How to Pick a Wedding Photographer/Videographer

Picking a wedding photographer/videographer can be a bit stressful! Remember these pictures will be seen by your family, friends and future generations to come (no pressure). Do not leave choosing a photographer/videographer until the last minute. Selecting a wedding photographer is just as important as picking your dream wedding dress, venue, decorations and invitations! Here’s a quick guide to picking a wedding photographer/videographer less stressful and more enjoyable!

PhotoJournalism Style

Photojournalism Style

My Style is ____________.

Prior, to researching wedding photographers it’s crucial to know what type of wedding style photography you would like! For example:

  • Traditional: Most of these images are highly posed and require high levels of intervention from the photographer on adjusting body alignment, attire, background as well as equipment. These photographs could be compared to something your parents or even grandparents wedding photographs.
  • Fine Art: These images focus mainly on details and have a clear creative style. This type of style is a fun way for couples to be able to represent their personality and love story through photographs.
  • Modern: If you are a fan of traditional style wedding photography but need it to be a little more updated, then this is your best fit! Modern wedding photography focuses on the details without it being too abstract, and captures beautiful portraits that are more relaxed (natural), requiring less intervention.
  • High Fashion: For the fashionistas out there that want to create dramatized and striking photographs then (ding, ding) this is for you! High Fashion is usually used in weddings when the bride wants to capture the beauty of her dramatic wedding dress. Most of these images can be interpreted as a bit provocative, as well as utilizes dramatic lighting and posing.
  • Photojournalism: This is probably one of the most popular types of wedding photography today! A photographer would follow you as well as your guests from start to finish the day of your wedding capturing those small yet important moments of the day. No posing is required at all from any of the guests or bridal party (all natural candid shots)! In a sense, the photographer would ensure that he blends into the background, and doesn’t intervene with anyone or anything.Stack of Coins and Bride and Groom Wedding Cake Decorations

Set a Budget & Know What You Need

Based off your total wedding budget, it is suggested that the wedding photographer takes up 10-12% of that money. As mentioned previously, remember a wedding photographer is just as crucial as any other part of the wedding and definitely should take priority in the wedding budget. Also, before starting the research phase, make sure you have all your details set… the official date of the wedding, how many hours are you thinking to have a photographer/videographer, are you looking just to get a disc of images, prints, or dvd?

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Research & Ask Others!

Start by researching photographers based off your style and the location of the wedding. You should also ask friends and family for any references! Be sure to look online at the photographers work, blog posts and don’t forget read past couple’s reviews! The Knot and Wedding Wire are great websites that will help in finding reviews. Another, great way to search for a great photographer is by asking other vendors you are currently working with! On a daily basis they work with other wedding vendors, and know who would be great! If you are working with a wedding planner, they will provide you with a list of preferred wedding photographers, which makes the search much easier because you know these would be great reliable and professional choices!

three photographers

 Narrow & Interview (just like in a job)

It is suggested that you should narrow down to 3 photographers before setting appointments to meet with them in person. Once you have your appointments set, be sure to go prepared to ask him or her questions! Some questions you should ask are:

  1. Are you available for _______________(wedding date)? This question should be asked before setting the in-person appointment but just in case you forget!
  2. How many years have you had experience with wedding photography?
  3. Have you photographed any other weddings at ________venue? If they have then it is definitely a plus because the photographer knows where the best shots could be taken!
  4. What kind of equipment will you be using and do you have backup equipment available in case anything goes wrong?
  5. Will you have an assistant there with you?
  6. How soon after the wedding could I expect to receive my disk or prints?
  7. What types of wedding photography packages are available?

While asking questions this will reveal if your photographer is willing to work closely with you to make your vision a reality! Keep in mind to pay attention to their form of professionalism and personality! In addition, be sure to review at least two albums of an entire wedding from start to finish! These two albums should be similar to your style of photography, and venue.

thinking Review & Think it Through!

Once, you have met up with 3 of your top wedding photographers it is time to review! Remember that you and your photographer should get along great, and he or she should truly be concerned of making sure your wedding day is captured beautifully! Your ideal photographer should adhere to your criteria mentioned earlier: budget, availability, experience, professionalism and personality. Most importantly, you should be their number one fan of their work! Be sure to take your time in making the decision and sleep on it if you have to!

signing

Sign Away!

When you have chosen your perfect photographer, it is time to get all the details finalized! Be sure to take the time to read over all the legal details prior to signing. Some important details that you should make sure the contract displays correctly would be the date, hours, photography package (what parts of the wedding will be captured), as well as the amount and/or payment plan. Even after the contract has been signed, be sure there is clear communication with the photographer on any changes to the wedding as far as timing goes. If you have a wedding planner (lucky you) then your planner will make sure to communicate in a timely manner all the necessary details the photographer will need.

