Some national books and magazines will tell you to hire your photographer 3 to 6 months in advance. The reality is, it is better to select your photographer, reception entertainment, and videographer right after you have a ceremony and reception date and location. Selecting a professional 12-18 months in advance will give you the better selection over those who wait until the last minute.
When you do your ceremony vows, remember to face each other. Don’t just turn your heads and look at each other. You need to really turn and completely face each other. Eyes to eyes, shoulders to shoulders, toes to toes. If you don’t face each other, all anyone will see are your backs.
During the vows, the officiant usually stands on the altar side facing out toward the guests, with the bride and groom in between. This is the usual classic position. On a rare occasion, the officiant might walk around and stand between the couple and congregation. This might sound like a good idea at first, but in reality, the guests will then usually just see the officiants back, and Not the bride and groom!
Always have a signed contract (and confirmation) with your professionals. It is helpful to everyone if you print names, numbers, words, etc., so that all information is clear and easy to read with little error for mistakes. Write and/or sign only when necessary.
Know before you sign your contract what time your professionals begin and end their contracted service. If you think you are going to need additional time, make arrangements before your event day. It can be awkward scrambling for time and discussing contracts on your wedding date.
You are paying your Professional Wedding Photographer a lot of money to capture and create priceless pictures that will last a lifetime. Please let them do their job for you, especially during the formal pictures after the ceremony. “Uncle Harry” & “Aunt Sally” may mean well, but trying to shoot over the shoulder of the professional can ruin your pictures, detract from the continuity, limit the time your professional will have to take pictures, interrupt your schedule, cause people to blink and/or look away, and so forth. You and your professional photographer will have one chance to create beautiful pictures that will last a life-time, please let them do their job for you. Especially during the formal pictures, let your photographer work. Put the cameras down and enjoy the moment.
In recent years, many wedding receptions have become smoke free. Check with your reception location to see if there is a special smoking area or other arrangements for smokers. One cigar can affect an entire reception area.
When shopping for professional photographers, and, professional videographers, keep in mind that they are two entirely different professions. A photography business does pictures, and a videography business does video/dvd. Most publications will have separate listings for both professions.
If you are providing a dinner break for your reception entertainment, photographer, and videographer, the best time for them to take a brief break is the same time the bride and groom are being served their entree.
“ All bands, photographers, DJs, videographers, florists, limousines, caterers, are alike so I can just shop by price ”. This is possibly the biggest mistake a bride can make. Please take the time and go see wedding businesses in person. Look at their different work, services, and/or products. How long have they been in business. Do they work well with other professionals or have they been referred by other professionals. How many weddings do they do a year. Do they have a nice home office or store. Is this someone your are comfortable with and would want at your wedding. Are they on: www.USAweddings.com
Years ago, as the Bride and Groom exited the church, they would be showered with rice. In recent years, bubbles, or a balloon release, or a flower petal shower, has become popular. Although a Butterfly release may appear nice in a multi-million dollar Hollywood movie, the reality is, these are innocent living creatures, wrapped in tiny envelopes or pre-packed boxes. The butterflies are not trained animals that perform on command.
Most deposits on contacts are non-refundable. You have reserved a professionals time, service, and/or product for a specific date and time, and, they have reserved that time for you. That works both ways. Equally, a business can not change their mind and cancel you just because they receive a contact more convenient for them. A contract is a contract. In some cases you may be responsible for the balance.
“ I don’t need a professional photographer or videographer, my uncle has a camera and he will do it for free “. These are some of the most famous last words. Your wedding day will happen only once. Please hire a professional to record your price-less day, your every moment, families, friends, bridal party, every activity and event, with the correct lighting, and angles, and sound, with trained precision.
On your contract know the details of your services and products. What time will your flowers arrive at the house and church, what time will the photographer and videographer arrive, what time does the limousine service start and stop, how long is your open-bar at the reception, what time does the band or DJ start and stop, and so forth. It is good to know these things before your wedding day.
The bottom line is...this is YOUR wedding. Throw out the rule-books and do what you want to do. If you have additional ideas and suggestions, please submit them to: CDWA@USAWeddings.com