Tips On Finding A Really Good Wedding Photographer

Things Wedding Photographers Can Do To Make It Through COVID-19

Entrepreneurship is risky to being with, but few business owners are equipped to handle the effects of a pandemic. Nonetheless, 2020 began with the spread of the coronavirus, and it’s hitting self-employed workers especially hard. Unfortunately, wedding photographers, as well as the entire event industry, are in that number.

While no one can erase what’s happening right now, we can work toward a better future – one that keeps your wedding photography business strong despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Keep reading for advice on retaining your bookings, managing your expenses, and helping others do the same.

ENCOURAGE YOUR CLIENTS TO POSTPONE/RESCHEDULE INSTEAD OF CANCELING

As a business owner, your first goal is to assure clients that keeping their booking is a low-risk act, even during a pandemic. So before they reach out with cancelation requests, give them the option to reschedule.

This gets people to slow down and realize they have more options than they think. Naturally, most people will want to cancel everything except their streaming services. But if you remind them that they’ve already paid their photography deposits, and rescheduling is as simple as selecting a date, you can maintain your hard-earned bookings. And speaking of bookings, continue to accept them if you can. These weddings can be shot in the future, and you can give clients the option to delay deposits due to COVID-19.

IF YOU STILL PLAN TO SHOOT/DO BUSINESS, FOCUS ON LIMITED-CONTACT SERVICES

While large weddings are out of the question right now, weddings photographers can still make money elsewhere. All it takes is a willingness to explore new revenue streams.

Real Bride Diary: Why is Choosing a Wedding Photographer So Hard!

what’s worse, despite being as involved as I in almost every other aspect, this was one area where said he’d leave it up to me. After all, looking at wedding pictures is literally what I do for a living!

In today’s instalment of my Real Bride Diary, I’m going to share how we came to choose our awesome wedding photographers (but how it’s still a choice that keeps me awake late at night!)

Choosing a wedding photographer meant I had to take off my blog editor hat, and stick on my civilian bride one! You see as a wedding blog editor, I look for certain things when it comes to the images I choose for a real wedding. I want close-up details, romantic portraits, long vertical images (so they stand out on Pinterest) but most importantly, it’s all about inspiration

I’ve written before about how I feel a silly pressure to have an ‘extra special’ wedding because of my job, and that extends to the photography more than anything else. I had a lot of anxiety about choosing a photographer because I felt like our pictures would be scrutinised more than others.

When you look back on your own pictures, in two, ten, or thirty years time, chances are you’ll gloss over those so-Instagram-worthy-right-now pictures of your dress billowing in the breeze, your just-right table styling, or your carefully chosen Etsy cake topper.

TIPS WHEN LOOKING FOR YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER

Urgh, so many choices, so many options! I don’t even know what half of it means?’ Here’s a guide to help you to find the photographer who’s right for you, what questions to ask and what to be aware of. So I’m going to give you some tips and help finding your perfect wedding photographer but I won’t be talking finances, everyone has different budgets and I’m not about to open that can of worms!

So let’s go shopping, we’re going to assume that you already like their photos;

1.  Can you see real wedding examples, not just a few hand picked images? If a photographer is at a wedding for 12 hours then they’d be hard pushed to not get a couple of awesome shots, but you’re going to want consistency.

2.  Read their ‘about me’ page, do they sound like the type of person you want at your wedding or do they sound like they might just clash with your ideas for your big day. In our defence it is tricky to not sound like you think the sun shines out your arse when you’re trying to promote yourself!

3.  Where are they based and what are their travel fee’s? Some photographers insist on over-night stays depending on your location. Which if they’re perfect for you is totally worth it

4.  Will they meet up with you before taking the booking? Can you at least FaceTime them? When I meet my couples they think that I’m there to show off my work, but I’m they’ve already seen my work, they’re just making sure I’m not weird. Well not too weird anyway.

5.  How legitimate is their business, will they give you a contract, do they have public liability insurance? Basically do you trust that they will still be trading by the time you get married.

6.  What rights do you have over your photographs? If they’re telling you that they’re copyright free then they don’t understand how photographic copyright works. What you should be looking for is a print release along with your high res photos

7.  Do they have any awards? Now I’m gonna cause some controversy with this next statement but unless the awards are from Fearless Photographers, Wedisson Awards, Masters of Wedding Photography, A camera brand back award (like Sony etc) and a handful of others then they’re not really awards, they’re just paid-for-titles.

8.  Remember, having two photographers doesn’t necessarily mean more photographs. In some cases it can mean a lower quality of photographs, are they both awesome photographers or is one just a glorified bag holder? Find out about the second photographer, see their work, not just the work of the first photographer.