We hope this mini guide will help in picking your perfect wedding photographer and relieve stress for you! Remember planning your wedding should be fun!

dex knows

Top 5: Don’t Forget the Things You’ll Forget!

Sounds kind of like a Dr. Seuss book title, doesn’t it? He always had the best advice for us while growing up and now we need some advice as adults! Especially now, as we start planning that big day that’ll forever change your life (no pressure). As you start planning your day, you’ll know to hit the big must-do’s: dress, venue, guest list, food, cake, and many more. But, there are so many things leading up to the day, during the day, and even after the day that so many brides push back into their mind. It’s time to bring those details forward so you can truly enjoy this time- forgetfulness free!

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1. Who’s taking everything after the night’s over?

Let’s be honest, what are you going to do with eight huge floral arrangements? Who’s bringing all your gifts home for you or placing them in your hotel room? What about all the decorations? Who’s taking them down and where are they going? These are all questions you need to ask yourself and get answers to before your day! If you have a planner (get a planner), they can handle a few of these things for you so you’re not worrying about it. If not, talk to some friends and family members. See who can take some decorations temporarily at the end of the night or see who wants to take home a beautiful centerpiece that you’re not going to want. Make sure you have plans for all these things so at 1:00am you’re not chasing people down for a car to throw this important stuff in!

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2. Last minute payments and documents

Seems like all you’ve been doing is throwing money around, right? However, some vendors do require last payments due at the wedding. Write a check out for each vendor and place each one separately in a clearly labeled envelope. This way, you (or your parents) aren’t writing any last minute checks while trying to get ready. Also, make sure you have your wedding certificate done and ready for your officiant right when they arrive. If you don’t have it, it won’t be good!

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3. Confirming your vendors

Do you have a wedding planner? Great! If your planner is good, you can completely skip this advice and move onto the next since they should have this covered. If not, you should dedicate some time a week before your day to contacting vendors to confirm arrival and arrival times. This will completely eliminate the stress of wondering where your vendor may be and if they could have forgotten about your day. Make sure you get a verbal or written confirmation from the person or company themselves that they’re coming and at what time. Don’t just trust your friend’s sister that her brother who’s your photographer is coming. Talk to him yourself!

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4. The very small things
You remembered the guestbook for everyone to sign but did you recall buying pens for everyone to sign it with? You remembered to order your cake, but do you have a cake knife (especially important if your caterer isn’t told they have to cut the cake ahead of time.)? You remember to get the open bar, but do you have toasting flutes for your all your toasts? These are the small things that are easy to forget but so important for the smoothness of your wedding day. Small things, big impact.

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5. Say “Thanks!”

This one word goes a very, very long way but means the most to your guests. Thanking your friends and family who have taken time out of their lives to come celebrate your marriage is a huge thing, so pass it out! Vendors who, yes, you hired, but are doing a good job deserve a few thank you’s as well! It never hurts to show appreciation to everyone who is attending and working hard to make your day the best it can be. Just one word, remember to say it! People will remember, I promise!

6. Honorable Mention: Your Vendors!

Your vendors have come together to make your day as perfect as possible. You did hours of searching and meeting with them to find just the perfect planner, photographer, and DJ, it’s only fair to treat them right! Make sure they’re fed during your day, most of them are there for 8 hours or more and if you’re hungry, so are they. Vendor tables are ideal, but if the venue just doesn’t allow it, make sure there is somewhere else they can eat. Tips are always appreciated but not needed and make sure to give them reviews online! Wedding Wire, Yelp, and Google all are used to look up vendors and great reviews go a long way. Take a few minutes once you’re back from your honeymoon and give them a review- it’s the biggest and best thank you they can receive!

Wordless Wednesday: The Smaller Details

The smaller things of a wedding can be forgotten so easily. With so many options for everything big, how is a bride supposed to remember the small? However, the smallest of details can be the biggest of things that your guests talk about. It can even become the thing that pulls everything together! So today, for our Wordless Wednesday, we are featuring all the small details that can be the feature of your wedding, or worse, forgotten!

Signature Drink

Ceremony Sign

Ceremony Sign

Bride & Groom Seat Sign

Bride & Groom Seat Sign

Directions to Wedding

Directions to Wedding

Escort Cards/Favor

Escort Cards/Favor

Guestbook

Guestbook

Lighting

Lighting

Cocktail Napkins

Cocktail Napkins

Dinner Menu

Dinner Menu

Cake Stand

Cake Stand

Grand Exit

Grand Exit

Ceremony Exit

Ceremony Exit

6 PROS & CONS OF A DESTINATION WEDDING

Recently, destination weddings have gained more popularity than ever! Most couples choosing to have a destination wedding are seen as naturally adventurous, and of course, lovers of travel! Before making any decisions though, a couple should do their research, and see if this type of wedding is for them. Here are a few Pros & Cons that could help to get you thinking if a destination wedding truly is for you!

