Well, well! It's that time of the year - right after the holidays & around Valentine's Day, boyfriends are popping the question! All of a sudden you are a bride! It is such a beautiful time - but it can also be overwhelming. I (JP) remember this season so well. There is so much to do, a budget to keep in mind, & most importantly - you are planning for a day that you will remember for the rest of your lives. This is NO small endeavor.
In our business, our relationship with each bride & groom is super important. Before we book anyone, we have a phone conversation to make sure that we are the right fit for one another. It's like trying on a pair of shoes in the store before you buy them! There is nothing worse than coming home & realizing, "Oh man! These don't fit!". Likewise, wedding photographers are an essential part of your wedding day. We will be with you every step of the way - from your getting ready time, to the first look, to your first moments as husband & wife - it's the 4 of us! Basically, we are your best friends on your wedding day. Yes - it's a big deal to make sure that we are a good fit!
When I talk to brides on the phone, I tell each one the same thing. Not only are you making a decision about wedding photography, there are a million other things fighting for your attention. How are you supposed to prioritize them all? Here are a few things I tell each bride to think about:
1. Make a list of what is most important to you & your fiance.
Do this the old fashioned way! Take out a sheet of paper & jot down the things that mean the most to you & your fiance. Once you both have made your lists, then it's time to come together & compare. But, if there is one thing we have learned in our marriage, taking serious (or emotional) conversations out on a date can be of huge benefit to the discussion. SO, make this a date night! Go get ice cream, hit the happy hour, or simply go for a walk. Enjoy comparing your lists! What do you have in common? What do you have that's different?
2. Choose your top 3.
Now that you have your lists made, what 3 things do you share? Challenge yourselves on this! Remember that your wedding is the best celebration of your lives. Simple as that. So what is really important for your celebration? For us it was that our guests had the time of their lives, & that we were able to remember how wonderful it was. So think about the future & ask, "How do we want to remember our wedding day?". This will most likely affect your top 3 priorities, so be ready for some to shift around. It's OK if they do! Our top 3 priorities were:
1.) photography/videography 2.) hospitality 3.) a great dance party.
Obviously, we care about our memories. We ranked photography & videography number one on our priority list & put the most amount of money towards this top priority. Next, hospitality. We wanted to host our guests with excellence by making sure that we had enough chairs, space & food, & a great venue. We put a large chunk of cash toward making our guests feel loved. Finally, a great dance party. Need we say more? This meant that we worked hard with our wedding coordinator to make sure that our reception flowed beautifully so we had adequate time to spend time out on the floor dancing our hearts out! You only get married ONCE people - make it count!
3. Look for vendors that you LOVE!
Don't just price shop. We cannot emphasize this enough! We had a fairly small wedding budget when we got married 5 years ago, but we did our top 3 priorities right! And guess what? We haven't had a moment of regret. The vendors we hired were AMAZING & were worth every penny! The experience, excellence, thought, & care they bring to their final package can be invaluable!
In the end, remember what this is - it's a fantastic celebration of your love and the beginning of your legacy as a new creation! So go crazy! Have a blast & make sure you're able to remember this milestone for the rest of your lives!
Now that you have your top 3 priorities for your wedding day, DO IT RIGHT!
Questions? Leave us a comment below or send us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy wedding planning! Let's do this!
Love, The Rainsfords