9.  Are they available for your date? There’s no harm in messaging a load of photographers for quotes and seeing how they get back to you. You’ll probably get a personalised response which will give you even more of an indication of how well they’ll fit into your big day

WHY A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY CONSULTATION IS A MUST!

As a bride, one of the most important aspects of your day will be your photographer.  And choosing the right one is vital – after all, your wedding photographs will be one of the few things you have to remember your day!   I’ve already shared a bit about how to choose a great photographe

so now you’re at the point of needing to decide who will be your photographer.  Many brides make their decision based solely on information gathered online from websites or by comparing listed prices.  But you are missing out on one very important step in the process.  Having a consultation with your photographer is very important!  I recommend that every bride makes sure they set aside time for a consultation with any vendor they are choosing for their day, but in particular with your wedding photographer.

View a FULL wedding gallery, not just the highlights.

Many photographers have highlights galleries on their website, showing prospective brides the best of the best, typically from a large number of weddings they’ve shot recently.  In order to get a more complete view of their work and what you can expect on your wedding day, it’s important to view a FULL wedding day gallery, particularly if they do not have one on their website.  (You can view several of my full wedding galleries here)  If these images are the same quality you’ve seen elsewhere in their marketing, that’s good!  But if you’re noticing a lack of consistency, or worse yet the photographer lacks the experience or is new to weddings and doesn’t have a full wedding to show you, those are all warning signs.  It’s also a good opportunity to ask to view a gallery for an event similar to yours – say you’re having an indoor ceremony in a very dark church, you’ll want to make sure your photographer has the skills (and equipment!) to handle this!

Look for authentic and genuine photos you LOVE and CONSISTENCY!

While an online portfolio gives you a good idea of what to expect from a photographer in terms of general style, viewing a few albums in person helps you get a better sense for how a couple blossoms on camera.  What does that even MEAN, Jen?  You want to look natural on your wedding day, not stiff and awkward.  Can your photographer capture emotions and interactions in a way that is genuine?  Is there a mix of smiles and joy from real moments, or is everything forced?  Does everyone look like a deer caught in the headlights, or are their natural interactions between the bride and groom in their photos?  Is their gallery full of real weddings of real couples, or is it mostly styled shoots and models?  Do you see the same poses over and over, or is there variety?  Are the images sharp and consistent in editing and style throughout the wedding AND in multiple wedding albums?  I know this is probably a lot to remember, but it is SO important!  If your photographer can’t demonstrate consistency in ALL areas, than you are entering into the unknown and will have no idea what to expect for your images or on your wedding day.  Make sure you can envision yourself in those albums and those photos, that you really LOVE the look, and that the look and style is CONSISTENT –  because that’s what you’re probably going to look like in your wedding photos too!

Make sure you personalities MESH well.

You don’t need to be best friends with your wedding photographer (that’s why you have a maid of honor!) but you should definitely like your wedding photographer!  And while their online about me page probably does a decent job of sharing some information, you definitely want to meet in person!  When you meet for your consultation, does the photographer seem excited by your ideas and vision for your wedding?  Can you envision this person interacting with your friends and family throughout the day?  This person will be with you for most of your day, so it’s important that you aren’t irritated by them!  Your photographer needs to be both creative and understand light, but also have enough social capital to direct guests and family members as needed, yet also put you at ease during portrait time.  They need to coax out authentic smiles when it matters, yet be unobtrusive when it’s critical.  Your photographer needs to know how to speak professionally and efficiently to guests and vendors, yet also be enjoyable to be around.  Take note during your consultation if your photographer doesn’t stand up to your standards, and make sure you hire someone that is qualified and talented AND that you like.

HOW TO SURVIVE YOUR FIRST WEDDING CONSULTATION

WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY CONSULTATION

As a photographer and small business owner, our business, brand and our personal identity are endlessly linked. There is no big corporate logo to hide behind and no sales or public relations team to handle all your interactions with clients. It is just you out there, trying to make a good impression.

MY PLACE

Pros: I’m in control of every aspect from the décor to the music that is playing. I can offer the clients drinks and snacks and make them feel at home.

Cons: I have two (pretty loud) dogs, that cannot be around during the consultation. That, and I have to clean my house (or at least the first floor) pretty heavily before guests can come over.

THEIR PLACE

Pros: They have the opportunity to show me aspects of their wedding such as their dress or color scheme. Being at their place also makes them feel 100% comfortable, which puts them in a good mindset to make decisions.

Cons: I have no control over any of the settings. Maybe I prefer sitting at a table, but they lead me to a couch instead. Your ability to be flexible is the key to success here.

COFFEE SHOP

Pros: I can arrive early and choose the best table. I can offer to buy them drinks, all while supporting a good local business.

