Posts tagged wedding help
A New Service from AEP
This weekend we had the pleasure of helping our friends at A Budding Tree with some setup for a wedding.  We loved helping and LOVE weddings but this was our first experience with a wedding WITHOUT a planner and I was in SHOCK!  
This wedding had a few issues in the very few hours I was there (all would have been solved by having a planner)
  • Layout was never completed so no ideas on how room was setup or where DJ should be placed in terms of the entrance and then also with the lighting he was providing
  • DJ had no playlist OR timeline
  • No one was in charge of setting up menu cards or favors
  • Venue said there was no cake on their sheet BUT bride had provided cake topper and cutting utensils 
  • Guest book was there but there were no pens available for signing (and they were going to need to be specialty pens based on the guest book.


The venue coordinator CALLED the Bride directly with these issues. (a HUGE no-no as far as I am concerned as a planner, we NEVER bother the bride on her day) 

These issues were apparent to me in the very FEW hours that I was there setting up and this was even before the wedding started!!  Who knows how it went once the evening started.  

I left the wedding (after attempting to fix a few of these issues since I was there and able) dismayed at how someone's wedding day could end up going so terribly and wondering HOW could I help?  How can I help the bride who doesn't have the budget (or interest) in hiring a full planner for her wedding.  I have to be able to stop this from happening so that EVERY bride can have an easy time with their wedding.

I met with the Manager of AEP and we discussed what could be done to save the planner-less bride.  What was created from this meeting was our very new service!

Wedding Planning Express- $250 
This service will provide a 2- hour meeting with all of the people involved in your wedding plans (mom, bridesmaid, friends).  We will review the full details of your wedding as well as provide you with a rough timeline to determine how your day should look and a check list of items that you will want to check and review before the big day.  This service will allow for you to take all of the information and manage the details and expectations ALL without a planner.

While, my plan isn't to have a bunch of brides NOT hiring a wedding planner, I couldn't help but think there needed to be something for all of the brides who just don't have the budget for full services.  My preference is that you do have a planner to manage your day, so that family and friends aren't working but I know that some brides won't/can't or don't want to hire a planner.  

My hope is that this service will save all of those weddings (like the one I mentioned above) and all of those brides from the chaos and mess of mistakes, oversights and missing items.  

If this sounds like something you'd like, please email us today!  

www.alleventsplanned.com 
Secrets Behind Photography- Hunter Harrison
I am so glad to be getting back to talking with vendors about the ins and outs of the industry.  I've had some great vendors to interview in the past and I'm looking forward to a whole new listing of them to interview over the next few months.  We are starting out with Hunter Harrison of Hunter Photographic 



Q: What is the biggest misconception about your industry?
A: I think the biggest misconception about wedding photography is also true of any person who provides good wedding services. People believe my service is limited to photography. In reality, the service I provide is so more holistic. When needed, I can act as a planner, sounding board, supporter, stylist, haberdasher and organizer. My clients will tell you that I can tie a bow tie, fix a dress, mix the perfect cocktail, pin a boutonniere, and much more. I also need to integrate well with other wedding vendors, so being a great team member is critically important. For example, working with a wedding planner. Knowing what information to provide and when is important. All in all, actually taking photos only accounts for about 25% of the ample time I devote to each client.

Q: What are a few mistakes brides sometimes make when choosing their photographer?
A: Everyone has different priorities, so I am hesitant to call anyone's choices a mistake. However, I can say that I see two potential pitfalls when choosing a photographer. First, I tell clients that a good personal relationship should be their number one priority. After all, the photographer will be their shadow on the wedding day, so you want someone you can relate to. Also, the photographer will be interacting with family and friends, so they need to present themselves professionally. The second potential pitfall is not investing enough in the photographer or wedding album. Making the investment in a good photographer can make a huge difference in the outcome of the photos. Also, it's important to actually print the photos. Investing something in nice printed photos, whether an album or otherwise, is a really smart investment.
Q: What things should a bride look for, look at, when selecting a photographer?
A: Everyone has different priorities when selecting a photographer, but I think a really sensible set of priorities would include the following - 
1. A great personal connection
2. A photographic style that speaks to your heart
3. That the photographer is running an established, professional business with a good track record which can be demonstrated
4. The photographer is a strong leader and communicator. Never under-estimate the value of these assets.

Q: What is the one thing a bride should splurge on when booking with you?
A: That is a very tough question, as I am torn between one of two answers - either coverage time or an album. If a couple splurges on coverage time, then the photographer is present to capture more content over a longer period of time. If the photographer is not there to capture it, then the photos won't be an option for the album later. On the other hand, coverage time has diminishing returns as it gets maxed out. An album is a forever heirloom, though. It's a physical record of the wedding that is handed down through family or estate. It's importance cannot be overstated. I guess if the choice was purely more coverage time or an album, I would choose the album.

Q: If you had a client who had endless funds what unique ideas and products/services would you offer them?
A: Challenge accepted - 
1. Destination engagement session in a magical location
2. Bridal session, which is a Southern tradition, and something I do offer
3. Beyond a second photographer - a whole photography team
4. Honeymoon coverage - I have so many clients who say they wished I was with them on their honeymoon to capture their worldwide adventures.
5. Fully custom albums - which I do offer as well
6. Capturing the wedding 100% on film - I consistently shoot film, so this can be arranged as well

As a quick side note, I offer my clients unlimited customization. If they can dream it up, I can find a way to make it happen. In the past this has lead to adventurous engagement sessions, amazing albums, and some stunning photos. Needless to say, I welcome big dreams.

Q: What are a few things that bridal clients should review in contracts with their photographer?
A: Prior to my second career (but first love) as a photographer, I spent 12 years as a technology project manager. Part of that role involved reviewing lots of contracts. I don't think there is any one "gotcha" in a photography contract. Instead, the couple should review the entire contract carefully. If something is unclear, they should feel free to ask for clarification in writing. Any good business personal would be happy to clarify a contract. I would also add that everything in my contract has a specific meaning. If that meaning is unclear, then I am more than happy to explain it. I want to make sure that my clients and I are on the same page at the beginning.

Q: What is something you wish all of your clients knew, or a certain thing you wish all of your clients would do to make working with them easier?

A: My clients should know that they're beautiful, that they hired me, and I am committed to representing them well. My clients should feel free to dream big, because this is their best year, and I love grand plans.

You can check out some of Hunter's work below or visit his site at www.hunterphotographic.com 











Happy Planning
Budget Breakdown
This month's issue of Brides Magazine had a great breakdown of the "average" pricing that brides spend on wedding related items and since this is one of the first questions we review at planning sessions, I thought I'd share- Please keep in mind that these are averages/estimates so the numbers might be totally off for your region.  My feedback, the percentages seem right but the cost seems low in most of the areas.  

Venue, Catering & Rentals
$11,599 (46%)

Photography & Video 
$3,420 (14%)

Gown, Accessories & Day of Beauty
$2,348 (10%)

Flowers & Decor
$1,967 (8%)

Ceremony & Reception Music 
$1,747 (7%)

Event Planner (!!!)
$1,299 (5%)

Invitation Suite & Paper Goods
$806 (3%)

Transportation 
$752 (3%)

Bridal Party Gifts
$538 (2%)

Wedding Cake
$486 (2%)

I think for some of these items, you'll want to priorize in different areas.  You might really need the BEST music ever but not need to import fancy flowers, so your lineup will be different.  Actually, it will probably be different for everyone, but that's a good reason to get yourself a wedding planner so they can help you work through it!

www.alleventsplanned.com