No need for decorations! The backdrop says it all!

No need for decorations! The backdrop says it all!

First, the PROS:

Pro: Intimate

It truly is up to the couple to evaluate who they would like to be in attendance. Most destination weddings will have 2 to 50 guests in attendance, and with a smaller guest list the couple is able to truly enjoy their big day with the people that matter most. Another plus to having an intimate wedding is eliminating the possibility of disappointment due to not having to invite those who lets just say, aren’t a priority to have in attendance (yet, you still would feel obligated to invite them to your wedding at home).

Pro: Less Stress Levels (believe it or not)

Many resorts that are becoming popular for destination weddings and are now offering wedding packages! These wedding packages include just about everything a couple would need on their big day: officiant, photographer, flowers, videographer, hair & makeup artist, decorations (minimal but, let’s be honest – you have a gorgeous backdrop), and even the benefit and convenience of a wedding planner! The resorts also offer great discounts for your visiting guests. The great part of having these wedding packages is that it is all-inclusive and you won’t have to stress about all the little details while being 1000 miles away!

Pro: Relaxation for All & Quality Time

Having a destination wedding means you are giving your guests the opportunity to have a mini-vacation. Guests typically stay an average of 3-4 days. Since, your guests are spending quite a bit of money to travel they might as well get the most of it. You and your guests may want to partake on activities that are offered both on and off the resort before and after the wedding! If all relatives have not yet had the chance to meet, this could be their chance to get to know each other better, and spend some good quality time together!

Now, the CONS: 

01 Con: Cost Concerns for Guests

A couple should realize that for a destination wedding, guests will be spending to attend compared to a traditional wedding because of the travel & hotel expenses. To some guests, the cost could be an issue and the main reason they may not be able to attend. This could mean that some of the people who matter most to the couple may not be by their side. If you are planning a destination wedding, it would be ideal to talk to those individuals who you would like to see present at your wedding, and see if they would be able to attend. Also, a couple should make sure to give guests more than enough time – 9-12 months at the least – to make the proper accommodations and save on expenses!

02 Con: Making it Count

Prior to choosing the destination for your wedding make sure to do your research! It is recommended that you research and list (which will help ultimately in choosing the location) the countries that will allow you to legally bind a marriage ceremony. Also, make sure you are well aware of any other requirements that country may need in order to get married. After all, you want it to be legally recognized, both there and at home!

03 Con: Learning to Trust

For most couples planning a destination wedding, it is likely that they have never visited that location. Glancing through online photos may help quite a lot in deciding where to wed. However, photographs could be deceiving at times, and it the last thing you want is to take that chance of booking everything and then being disappointed by the result. Depending on a couple’s budget, it may be ideal to include a trip to their destination prior to the wedding. This trip would give reassurance to the couple of making the right choice for their location! If this is not possible, another option could be speaking to other persons who have visited – or even better – couples who have wed there. Online reviews are also a great resource! Being thousands of miles away from your wedding site may cause anxiety for those individuals who like to be in control. The couple could definitely take part in the planning process effectively with the use of technology. If you have a destination wedding planner it may be beneficial to have skype sessions every once in a while, to make sure the planning is going smoothly and for your personal reassurance! Remember, choose a wedding planner that you feel you can trust, so that you’ll actually trust her!

 

We hope that this can help you in your decision to have a destination wedding and making your nuptials truly memorable!

Wordless Wednesday: Destination Weddings

For those of us living in the Sunshine State, we sometimes become accustomed to the beauty of our Florida paradise and have little desire to go beyond. It’s only natural that couples (especially the bride) want their wedding to be magical, everlasting and of course, unique! For those who love traveling, or simply want to get away, a destination wedding could be for you! Below are a few great places in other parts of the country and around the world and that will make you desire for a memorable, destination bound big day!

Bal Harbour, Maine

Bal Harbour, Maine

Park Guell, Barcelona

Park Guell, Barcelona

Coastline of Brazil

Coastline of Brazil

Caribbean

Caribbean

Disney Dream Cruise Ship

Disney Dream Cruise Ship

Florida Keys

Florida Keys

Nayarit, Mexico

Nayarit, Mexico

London, United KIngdom

London, United Kingdom

Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas, Nevada

Indianapolis Arts Garden

Indianapolis Arts Garden

Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii

New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana

Niagara Falls, New York

Niagara Falls, New York

Paris, France

Paris, France

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Rocky Mountains, Colorado

Rocky Mountains, Colorado

Toronto, Canada

Toronto, Canada

Sonoma, California

Sonoma, California

Rome Italy

Rome, Italy

Santorini GReece

Santorini, Greece

 

 

Why We Love What We Do and 5 Ways It Makes a Difference

Many times brides know they want and need a wedding planner, but have a hard time explaining the reasons why to their fiancé, parents or others who are unaware of exactly what we do as planners and how it makes a real difference in the wedding planning experience and most importantly, the wedding day itself!