Cons: Sometimes my clients feel awkward letting me buy their drinks, so they decline, and I am left sipping my drink alone (you can’t meet at a coffee shop, use their business space, and not buy something).

SAMPLE WEDDING ALBUMS

I bring one wedding album, one parent album, and one mini album. Do not let anyone tell you can’t book a wedding with only one sample album. Lies… all of it. I’ve been using one album for the past 2+ years, and have never had an issue, nor had anyone ask to see another one.

How To Be A Pro Wedding Videographer

Things You Need to Know Before Choosing a Videographer

WHY HIRE A VIDEOGRAPHER?

When it comes to looking back on your wedding, having a film brings the day back to life just by pushing play. Having video to accompany your photos can give you a more full experience to look back on, but it can also be amazing to have this piece of art — starring you!

Hiring a wedding videographer was an important process for me and my fiancé because we want to be able to re-experience our wedding in motion. There are so many moments that occur in between photos being taken, and that extra experience adds to the authenticity and depth of a memory. A video of my wedding day will allow me to revisit my vow readings and remember all of the jokes my older brother cracked in his speech.

Equally as important was our selection of the videography style we wanted. My fiancé and I have somewhat-unconventional styles, so we knew a traditional wedding video wasn’t quite the right fit for us. After going through dozens of wedding videos, we decided that a modern cinematic style was perfect for us. We were happy to find a videographer that “got” our styles, and we trusted enough that we wouldn’t have to worry about the finished product.”

TIPS WHEN IT COMES TO CHOOSING THE RIGHT VIDEOGRAPHER.

It’s not every day that you are tasked with planning the biggest party of your life, and thank goodness for that. All of a sudden you’re now supposed to be a flower expert, a music guru, and a professional decorator—all while still going about your regular responsibilities. There always seems to be one of the wedding must-haves that seems to slip through the cracks ’til the last minute, and often that thing is videography.

It Is Worth It

As your wedding day gets closer and closer it seems that the budget gets tighter, and many couples start to ask themselves “is videography really something we want?”. In short—it’s definitely a must.” It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words, and a video is literally thousands of pictures a minute! Trust us, when it comes to the video of you walking down the isle, you don’t want to rely on your great uncle’s shaky cell phone video to capture that moment.

Professionalism Over Price

You can always find someone who will do it for cheaper, but be wary of a price too low—because it just may be too good to be true. I groomsman at my friend’s wedding who had hired a videographer on Craigslist for $300. The morning of the wedding, the shooter text us saying he wasn’t feeling well and wasn’t going to make it. No offer to provide another shooter, no ‘plan b’, he just wasn’t going to show up. I ended up having to be both best man and emergency videographer (not recommended!). 

Personality is Important

Once your big day finally arrives, the only person spending as much time with you as your photographer, will be your videographer. If you have a wedding planner (which we highly recommend) will be dealing with the BIG stuff, the DJ will be occupied with the party, and the flower and cake vendors generally drop off their beautiful creations and then dip out. From hair & make up until the sparkler send-off, the videographer will be by your side capturing every moment and memory. So if you like their work and their personality, book them!

Know the style you like.  

There are so many ways to shoot a wedding but here are the three main ones:

Music video: It focuses on cinematic shots, and is a visually driven film with lots of time shifting through parts of the day with effects and music with lyrics. This style has little to no audio such as vows, speeches or any other voice over dialogue.

Candid/minimalist: The opposite of the music video: This style is like a professionally shot home movie– it focuses on candid moments with a more handheld style, and is more about moments of guests laughing, speeches, natural audio and interactions between people over visual flair.  These films have a more organic natural feel with instrumental music driven by dialogue.

Cinematic Story Telling:  I personally feel this style is the best of both worlds and this is how I shoot my films.   It has the visual production quality of the music video but with the feel and emotion of the Candid style.  In this style there are the stunning cinematic shots but also the emotional feel of the day with dialogue from the day.

You Might Need More Than One Videographer

Imagine if they’d tried to film an event in the Olympics on a single camera. It probably wouldn’t have worked out very well. So if you want a live event filmed – like a wedding or a gig – you’ll need multiple video cameras to capture different angles. This means hiring a few different videographers. Even if it’s for something like a music video, it will make filming more efficient.

Sometimes videographers will work as part of a crew, which makes this pretty straightforward. If they’re independent, it’s a good idea to ask them who they’ve worked with in the past. You can then hire a second videographer knowing that the two have worked well together before.

