Tips + Tricks | Booking Your Photographer

In continuation of our vendor T I P S + T R I C K S blog from last month on booking your DJ, we wanted to touch on another I M P O R T A N T vendor – your photographer! Photography is a H U G E part of weddings in this day and age, mainly because pictures can last a lifetime. Although your special day is one that we G U A R A N T E E that you won’t ever forget, pictures can bring these memories back to life every time you look at them! In order to learn about the Tips + Tricks that photographers have on booking a photographer, we reached out to our F A V O R I T E photographers for their advice [bet you never would have guessed that!].

PORTFOLIOS // WEB SEARCH
For most couples in the beginning of their vendor search, the W E B is the place where the search begins. Many photographers will have their work shown throughout their site, or have a portfolio that you can review. As Joanna Carina from Carina Photographics notes in her blog, you should be drawn to the picture style of the photographer, including the posing, expressions, lighting, etc. Extra T I P: to take it one step further, ask to see a full wedding album from beginning to end, not just a few portfolio images on their website. That way, you can see if this photographer would capture E V E R Y T H I N G that you’d like them to. You can also use social media [all hail I N S T A G R A M] and search hashtags to find wedding photographers in your state // area. Last but not least in your search, ask friends + family. They can be a G R E A T resource when looking, especially if they were an actual client of the photographer! Also, consider the editing style of the photographer – do they just add a T R E N D Y filter to it and call it a masterpiece? You may notice when researching different photographers that their edit style may have a blue tint, or a warm overlay. If you’re a fan of this look, make sure you are confident you will L O V E it 10 years down the road!


The mood, lighting, and pose of this shot are P E R F E C T I O N – Carina Photographics knows what she’s doing when it comes to great wedding photography!

MEET IN PERSON
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of potentials to a reasonable number, meet your options in person! You will want to feel comfortable around this person, as they will be spending a L O T of time with you throughout one of the most I M P O R T A N T days of your life! You will want to ask about their experience in photography, experience photographing weddings, etc. Make sure they they aren’t just a hobby photographer, but a professional one. You’ll want to feel an instant C L I C K with this person, and feel confident in their ability to capture your wedding day P E R F E C T L Y. A rule of thumb, as stated by Scott from Midwest LifeShots Photography, is “If you look at a photographer’s work and say “I love all of this!”, than great, book them right away and don’t look back. If you look at the work and only like about 70-80% of their work, go elsewhere. Better for your sanity to not have to worry all day if they are taking something you’ll be happy with” [and we totally agree!]. Before you meet in person, ask if they can bring with them a physical wedding album [if this is something you’re interested in purchasing] so that you can see their work.

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Midwest LifeShots catching Kellie behind the scenes – we L O V E this shot!

PACKAGES
Most photographers will have multiple package options. These packages can include different number of hours covered, more than one photographer, etc. Find out what the cost of the entire packages is, including tax and any other expected fees, and really focus on what is included in the package. Packages can have T O N S of different variables, including digital prints, regular prints, both, etc. You want a package that fits your needs on your wedding day, to make sure that you have the memories that will last you a lifetime. You’ll also want to figure out how their payment process works: is it all up front? Do you pay half to secure your date and half at the wedding? Do they take cash // check // credit? Extra T I P from the great Jeannine Marie Photography: Sometimes if you pay in full or by cash/check, it saves the photographer money on credit card processing fees, so they may offer a discount! Photography is one area of your budget that you will N O T want to skimp on. If you find a photographer that you absolutely L O V E, but the price just isn’t right – try to do some negotiating, and let them come back with an answer to if they can accommodate your price range.

Day of Coordinator, Tips + Tricks, Booking Your Photographer_0947.jpgThis C U T E shot by Jeannine Marie Photography captured such a sweet moment – love it!!

TIMELINE // BOOKING
Photographers book quickly – potentially a full year [or even T W O] in advance. You’ll want to book your photographer as soon as you know that they are the right fit for you. If you are looking at a larger photography company, make sure you ask who the lead photographer is for your day before signing any papers, and ask to see their specific work. Also, as Bridget from Shots by Bridge states, “Let your photographer help with the timeline. They are going to know exactly how much time is needed to get all of the necessary coverage. And there is nothing worse than feeling rushed on your wedding day” [+ we agree!].

