I know, I know…but really let’s think about this for a minute. It’s your wedding day. Your sitting in the chair getting pampered to perfection. Your bridesmaids are busy getting pampered too and are getting into their gorgeous dresses and jewels. Then all of a sudden, your mom comes running frantically into the room… ‘The cake lady just called, they are lost and I don’t know where they are. Also, the florist is running late and so is the priest.” What do you do? If you had a wedding planner…you wouldn’t have to do a thing. No matter how good you are at planning and organization, come the day of your wedding you should only be the Bride and Groom and not playing wedding coordinator. Your family and friends shouldn’t have to take on the responsibility either, but instead enjoy and celebrate you and the love of your life becoming one. Really…the planner can handle it and it will be worth every penny.