It’s Not Just Filming You Have to Think About

Sure, you could just get the raw footage if you’re trying to cut costs and have the capacity to edit the video yourself. But in all likelihood, post-production is likely to be something you’ll have to consider in your budget. You’ll want a good edit to make your final video look polished. Some videographers will include this in their package, but you might have to hire a separate video editor. Video production can be a fairly lengthy process as a result, so have a realistic time frame in mind (as well as a budget that matches it). For example, a wedding video will probably take at least 8 weeks to finish.

You can relive the memories over and over.

Your wedding day is a once-in-a-lifetime event, but your wedding film allows that day to live on forever. While some memories are bound to fade over the years, having every moment on film is a truly priceless benefit of hiring a wedding videographer. You are going to be making so many precious memories on your wedding day, and we guarantee you won’t regret getting to relive them year after year. Anniversaries will be even more special when you get to watch your wedding film and reminisce about all the love you felt that day. Even a random Tuesday can be made a little sweeter by blocking off time to relive your beautiful day. Seriously, this is one movie you’ll never get tired of re-watching!

You can easily share the video with people who couldn’t make it.

As sad as it is to think about, there is a chance some family members or friends might not be able to attend your wedding due to illness, distance, or age. And, if you decide to elope, it’s likely nobody but your officiant will get to witness your special day. So, having a wedding film allows your loved ones who couldn’t make it feel like they were there and experience more emotion than they could get from just your photos. Because videographers can easily post your wedding film on YouTube or Vimeo, you can easily give everyone who wishes they could have been there a front-row seat to the best love story in town. Your videographer can even create shorter clips that you can share on social media for your extended friend group to get a peek into your day.

Organize Your Child’s Party With Free Kids Party Planner

How to choose the best party planner

If you are wondering how to choose the best party planner here in Long Island or anywhere we have outlined some great tips here on this short page. When it comes to planning a party or special event there are a few things you should know that will help to make sure you have the best experience. The main goal is to make sure that you and your guests have as much fun as possible

Do they have a good reputation as the best party planner in Long Island?

First and most importantly you always want to choose a party planner (or any kind of service provider) that has a good reputation. You can always check for reviews from real customers on (FB link – Google link – Yelp link) or other places. If you are looking for a company with a very good reputation we are here to help

Are they an experienced party planning company?

Another very important thing you should do is make sure the party planner you choose has a lot of experience. How long have they been in business? What kind of parties do they have experience doing? Our team brings plenty of experience to every event we do. After 20 years of planning and executing all kinds of parties you can be sure that everything will go smooth and everyone will have as much fun as possible. Our team will do everything to make sure you and everyone at your party have a great time

What party planning services do they offer?

Different companies offer different services and you always want to make sure the company you choose offers everything you are looking for. Are you just looking for DJ service? Are you looking for catering or a clown for your kids birthday party? Whatever service you are looking for we can help. LI Party People is happy to offer you premium service for all types of events.

What events do they provide service for?

Keep in mind that a wedding party is totally than a sweet 16. Some companies have a lot more experience providing service for specific events. Lucky for you our team here at Long Island Party People has plenty of experience working all kinds of events so you can be sure you are getting the best of the best.

Tips to Help You Choose the Right Party Planner

You have decided to bring together family and friends for a great party this summer with the help of an event planner, but how can you know that you are choosing the right one? Party planners are a dime a dozen and unfortunately not all of them are as good as they claim to be. You cannot afford to take any chances – not only do you want to impress your guests, you also don’t want to waste money by hiring the wrong party planner.

Do they have experience with the kind of party that you have in mind? There are many different kinds of parties that you can throw. You may choose to have a birthday party, a garden party, a neighborhood party, a dress-up party – it can be anything really. Just because an event planner is good at throwing one kind of party doesn’t necessarily mean that they do another kind. Before you sign any contracts find out whether the event planner has any experience with your kind of party.

Get clarification on the services offered. There are some excellent party planners who will take care of everything from sending out invitations to making sure that guests are fed and the venue is cleaned, but there are others who only offer advice. You are better off with a comprehensive party planner even if you have to pay more.

Find out what they can and cannot provide. The best event planners have everything that they need to throw a party. If they don’t have it they know where they can hire from. Make sure that your party planner can provide everything that is needed including plates and glassware, cutlery, service people, a DJ and everything else that will be needed to make your party a success.

Find out whether they are able to work with the kind of menu that you have in mind. This is especially important if you plan to offer your guests a special menu. You can ask them to cook samples that you can taste beforehand.

Tips on How To Become A Party Planner

here most people pay to party, I get paid to party.

So it is no surprise that if I had a penny for every time I was asked, “How do I become a premier party planner?” I would be a very wealthy man. However, I have never truly answered. My reasons were simple, I did not want to create competition for myself. Lately though I realise that sharing my top tips and helping others is more important than how many people are in the same game as me. So, today marks the start of a new chapter, I have decided to answer this question for once and for all and share right here, right now with all the readers of EventMB.