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Such a sweet photo of Angie + Brooks’ wedding by Shots by Bridge – such C U T I E S!

BLOGS
While we L O V E that you just read through our Tips + Tricks blog, we wanted to share these other A M A Z I N G blogs from our favorite photographers if you’re still looking for more tips on booking your photographer!

https://jeanninemarie-blog.com/?s=questions+to+ask+your+photographer

https://www.carinaphotographics.com/top-10-things-hiring-wedding-photographer/

REMEMBER…
On your wedding day, you are the M A I N event. All you should have to do is smile, be beautiful, get married, and have a blast with your family and friends. Hire someone who’s work consistently puts a smile on your face, and that you trust to cover your P E R F E C T day. Also, don’t forget that your mom, best friend, maid of honor, etc., want to enjoy the day too, so hiring a wedding coordinator to relieve the stress of all parties is H I G H L Y encouraged [hey – we do that!]. Special H U G E thank you to the below photographers who gave us their T I P S + T R I C K S on booking a photographer [who we also H I G H L Y recommend if you’re looking for G R E A T results!]!

Shots by Bridge
Midwest LifeShots Photography
Jeannine Marie Photography
Carina Photographics

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Face behind the camera: Shots by Bridge 

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Face[s] behind the camera: Midwest LifeShots Photography

Day of Coordinator, Tips + Tricks, Booking Your Photographer_0945.jpgJeannine Marie Photography in action – doing what she does best [capturing G R E A T memories!]

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Face behind the camera: Carina Photographics 

Amy + Kevin | Backyard Wedding

Amy + Kevin had the S W E E T E S T backyard wedding! This couple opted to have their ceremony and reception at their home in Wisconsin. As the ladies and gents prepped for the day ahead, the Rustic Elegance team worked on setting up the wedding site. The ceremony was held outside, and the reception and dinner was in their pull barn [so cool!]. The bride wore some A M A Z I N G cowboy boots underneath her dress, and the groomsmen boutonnieres included a shotgun shell – definitely a fun country touch to this wedding! The ceremony was simple and beautiful, and featured a braid as the couple’s unity symbol. After the ceremony, guests headed to the barn for a night of fun, food, and D A N C I N G!

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The barn was decorated to P E R F E C T I O N, and featured amazing uplighting from JD at Ignite Lighting and Entertainment. He also added lights around a G O R G E O U S old tree in the front yard, that L I T up the night. The grand entrance into the dinner, was done R O A S T – S T Y L E, telling funny stories about each wedding party member, with the help of DJ JD! The couple gifted mason jars to their guests as a party favor, that doubled to use for their drinks throughout the night – L O V E this idea [and not to mention saves on the amount of garbage]. After dinner, the bride + groom enjoyed their first dance as husband and wife, to the song Soulmate by Josh Turner [+ it was A D O R A B L E]. The aunts provided an assortment of sweet treats for desserts which the Rustic Elegance team carefully placed out. The couple also included a super fun gourmet s’mores station that we set out after dinner along with the desserts – so F U N!

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Kevin and Amy are seriously one of the S W E E T E S T couples, and we loved being a part of their day! We hope you two are enjoying married life together [including your sweet little new baby girl]! Rustic Elegance was overjoyed to be your Day of Coordinator – best wishes to you both!

VENDORS
Ceremony / Reception: Backyard
Catering: Rock and Roll to Go
DJ: Ignite Lighting and Entertainment
Photographer: Narvold Photography
Transportation: Rock and Roll to Go
Bathrooms: Susprom
Coordinator: Rustic Elegance

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Jen + Jim | Backyard Wedding

Jen + Jim have the sweetest L O V E for each other + we absolutely adored helping them plan their special day. The Rustic Elegance team of Angie, Kim and Kellie arrived on site at the groom’s parents house, which was where this special couple would be married. While the couple prepped for the B I G day, the team set up their beautiful outdoor ceremony site, and decor inside their tent for the reception. The couple headed out to do some pre-ceremony pictures with Breanna Bisek Photography, and even included their pups for a few photos! The guys wanted a picture with some shotguns – so there’s that too!

