It is definitely “that time of year”. Between Christmas and Valentines Day, more people get engaged than any other time of the year. Every time I look at social media, I see another pretty girl showing off a ring. There is that euphoric period, everyone congratulating the happy couple…. followed by the frenzy of planning.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love a good wedding. As a photographer, they are a big part of our business. However, things can get out of hand in a hurry! It is important to sit down with pencil and paper and plan a serious budget. Then, do yourself a favor, and look into hiring a wedding coordinator. There are many many ways a coordinator can help you save time and money. Their connections with various vendors can help shave down dollars. Additionally, they have a firm grasp on the little expenses that can sneak into your budget and break the bank.
After all the cake is gone and everything has been dry cleaned and preserved, the portraits are going to be displayed in your home for generations. So, choosing a photographer may be one of the most important decisions you will make. It is, unfortunately, a place where many couple will try to save a few dollars and then be dissatisfied and disappointed. Custom portraits with a qualified professional are an investment and finding a photographer with the skill and experience to capture your most precious memories while enhancing the wedding day is blessing!
Planning the wedding is all fun and games until the bills come in. Remember, it’s a wedding…the marriage needs to last a lifetime. That’s where that budget comes in. If you want to have a fantastic celebration without selling a kidney, consider a longer engagement and that way you can budget the expenses over a period of time. Also, consider non-traditional days… a Friday night or Sunday evening, instead of the traditional Saturday may save you money with the caterer, the photographer, the DJ and the venue. Consider a more traditional venue… a church! In recent years, brides have gotten away from the “church wedding” for a variety of reasons. But, the church for the ceremony may still be the most cost effective event space. A secondary location for the reception a would allow a slightly lower table count for dinner as some guest will not elect to go to the reception. Another option is a simple cake and punch reception immediately following the ceremony, then an after party that is more intimate (and less expensive) for your closest family and friends at a secondary location!
Then, there is the trend of destination weddings. Planning a destination wedding has a whole different kind of stress. It’s difficult to know who the best vendors are from hours away… enter the coordinator. Remember, just because you are choosing to travel to have your wedding does not mean you can’t have your favorite photographer. Most professionals have experience traveling with the necessary equipment and would love to go with you to capture amazing portraits. Personally, I actually want to do destinations… I love the beach! Be sure to research any local ordinances. No one wants to get a ticket as a souvenir. You can plan an early morning shoot the day after for couples portraits on the beach and families traveling with you can get those awesome beach portraits they have always wanted as well!
Let’s get started with the planning…. Bridalfest is February 19 from 12-4pm at the Sloan Convention Center. The Studio on Main will be there so come on out, say hi and see what the best wedding vendors have to offer! There will be door prizes…and cake! —Erin D.