For me, the wedding day starts off like this: bride with butterflies, me with butterflies, family butterflies, and all the set up that must be done before the I-Dos can be said. It is when I see the photographer that I start to feel calm. Call me crazy, but I consider the photographer "my person" (as in the Grey's-Anatomy-Meredith-Cristina-person). Yes, the other vendors are SO IMPORTANT to the success of their respective duties, but the photographer will be the Lucy to the Ethel for the entire day. Call me crazy, but other than the bride and groom, the photographer is my favorite person at the wedding. I should probably tell you a little about myself. I'm Sterling: wife to Caleb, Virginia Beach born, wedding planner. Jessica and I met at the Creative at Heart Conference, and we thought it would be fun to swap blogs! I started my business, Sterling Dawn Events, because I love weddings and people, and a photographer encouraged me to go for it. Actually two photographers. I owe a lot to these ladies and will always place their art on a pedestal. For anyone in the middle of a planning process, I thought it would be helpful to talk about the perfect symbiotic relationship the should exist between a planner and photographer.
- Having a planner that can clearly communicate with your photographer can literally save your wedding memories. For the photographer, having a detailed timeline of the day will ensure that the important moments are captured forever. These time second of the day that you'll want to remember for the rest of your life - the kiss, the bouquet toss, the exit - the photographer captures for you. She/he needs to know when those moments are coming.
- Your planner should make plenty of time for your photographer. One of the biggest mistake made at my own wedding was not making enough time for portraits. Because my coordinator and I didn't build time into the day, I only have a few pictures with my husband from our own wedding day. There was a huge, beautiful lake behind our ceremony site, which would have made for gorgeous photos. Instead, we hurried through, only giving my photographer a few rushed minutes. Get what you are paying for and get that time with your photographer. Get all the photos!!
- Your planner should be able to, in a sense, read minds. Stay with me for a minute. Your wedding planner must have intuition. She must be able to take a hint when things might not be going according to plan. Wedding planner = mind reader. Basically, one of my brides got married in an older church with very strict rules. She and her husband-to-be had saved their first kiss for their wedding day. You bet her photographer was determined to get that shot! However, the house rules forbade any cameras past a certain point. As the first kiss approached, the photographer glanced over to me, and that's when I knew that she was going to go for it. She was going to break the rules. Fully applauding her in my heart, I positioned myself between her and the church staff member. She got the shot and it was perfect. Wedding planner = rule breaker. ;)
- Is your photographer going to share the photos with the other vendors at your wedding? This is a mostly self-serving point because I can't carry a camera around all day, but having photos helps me showcase my work. Will your photographer be generous enough that your planner will get a few shots for their website? This is something that might not be on your radar at all, but it's something nice you could do for your planner.
As you make decisions about planning your wedding or special event, these are just a few things you can keep in mind. Photographers are, in my opinion, priceless! They take the highlights of your life and give you permanent reminders. Stick with this one. Her work is pretty awesome!