You need to work in events to work in events, huh?!

Get as much experience as you can, in any and all event forms, from floristry, catering, awards, celebrations and everything in-between. If this means you need to volunteer your time at no fee, do so as this is the best investment you will ever make. If fortune favours you, work for a credible and experienced event planner or agencies. In the beginning I took a position at a venue conglomerate, half way through my career I took work at a caterer and then a global agency and recently at a well known hospitality chain. In short, how much you know and can action with confidence will get you more clients #FACT. This is a strict case of More is More. The more you know in every facet of events, the more you can do, manage and charge for your services.

Time to #LevelUp

This is the step where you stop being the horse and start being the rider. You ask for a promotion, a step up, take lead on an event. You need to go from Jack (or Jill) of all trades to a master of one. Choose a niche and focus on getting as much experience in that niche as possible. Later you can go back to a boutique of offerings to your clients but for now it’s all about mastery. Master an arena, a service, a type of event, then master what clients you want to work with, what vendors do they use, what venues, what magazines do they read and what party planners do they already work with? Time to become Dexter (the tv show of a serial killer, not the lab guy) and learn everything about your new niche. What are the best products? What are the best services to offer? Who is your target market, or avatar? Will you offer transparent pricing, free venue finding or full service event management?

Your Network is your Net Worth

In party planning it is both what you know (see above) AND who you know.

Sharing is Caring/Show it or Lose it

Every photographer has a portfolio, every model a zed card. They say a picture can say a thousand words. So why not create places to showcase your work, start a newsletter, accounts on Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn

PARTY PLANNERS TOP TIPS ON HOW TO THROW AN AWESOME PARTY!

Start planning early

You want this party to be one that lives long in the minds of your guests, so make sure you do it right – and that means no rushing! Part of our remit as party planners is to put together a realistic and achievable timeline.

Choose your theme

Now, this doesn’t have to mean a full on, dress up, Game of Thrones fest. (Although this is not uncommon)! Maybe just a colour, or one reference point relevant to the occasion. It helps to shape the visuals and the vibe.

Choose your venue carefully

Home or away is the real decision. If you have a house big enough to accommodate your guests then great – a garden marquee is also a fantastic option, and we are experts at transforming these bare spaces into oases of light, colour, fun, entertainment or whatever floats your boat! However, understandably it’s often not practical to entertain at home. So, make sure you find a venue that is fit for purpose. At Carmela Weddings and Events our experience means we have connections with a huge selection of venue options to suit every occasion!

Focus on what’s important

Every party is different and as experienced party planners we will always help you to prioritise the details of your event. Massive foodie? Get in some amazing suppliers – maybe street food vans, a hog roast or delicious bowl food. Music aficionado? We’ll help you choose the perfect entertainers, the ultimate party band or the DJ who really fits with your style. Cocktail lover? Why not create a bespoke cocktail bar, with original one off cocktails designed to perfectly tie in with your event. It’s our job as party planners to get to know you and ensure your event is authentic and fun!

Get the timings right

This is often overlooked, and is massively important. As much as we would all like to disagree, it’s not easy to party like an 18 year old when we’re, well, not 18 anymore! Choose start and finish times that will work for the demographic of your guests.

The Ultimate Party Planning Checklist Template

Whether you own a party planning business or you’re just throwing an event for family and friends, this party planning checklist will help you get organized before the big day!

What does a successful party look like?

Using a party planning checklist and creating an event timeline are just some of the many things you can do to make sure everything goes smoothly. Even if you don’t have any experience with party planning, you can still throw a memorable get together.

Your party planning checklist

Whether it’s for a graduation or sales goal celebration, parties require the same event planning skills required to host any other type of group gathering. Depending on the size or complexity of your party, you may want to brush up on best practices or party planning articles to prepare yourself.

What items are needed for a birthday party?

Take this list with you to any local party supply shop near you and you’ll pretty much have everything you need to host and decorate your celebration.

Party planning tips 2-3 months before:

Depending on your party planning experience, what time of year it is, and how large or complex you think the party will be, you’ll want to begin preparation as soon as possible!

Choosing A Wedding Videographer

Wedding Videographers – A Price Evaluation

What impacts a wedding videographer’s prices?

There are a variety of factors that can impact wedding videography prices, some may be obvious and others less so.

