Venues

Wedding Photographer: Tips for Choosing The Right One
The proper wedding photographer will make your ceremony one worth remembering.

When choosing a wedding photographer, make sure that they are experienced and professional.

You’ll probably spend more time with your wedding photographer on the day of your wedding than any other professional or person. Although many wedding magazines recommend that you ask about equipment and style, it’s more important to choose a photographer with whom you can relax and who will provide what you’re looking for. Here are seven tips to help you select the right person.

  1. There are probably hundreds of listings in your area for wedding photographers. Browse through their portfolios and find three or four with images that you like. Once you’ve narrowed your choices, set up a time to meet with the photographer. Make sure you’re meeting with the person who will be at your wedding, not a sales person/consultant or the owner of the studio. You’re putting your wedding memories in the photographer’s hands. You have to like and trust this person.
  1. Don’t choose a photographer for these reasons:
    • He or she is family or the friend of a family member. Just imagine if something goes wrong. You have to face this person at family reunions for the rest of your life.
    • The venue made the recommendation. There are some venues that actually allow vendors to pay to be on the “preferred list.” It’s marketing, not preference.
    • The wedding photographer is running a sale. Good photographers have to invest in professional equipment and pay taxes and insurance. If they’re offering a deep discount, you have to ask yourself, “Where are they cutting corners?”
    • They’re popular and booked out for 300 weddings this year. Think about the logistics of doing 300 weddings in one year. Who knows who will be actually taking pictures of you on your wedding day?
  1. Ask what you get for their services. On average, you should expect 50 to 100 photos for each hour the photographer works.  Who owns the rights to the photographs? How will you get reprints? How many of the pictures will be edited in post-production?
  2. Will the photographer do a first-look session? A first look is when the bride and groom spend a few minutes alone together before the ceremony. It helps to get the jitters out and lets you have that real moment of seeing each other in private. Your photographer can capture those raw emotions before the ceremony and then you can enjoy the cocktail hour after the ceremony.
  3. What happens if the photographer is sick? Although it is unlikely that the photographer you choose will get sick, you should know what the contingency plan is.
  4. Find out how much experience the wedding photographer has. Don’t simply look at years in business, but consider how many weddings the person has actually shot in that time frame. Someone with five years of experience who has only done 10 weddings may not compare to someone with just one year of experience who has done 50 weddings over that time.
  5. Do you get a contract that clearly outlines the details of the services? Be extremely wary of photographers who do not have a contract that offers pricing, resolution terms and cancellation terms. This is for your protection as much as theirs. Once you have a contract, any verbal statements that change the terms of the contract should be obtained in writing.

Choose Your Wedding Photographer Sooner Rather Than Later

You may need to book your photographer right after you choose the date of the wedding. However, don’t panic if you don’t get your first choice. You may be able to get a referral to someone with a similar style who doesn’t have a full schedule. Should you tip your photographer? While most photographers don’t expect tips, most will appreciate one if it is given.

Choosing the Right Wedding Date
Winter wedding dates are becoming increasingly popular.

Due to the popularity of the movie “Frozen”, more and more people are placing their wedding date in the winter.

Every bride dreams of the perfect wedding and one of the first decisions that you have to make is the date. Some couples have a special day and won’t even think about choosing another wedding date, but many people aren’t even sure where to start. Here are some tips to help you narrow the choices and select a date that will work for you.

What’s Your Dream Wedding?

When you see yourself getting married, you have to know what you envision as your ideal. Maybe you want to be married in a lush rose garden, which might mean a late spring or early summer wedding. If you’ve always wanted to get married in a vineyard, you might have to think late September or October. With the popularity of the movie “Frozen,” more couples are thinking of a beautiful white, winter wedding. Choose a season that fits your imagination.

Consider the Weather

Even if your wedding is inside, you should take into account the weather when planning the date. If you imagine the groom wearing a tux or full suit, the middle of summer might not be the best choice. It’s just too hot to be so formal in 100-degree weather. The other factor in considering the weather is your guests’ comfort. If you’re having an outside wedding, you don’t want your guests to bake in the sun or freeze because it’s too cold. Of course, there are always unseasonable temperatures, but you can’t control everything.

Consider Your Budget

There’s a reason June, September and October are popular months to get married in, and it’s because the weather is generally fairly dependable. Vendors know that these are popular months, and the prices go up during the wedding season. If you have a strict budget, you might want to consider an off-season wedding. But you do need think about sacrifices in other areas, because specialty flowers aren’t always as readily available in off-season months. Saving money with the venue, then spending it on flowers doesn’t make the most sense if you’re trying to save money.

Special Occasions to Consider for Your Wedding Date

It might be nice to get married on New Year’s Eve, because the date will always be special in more ways than one. When considering your wedding date, you have to consider the holiday season. On Valentine’s Day, roses tend to be more expensive, which could increase your budget. If you live in a college town, you may also have to think about sports events, such as homecoming. This might make it difficult for your friends and family to find reasonable accommodations. Hotels, flights and car rentals all tend to get more expensive on holiday weekends and when demand is higher.

Another element in looking at special dates is that of those dates special to you and your spouse. Whether it’s the day you met or your grandparent’s anniversary, you may be looking at one particular date. Consider how important the actual date is versus some flexibility in scheduling.

The Venues May Have Limited Availability

Once you choose your ideal date, you have to work it out with your venues. Often, churches won’t hold weddings on Sundays because they are using the facility for their own services. With some places, you may have to work around corporate events or other weddings. Again, some flexibility is always good when planning, especially when you have a short time frame.

Decide what’s most important to you when choosing your wedding date and what you won’t compromise on. Check with family members and your wedding party to make sure you’re not planning your wedding on top of someone’s graduation from college or silver anniversary wedding trip. It will save you a lot of headache in the long run. Although you cannot plan for every contingency, you can really consider some of the most important factors in choosing your wedding date to have the wedding of your dreams.