I often hear “Photography is the most important thing to us!”

bride and bridesmaidsWhen I meet with couples about their wedding day, they often tell me that Professional Photography is the most important thing to them!  That is, until they find out what it costs.  So, then I wonder if what they said is really true.

Let’s examine this for a moment and do some comparisons to see what you (personally) feel would be the most important thing to you on your wedding day.

I feel that whatever the most important item on your wedding day checklist is, should go at the top of the list and whatever is the least important to you should go on the bottom.  You should pay for the most important item first and then you have the remainder of your wedding budget to spread out for everything else, right?  Makes sense to me.  (Every item and detail of your wedding is important, but some more than others.)

More often than not, when I meet with couples, they have already bought their Wedding Dress, booked their Location, DJ, Cake, Limo and sometimes even Flowers.  So, by the time they meet with me, more than half of their wedding budget has been spent, or promised…but photography is the most important thing to them. (Hmmm)

If you want to know how important professional photography REALLY is to you, ask yourself these questions:  (Would you pay / Did you pay)

Would you pay / Did you pay more for your Wedding Dress than you’re willing to pay for your photography?

Would you pay / Did you pay more for your Bridal Party Gifts than you’re willing to pay for your photography?

Would you pay / Did you pay more for your Wedding Shoes than you’re willing to pay for your photography?

Will you pay / Did you pay more for your DJ or Band than you’re willing to pay for your photography?

Would you pay / Did you pay more for your Limo (or Limos) than you’re willing to pay for your photography?

Would you pay / Did you pay more for your Flowers than you’re willing to pay for your photography?

Would you pay / Did you pay more for your Wedding Cake than you’re willing to pay for your photography?

Would you pay / Did you pay more for your Reception Venue location than you’re willing to pay for your photography?

Would you pay / Did you pay more for your Dinner Selections than you’re willing to pay for your photography?

Would you pay / Did you pay more for your Wedding Rings than you’re willing to pay for your photography?

If you answered Yes to more than one of these, then really…how important is professional photography to you?

Using the above Ten examples, on a scale from 1 – 10 (1 being the highest importance), where do you have Photography on that list?

If it’s not in the top three, then perhaps photography is not really that important to you…or perhaps you may need to reevaluate your list, or your budget.

Every person is different and will have this list in a different order, which is perfectly fine and that’s what makes us all unique.  Where did you place professional photography on your list?

An experienced, talented, professional photographer that can capture all of the amazing images that will be your fondest memories forever…for some people is Priceless!

Are you one of these people?  If so, then invest more in your Professional Photography and have amazing and beautiful memories that you will cherish for a lifetime.

After all, Professional Photography is the most important thing to you…right?  🙂

OMG! You’re Engaged! Where do you start?!

Engagement PhotoCongratulations ladies!  (stealing from Beyonce’)  he liked it and he put a ring on it!  So, now what?  Where do you start after getting engaged?  There is so much to do that it can be overwhelming if you just sit and think about it.  But don’t get stressed.  After all the initial excitement from telling both sides of your families and friends, you are going to have a whole lot to do!  Most couples don’t know where to start!  No worries!  We can help.  Here is a list of 11 important things to do to get things started.

1- CHOOSE A SEASON.  Think about what your favorite season is.  Talk with your fiance’ about what time of year is best.  When are you generally feeling the happiest? Are you a “snow bunny”?  Perhaps Winter is your favorite season.  Do you love Spring flowers?  Is Summer your time to shine? Do you love the bright colors, coolness, cozy and delicious scents of Autumn?  Figure out when you are at your absolute best and mark that as the season you will be married.

2- PICK A DATE (range).  While you may think it will be too hard right now to pick a date, try to come up with a few possible dates within your chosen season.  You can worry about narrowing it down later, but for now have a couple of dates in mind for now.

3- DO YOUR RESEARCH (Financial)!  Find out what it’s going to take to make this happen?  How much money will you need to pull this off?  What does it cost to book a wedding venue, a photographer, church or JP, DJ, Limo and anything else you have in mind for your wedding…and don’t forget you will need to purchase or rent your gown!  Will you be getting financial help from your family or will it be funded by just the two of you? Is your wedding going to be this year or will you need to push it out in order to get your finances in order?   Make sure you have a clear understanding of this before you go on.

