Wedding Photographer

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ The BEST Advice from the BEST Wedding Vendors in Boston!

Bridey, today's post is like hitting the jackpot of wedding planning. SERIOUSLY. If you are recently engaged or are in the midst of planning your wedding, stop what you're doing, and focus because you are about to be educated by the BEST in the wedding biz! I asked some of my absolute FAVORITE vendors in the Boston area to share the best piece of advice about planning a wedding, and these peeps? Well, they completely spilled the beans. I mean... There is so much wedding planning goodness in this post, that I could fucking chew it!!!

I rarely say cheesy shit like this, but this is a must read!! So, are you ready to learn? Ready to say, "Thank you, Bitchless Bride!!" Good! You're welcome! 

Wedding Planners:

When you are newly engaged, you tend to become inundated with information overload and it can be daunting to say the least.  My advice to newly-engaged couples is to forgo the route of hiring all of your vendors until you’ve secured the right, professional, experienced wedding planner. Some couples feel it’s best to hire a “day of” coordinator and do the rest themselves, only to learn how much money could have been easily saved by avoiding costly mistakes and uneducated decisions along the way. The right planner should be your guide, your educator, your confidant, your representative along the way and you need to put your trust into this person as they do this every day and truly look out for your best interests from the start. 

Paula Marrero ~ Marrero Events 

My advice to new brides: Don't panic, it's all overwhelming at first but it's important to book the top 3 first-top priorities (if you're not working with a planner) are to find your venue, photographer and band--then breathe!  I also advise brides to wait to design the space until about 6 months before the wedding... You'll be able to have a couple months thinking about ideas, pinning on Pinterest , etc... I find that so many of my clients go in with one idea and once they've relaxed and see what is out there or trending in their wedding year they change their idea of what their wedding looks like--so ultimately they get what they want instead of what they thought they wanted--big difference! 

Amy Kimball ~ Amy Kimball Events 

Invitations:

Invitations are the introduction of your wedding to your friends and family; they set the tone for the event. You can’t just get a quote as there are a lot of factors to consider such as quantity, quality, type of inserts, type of print, etc. There is a lot more involved then most people realize. So, plan accordingly.

Mara Weiner ~ Allure Invitations

Cake:

Be your own "bride" ...don't worry about what family, in-laws, friends & co-workers want for YOUR WEDDING. Follow what YOU have wanted & dreamed about. 

Paula Kirrane ~ Icing on the Cake

Entertainment:

Once your venue is booked, the next step is to lock in your entertainment. In order to get the best DJ or band out there, you have to book well in advance. Remember, first and foremost? Your guests are going to remember if they had a good  time. That’s why good entertainment is vital.

Always ask your entertainment vendor about their other recommended services. This is how you get the best deals without making a laundry list of phone calls. They may already have what you need and could save you time and money without sacrificing quality.

Mike Amado ~ Entertainment Specialists

Photographers:

Lately couples are asking me if they should do the "first look". My answer is always YES! The first reveal is always so sweet. The moment is far more emotion and allows for a more intimate/private moment with just the couple. 

Some brides envision this grand moment when they are walking down the aisle, and the groom is sobbing… However, in reality, in a traditional formal setting with 200 people looking at you… The groom often looks like a deer in head lights. Not at all the magical moment you think it will be! So yes, do a first look! 

Lauren Killian ~ Person + Killian Photography

Don’t do a winter e-session! People look freezing, and are super uncomfortable. Nothing like having dirty snow and branches coming out of everyone's heads! Wait until the spring when the temperatures are higher, and the trees start to bloom. I highly suggest April-November.

~ Anonymous Photographer

Cinematography:

1. Make sure that your photographer and videographer work well as a team. Even better, choose a team where your photographer and videographer have worked together and enjoy the experience.

2. Ask your prospective wedding film maker how they operate during the wedding day. Will they have lights on their cameras? Will they be on the dance floor circling the couple during the first dance? Will they stand behind the officiant during the ceremony - Or will they stake out spots based on experience and fade into the decor?

