What is MOST important...

Planning a wedding can be so stressful. That goes without saying. So how to you lower the stress of planning? Hire the RIGHT vendors! You want vendors that you vibe with and can come along side you to make your special day go off without a hitch. You want folks around you who can help you prepare beforehand, so you and those involved can know what is going to happen and when. People who will communicate with you upfront and throughout the whole process. I mean, how many weddings have you planned? Probably not many. But your vendors have and should be experts on how to help you make it go off easily. Here are a few things to consider when preparing for the day, from a photographer's point of view.

  1. Timeline Planning - A good timeline is the first key to a successful day! A wedding coordinator/planning can help with this. If you hire one, be sure to hire one who understands the importance of the timeline to benefit no only little breaks for you, but also lighting considerations for the photographer! There should be enough time in the day for ALL THE STUFF and taking photos at each moment. From getting ready, to the ceremony, the formal photos, and all the party events! And if you don't hire a coordinator, your photographer should be able to help with a great timeline! After all, most of the timeline serves him/her and allowing them to capture the day well!
  2. Lighting Conditions - Lighting is the key to good photographs. A dark event center will photograph way differently than an outdoor venue! Keep this in mind when choosing your venue and/or locations for bridal party shots. All though it should not be the ONLY factor when choosing your venue, your photographer will LOVE you if you consider that!
  3. Communication - Once booked, expect for your vendors to communicate with you less the further from your wedding day you are. For instance your wedding is May 15, 2025. You booked them Feb. 2, 2024. You will have little to no communication with them for the remainder of 2024, as they are busy serving the couples who's days are happening in 2024. That does not mean that you cannot contact them with questions or concerns along the way...but their response time may not be as quick as you would like. Give them grace in that timeframe. Now, a few months prior to your date, communication is with you is KEY! Expect for the communication to pick up in the months leading up to your big day. As a photographer, I communicate A TON to my couples in the last two to three months before their wedding day. In that timeframe is when we work on an finalize the timeline, must have photos, and a photo list...among other things. Having right expectations about communications is key!
  4. Candid Moment vs. Posed Shots - What grabs your attention? What type of style do you want to have remembered from your big day? Hire a photographer that matches that style. Discuss this with your photographer in advance! Prior to your wedding day tell your photographer what you like and especially what is to be avoided. Groom doesn't like his photo taken, let us know...we can make it painless and/or minimal. Maybe your special great-aunt will only be around for the ceremony and little after and you'd like a special moment with her captured...tell us we'll make it happen! Also let your photographer know a "shot list." These are the MUST HAVE photos throughout the day as well as a list of combinations for family photos. Don't worry...this should all be discussed during a meeting with your photographer prior to the day. I always sit down for coffee with my couples about a month out to discuss ALL THIS and MORE!
  5. Back up plan - I shoot in Ohio and Ohio weather is unpredictable! When considering your venue or locations to do photos, consider a back up plan. Let your photographer know ALL the plans. You may be getting married in a location that is unfamiliar to the photographer and if it rains, he/she may not know of a place to take pictures inside off hand. Having a back-up plan can alleviate the stress of a last minute plan!