How to Choose your Wedding Photographer

Choosing a wedding photographer is one of the most important choices you have to make. You need to go through different decision-making and steps in order to choose the right one to capture your special day. Here are some tips on finding that perfect wedding photographer!

1. Photography Style: If you do not know the different wedding photography styles out there, you should research those various styles to see what you like and prefer. Once you have an idea of what you are looking for, you should look up different photographers that have that style in which you are interested in.

2. Professional or Amateur?: Usually, the professional wedding photographers are the well-known ones so they will pop up in the search engine first. This makes it a lot more easier on your part in finding someone who is guaranteed to capture those special moments of yours. Besides, you do not want to find someone who just does it as a hobby and may put your wedding day at a risk. Once you find the different photographers you are interested in, you should narrow it down to a few. Those few should be the photographers you want to meet and get to know.

3. Interview: With those few photographers, you should ask important questions about the service along with questions that are very important to you. For example- Is there a set package or can I customize it? When is the deposit due and the other payments due? What photography equipment do you use?. During the interview, you should also make sure there is chemistry between you and the photographer. This photographer will be there by your side from the beginning to the end of the wedding day. You want to know that both of you click!

4. Appearance: Make sure you pay attention to how the photographer presents themselves when they meet you, but more importantly, know how they will appear on the day of the wedding. You do not want your photographer to come wearing jeans or just sneakers. Normally, many photographers wear all black. They usually wear black dress pants and a black top/blazer on top of a top. Some female photographers even wear black knee-length dresses.

5. Referrals: Every photographer should be able to give you some names for your reference. If they have an issue giving you at least one name or reference, than there might be a problem. You do not always have to get the names directly from the photographer, but you can always ask around for references for a photographer. If your got married, they should be able to give you their input about what they think about the photographer that photograph their wedding day. You can even go to the different vendors and venues to see if they have any recommendations.

6. Contract: Do not sign the contract unless you read it fully! You need to understand the contract completely before you sign it. A contract is a notice for both you and the photographer to understand what services are given along with what is allowed and not allowed. When the photographer and you go over the packages, make sure the items he/she says is included in the contract (no matter if it is written or typed). Here are some things to look for in the contract: photographer’s name and contact information, package list, time of photographer’s arrival and departure, price of service, list of what’s included, and copyright. If there was an issue to arrive and you both are in court, what is written will be what the consent was!

7. Assistant: Most photographers usually need some sort of help during the wedding day, whether it is to carry things around or to help photograph. Check to see if the photographer is going to have one and what the assistant will be doing.

8. Budget: It is understandable that everyone wants to stick to their budget. When you are asking the photographer about their package prices, make sure they are within or close to your limit. If the photographer you are interested in is out of your budget, think about if the photographer you want is worth the extra money. You do not want to choose a photographer just based on your budget because you may be very sorry for a very long time. The images taken by the photographer you decide on will last a lifetime, so make sure the one you choose is the one you will not regret hiring!

9. Time: When you do pick your photographer, make sure you know when everything will be finished around. You should know what the turn around time would be for proofs, album, thank you cards, prints, etc. You do not want to be in shock when the items are not ready when you thought they were going to be.

10. Arrival: One of the most important of all of these tips is to make sure you know which photographer will be showing up. Even though that sounds outrageous, this really does happen more often than not. Ask the photographer to make sure that they are the one that arrives, and if anything was to happen, which photographer would appear. There are wedding photography companies where you will meet the photographer that is supposed to shoot your wedding, and all of a sudden at last-minute, they switch your photographer with someone else.

I hope all of these tips help you with choosing your perfect wedding photographer!

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How to stick to your wedding budget

So you just got engaged and you have this excitement running through you about your upcoming wedding. You start to think about what you want on your wedding day, from the decor to the venue, and then you think about your budget. One thing about weddings is you can stick within your budget, but many brides and grooms break their budget. How to you go about trying to keep your spending within budget and yet have a fabulous wedding?

The one thing I would suggest is to think about what you have in your savings and add it with what your parents will be pitching in. Once you get that estimated price you want to stick with, you should than list the items that you will need for the wedding. With each item, you can list them from the top priority to the least, or you can just put everything down and work with what you have. Next to each item, you can list the approximate price given by different vendors so you can go through your options. Even if you want to have a fabulous wedding, you should be able to sacrifice some things to be in budget. For example, you may want a limo with a TV or large extravagant centerpieces, but you can downgrade to just the limo and smaller pretty centerpieces. Here are some things you will need to think about your wedding day.

Events: engagement party, wedding showing, bachelor and bachelorette party, wedding, honeymoon

Wedding Venues/Locations: hotel, church/location of ceremony, reception

Decorations: table centerpieces, floral for ceremony, table and seat covers, etc.

Attires: groomsmen tuxedo rental, bridesmaids dresses, bouquets and boutonnieres, wedding dress, grooms tuxedo, shoes for the wedding party, makeup artist, hairstylist, jewelery, wedding ring and band, etc.

Food: beverages, hor d’oeuvre, appetizers, dinner, desserts, wedding cake, etc.

Professional Services: photographer, videographer, wedding coordinator, etc.

