When it comes to planning a wedding there a TON of resources out there to help you. You search ONE time for something wedding related and all of a sudden every feed on every one of your social media apps is suddenly flooded with wedding related content.
While some of it can provide priceless resources most of it is useless. Pinterest is flooded with “advice” blogs. The Knot and Wedding Wire have their own fair share of planning content. But take it with a grain of salt….
Because, honestly? The popular wedding planning advice blogs that have been making their rounds the last few seasons are pure garbage. And I’m not even a little bit sorry for saying that.
Planning a wedding is very overwhelming. Especially if you have never done it before. So, let me share with you some of the worst wedding planning advice I have ever read or been told.
Lie to your vendors and tell them that it’s not a wedding, it’s just a family party or get together. That way you will get their services for a cheaper price. Because the second you say “wedding” the price triples and its the same amount of work. DO NOT ever do this…. family parties are NOT the same as weddings. Besides the fact that lying is just gross to begin with. You are essentially trying to steal from us. But lets go back to how its more work. There is ton more pressure and stress that is put on vendors when its a wedding vs a family party. We have to make sure we bring all of our equipment and special lighting for weddings. For photographers we have to be a certain mindset for weddings. We have to know the time line, the game plan, make sure we get everything you want and need. Make sure we “get the shot” but rolling up to what we thought was just a family reunion and its actually a wedding? Not only will we be furious but we will not be on our best game, if you will.
Ask what your vendors will be wearing on your wedding day….. ummmm.. ok….. I am assuming we will be wearing clothes? If you have a professional photographer we will know how to dress accordingly. I know on my questionnaire I send out to my couples before the wedding, I ask what the dress code is for guests and I dress accordingly. For example, if you are having a barn wedding, in a field, in August and everything will be outside? I am not going to show up in heels, black slacks and a blazer. I will attract more attention than the bride. I would wear a nice sun dress or black capri dress pants with a nice light sleeveless blouse. You have MANY other things to worry about when planning your wedding and our wardrobe choices doesn’t need to be one of them.
You don’t have to feed your photographer or videographer….. ok, well really you dont “have to” (even though it is in our contracts) but you SHOULD… We have been on our feet, up and down, sideways and back ways, for about 8 hours by time dinner comes around. I doubt any of us have had a chance to drink a bottle of water or even use the restroom yet…. So, be a nice human and feed us, please.
Ask what kind of gear we use and what we edit with. Ok, I get that this is important. But honestly? Unless you are in the industry you are not really going to understand what we are saying when we list off our gear. Even our editing programs. I had one bride say she was not comfortable hiring me because I edited in Lightroom and not Photoshop. She had read on a blog that real professionals use Photoshop and if we dont? Dont hire us. Lightroom and Photoshop are industry standard editing programs. Things like pictime and picasa are NOT.
Ask your friends to offer their services for free. How about not? Show your friends and family that you love, respect and support them by offering to pay them. Dont ask your cousin who really good at making wedding cakes to make yours as your wedding gift. Poor taste. Now, if they offer? that’s different. But you should still tip them.
Ask your vendors to work for exposure by letting them post your images to social media. First of all, we have exposure- thats how you found us. And we have bills to pay, thus why this is our JOB and we charge for our services. Unless you are Kim Kardhasian? Your exposure will do nothing for us. And if you are Kim K. why you being so stingy, sis? We dont have to post your images, thats ok. Though who doesn’t like seeing your images posted and all the likes and comments on them?
20 MUST HAVE PHOTOS FOR YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER TO TAKE lists. Don’t do this. They aren’t “must haves” they are just trendy photos that someone put into a blog post to get visitors to their website. We spend years learning how to create beautiful and unique images for our clients. We want your wedding photos to look like YOUR day and feel like YOUR day. Not a replica of someone else’s. You dont go to a restaurant and give the chef a recipe, do you? We know what must have photos are 😉
Do your own hair and make up. While, I’m sure some of you can totally slay the make up game. I mean, what is YouTube for anyways? Its nice to have someone else do yours on your wedding day. That way you can sit down and relax while someone else is doing it for you. Plus, its really difficult to get that winged liner just right with shaky hands.
Wait to book your photographer until about 6 months before your wedding day. I dont suggest doing that. Most of us have been booked for a year for most dates. And if you want the best of the best, we book early. Venue, Photographer, Dress. In that order.
Don’t serve actual dinner just provide hors d’ouvres. Yeah, probably not. Food is different than alcohol and providing an open bar for everyone. Your guests have spent a lot of money to attend your wedding. Outfits, sitters, travel, gifts. The least you can do is provide them with a good real meal.
Be your own DJ….. A DJ makes or breaks your party. They keep it going. Hype everyone up. This is the last thing you want to worry about at your reception. Or god forbid there be a technical issue and you end up having no music at all.
Make sure you photographer has shot at your venue before. Ok, so while I can see how this is a valid question. Just know that there are approximately 2,000 wedding venues in the state of Michigan. It would impossible for a wedding photographer to have experience shooting at all of them. However, if you hire a true professional we are used to thinking on our feet and adapting to any and all environments.
You have to have a second shooter. No, no you do not. I have shot over 200 weddings without one and prefer to not have one. Its completely unnecessary in most cases. So dont turn away a photographer who doesn’t work with one just because someone on the internet told you you have to have one. I explain this in a little bit more detail on my FAQ page.
While this isn’t all of the worst advice I have come across as a wedding photographer- this is some of the ones I view as worthy of writing about. And while not everyone may agree with all of the points listed above, I have been to my fair share of weddings and know what is essential. I have witnessed what works and what doesn’t. Especially when it comes to inquiring with vendors.
Now, I may follow up this post with one containing the “best wedding planning advice” next week. I will compile a list this weekend.
In the mean time, carry on and good luck planning!!