Perfect Wedding Photographer And Why They Are So Hard To Find

Wedding Photo Ideas To Spice Up Your Shot List

You’ve got to please the bride and groom with the shots you know they want for their wedding album, but then you can exercise your own creative flair with wedding photos they never could have dreamed up without you.

We searched through hundreds of wedding photography portfolios to put together this collection of unique, interesting, a just slightly out-of-the-box wedding photography shot list that will satisfy the wedding party and your creative spirit. That’s a fine line to walk

Make use of negative space.

Wedding photographs, including of this elegant Star Wars-themed event, have been featured in People, Glamour, Town & Country, and BuzzFeed. In this shot, Santoro goes wide, making use of negative space to let the couple (and their accompanying Stormtroopers) really stand out. Keeping the composition simple here ensures the focus is on the photo subjects.

Pair photos in a diptych.

The diptych pairing of these two bouquet-tossing photos captures motion and breaks away from the traditional and expected photo style.

Set your couple somewhere epic

Their range is comprehensive, but breathtaking photos set in incredible natural environments certainly set this kind of wedding photo above the pack.

Here Is Your Guide for How to Hire a Wedding Photographer

For a lot of people, figuring out how to hire a wedding photographer is usually done fairly early in the planning process. This is probably for a few reasons. It feels like one of the bigger wedding planning tasks (because it is, if you’re hiring a photographer), and if you’re planning to shoot engagement photos or additional portrait sessions, you want to go ahead and plan those out. Plus, some wedding photographers book out well in advance (and there are only so many weekends during wedding season), which means locking in the photographer of your choice is all about timing.

I don’t mean that you need a perfectly curated Pinterest-friendly Instagram feed before you start looking for your wedding photographer, but I do mean that you should have some kind of visual idea of what you want your photos to look like. Are you into darker, moodier photography? Cool, then don’t go with someone who skews toward overexposure. Do you want someone who shoots with film? Great, make sure you include that in your search terms. Are you ultra into an abundance of natural light? Sub-question: Will your venue actually be filled with natural light? Awesome, find those people. If you’re feeling totally lost, ask people you know who have amazing wedding photos who they hired, and go from there.

KNOW YOUR VENUE

Remember what I just said about natural light? Okay, good. I am personally a huge fan of natural light and venues that have tons of it, and a lot of my work reflects that. That’s because I intentionally share photos that I think best showcase what I do—and that’s what a lot of photographers do. So if you’re getting married in a dimly lit room and you hired someone who usually shoots outside in fields, just know that your photographer can’t transport all that light into a room that doesn’t have it. Sure, your photographer can and should be able to work with any venue, but if you’re choosing a photographer because of what that person excels at, it’s helpful if your wedding fits the bill.

SKETCH OUT A BUDGET BEFORE YOU INQUIRE

Maybe you don’t know exactly how much money you have to spend on a photographer, but few things are as hard on everyone as when a couple inquires with a photographer who is out of budget in the hopes that they will magically… not be. Everyone gets invested. You get invested in work you love, and your photographer gets invested in starting the booking process and breathing a sigh of relief because, hey! They still have a job. You don’t need to know your entire budget, but you do need to know if you have $1,000 for a photographer, or $2,500, or more than $4,000, and inquire accordingly.

MEET YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER IN PERSON (SKYPE IS OKAY, IF YOU MUST)

I think few things are as valuable as an in-person meeting, for both the couple and the photographer. Because trust: the best wedding photos happen when the couple and photographer could be friends in real life, outside of the wedding. This doesn’t mean you will be friends, or that you even want to (it is absolutely fine to just want a client-professional relationship with your vendors), but it always helps to know the potential is there. You want someone who is talented, who matches your vibe, and who the two of you (both! Not just one of you) hit it off with. Sitting down with a cup of coffee or over a glass of wine is a great way to find out if someone is that person. And I’ll let you in on a secret: this goes both ways. Your photographer also needs to know if you guys all fit together, because few things are harder than having to meet expectations that were never realistic.