  • Time: The amount of time that your videographer is present at your wedding will greatly impact the cost—most wedding videography packages include the amount of time that your video pro will spend at your wedding. The more time he or she is filming, the more you’re likely to pay. And if you would like your videographer to cover other events, like your rehearsal dinner, that will add more to the cost of your wedding videographer.
  • Staffing: Your videographer may bring a second shooter and/or an assistant to your wedding. The more staff members present, the higher your wedding videographer’s price is likely to be.
  • Final Product: What will you receive from your videographer? Most videographers will provide you with edited wedding videos (a highlight reel and an edited wedding film), and some will also provide your raw footage. If you’d like short edited clips for social media or other types of edited clips, that will likely add to your wedding videographer cost.
  • Extras: Some videographers (about 43 percent) offer drone footage, Super 8 film, extra DVDs or USB drives, or other extras and effects at additional cost.
  • Travel: If your wedding videographer will be traveling a long distance to be present at your wedding, you’ll likely have to pay for his or her gas mileage, airfare, hotel or other travel charges.

What Should You Look for in a Wedding Videographer?

You may have already decided you’d like to hire a wedding videographer, but there’s still a lot to think about. First, do you want to have your entire day captured on video, or just the ceremony? Are you hoping for a chronological look at your nuptials, or do you prefer a more cinematic film with different parts of the day all mixed together? With varying video styles, personality types, and working styles, you’ll want to be sure you’ve found a videographer who checks all of your boxes. But what exactly should you look for in the pro you choose? We break it down.

Someone whose style aligns with yours.

Whether they shoot documentary style or more cinematic, you want to be sure the videographer you’re working with has a well-developed look and feel to their work.

A videographer who can work well with your photographer.

Consider asking your photographer for any videographer recommendations. Since these two will have to work in tandem, knowing they already have good chemistry and have previously captured weddings together can make a huge difference. While any professional should be able to work with well with the rest of your vendor team, a pre-existing rapport can’t hurt.

A professional who knows his or her limits.

A six or eight-hour video package makes for a very long day. If your videographer is a pro, they’ll likely bring along a second shooter or assistant to help manage the equipment, schedule, and shot list.

Someone with a calming personality.

Your wedding will be a long, emotional day, so it’s important that the vendors you’re surrounded by are people you feel comfortable with. A videographer with good energy and a sense of calm will be a blessing if you’re starting to feel stressed out.

What was their biggest wedding day regret?  Will you regret not having a wedding video?

1) Regret Not Having a Wedding Video

One of the most common wedding day regrets that married couples cite is that they regret not having a wedding video. In fact, The Huffington Post cites that 98% of brides regret not having a wedding video if they do not hire a wedding videographer. Trust those that have been there, done that. There is something special about watching yourself walk down the aisle and hearing the music that was played, reliving the words spoken during your vows, listening to the pastor finally announce you as  husband and wife…and that is just the beginning of the day.  If you have wiggle room in your budget (or if you could live without the coney dog station), a wedding video is a must.

2) Not Asking My Photographer Enough Questions Before Signing a Contract

Did you know that some wedding photographers charge thousands of dollars for wedding photography and then AFTER the wedding, charge you again for the rights to the photos that they took?  Whaaaatt!? Yes, it is true, as are hundreds of other little things like this that most people would never think about.

Brides, read your contract before signing anything and know the right questions to ask.  Other things to look out for: hiring a wedding photographer that is not insured, hiring a photographer that will not guarantee (in writing) a set date for proofs, edited images and albums, and hiring a photographer that has a cap set for the number of photos that will be taken. 

3) Not Spending Enough Time With Guests

Aside from not getting a wedding video, this is one of the most popular regrets. Your wedding day will go by fast.  And if you are like most, you will be so busy with the day that you don’t get a chance to say hi and thank everyone that came to celebrate with you. Most likely, your guests will be more than understanding but you and your fiance on the other hand, may feel bad.

A simple solution to nip this regret in the bud is to visit each table for a few minutes while dinner is being served, or if you do a first look, you can spend extra time with guests at cocktail hour.

Split Your Remaining Budget in Half

This rule, by and large, works for every wedding: divide your working budget in half (in our example, the €26,400 becomes €13,200) and that’s the figure you have for your venue.

  • Under that you should cover your reception venue hire fee, your food (cocktail hour, main meal, late night snacks), and your wine, cocktails and other drinks.
  • This is the figure to take with you to venues when you start to inquire, along with your per-head price (see below).
  • Once you’ve booked your venue, go back to your budget and re-adjust if necessary, as certain venues will throw up their own expenses or savings; a marquee wedding for example, has lots of extra costs whereas a hotel venue might include some extras included in the package.

4 TIPS TO HELP YOU CREATE A GREAT WEDDING VIDEO

Even if you’re not a wedding photographer or videographer, you may have had proposals to shoot a wedding. If you know how to use a camera, someone’s going to ask you to shoot their wedding sooner or later. And if you decide to accept, Rob Nelson gives you some useful advice how to make a really great wedding video.

