Yay!!! You’re engaged—you had an epic proposal and ended up with the most stunning ring you could imagine and you’re anxious for a lifetime of wedded bliss.
And now the fun starts: venues are being booked, dates are circled on the calendar, and everyone is asking the never-ending questions that come with planning a wedding;
“When is your wedding?”
“Where are you getting married?”
“What color are the bridesmaid dresses?”
The decisions never stop and the questions keep coming. Planning your perfect day can be grueling, stressful and overwhelming but it shouldn’t have to be.
I’ve ached with brides as they sat in tears over choosing what venue to book, how to stretch their budget, and how to manage their mom who has a million ideas.
While I may not have insight into your potential stressors I can advise you on one thing: How to choose your Wedding Photographer.
This is a major decision that every bride has to make, it’s one of the only things that lasts past the big day (other than the vows and your beloved husband of course).
In the 6 years I’ve been in the wedding industry, I’ve seen every type of photographer you can imagine, and don’t be fooled, all photographers are not the same. I’ve seen them sassy and selfish, I’ve worked with photographers who were unhelpful and disinterested. I’ve photographed alongside some of the most giving and generous people I know. I’ve watched passionate people at work and seen strangers become friends. While making sure a photographer has a similar style as you with a package that suits your needs, I would dare to say neither is the most important factor in choosing your photographer.
As a bride myself, I wasn’t going to be satisfied by just checking out someone’s prices or making sure I liked their photos. The most crucial factor for me is my greatest advice for you.
Choose someone you want to be around on the most important day of your life.
Think about it…your photographer is the one person that you spend the MOST time with on the MOST important day of your life. We are there for the moments when you get into a fight with your mom, the tear-filled panics, the long awaited first look, the intimate first kiss, the drunken rages managed, and the first time your father lays eyes upon you, his beautiful daughter. We are there capturing it all, every tender and precious second. We should make you feel comfortable in front of the camera, gorgeous before you walk down the aisle, and encouraged when your mom storms out of the room in a rage over your hairstyle.
SO HOW DO YOU CHOOSE THE BEST WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER?
Get to know them as a person instead of just as someone to hire. Meet them for coffee with your fiancé and make sure you guys are wedding day “soul mates!” Build a friendship with them prior to your wedding day and plan for a relationship that continues long past.
3 great things you should ask on your coffee date (or face-time chat if it’s a destination wedding) with your potential photographer
1. What do you do outside of photography? (this is a great opportunity to get to know the person and not just hear about their job)
2. What’s your favorite moment on the wedding day?
3. What are you most excited about for our wedding?
Your photographer will become your second best friend (behind your spouse) by the end of the night if you choose right and you’ll be so thankful to have had them by your side all day.
As a photographer, I obviously couldn’t photograph my own wedding so I took a few photographers out to coffee and I knew I’d met my perfect photographer the moment we sat down. It was “love” at first sight; I wasn’t concerned about what she would provide because I knew that I could instantly trust her, that she had my best interests at heart and that she would be honest with me when my hair was on the fritz. I knew I wouldn’t mind crying in front of her, or seeing my husband for the first time with her tagging along. I didn’t mind sharing those moments with her because she fit right in.
As a result, I felt like I had another friend with me on my big day instead of a stranger snapping pics of me all day. I want nothing more than for each of you to feel the same, I want you to feel cherished and cared for on your wedding day, I want you to feel comfortable and know that your photographer has your back and that your day is all the better because of it!
So the next time you inquire about a photographer, plan to meet them for coffee, invite them into your love story, and hire not only a photographer but a friend!