Connection and friendship are what we aim for around here

Wedding Photography

big fans of working with couples who want to do things a little bit differently and we love documenting all the tiny moments that happen throughout the adventure. With a passion for all things wedding can help you with whatever you need from photos and creative ideas, to location suggestions and more. will craft your journey into an authentic, epic story that you will treasure forever.

Wedding Elopements

are advocates of couples who have intrepid hearts and love adventure. care about moments and memories. reckon it’s worth celebrating the good things in life. big believers that happy accidents are often what add colour to lives. are truely amazing places to elope and know all the good locations.

Beautiful Stories

The beautiful stories are why love weddings so much! team of wedding photography experts will document your love story in a genuine, real, laugh-inducing, tear-jerking way. Plus, we’ll have some fun together while do it. We are relaxed and make you feel at ease – are professionals!

Tips On Finding The Right Photographer For Your Actual-Day Wedding

Not every wedding photographer is good at both pre-wedding and actual day shoots. Contributing Editor for Her World Brides and Female Brides, highlights the points to look out for when looking a good actual-day wedding photographer.

I was at a wedding dinner last night and my niece pointed out to me that the photographer covering the event was not really up to scratch. They covered the bridal march-in, the table to table group shots and significant moments like the cake cutting, toasts and speeches, but other than that, they were nowhere to be seen.

The photographers for the dinner event also took the couple’s pre-wedding pictures – which were lovely! But they seemed a bit relaxed or disinterested when it came to covering the dinner celebrations.

There were many fun and happy moments during the dinner and the photographers were not around to cover them. I have met a few pre-wedding photographers who only take on pre-wedding shoots and for a good reason – they are not interested in doing actual day shoots and they find it tiring. And some also admit that their forte is not actual day shoots. Some of the best actual day photographers may not be good pre-wedding photographers too!

Although there are many photographer who offer packages that include the pre-wedding and actual day shoots, it would be wise for couples to actually vet through their portfolios to ensure that these photographers are good at both. Depending on their style, the same photographer may excel in shooting portraits but may not do as well when it comes to spontaneous shots.

How to choose the right wedding photographer

It’s a long read, but it will save you a lot of stress and disappointment.

This comprehensive list of tips and advice will guarantee that you will choose the right wedding photographer for you and that your wedding day photographs will bring you great joy and excitement for years to come

How much would you pay for amazing memories?

There are so many wedding photographers to choose from. They each have a different vision of how to capture your wedding day. They have different styles, editing approaches, quality of delivery and of course different people with different personalities!

How on earth do you pick the most perfect, talented, creative and amazing wedding photographer that understands your needs and can deliver what you want?!

Well, I am here to help you how to choose the right wedding photographer for your perfect wedding day

I have sat down with my family, my friends and most importantly my past brides and grooms to compile the GO TO BRIDE GUIDE to help you to make the right decision.

First Things First!

You’ve just gotten engaged! Congratulations!!! Now that the diamond is glittering happily on your wedding finger and you’ve enjoyed all the celebrations with your friends and family… It’s time to start the wedding planning! Here, I want to share with you my tips and tricks for brides and grooms who feel that their wedding photographs are one of the most important parts of their wedding day

The Ways Of An Event Planner

Why Hire a Corporate Event Planner?

Many people believe they have what it takes to pull off a successful event. However, many people do not have what it takes to deliver a memorable event. A corporate Event Planner can guarantee that your event is not only memorable but full of flair. Here are some of the benefits accrued from hiring a professional event planner.

You Can Cut Cost

Many people believe that event planners are expensive. Therefore, they opt to do the planning on their own thinking that they will save. Choosing a corporate Event Planner, however, helps you reduce cost since they can help you negotiate better charges for venues and public address systems. Many corporate event planner s have healthy relationships with suppliers, they are offered with discounts that you would otherwise not get. They can even offer you valuable advice on where to cut cost.