Transportation: party bus, limo, your own car, etc.

Other Expenditures: invitations, party favors, gifts for the wedding party, etc.

Besides all of those things to think about, you also have to think about how many people you would like to invite. There is a big difference in the price of 50 guests verses 300 guests. If there is anyone you do not feel like you need there, you can cancel them out of your guests list. Think about it, one person will require you to send an invitation, feed, and send a thank you note to. Any little unnecessary spending you can cut out will help you out in keeping within your budget. Plus, you can always add some DIY creations to your wedding day. If you have anyone in your family and friends connections that can help you with centerpieces, music, flowers, etc. than you can save some money that way too. You will also make them feel important in your wedding process.

Importance of a Wedding Album

With today’s digital world, many people have access to a digital camera and tend to forget about having something tangible. Every image that one person takes or has is all up online through Facebook, Flickr, and even online viewing. So many brides and grooms have the ability to get access of all their edited digital images on a DVD for their use. The question is, what do they do with those images? Yeah, many brides and grooms place it online for their friends to view, but what happens when the system fails? What happens when you lose the images later on? All those precious moments that were captured by the photographer is gone and you did not think of having the images printed or made into an album. Even though it is difficult to think of not having access to the images, this could happen any time. This is when the classic prints and albums become very important.

Having the images of your wedding day available to hold in front of you releases a different feel compared to when you see your images online. Tangible prints of your images hung up around the house or somewhere in your room allows to you go back to that very same moment. It sort of grasp your attention and makes you pause to relive that special day of yours; it is nothing like if you see the images online. I know that when I take a look at a print or an album, I pause and just have that feeling of joy. I definitely do not get the same feeling when I see them online because there is so many other interference bombarding you online.

Overall, an album is an heirloom for a family. Think of all the images your grandmother, grandfather, mother, father, uncles, aunts, and the rest of your family members have shown to you in an album. Nothing says classic than a tangible album that you can view and flip through. A wedding album is not just any album; it is the first heirloom to a couple starting their new path in life together as a family. This is why a wedding album is very important to have, even if it is another item to spend money on. Albums allow someone to share a story with another person without saying a word. I am sure this is something a bride and a groom may want to share with their friends and family (even for their future children and grandchildren).

Today’s variety of styles and fabrics allow a bride and a groom to customize their wedding album to make it their own. There is not just only the classic black or brown leather albums your parents and grandparents have. There is a wide range of companies that allow you to choose from dozens of fine leather or fine japanese silk! If none of that is your style, than you can even have a photo wrap. There are flush mount albums available (they can lay flat and the images are usually printed right on the paper itself) that sort of replaces the original classic matted albums; so do consider getting a tangible album that holds your precious memories instead of only having it available online. Keep something that will last for generations.

DIY Non Floral Boutonniere

Today’s weddings seem to have at least one element that is a DIY, whether it is the invitations, bouquet, or even centerpieces. It is a wonderful way to have something different or unique for your wedding day. I mean, who says you have to pay someone or a company to do every detail of your wedding day for you? This is a first post and a start of some DIY ideas you can consider. DIY are great if you want something custom and they also great for if you have a budget. Beware, you do not want to overwhelm yourself with a lot of DIY since it does take a lot of work and time.

Today’s post is about how to make your own boutonnieres. Boutonnieres do not have to always be the traditional floral. In fact, they can be fun! You can create them to go with your theme by using the colors or the actual objects. Below are some cool boutonnieres for you to see. They range in different fabrics, ribbons, feathers, paper, etc.

This image (below) is pretty funny. I have never seen any boutonnieres made out of action figures, but someone actually created them! I guess they really love action figures and comics! See what I mean by you can create your own boutonnieres with literally anything?

Materials needed:

1 hot glue gun

ribbon(s), string(s), floral tape(s)-the reason why I give you the option of one or more of these, is because you can choose what you want to do depending on how you want to create your boutonnieres.

object(s)-you can choose anything from flowers made of ribbons, sea shells, twigs, paper, etc…basically anything that you want to go with your theme.

Create your boutonniere by gluing the pieces or putting together the pieces you want together. The making part is literally all up to you and what you want to create.

If you are thinking of how to attach your boutonniere with, you can either use the traditional pin, or you can hot glue gun or attach a safety-pin to it (this way, it acts like a brooch-which is a lot easier to put on).

Pastel Inspired Wedding

Wondering what color theme to use for your spring wedding? This spring, pastel is in! Springtime is all about enjoying the beautiful blooming flowers and staying a little mellow. Pastel colors are great for creating that calming and soothing feeling in everyone’s mood,  so why not have it as a theme for your wedding day? Here are some great details and decor ideas for your wedding day.

Think of yellow!!! Yellow is considered a happy color, so bring the sun into your wedding details (wedding cake, balloons, sweets, bouquets, etc).

If you are looking for pastels with a little more kick to it, go with details and decorations focusing on pink and teal. You can even have pink and teal together to add a little bit of a contrast with a soft pastel touch!

If you cannot decide on what specific colors to mainly focus in, why not just mix all the colors together to create a fun effortless theme?