There are so many things that go into planning a wedding and I’m here to make it easier for you! My main goal in being your wedding photographer is to help early on with the planning and details so that you can fully enjoy your day and let me document all the memories!
First, where to start?
It’s always helpful to come to a photographer with a date and venue. It’s not totally required especially if you already know who you want to photograph your wedding! I’ve had clients reach out to me and say they are looking at a couple of dates and want to know which dates that I’m available. I mean, how awesome is that?! Certain venues will book quickly up to a year or more in advance and for spring and fall dates so will photographers.
So venues, what a huge decision! Many photographers will have a general list of their favorites and often know the staff or owners well, so just ask! Also, knowing what venue you’ll have will help sculpt your timeline. Photographers will be able to give the best timing for light if they know the venue. One of the things that I pride myself in, is being able to research or scout a venue to report back to my clients on the best lighting for their timelines! THIS IS IMPORTANT! Make sure your photographer is willing to help you with timing and light!
Next, secure your date with your venue and photographer! If you’re on the fence about hiring a planner, I’m here to tell you it is TOTALLY WORTH it! A planner can guide you through picking everything from your style to all the vendors. Coming into wedding planning without knowing the industry can be intimidating and if you can pick a planner and vendors that know the industry well and that work well with others, it’s a win-win!
After you secure your date and inquire with vendors, typically they’ll do a deposit to hold the date. This means that they will turn away anyone that inquires about this date. It’s great to get this nailed down ASAP because often couples will pick popular dates and vendors will get multiple inquires for the same date and the same time. It happens all the time! And, it’s real!
Now, it’s planning time! I offer all my clients a detailed questionnaire to really get a feel for your vision and important details. I don’t require to have this filled out immediately but something I do offer is a rough timeline at the beginning to assist you in choosing your ceremony time. This is when knowing the venue and lighting helps, so if you decide to send out save-the-dates or ready to send out invitations, you’ll pick the time that works great for the best possible photos!
I also include a detailed description on how to form a list for family portrait time. It often can be stressful for couples to make sure they include all these family members and I make it as easy as possible to include names, relation, and if there are any conflicts with anyone. I know all too well family dynamics and how stressful it can be to think about family members that are divorced being in the same place on your wedding day. So to insure the best possible outcome, I make sure to know this upfront to avoid any awkward situations. On the day I bring my list and go down the list not to miss anyone and you don’t have to worry about any of the awkward moments, I got you!
Also, can we talk about first looks? It’s definitely not something that you have to do, although, I do encourage it in the winter months to help with your timeline! Trust me, it’s not as untraditional as you might assume! I go into more detail on this recent blog post:
Next, plan to do engagement or bridal sessions! Engagement sessions are great to get nerves out of being in front of the camera and also I just love getting to know my couples! About half of my clients will do them and some clients I don’t even meet until the day of their wedding. Which you might think, how awkward is it to not have met your photographer? It’s actually not awkward at all! I’m very good creating comfort and really encouraging you to soak in the moments! Also, it’s not unlikely that we wouldn’t have talked at all because I do try to get to know you through the questionnaire! Trust me, after 7 years, I’ve never had an experience where I regretted not meeting the couple before the wedding, it all works out! I treat couples like family and friends! Sometimes, we end up becoming friends after their wedding! I talk more about engagement sessions here: http://danielleflake.com/2019/03/how-to-have-the-best-engagement-sessionwhat-to-wearhow-to-choose-a-location/
Okay, we’ve finalized the timeline, asked all the questions, it’s the wedding day! Gather all your details and set them aside. Putting a bridesmaid in charge of the details and rings is always a great idea-unless you have a planner that will do this for you! Most will! I love to connect with your florist and planner on styling your details (invitations, shoes, dress, rings, paper products, heirlooms, groom’s details and anything else that is important). I carve out time right when I arrive to do these while you are still finishing hair and makeup.
Then, let me and the planner help you have the best day ever!
Next, comes the waiting! I use medium format film and 35 mm film to capture most of the day that has great lighting and where the film doesn’t shine I have amazing digital cameras to back it up and capture receptions that are dim lit. The film is sent off to a lab and processed/scanned back to me. During peak times it can take up to 3-4 weeks to get these back from the lab and start organizing the images of the day in a way that tells the story of the day. I will typically have the images on their way to you in the mail (with a flash drive) in 6-8 weeks. This is the best time to enjoy the marriage that you just entered into and get a fun surprise in the mail to relive all the great moments of the wedding day! Afterwards, I often help clients design wedding albums or prints for their home.
Thanks for following along! If you want to inquire or ask me anything, go to my contact page: http://danielleflake.com/contact