MAKE IT BEAUTIFUL

Wedding videos are all about emotions and beauty of the moment, and you’ll need plenty of B-roll shots for this. it’s the easiest to shadow the photographer and shot over their shoulder for most of it. They direct the scenes, and you capture them, as well as “behind the scenes” moments.

Another tip is to shoot in slow motion if it’s possible. It looks nice and mellow and adds more beauty to the moments you capture in the video. Also, add some movement to the shots. Use the slider and/or stabilization to make the best of it.

Finally, shoot into the sun as much as possible. We are learned to shoot with the sun behind our backs, and, many new filmmakers do it. However, sun creates wonderful lens flare, golden backlight at the right time of day, and adds that “dreamy” look to the video.

CONCENTRATE ON GETTING THE CEREMONY

When it comes to the ceremony itself, this is when you need to shift focus. Concentrate on simply getting it without thinking too much of the beauty. Also, include the audio recording with the video. Everyone wants to hear the vows, so getting them recorded them will create a beautiful memory. Remember, you’ll need microphones for this, to get a clear audio.

THINK AHEAD ABOUT THE STORY

Just like for any other shooting task, think ahead. Think of the story you want to create and prepare ahead. Rob wanted funny sound-bites from the wedding, build-up before it and some interesting B-roll for the end. And with that in mind, he prepared for the shooting and focused on the elements he wanted for the final movie.

IT’S ABOUT THE COUPLE

Last, but not least, remember that this is not about you. It’s about the couple. As a filmmaker and director, you have the idea so you call the shots. As a wedding videographer, it’s the couple’s story, not your own. If you direct them too much, they will be tense, and the weddings are stressful enough even without it. So, try to be a “fly on the wall”. Shoot as much as possible without directing the couple. Sure, get them to kiss or get the bride to twirl her dress, but keep in mind – you are making their movie.

How To Become A Successful Wedding Dj With Inexpensive Weddings

How to Choose a Wedding DJ

You’ve already decided on a DJ over a band. The question is how to choose a wedding DJ that will enhance your event (not his own image). For most engaged couples, entertainment is the #1 factor in determining the success of their event, so this is not a decision that should be taken lightly. And choosing the right DJ for your wedding is about far more than price.

Personality

If we could only give you one tip, it would be this! Your DJ is going to be responsible for setting the tone of the evening. If you have a boring DJ…that means a boring wedding.

Communication

You’ve probably been hearing how important communication is during all those premarital classes. Well, working a DJ is no different. Playing music is only part of what a DJ does. The other half is talking. From making sure you’re on the same page regarding the “do not play” list to making sure the photographer captures the cake cutting, wedding DJs need to communicate and they need to do it well.

Flexibility

Any DJ who specializes in weddings will end up working a lot of them, so they need to be organized. But when those plans go awry, they also need to be flexible.

How to Choose a Wedding DJ

If you’re meeting with multiple wedding DJs, it can be hard to choose just one. Here are 13 questions you can ask to help you choose the perfect DJ.

1. Do you DJ full-time?

It’s not always easy to tell from a website whether a DJ is working weddings on the side or as a full-time gig. All things being equal, you want someone who’s fully dedicated to making your day amazing.

2. Are you insured?

DJ-ing doesn’t sound like a terribly risky job, but accidents can happen anywhere. Make sure your wedding DJ is licensed and insured.

3. How many DJs do you have?

If a DJ company has a team of DJs, find out which one will be working your wedding. You don’t want to do all of your meetings with the company owner, only to find out that you don’t vibe with the person actually at your wedding.

Tips for Hiring an Awesome Wedding DJ

Your wedding entertainment is one way you can make sure your guests have a blast. It can also be another way of adding your own personal touch to the event. Your wedding is a party, after all! You want to make it a kick-ass party that your guests won’t soon forget. Whether your goal is to get people moving on the dance floor or to just have some great music accompanying the reception, hiring a wedding DJ can be a great option.

Know what to look for and where

The most common option is to go with a DJ whose primary business is weddings. These wedding DJs know the ins and outs of wedding receptions and may even be great at serving as an emcee to make announcements. To find one of these, do the usual web searching and asking for referrals from other vendors.

Ask to hear samples of the wedding DJ’s work

Once you’ve found a DJ or two that seems right for your wedding, ask to see examples of their work. This could be a video of a live performance, a mixtape, or sample playlists. The more important to you the quality of the music is, the more you should see and hear before hiring.