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Although we weren’t sure on what Mother Nature was thinking – she held out for the ceremony and T H E N decided to pour – we were thankful that she decided to wait so these two could say their I do’s outside as planned! The ceremony was B E A U T I F U L. The flower girl [niece of the groom] + ring bearers [nephews of the bride] took the C U T E N E S S level up a notch. Guests quickly shuffled from the outdoor site to the tent for their dinner [+ to keep dry].

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Divine Swine provided a slow roasted turkey, a whole pig [carved on site], pasta, au gratin potatoes and slivered almond green beans [Y U M M Y]. During dinner, the couple had the sweetest idea – guests could ring a bell and for every $10 donation they would kiss. All of the donated money went to the ALS Colon Cancer Foundation – seriously the B E S T idea ever! After the yummy cupcakes were enjoyed for dessert, it was time to dance the night away! The couple danced to the song “To Make You Feel My Love” by Garth Brooks. After the traditional dances, Instant Request DJ, took it away, and guests danced all night long [+ even danced the rain away].

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Jen + Jim – we loved everything about being a part of your S P E C I A L day! Thanks for including Rustic Elegance! We hope married life is nothing short of perfect.

Special shout out to Breanna Bisek Photography for the A M A Z I N G photos!

Vendors:
Venue: Groom’s Parents Home
Catering: Diving Swine
Rentals: Victory Event Rentals
DJ: Instant Request DJ
Florist: Nikki Sailer
Officiant: Duane Harves
Photographer: Breanna Bisek Photography
Desserts: Target Cupcakes
Transportation: Northfield Lines
Bartender: With a Twist
Coordination: Rustic Elegance Day of Coordinator, Jen +Jim, Backyard Wedding_0897.jpg

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Angie + Brooks | Outwest Arena

Ok readers – we hope you are in the mood for a S W E E T love story! Angie + Brooks had their wedding reception at the location where they met/both worked – The Outwest Arena! This couple had a W E S T E R N style wedding + we loved every bit of it.

The morning began with the Rustic Elegance team of Lynse, Danielle and Kellie arriving to prep the site for the S P E C I A L day! The wedding party prepared for the day in their respective locations, and took separate pre-ceremony pictures to save their F I R S T – L O O K for their ceremony. Angie’s beloved pony, got to partake in the pre-wedding photos with Shots by Bridge – loved that F U N + special touch. The ladies also sported some cowboy boots with their bridesmaid dresses, while the men opted for jeans, shirts, vests, boots and hats [we loved this casual but dressy combo!]. While the wedding pictures were taken, the Rustic Elegance team worked on creating a western feel in the tent. The couple opted for tons of Rustic Elegance rentals, including: wooden table, burlap + lace table runners, Shepard’s hooks, mason jars, glass votives, lanterns, chalkboard, vintage chairs, etc. The wooden farm tables that they rented were transformed into their G O R G E O U S harvest style head table. The couple also had their saddles and belt buckles on display at the entrance of the reception, which was a C U T E way to add a personal touch.

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The couple had a beautiful ceremony at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, and then hopped in their H A Y W A G O N to be transported to their reception! Guests were able to enjoy rides around the property for the remainder of the night – S O fun. Guests also spent their time playing other yard games – including rope the hay bale calf [Lynse tested it out and was really pretty good at it!]. This Little Piggy provided the dinner service [+ again was awesome as always] which included: BBQ beef sandwiches, mashed potatoes with gravy, corn on the cob and fresh sliced watermelon – Y U M! For desserts, the couple opted for root beer floats and an ice cream bar [love this!] and also had some other dessert bars + cookies made by their family. After the couples sweet first dance + father/bride dance, the groom + his mom had the C U T E S T mother son dance, which even included a little 2 – stepping/line dancing!

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Angie + Brooks, we LOVED being a part of your day and will always cherish the fun memories that were made! Being the Day of Coordinator for couples like you two remind us how S W E E T love can be! Thanks for including Rustic Elegance in your wedding day!!

Special shout out to Shots by Bridge for the awesome photos featured on the blog!!

Vendors:
Ceremony: St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church
Reception: Outwest Arena
Rentals: Ultimate Events
Decor Rentals: Rustic Elegance
Florist: 101 Market and Floral
Photographer: Shots by Bridge
Catering // Desserts: This Little Piggy Catering
Bartending: With a Twist
DJ: Adagio
Coordinator: Rustic Elegance
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