3. Ask your toasters to limit toasts to under 5 minutes. 3 is even better. There’s not much they can say (that won’t be dumb or embarrassing) after a couple of minutes.

4. Invite your guests to leave their phones and cameras in their pockets or purses. You’re paying for pros to document your wedding - don’t let the amateurs get in the way!

5. When considering wedding cinematography, check out the sound  as well as the images of potential pros. Capturing pristine sound of your grandfather’s blessing and knowing how to integrate it with music and image, is a complex art form. Don’t settle for pretty pictures if you already have a photographer you love. When it comes to film making, sound is 60% or more.

6. If you desperately want a top notch film maker to capture your wedding, and have a limited budget, consider one of the following:

a. Grab pics from the HD / 24 Frames per second of the video capture and forego the photographer.

b. Hire the film maker you want and see if you can work out a payment plan that works for you.

c. Opt for the best film maker you can afford, ask them to produce a short highlights now, and wait until you’ve financially recovered to have them edit the feature film.

Naomi Raiselle ~ Generations Cinemastories 

Florist:

The Best way to trim your budget is to trim you guest list (it literally makes every line item more affordable - period, the end)! (AMEN!!!!!!)

If you "absolutely love and have to have peonies" - know that you absolutely MUST select a wedding date in May or early-June!

Bring as few people to each and every appointment that you book ... the less opinions, the less stressed out you will be!

~ Anonymous Florist

And there you have it... You're welcome, bridey!!! Now, all you have to do is listen to the professionals trying to help you.

Image via The Perfect Job

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ A Vendor Vent... A Plea to the Wedding Industry

Style Me Pretty weddings are pretty, aren't they? But here's the thing: they look as though they were all photographed by the same photographer! Somehow, the trend has morphed into this film photography copycat technique where a cut off cropped shot of a bride's hands with her bouquet has become a standard in every wedding photographer's shot list.

And while it is so incredibly important to fulfill the dreams and desires of our clients, aren't we in a sense lying to them when we attempt to tell them that their weddings are unique?

What about the other photographers out there with so much more to offer? What about the award winners of the different photography associations year after year? Take a look again at these such blogs and websites. You will not see any of their work on any of these sites. Why? Because their style is highly dramatic, theatrical, technical, artistic, and (gasp!!!) DIFFERENT. Imagine your wedding photographer capturing your wedding day to look unique to you and yours!

What a concept.

I have a prestigious award I earned from my work as a photographer (no, I'm not one of the world's best photographers I mentioned before, but if I named the award, you'd recognize it), and yet receive rejection email and letter after another because my style does not “fit” the popularity contest that is going on in our industry. Guess who else has the same thing happening to them? The award-winning photographers with masters of photographer certifications. Yup.

So why aren't these photographers being featured on blogs, in magazines, and in bridal boutiques and shows? And why (dear god WHY) are burlap, lace, barns, and mason jars still a thing?!! Please don't play the budget card, because I've seen insanely elegant pulled off with a small budget.

Give us something DIFFERENT. Give us all CHOICES. Show us EVERYTHING there is to offer out there, not just one style. Don't we owe it to our brides to educate them, rather than dictate to them what to choose?

love,
an award winning photographer

***What do you think fellow vendors?!! I'm dying to hear your opinions. Leave a comment here, FaceBook or Twitter.***

Image via Money Crashers

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ How an Unorganized and Arrogant Photographer Can Put a Damper on Your Wedding Day

It was an amazing wedding. Like drop fucking dead amazing... From the deep purple décor to the floating orchids all the way down to the boutonnieres and the blinged out bouquets. A MAZ ING. Clearly, there was a lot to photograph, and it would have been an absolute crime to miss any of the intricate, well-planned (ahem) details. Well, I wish the photographer felt the same way. UGH. This dude... GRRRRR.... This fucking dude! Frankly, it was all I could do not to drop kick his ass and have a total meltdown. But, I am a professional, and having a meltdown (that seriously would have included stomping my foot and screaming at the top of my lungs) in front of my client is something I will never do.

