A How-To Wedding Planning Series – Photography and Floral

This area of wedding planning can be a little tough whether you are planning a local or a destination wedding. Typically, getting a photographer and using a florist for your wedding is one of the first times you will use these type of vendors.

Floral is a big deal – the bridal bouquet, most definitely – the bridesmaid’s and venue floral, depending on the venue, of course. Photography though, is more important than I originally thought. Before my wedding, it was an added expense that I didn’t think we necessarily needed and there would be so many people there taking a bunch of pictures right? The photography is different though. They were taken with such professionalism and edited to perfection. And they know just the photos to take, the poses, people, objects! Now, eight years down the road, I am so happy I was pushed into having a great photographer. I am so in love with the pictures I received and to this day, I still look at them all the time! I can’t imagine how disappointed I would be if I planned my wedding without one.

PHOTOGRAPHY

So many photographers…how do you choose the right one? There are many with their own personal styles. You will definitely want to do your research. To do this, I would ask your venue for a vendor list of those they recommend and/or look up local photographers that others have liked. Read, read, read reviews. People tend to be honest and frank when it comes to reviewing. From here, you can look at the particular photographer’s work, their prices and packages. Then you can narrow your search within your budget and your likes. Feel free to connect with them and potentially interview them to make sure they share your vision.

Photography is photography, but being in the wedding industry for so long, I came to realize and appreciate the stylistic differences each photographer possesses. I know with my wedding, it was a hard decision out of the top three choices I wanted. One was super artistic, honing in on the small nitty gritty details – such as the lace design on the dress, the rings, up close facial shots, shoes, etc. The other was very basic and the one I actually went with just had a great eye for capturing the most special moments! Which I might add, he did perfectly.

There are a lot of questions to ask about your wedding and photography is not an exception. Here are some questions you’ll want to ask yourself and the potential photographers as well.

  • How much are your packages and what do they include?
    • How much is the deposit?
    • When is the full balance due?
    • What is your cancellation policy?
    • If you have a strict budget, ask how that might be accommodated if possible.
  • How many hours of photography does your packages include?
    • How much is an additional hour? Can it be added spontaneously?
    • What does a typical timeline look like?
  • What is your style of photography?
  • Is the date I’m looking at available for you to shoot my wedding?
  • Do you have any examples with you or online I can see?
  • How long have you been a photographer?
  • Have you shot at “my venue” before?
  • Can I request certain images be taken at my wedding?
  • Will it just be you shooting my wedding or will you work with a partner?
  • Do you have a pricing list for prints and albums?
  • Do you have liability insurance?
  • How soon after my wedding are the proofs ready and are they online, digital, etc…?
  • If you know ample amounts about cameras and lighting you can ask what equipment the photographer is using and how they adapt to different lighting throughout the course of the wedding.
  • If the photographer is not local – how do they charge to shoot at the destination?
  • Will you be easy to reach on my wedding day if needed?

FLORAL

Flowers, in my opinion, set the color pallet of your wedding. They bring life, vibrance and freshness to the whole setting. Brides have been carrying flowers down the aisle since ancient times and they represented new beginnings, fidelity, fertility and new life. To this day, they signify the same things. They bloom and blossom into brightness and beauty and they are as beautiful as the bride and the life the bride and groom are about to begin together!

Flowers are an important part of the wedding. I used to work with about 80-100 weddings a year and I actually never had one wedding that forewent flowers! They have been the standard for a long time now and no one wants to change that and for good reason. I know some people are super particular and know exactly what they want and others need a bit of help to find what lights them up.

Here are a few questions to ask your florist.

  • It is good to contact a florist early on in the wedding planning, but to get the best estimate you will need to know where the ceremony and reception will be hosted and specifics like number of bridesmaids, table count, how large are the tables, do you want flowers used on the cake, are you looking for rose petals down the aisle, do you have a separate cocktail hour, what’s your vision for the ceremony, etc.
  • Make sure you know when and where you are having your ceremony.
    • Many florists may know the space and can offer great recommendations.
  • Tell the florist your style and what your hopes are for your wedding flowers.
  • Tell the florist your colors and vision and any specifics to start – this will help the conversation go in the right direction.
  • If you have a budget, tell the florist right away.
    • Ask if they have any recommendations to maximize your budget
  • Do they have pictures of previous wedding they have worked on?
  • What is the timing of the flower delivery to my specific location?
    • Have they worked with my venue before?
  • What are the seasonal flowers at the time of year I am getting married?
    • Are they easier to get?
    • Are they less expensive?
  • What other decor can you provide (such as mirrors, flower petals, lighting, trees, greenery, arches, candelabras, lanterns, etc…)?
  • Can you work with my cake designer if I chose to have flowers on my cake?
  • What does the deposit look like?
    • When would I need to pay the balance?
    • What is your cancellation policy?
  • How does breakdown happen? When do you come for the flowers?
  • Can you put together an estimate for me on the things we have decided thus far?
  • Do you have liability insurance?
  • Will you be easy to reach on my wedding day if needed?

Remember, every detail is a big deal while wedding planning, so don’t skip over anything. A good vendor will be happy to help in anyway they can to win over your business and do their personal best for you. This one day can cost a lot, but you won’t ever regret amazing photos that capture your day perfectly and the flowers that made the photos pop!

Courtney

Enjoy the little things

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One Reply to “A How-To Wedding Planning Series – Photography and Floral”

  1. Such a great post, thanks for sharing. I love the pictures and share your opinion about flowers, to me there is no wedding without flowers.

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