Guarantees Timely Planning

Planning an event by yourself can be a challenging task especially if you are in full-time employment. Sometimes personal commitments may arise and might destruct you from planning a successful event. An event planner would otherwise plan an event that is on time. A dedicated corporate planner will go all the way to ensure that your event meets all the set deadlines, is full of flair and is within your budget.

EVENT PLANNERS KEEP YOUR BUDGET IN CHECK

Did you know an experienced event planner can SAVE you money? That’s because sticking to a budget is what an event professional does best. They know what costs to expect, which corners can be cut, and how to prioritize the decisions that bring the greatest impact.

The result is less waste, lower overall costs, and elements that all tie in seamlessly with your final event goals.

EVENT PLANNERS HELP TO MAKE SURE YOUR THEME IS SPOT ON

If you’re throwing a corporate event, picking a theme can be tricky. Now, we’re not talking the annual Christmas party, but product launches, key client gatherings, the annual gathering, a companywide conference, trade exhibition, or even a charity gala event… Essentially, any corporate event with a strategic purpose and measurable goals that need to be met.

This is where a creative event production company can really shine. These professionals can not only help with a certain theme to meet your goals but create the out-of-this-world elements that ensure your event encourages rapport and a memorable connection with your brand.

Event Planners Help to Unload Life Stress 

Planning an event is comprised of four main stress points: budget, location, guest list, and catering. Over and above this, there are a million smaller things to coordinate in a designated time-frame. 

If you already have too much on your plate, allow an event planner to offload some of this stress by managing it all for you. They have the time, expertise, and experience to focus on the details and make your event extra special. 

You Need to Meet Strict Business Objectives

If you’re planning a business event, this is where the stress becomes real! You most likely have stringent business objectives to achieve and your job could even be on-the-line. 

If you have a product launch, annual, special client event or company conference, an event planner is your go-to for a blow out success.

Working with an event planner can not only save you time out of your work day but also save your company money while meeting corporate objectives.

An event planner is skilled in ensuring your event is on-brand and can assist with clever marketing to ensure your event attracts the right audience. 

Signs You Need A Corporate Event Planner

Before you plan your next event, make sure you have the proper negotiation skills and adequately trained resources in place to get the job done right. If you don’t have those skills and resources internally, it makes sense to hire a corporate event planner.

When to Hire a Corporate Event Planner: 10 Ways to Know

 Wondering if you should hire a corporate event planner? Here are some top signs that it’s time to call in some help.

1. You don’t have the time upfront or resources internally.

Really, who does? You’ve got a job to do and planning an event is not part of that.

Events can take weeks or even months of lead-time planning. If you or someone at your organization doesn’t have time to handle all of the details, it makes sense to hire help.

2. You need to deliver an amazing experience and can’t risk failure.

If you don’t have event planning experience, you are not fully aware of how much must be accomplished in advance of your event date. It can be overwhelming!

Delivering a flawless event is always priority number one, so it makes sense to hire a partner that operates with the same level of excellence and professionalism -owning each and every detail to ensure a top-notch experience for your corporate and healthcare professional attendees.

3. You have never been to the locations being discussed.

Google can only tell you so much. On the ground knowledge of your event location will help guarantee the success of your event.

Without that, how can you be sure the hotel accommodations, meeting venues and entertainment options live up to the pictures online? Additionally many companies have guidelines in place that dictate hospitality depending upon the countries involved in the meeting.

Event planning specialists have a wealth of global knowledge at their disposal, and are focused on equipping you with unique, uncommon facts and proven, direct experience and opinions, so that you feel confident in making an informed decision about your final event location!

4. You are unfamiliar with legal and logistical requirements.

Traveling overseas can be tricky – especially when you are responsible for the safe arrival of your employees, clients, speakers and vendors.