Anyway, a few things were happening here. First of all, I had never worked with this photographer. He was somebody that the groom knew (not sure how well or what the relationship was exactly), and clearly, he was quite new to the biz. That's fine, we all have to start somewhere, but let's just say that I wish his start didn't include me (or my bride). And what do I always say, bridey? If you are hiring a wedding planner or you trust the event coordinator at your venue, then choose to work with vendors in their network. Because when you deviate from the professionals which are tried and true (by said wedding planner or wedding venue), and actually have their reputations on the line, you really do risk missing out on the best day of your life. Sounds dramatic, but it's the reality. And second of all... this asshole was unorganized and arrogant.

Real Wedding Wednesday ~ How to Have an Incredible Wedding with Tough Family Dynamics & a Small Budget

I love this wedding. I love this wedding not only because of the gorgeous pictures, incredible eye candy and adorable groom, but because it proves that you can push through the craziness and wacked family dynamics, and still have the wedding day you want. Plus, I'm a little in love with Erica, the beautiful bride, because she is a toughy, and I have deep respect for women who don't back down from the bullshit. She and Trevor were up against some pretty intense odds, and together they pulled off a lovely wedding.

Brideys, this is an absolute must read for every single one of you. Fabulous pictures and cool details aside, it's something you should read over and over again whenever you feel like your wedding planning is killing you a little bit each day. I mean, look at these photographs! They are awesome! And when you read about their budget, and their motivation to create a lovely experience for each and every guest, you will be amazed at what they accomplished!

Every response to my each one of my questions was answered with great thought and honesty. And you know I am a sucker for honesty. In fact, here is my favorite quote from Erica regarding her difficult family situation, "The point I would like to make: I got a lot of flack for not going above and beyond to make my mother in law happy. I just believe that things you do in the beginning of a relationship set a huge precedent of what you will be expected to do in the future...". Right??

Seriously, if this wedding doesn't put everything into perspective (my favorite word in the whole wide world), then call me... Erica and Trevor, my hat's off to you! 

1. Bridey, how did you meet your spouse? (The short and sweet version please.)

I moved to Portland from S. California for a music internship with a small church. Trevor was on the music team at that church and was the first friend that I made up here.

2. How long were you together before you were engaged?

Technically we were only together 7 months before we were engaged, but we were hanging out a lot before we defined the relationship.

3. What was the length of time between the engagement and the wedding? 

We were engaged for 18 months! We knew that we were going to have to pay for everything ourselves, and it was really important to us to be really good hosts to our friends while not getting into any debt.

4. Where did your wedding take place?

Our wedding ceremony was at Mt. Talbert Park in Clackamas, OR, and our reception was held at a private residence in Damascus, OR. The people that owned the property were customers of mine at a coffee shop I worked at and they offered to have the wedding at their house!

Super Stylish Sunday ~ Why Finding the RIGHT Photographer is SO Important!

I have to be honest, I LOVE Super Stylish Sunday! I feel like it gives me the opportunity to really educate you, bridey, through pictures and today, with a great story of love, committment and an awful photographer (from 14 years ago)... Bridey, I cannot even begin to stress the importance of hiring the right photographer for your wedding. Allow me to be blunt. Ready? You get what you pay for. PERIOD. If you hire a cheap photographer, odds are your wedding photographs will look cheap too... So bridey, a little tough love? Don't fuck up your wedding photographs because you are cheap. It's the wrong place to cut corners...

So, I encourage all of you brideys to browse this amazingly lovely photo shoot, and read Helena & Gabe's beautiful story. Although, as beautiful as a story as it is, it's incredibly frustating for those of us in the wedding industry to hear about a bad photographer! Apparently, the wedding photographs taken by their photographer were so bad that they didn’t want to put them up in their home!

I love a good shoulder kiss...

 

{I am FREAKING out over the details! That bouquet, and her makeup? DYING!!}