BELOW ARE OUR TOP 5 REASONS:

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Photo by Brentwood Photography

1. Budget:

Let’s face it – weddings are expensive. And because of this, many people may believe that wedding planning services are not affordable, and just “an unecessary added expense.” Quite the contrary! As planners, we’re not just experienced in making events come together beautifully; we also make sure you are paired with the best vendors for your budget and needs. Not only are we helping you make affordable decisions, we’re making sure that we do the math to the last nickel and dime, so that you can get the best bang for you buck. We’ve saved our couples from hundreds to thousands of dollars and continue to build on that experience. As if that’s not enough, many of our amazing vendors offer our couples considerate discounts, offers and incentives – so the investment you’re making in your planning services is truly going right back in your pocket.

2. Guidance:

I’m sure by now you know that there is quite the information overload within wedding planning. There’s just so much to know and be aware of, and things you haven’t even thought through yet (like what is reasonable to spend on certain items, who will be doing readings during your ceremony, and what song will be playing during your cake cutting). But we’re here for that! And not only do we guide you through all the little (and big!) details, we also guide your vendors leading up to the wedding, as well as on the big day. We consider ourselves financial advisors, educators, counselors, negotiators, designers and coordinators all wrapped up in one!

3. Stress:

The last thing any bride should be during some of the most exciting moments of her life, is stressed. There’s absolutely no way you can soak it all in if your stress levels are at an all time high. For many, this stress just comes from the amount of information and detail involved (refer to number 2 above) in making all these decisions that ultimately come together to make your wedding day. Even when you have family and friends to help, they may get just as overwhelmed and not quite know how to handle unforseen situations. Here, we always discuss a plan B far in advance and make sure that you’re covered when it comes to everything from vendor contracts to your venue’s policies and even the option of wedding insurance. Plus, we’ll always provide you with our best expert advice and make sure to keep you on track within your custom wedding planning timeline and to-do’s. We send you reminders when needed and provide you with unlimited communication.

4. Time:

Because we know you have a life to be had, loved ones to care for, a job to work and sometimes even school to study for, we’re aware that your time is very limited and therefore you may feel that any free time you currently do have is being fully overtaken by your wedding planning. Our job is to make sure that we help you use your time effectively so that you can have some of that free time still available. As our client, we will never call you and interrupt your day without scheduling a time that works for you first, and we are available via email so that you can communicate with us on your time and refer back to these discussions whenever you need to. If you’re taking time off of work to attend vendor meetings, we do our best to make that time as productive as possible so that we can minimize the effect that your wedding planning may have on your schedule.

5. Memories:

Our favorite reason, and the main reason we do what we do! This is the time for you and your loved ones to make memories! You would never believe how many times we hear other newlyweds say how much they regret not hiring a wedding planner. And it’s because they ended up feeling like their wedding day (and all the planning leading up to it) was a chore for them. Not here! We make sure that you’ll be a guest at your own wedding, while we work it. Your wedding day is undeniably one of the most important days of your life, and we are here to make sure that you spend it having fun, enjoying your loved ones and truly immersing yourself in those unforgettable moments!

So there you have it! We may be a little biased, but we are huge advocates of having a wedding planner, and have major love for all of our fellow planners throughout the country and the world for doing the hard but SO very much rewarding work that is our job – making wedding days and celebrations the most memorable they can be!

Oh So Classy Events welcomes Briana Bialk!

I am SO excited to formally introduce y’all to Oh So Classy’s newest addition, our coordinator Briana Bialk!

Oh So Classy Events Coordinator - Briana Bialk

Briana Bilak, Oh So Classy Events (photo by Ailyn La Torre photography)

Briana joined us in early July and has been a blessing to have on the team! I could not have imagined better qualities than those found within her – she’s determined, organized, ridiculously quick on her feet and super passionate about weddings and working hard for our clients and their special days.

Briana recently became a Florida resident after her move from the windy city of Chicago to beautiful Tampa. Her past event planning experience includes her University’s event board, mud runs, urban scavenger hunts and much more. Her passion for weddings and creating memorable events for people is what led her to Oh So Classy. In her spare time, Briana frequents her social media blogs, loves to bake, and enjoys visiting new places from around the area to around the nation. She would love to make your day as special as it can be!

You may have seen a few of her (awesome!) posts here and there, but there is lots more to come from her as she continues to grow with our OSC family.

Bri, I’m so thrilled to have you on this little team of ours and look forward to kicking butt together this Fall season and for many more to come!

xoxoxo ~ Sasha

To learn more about Briana and Oh So Classy Events, please visit our website.