When a Wedding Photographer Plans Her Own Wedding! – Blog Series – Toronto, Hamilton and GTA Wedding Photographer
This is the beginning of a series dedicated to my findings as a bride. It’s easy to give advice based on what I know as an industry professional. What I haven’t been able to do until now is give advice based on my experience as a Bride-to-be. What it’s actually like planning a wedding!
Because of this, I have decided to share my experience as someone planning their own wedding!
My first vlog will be added at the bottom but I’ve also taken the liberty to do a full write-up for you readers out there!
The first part is catching you up on what we’ve planned thus far and some tips we have after going through that process. Every part after this will be more interactive of what I’m actively planning and the details within it. Email, dm, comment any questions you have so I can answer as we go! Starting off with the biggest baddie of them all, venue.
Venue and food are the biggest expenses when it comes to hosting any event, so you’ll want to take your time and diligence with this one. Our biggest struggle was actually simply communication with venues we were interested in, so because of that I would highly recommend getting on the phone with them. We also found that we learned the most about the venues when we did a walkthrough with the coordinator. Our 3 biggest tips for finding a venue;
- Set your vision up on a vision board, write out your goals and top 3 priorities for everything and then for venue. Get clear on what you want before you even start research. It’ll save you time!
- Get on the phone first. Instead of emailing them, get them on the phone so you can dive into your questions straight away. You’ll be able to sus out if they’re right for you pretty quick.
- Set up a walk through if you have time and can. During your walk through you’ll think of questions and hear them talk about the space as well. This is hugely clarifying.
Our DJ was on our venue’s recommended vendor list so it was actually a pretty simple process. I think with every vendor I recommend getting clear before inquiring and doing research! By this, I mean layout exactly what you expect, before, during and after from each vendor. Sit down together and talk about your expectations and wants. It will make it so much easier and quicker to research, communicate and book.
Jake and I did this for the DJ and it helped a lot. When we had our consultation we bombarded the DJ with a million questions, ideas, told them exactly what we wanted and made it abundantly clear what type of service we were looking for. In being so thorough we were able to get really specific tips, advice and answers from the DJ. He point blank said no to some of our questions but explained why and what they do instead. This gave us so much re-assurance and helped us to understand the experience we would have if we hired them. We felt no hesitation when booking and we both credit our asking of so many questions to it!
- Ask a lot of questions and again be clear with your expectations and goals!
- I think for dj it can be really helpful to know what level of sound quality and set up they have for your venue. For example; ours is outside so we asked questions like ‘what if it rains? how do you set it up outside? do you need anything from us to do so? Have you worked outside before? Obviously sound is really important for the dj so they probably have the technical equipment covered but making sure they can do it based on your day is a good thing to chat about.
Transportation was also fairly easy because we found them through our venue’s preferred vendor list as well. We don’t live in the area our wedding is happening in so it was a really helpful resource to us. Our wedding venue is about a 25-minute drive from the main hotel so it was a no-brainer to have shuttles for our guests.
- Our number one advice here is to just get on the phone again, ask all your preliminary questions and be clear on when you need to confirm shuttle times and those details with them so you know when to be in contact.
Our experience with florals was so mixed. We originally were going to DIY it all with a bulk order from a local flower farm. As time passed and I thought about it more the more worried I got that it would be more stress than I wanted. A huge goal of ours was to have as little to do as possible on the day and after. With that being said I started inquiring with a few companies I had seen and liked and quickly realized that we really didn’t have the budget for what I wanted from a professional.
We decided to think on it and inquire around a bit more before making any decisions when I realized a fave florist on IG is the same fave florist at our local coffee shop! It immediately caused me to go and inquire. Once I realized she had a more flexible pricing structure and could probably give us what we wanted for a price within our budget we were ready to book. We are over budget but not by much and we both feel it’s worth it for what we’re getting! We’re only getting a few items but they’re the important ones to us anyway!
- Be clear! Again! On your vision, expectation for involvement of vendor and what kind of vibe/mood you want your florals to create.
- Set your value with florals between eachother. How important are they to each of you. If one quote is $200/1000/5000 over your budget is it important enough to go for it or will you continue your search elsewhere.
- Communicate your vision. Florals are a huge creative field and element in general. Let the florist know your vision, goals and dreams with their work and see what they create. Is it in line with what you want? Great!
- BE YOU! Don’t worry about having bright colours, or too many nudes, do what YOU want and don’t be afraid to have fun. Let your florist talk about upcoming trends you might love, dive deep into the creative with this one and be bold my friends.
In summary, it’s important to get clear on your expectation every single time you’re ready to hire a vendor! Be inquisitive and ask lots of questions as well.