Give the DJ your playlist and your “do not play” list

If you’re already set on a playlist, discuss it with DJs and make sure they are willing to follow it. You may also want to create a “do not play” list and share it to avoid any unpleasant surprises

Ask how they get the crowd going

If you want your DJ to be really involved in making your reception fun, make sure to ask about how they engage a crowd.

TIPS TO FINDING THE RIGHT WEDDING DJ

Once you have decided that you want a DJ to provide the music for your wedding reception, you have to pick the DJ. Picking the right DJ for your wedding can seem like a daunting task, because you know that the DJ sets the tone for the reception. Pick a great DJ, and it is going to be hard for your reception to be anything less than spectacular. Pick a so-so DJ, and even with the best food and venue, you are still probably only going to have a so-so reception. However, there are so many choices in DJs that you may be overwhelmed. Even if Limelight Entertainment is not your choice, we want you to be confident and knowledgeable when selecting your DJ

Don’t automatically go with someone you know. You may have a cousin, friend, or acquaintance who is a DJ, so you feel like you should choose them for your wedding. Maybe you should and maybe you should not; let their qualifications, not your relationship, be the determining factor. If you do choose to go with someone you know, don’t keep things casual- make sure that you are in a contract that specifically spells out your obligations and theirs!

Check with the venue. Does your venue have a preferred DJ? If so, that DJ probably knows the venues acoustics and any special concerns. You might not decide to go with that DJ, but their preferred DJ should be on your interview list.

Ask for referrals. That friend whose reception was awesome? Ask her for her DJ’s name

Look at wedding forums for your area. Who do people recommend? Dig deeper than the star rating and actually read reviews to find out why people recommend a particular DJ.

Questions to Ask Before Booking Your DJ

Interviewing potential vendors is like going on an awkward first date — you both hope there’s chemistry, but it can be confusing to know exactly what to say (even for a Wedding Editor like myself!). Follow our new “10 Questions to Ask…” blog series with experts from each field who will break it down for you step-by-step. I’ll share hard-earned real bride advice along the way, so you know how to spot the best vendor for your needs. This week, contributors DJ Kev Sakoda from Scratch Weddings and Vito Namio at Dash of Class Entertainment show you how to scout an amazing DJ.

Is this your full-time business? Are weddings your primary focus? What clubs, lounges, and corporate clients have you performed for in addition to weddings?

Determine whether they are a well-rounded, successful entertainer who can bring a level of expertise and versatility to your event. “You want to ensure that your DJ isn’t a one-dimensional part-timer, but a true performer whose had varied and extensive experience performing in front of different (and tough) audiences,” said DJ Kev Sakoda. It’s fine if your prospective DJ mainly focuses on weddings—DJ Vito Namio performs at well over 100 per year—as long as they squeeze in some time for other types of parties as well.

How do you customize the music experience for each couple? Can you help with song lists and providing suggestions?

Find a DJ who will create a soundtrack for your wedding that is based on your style, taste, and vision for that day. “One size does not fit all—if your desire is to have a mosh pit at your wedding, then you will need to deliver that and anything else you want, for that matter,” said Sakoda.

How do you get the crowd pumped?

There are all kinds of incentives that DJs use to encourage guests to storm the dance floor, whether it’s asking couples to join the newlyweds for a good-luck dance or playing a meaningful throwback song from the bridesmaids’ college days

How do you handle song requests?

“There could be instances where the client directives are diametrically opposed to the guest requests. How a DJ strikes a balance to deliver on the couple’s desires—while still satisfying the guests’ requests—determines the skill and experience of the DJ,” said Sakoda.

How to choose the right DJ for your wedding party

For a wedding party to be remembered by your guests, it is imperative that you find a DJ who can create an extra special atmosphere. Here’s how to find the perfect match

Once the vows have been made, the wedding breakfast has been eaten and the speeches have received rapturous applause, all that remains to do on your big day is to take your first dance and celebrate with an amazing wedding after party. As with all aspects of your wedding day, the best way to ensure your wedding party goes without a hitch is to leave it to the professionals. If you’re choosing a professional DJ service to keep your wedding dance floor filled until the early hours, there are many considerations to make… it’s not just about the music.

To better understand how to choose the right DJ for your wedding party, Danny Costello, managing director of award-winning DJ hire company, is perfectly placed to advise on the winning formula. With more than 20 years’ experience as a wedding DJ, Danny leads a team of hand-picked DJs who strive to deliver unforgettable wedding parties across Surrey, London and the Home Counties.

Experience and pricing

Don’t be fooled by start-up companies with little to no experience who are offering cheap deals on wedding entertainment and discos. Take note of how long a wedding DJ has been in the business; experienced DJs will have extensive knowledge about timings, equipment and logistics and clients should feel that they are in safe hands.