The Honeymoon is over…after 90 days!

(SPOILER ALERT) – Future Brides may not want to read this until after your wedding day.  This is what really happens after your wedding day…

As your wedding day approaches, so does all the excitement about your big day!  All that planning and preparation comes together to create one amazing celebration, filled with little moments and big memories that will last a lifetime.  Your wedding day celebration is the talk of the town, the next big thing and what everyone is looking forward to sharing with you.  One amazing day and one amazing night with one amazing couple. YOU!

(Fast Forward)

Now, your wedding day has come and gone and yes indeed, it was everything you could have dreamed of and more.  But what happens now?  What happens after your wedding day?  Sadly, as each day goes by, little by little the newness and excitement about your amazing wedding begins to wear off…and then it’s back to business as usual. Reality and life sets in.

The question is…how long does this joy, love, excitement and newness of your wedding last?  How long after your wedding day are you still in the Limelight?  How long will it be before your friends and family are no longer sooo excited about your wedding and everything related to it?  Well, I believe the answer is different for different people.  It really depends on who you ask.  Your close friends and family will all likely have a different response to this question.  But how about the guests who attended your wedding?  How long will it be for them before they are “over it”?  Ask them and I bet some of the responses may make you laugh!  Ask yourself too.  How long before you are over it and no longer want to do “wedding stuff” anymore?

You may be wondering why I’m even bringing this up?  Well, now that I have you thinking about how others feel about your wedding, after it’s over… here’s why I bring it up. How long after your wedding day do you think your wedding vendors will still be excited about your wedding day?  (Florist, Priest or JP, Limo Driver, Cake Vendor, DJ, Venue Coordinator, Photographer, Videographer) Again, if you were to poll these other wedding vendors, the response would be a bit different for each of them. (kind of funny when you think about it – right?)  Can you picture any of your other wedding vendor’s excitement about your wedding, once the wedding day is over?  LOL

That’s what I really want to know…how long after your wedding day should (I, Me, Photographer) be excited about your wedding?  1 week?  – 1 month? – 6 months?  When is the “Honeymoon” period of your wedding day over for your photographer?  Well, while I can’t speak for anyone else, I can tell you that for me, the Honeymoon is over…after 90 days.  In some cases, up to 180 days.  If you are reading this before your wedding day, this is also something to keep in mind when you are considering what the cost is for your photography or videography.  To my knowledge, no other wedding vendors are still working on your wedding between 90 – 180 days after that one amazing day.

The “honeymoon is over” sounds a bit cold…so let me try to explain this a little more.

BEFORE THE DAY:  Just as you are, we are SUPER excited about anything and everything related to your wedding!  We are looking forward to seeing and capturing every single moment we can find, in order to provide you with a series of images that will tell the story of your day and allow you and your friends and families to relive every amazing moment, again and again, each time you see your wedding album and other images.

WEDDING DAY:  On the day of your wedding we are full of energy throughout the whole day and we want to help make your day fun, stress free and beautiful.  We are down for whatever it takes to make your whole experience unforgettable and we want your friends, family and guests to also have an unforgettable day.

AFTER THE DAY:  3 weeks after your wedding day, we are still super excited about all the amazing moments we captured.  Your photos are now ready and we can’t wait to show them all to you, have you share them with your friends and family and we can’t wait to get started creating your gorgeous, amazing wedding album, wall portraits and other products you are going to order.  We can’t wait to blog about it and post some of our favorite pics on social media for all the world to see, as we wait for you to choose your wedding album selections. That’s when the waiting game begins, the fun starts to fade and reality sets in for us.

You see, here at our studio, we are very sure to inform each and every one of our wedding couples that they have only 90 days after their wedding to make their selections for their wedding album, gift prints and all other products from their wedding.  It is even stated in our wedding contract.  Now, some of you may say wow, 3 months is a long time!  I don’t need that long…I can get it done way sooner than that.  But believe me, all too often we are sending reminder e-mails, phone calls, texts and even feel like we are nagging some of our couples to get it done within the 3 month period.  Most couples are good about this…while some are not.

Why do we even have the 90 day deadline? For two main reasons.  The first reason is strictly hard drive space.  We have only a limited amount of space on our computer hard drives and servers for so many wedding photos and all of the other photos from our other photography services that we create for our clients.  We are a full service studio and we specialize in weddings, but we also do other types of photography.  A full wedding day takes up by far much more space on our hard drives than anything else we do and as much as we would like to, we can’t keep the photos on there forever.  In order to make room for the upcoming work we have, we have to make room on our hard drives.  How do we do this?  Just like you do it at home.  We go through and (gasp) have to delete the oldest jobs on our hard drives, in order to make room for the new photos and videos that will be coming.  If we didn’t do this, we would need to own an Iron Mountain type company in order to store the many thousands of photos and videos we create each year.

The second reason for our 90 day deadline is because after this time period, we have become extremely busy providing an equally awesome experience for our new clients, that we have to prioritize our workload.  So, the further away your wedding day gets, the less time we have to devote to it.  On your wedding day, you are top priority on our To Do List.  Then, as each new job comes through, that client goes to the top of the priority list and your wedding moves down one notch. Each time we have another new client to photograph, your wedding moves down the list again…and again.

Your wedding photos are at the Top of our To Do List right after your wedding day.

Your wedding photos are at the Top of our To Do List right after your wedding day.

The key to making sure that you stay on the upper end of our to do list, is to do work on your end.  Do your homework.  Pick your thank you card photos, gift prints, wedding album selections and all other products you would like to order, within that 90 day period after you have your proofs and they are also online.  That will ensure you have your products back faster and you don’t end up at the very bottom of our to do list.  The 90 day online gallery that we offer with every wedding package is a good tool to help you keep track of how much time you have left.  You will receive several reminder e-mails about your wedding photo gallery and even one that tells you when you only have 10 days left before the gallery expires.  Once the online gallery expires, so does your place at the top of our to do list.