4- CHOOSE A BUDGET (range).  Now that you have an idea of what stuff costs, what’s going to be your budget?  It may sound weird to say “choose a budget”, but that is actually what you need to do.  Choose a (budget range)…but know that you are most likely going to need to adjust it, unless you already know exactly what everything you want and need costs.  I hear people saying that they can’t afford this, or can’t afford that…but that’s not really the case.  You see, people have money for the things they really want.  You really want that $700 tablet – right?  Then you save your money and you buy it.  Or, you say $700 is too much for me to spend on a tablet and you don’t buy it.  When you say you can’t afford something, you are just saying that you don’t want it that bad.  Because if you save up for it, you would have it.  So, choose how much you are willing to invest in your wedding in total…and also break it down into sections.  How much for the location, how much for the photographer, how much for the cake, etc.  How badly do you want each of these?  Then once you have that amount, later you can readjust or reallocate if need be.  Then start saving!!!

5- LOCATION LOCATION.  Where do you envision your dream wedding to be?  Does that location fit into your budget range?  If not, do you need to reevaluate your budget or choose another location?  Ask if they are available for the date (ranges) you have in mind. Again, ask yourself, how badly do I want this location?

6- PHOTOGRAPHY-VIDEOGRAPHY.  Why is this step so far up on the list?  Because the best and most popular wedding Photographers/Videographers will book up fast.  What does fast mean?  Well, typically 12-24 months before your wedding day your photographer is booking up their calendar.  For some, it’s even prior to that.  For instance, we were already booking weddings for 2015 during the Fall season of 2013.  And if your wedding date is during a popular month (May, June, September, October) there will be lots of other brides looking for those dates as well.  Talk with your photographer about your date ranges and see if they are available.  Remember to choose someone who’s work you love, but also someone you can connect with.  This will make your whole wedding day experience so much better. Do you need to readjust your budget or reallocate funds to get this photographer?  That depends on how important your wedding photography & videography is to you and how badly you want that vendor.  We can even help with recommendations on other vendors we have worked with in the past.

7- OTHER VENDORS.  The best vendors book up first, so once you know what you need, DJ, Entertainment, Cake, Flowers, etc…contact them right away.  Most will take a small deposit to reserve your date.  Get a better chance of having  your #1 choice on each of your vendors if you don’t wait until a later time to book them.

8- SAY YES TO A DRESS.  But before you do, pick up some bridal magazines and get inspired with the different styles and designs available for your season.  Don’t just settle for the strapless gowns that you see practically everywhere.  Strapless wedding gowns look beautiful on some women, but not on all women.  Find the perfect gown that fits great and looks great on you based on your body type.  Straps, sleeves, lace or a combination of all can be both elegant and compliment your figure.  Most dresses will need alterations and this can take time, so get a jump on this so you’ll have your dress in plenty of time before your wedding day.

9- GET HELP.  Who else is also very excited about your wedding?  Let them help you with the multitude of things you have to do?  Get ideas from your friends and family who are super excited about your big day and willing to do whatever it takes to make that day your best day ever!  Use their ideas as your inspiration and make it your own.

10- ONE DAY AT A TIME.  A complete wedding celebration isn’t built in one day or one week.  Don’t even try to get it all done in a month.  Dedicate a calendar to your wedding and figure out beforehand  when each milestone needs to be crossed off.  Some online wedding websites have a calendar feature and can help you get organized and have a plan of action.  Don’t worry too much if your miss a milestone either.  As long as you are close to the date chosen to complete each task, you are in good shape and you will be less stressed when your wedding date gets closer.

11- IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU (both).  Remember it’s all about you and your future spouse.  I can’t stress this enough.  Family and friends can overload you with their advice and suggestions on what you should do.  Try not to get all wrapped up in what everyone else thinks you should do or wants you to do on your wedding day.  Make it about you both and you will love everything about your wedding day.  Remember it’s a celebration so keep the stress level down.

Make the planning process fun, by getting ahead of it and not waiting til it’s crunch time.  With enough time, you can make this day one of the best days of your life.  Get your future spouse involved if you can and have fun with it.

Best Wishes!