Post # 1
When my fiance proposed in March of this year, we were about to close on our house. We knew the wedding wouldn’t be for a couple of years, because we wanted plenty of time to get our house in order before we started planning.
Well, the house is finished and we have a tenant for our rental property moving in on November 1 (yay!), so it’s time to start planning this thing…and I am super overwhelmed.
Choosing the venue/caterer/date was relatively simple: since my fiance’s uncle is the executive chef at a catering company, we knew we for sure wanted to have it at one of their venues. We wanted ‘off season’ to save money, but not super cold so Jan/Feb were out. After we took St. Pat’s and March Madness into consideration, landing on a date was fairly easy. So that’s done at least!
I’m trying to take the rest one step at a time, since we have a while until the wedding – and right now I’m looking for a photographer. Holy cow, there are ZILLION wedding photographers in the greater St. Louis area and I have so many questions. What is the ‘style’ I want to achieve? Do I even know what that means? Do I want someone who can do the photography/videography/photo booth in one package? How do I find the best one for my money? Speaking of money, how much is a photographer even supposed to cost? How do I know how many hours of coverage I need? How many finished photos is enough?
I’m not so much looking for answers to those questions from you bees (except maybe the one about how much I’m supposed to spend), I’m mainly looking for guidance on how you avoid becoming overwhelmed and actually narrow down your options. Any tips?
Post # 2
I’ve been planning my wedding for a month and we are getting married next April so a 6 month timeline and I was very overwhelmed and stressed out but I have calmed down a bit now. What helped me was looking at different wedding planning timelines online and putting together a personalized one for us with things we need to get done by the end of Oct, the end of Dec and then Jan-April. I just look on the timeline and see what I need to be working on. The most frustrating part so far has been waiting for vendors to get back with me. Everything takes longer than you think it will and it can seem like you aren’t making any progress when you are.
So far we have a venue, we have the reception narrowed down to 2 options, we are meeting with a photographer this week and another one next week, I have my hairdresser booked to do my hair and makeup and I have my dress and all my accesories. My struggle right now is finding an officiant.
The thing I have figured out about wedding photographers in my area (kentucky) is for a high end professional it’s gonna be a minimum of $2000. For a good professional who will do a decent job you may find one for $1500. Anything less than that is amateur. Most offer “packages” which make things like how many hours you need easier to decide.
I don’t really have any words of wisdom other than break it into small steps, stay organized and congratulate yourself for every little small thing you get done. And be thankful you don’t have to do it all in 6 months like me :). Good luck!!
Post # 3
Congratulations on your engagement and buying a home!
I started with the guest list and considered the type of wedding (i.e. black tie, formal, casual, etc.) along with a ballpark number we wanted to spend for our reception venue. You may want to list your “must haves” and your lower priority items. These will probably fluctuate during the planning. In the beginning you want really want a baseline to work from.
My advice is to host the event you and your Fiance want. Good luck and enjoy!!!
Post # 4
What is the ‘style’ I want to achieve? Do I even know what that means?- let’s break this down http://www.herecomestheguide.com/wedding-party-ideas/detail/photography-style-glossary – which of these do you connect with the most?
Do I want someone who can do the photography/videography/photo booth in one package? This depends on you, if you want to hand pick eahc one and are particular go for seperate vendors. If you aren’t that particular then you can be more flexible.
How do I find the best one for my money? Find photographers you like or vendors in genral. get price quotes from all of them. Get your average and then you will know whats the best bang for your buck and where you want to spend the most.
Speaking of money, how much is a photographer even supposed to cost? This is regional specific
How do I know how many hours of coverage I need? I believe the average is 10
How many finished photos is enough? I would say 700-1000 anything over that I would want my photographer to do more of the editing and pairing down.
Post # 5
- Wedding: June 2017 - Country Cottage and Gardens
Congrats on the engagement and house!
The photographer was the most stressful part of my planning so far. As sourthernbride suggested, I would sit down and decide what your priorities are. If your priorities involve photgraphy then start going through The Knot to find some different options, regardless of budget. I pretty much nailed down a style that way just by looking at the pattern in what I liked. Once you have a handful of photographers then contact them and ask for a quote and a full gallery from one of their weddings. It may be helpful to tell them the style you’re going for (or at least inside vs. outside) so they can send you an appropritate gallery. I learned quickly that some photographers pick their best photos to publish and I was very turned off by the full gallery.
My search revealed that there were pretty discreet categories for the cost in my area. There are plenty available under $2,000 or even $1,000 but they had similar quality and just wasn’t the look I wanted. I learned that I had to up my expectation closer to $3,000. So the cost will really be revealed as you look at specific photographers. If you fall in love with a photographer and they’re a little over budget then ask if they’re willing to customize a package to work with what you can afford.
Post # 6
Thank you everyone! Good advise so far – I appreciate it!
that link is super helpful.
Post # 7
I’m a wedding photogarpher, so hopefully I can give you some insight:
What is the ‘style’ I want to achieve? Do I even know what that means? That’s all personal preference. You need to look at various photography website and see what speaks to you and what you’re most drawn to. I think way too often people are far more concerned with what “category” the photographers style fits into and less about if they actually like it. What does it matter if the photographer considers their style to be? What’s important is that you like what you see.
Do I want someone who can do the photography/videography/photo booth in one package? Personally my opinion is “no”. I think it’s important to hire people for what they do best. Videography is like photography, and it’s an art. There’s traditional videography and then there is wedding cinema. I personally HATE a cheesy traditional video and prefer a more modern cinamatography style, which is very artistic like photography.
How do I find the best one for my money? Speaking of money, how much is a photographer even supposed to cost? Industry standards are generally around $3000-3500 for an 8 hour wedding. You’ll find it varies some depending on what else may be included in the package, the number of hours of coverage, the photographers experience, and the area. Here’s the thing…you can find a photographer in ANY price range but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be quality or of the style you want.
How do I know how many hours of coverage I need? A typical wedding is usually around 8-10 hours but varies a lot depending on your timeline for the day. My standard wedding is 8 hours and that’s with most of my couples having their cermeony & reception in the same place (or within 5-10 minutes) and getting ready on-site. When you start having multiple venues with travel time, and a streched out timeline you need more coverage.
How many finished photos is enough? On average it’s typical to recieve 50-100 images per hour of finished work. So for example I tend to deliver in the 600-800 range for an 8 hour wedding. That of course can be more or less depending on how reserved or how action-packed a wedding is. I’ve had 6 hour weddings with 800 delievered images because there was SO much going on. Likewise I’ve had 8 hours weddings that were so dull/quite that I was grasping at straws to produce 500 final images.
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Post # 8
That is SUPER helpful! Are you located in St. Louis by any chance? lol
Post # 9
I’m not but I travel all over for weddings. 😉 Feel free to PM me!