Don't let your wedding end up at the bottom of the queue!

Don’t let your wedding end up at the bottom of the queue!

Our studio currently photographs approximately 50 weddings each year, not to mention the many other clients and types of photography that we also do each year, so needless to say we are extremely busy.  And when I say (We) I mean (Me) since I am the one who creates the photos, I am the one who processes the photos, I also print them, I design the wedding albums…yes, I do it all and I love every minute of it, except for the waiting part.  I am only one person and there are only so many hours in one day I can devote to work.  Why don’t I just hire more people?  Because then, I would have to raise my prices by a whole lot more and nobody wants that – right? So, you may be able to see why once your wedding has reached that 90 day period, I may not seem to be as excited about it, as I was before your wedding, or on your wedding day.

Don’t get me wrong… I STILL LOVE YOU and I’m looking forward to our future together.  I would love to be your family photographer and continue to grow the friendship we created and have shared to date.  I will always love your wedding photos and cherish those great moments and memories too, but the honeymoon is over and now I need to make time and space for my other clients too.  I absolutely LOVE photographing weddings and everything about it!  It’s my absolute favorite thing to photograph, but in order to provide each and every one of my clients with an equally amazing experience, I need to set some deadlines and I feel that 90 days is quite a reasonable amount of time for every client.

So, there you have it.  Now you know a little bit more about how things go down here (behind the scenes) at DDD.  Beyond just the work, I also need to (and want to) devote some of my time to my wife, my family, expand my creativity and plain old recreation…I do like my video games!!! 🙂

So, what do you think?  Please feel free to chime in, leave a comment below, as I am curious to know how others feel about this.  Do you think a 90 day deadline is a reasonable amount of time after a wedding?  Is it too much time?  Not enough time?  When should the “Honeymoon” period be over for your wedding photographer?  What are your thoughts?

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The Book is Always Better!

Don’t try this at home brides!

wedding albums

It really puzzles me when I think about how little importance is placed on a wedding album these days.  More and more married couples are requesting or opting for just a disc, with all of their wedding photos, instead of a wedding album.  For the most part, when asked why they chose the disc over the wedding album, the response is almost always – the price.  The package that includes the wedding album costs a bit more.  That is the part that I don’t understand.  Here’s why…

You are very particular in planning your wedding.  Not just some of the details.  All of them!  Your wedding gown is no ordinary dress!  It has to look beautiful on you, fit great and make you feel amazing.  You may have to search far and wide, or you may find it right away.  Either way…you know when you find the right one!  You choose your wedding party specifically because on this day you want to be surrounded by the people (friends or relatives) you love and who love you back.  You choose a hair and makeup artist, because this day is important and you have to look better than your best.  You choose a Limousine company that has the right size vehicle, that would compliment and enhance that “wow” moment you seek, as you step out of the vehicle moments before it starts.  You choose your ceremony church or location, perhaps your personal vows to each other and other important and meaningful details, so that everyone invited can share in that special moment with you both. You choose a Florist that can handle this most important project and who has the skill, creativity and selection of flowers you love.  You choose a reception hall that is just the right fit, both to accommodate your guest list and for the look it presents, which suits your specific taste.  You choose a DJ with a personality and music selection that you feel confident would really entertain your guests and “rock the house”. You choose a photographer whose work you absolutely love and you can’t wait to see the beautiful images they capture of you.   You choose a caterer or a wedding cake vendor that can bring to life the creation you dreamed about, with a flavor you will still dream about, long after it’s gone.  Every single detail…table cards…seating chart…favors…centerpieces…and more are chosen to bring together one of the best days of your life.  You invested all this time, money and hard work, planning this day so that it is as perfect as can be.

And now, you want to take all of those gorgeous, romantic, artistic, fashionable, memorable images that recorded your wedding celebration…and put them on a computer, a disc, a tablet, a phone, a website or some other piece of technology, instead of having a wedding album, simply to save a few dollars?  Why?

Even the couples with the very best intentions, to make their own album (because they are “artsy-crafty” people – you know) end up never doing anything with their photos.  That job simply goes at the very bottom of a To Do List that gets added to each and every day.  You keep saying your going to do it someday, but that day never comes.  And now fast-forward….it’s been 10 years and you still never got around to making that album.  It’s really sad when you think about it!

Don’t get me wrong, I am not against you having a disc with your photos to post on your social media pages and all of your mobile devices.  But, nothing compares to actually seeing and feeling your images and your wedding album in print.  They really do look so much better, feel much better in real life!  Nothing beats the feel and smell of that brand new, Premium Genuine Leather album cover. Run your fingers across the pages and feel the texture of them!  Sit and relax on your couch and see the true vivid colors as they were meant to be enjoyed, not just by the limited colors that your monitor can display (Red, Green, Blue).  Relive every single moment of that amazing day as you hold your wedding album in your arms.  Then pass it on to your generations and let them enjoy it more and more with each passing year.  Your wedding album becomes more and more valuable with the passing of time….and people.  It truly is a priceless work of art.

You trusted a professional photographer with capturing all of  the wedding day details you worked so hard to plan.  You invested in their skills and experience to create many beautiful images which capture every special moment throughout.  Don’t just stop there.  Invest in your wedding album and trust your photographer, who created the images, to create a beautiful, customized, heirloom album with The Story of your Wedding, that you and your children and your grandchildren will be able to view, hold and cherish forever.   Your wedding album will outlast any piece of technology out there and no matter what, it will always be a good read.  Invest in your family memories.  Because like everyone knows, “the book is always better.”