Wedding Professionals for What's Most Important

September 16, 2016  •  1 Comment

I am a professional wedding photographer. I make my living capturing precious moments. And I do it with pride, respect and tons of fun! But the fun doesn't keep me from recognizing the cost. As a wedding pro I am very aware of the cost of a wedding. CNN Money says $32,641 is the amount for 2016. That’s quite a bit of money. I have photographed weddings that cost almost that much. Of course you can get by with much less.  I have photographed weddings that cost less than $3000. And no matter what size wedding I photograph, I am always impressed with couples that choose wedding professionals for their priorities.

Al working-1-7Al working-1-7 That's me working - looking for shade in 108 temps in June. Your friends will bail when it gets like that.

When I counsel with couples, I ask them to prioritize what is most important for me to capture in my photography. This usually leads us to a place where they begin to squirm about dancing & getting a friend to create a playlist (instead of a DJ). Or maybe they look at their feet as they talk about grandma preparing the cake. I get it. They are on a budget. This is when I ask them to prioritize the full event. What part is most important? If it’s the ceremony, get the minister or officiant that will make the ceremony memorable. If it is dancing and party atmosphere, then hire the best DJ. And if you are on the fence about one part or another, keep prioritizing.  “But maybe I can use some of my friends or family” you say. And maybe you can. 

 

Cake & Cutting-24Cake & Cutting-24 That's a Cheryl McMillan Cake - grandma won't make one like Cheryl. If cake is your priority, call Cheryl.

Last fall I wrote a blog about using friends and families for various portions of your wedding. You can read it HERE. I strongly caution you to think long and hard about asking a friend to be a part of any portion of your wedding. Especially if it is an important part. Why? Because they are your FRIEND! Not a wedding professional. They will inevitably being doing something close to nothing just when you need them doing the most. They simply do not know how a wedding works. Only seasoned wedding pros have the skills to handle all the stress and unforeseen obstacles that show up at EVERY wedding. Plus your friends want to be a guest & not working. And they’ll want to socialize because that’s what FRIENDS do. They hang out. They aren’t paying attention. And why should they? They are your friend. See where I’m going? But if you must ask a friend, then draw up a simple contract of their responsibilities and have them sign it. This way you set very clear boundaries. But don’t be surprised if they bow out when you hand them something to sign. Signing something makes it real. 

 

Al working-1-25Al working-1-25 Your brother won't have the gear Jim Ogle does. And your brother hasn't worked a shugabillion weddings - Jim has.

Ok then less friends and more wedding pros. So you ask, “How do I know who to trust and where to go for wedding professionals?” And that’s a great question. You can start with online services like Wedding Wire or Pink Bride. There are others. Those are where we are listed. Mostly because those are the sites where I get the best results. More of my ideal couples use those 2 resources. But once you hire your first wedding professional, ask them for other pros. Go HERE to see the full list of wedding pros I recommend. And I advise you to look past any pro that only provides you with one name per category. This is an indicator they either don’t work with too many other pros or they don’t recognize the value of “shopping” for a great fit. Finding a great fit, is fairly easy. You must simply find trust & comfort. This can come through references, a face-to-face meeting, looking at past weddings they have been a part of, a phone call and even a text conversation. I was hired this past spring after a series of text. That was the way the bride wanted to communicate. Whatever works for you. I wrote another blog about finding a great fit with wedding pros. Check it out HERE.

 

Al working-1-15Al working-1-15

That's me working again - this time I found the ONLY spot of shade with a great backdrop. It was only 101 that day. 

No matter how you plan to plan your wedding (redundancy meant), prioritize first then hire wedding professionals for the parts that are most important. And when you are ready to talk about your wedding photos, come see us. We’ll share all our experience and help you with every little detail we can. If you are ready now, fill out our CONTACT FORM.


Comments

ron gallagher(non-registered)
Top advice from someone who knows what he is talking about. It may be one, it may be two or even three pros you end up with, with the rest family, friends or part-timers, but getting those Key-players for those super important parts that mean the most to YOU is a must. If you can afford to go Total Pros across all categories then great, do so. If not, take Al's advice and get the best in those parts that are critical to your happiness and peace of mind.
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