You cannot afford to ignore the logistical challenges for group travel – including obtaining visas, having accurate participant documentation, reserving airlines, providing alternate transportation and finalizing lodging confirmation materials, etc. Having back-up plans in place will ensure your attendees arrive to the meeting hassle-free.

Don’t let these hurdles get in the way of your meeting’s success. Make sure you have someone on your team that is qualified and designated to handle all of the important minute logistic details which can have a major impact. Otherwise hire an expert.

5. You lack industry-specific event planning experience.

We work with a lot of clients in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. The events we plan for these clients require intensive knowledge about regulations as it relates to compliance, confidentiality and security.

If you’re not aware of the hospitality guidelines or country codes of conduct requirements needed for your industry, it pays to get help from an expert who does.

Reasons You Should Hire an Event Planner for your Corporate or Private Events

When planning a corporate event, or large private function, reinforcing your brand and message should be a top priority. Everything about the event should help create an experience for your visitors. Your theme and content need to come together to support that experience and carry out your important message. Most companies do not have the expertise or band width to take on such an important challenge internally.

Hiring an Event Planner (EP) will free you up to manage the crucial decisions – like venue location, catering selection, and overall brand and message. Then you can leave the details to the Event Planner to execute on your behalf.Our team works with you to identify the best opportunities for high impact visuals to build a cohesive theme for every event.

NOT HAVING A DEDICATED COORDINATOR, OR HAVING THE WRONG ONE, CAN DERAIL YOUR EVENT QUICKLY. SO IF YOU ARE STILL ON THE FENCE, HERE ARE 5 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD CONSIDER HIRING AND EVENT PLANNER:

EXPERIENCE

Most likely your daily responsibilities are enough to keep you busy and the mere idea of planning a big corporate event will become overwhelming. The multitude of tasks and finding reliable vendors can become exhausting. If you have been tasked with coordinating the company’s event or general session, then you have the most important role and your first task should be to hire a team that can get the job done – and that starts with a dependable Event Planner! Most EPs have a portfolio of events they have managed, ranging in scale and budget, so they have already learned the lessons and have best practice in place to help things run smoothly.

RESOURCES

An experienced Event Planner already has a list of vetted vendor partners and labor teams needed to pull in to the get the job done. They will have local connections they can negotiate with and some EPs, have in-house capabilities to design, engineer and build any display and exhibit materials and print graphics needed to carry out your theme with professional flare and quality. This gives the EP has more control of costs, timelines and quality which only benefits you.

BUDGET

An experienced EP will actually help you save money, mainly because of reason #1 and #2 above. Managing an event budget, and sticking to it, is part of their process and is what they do best. They can help guide you in the early planning stages, matching your wish list to solutions that fit the budget. They generally know what costs what and will prioritize what is most important, and areas where corners can be cut.

EVENT DAY

When the day of the event comes, you should be able to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor. When you have an Event Planner on your team, they will monitor everything and handle any emergency situations along the way. Their priority is to make sure you guests have an experience they will remember, and make you look like a rock star! At the end of the day you will be able to relish in all the compliments vs being tired for running around behind the scenes.

Selecting Your Wedding Dj

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

Questions to Ask Before Booking Your 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.

Can I hear some examples of mixing and blending different tracks?

When mixing is done correctly, you probably aren’t even aware of it. The DJ should be able to blend between songs seamlessly; you don’t want guests to become bored by a ten-minute long Queen rendition! However, when this technique is performed incorrectly, you’ll be able to discern it instantly: “When there is no mixing or blending, there is awkward silence between songs (it’s the same thing as your iPod),” said Sakoda.

How to choose the right DJ for your wedding party

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 DJ2K, 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. DJ2K couples usually spend between £600 and £2,000 which can include a photo booth, selfie mirror, dance floor, giant illuminated letters, among other things – dependent on the couple’s budget and requirements

Recommendations

Danny says: “DJ2K is recommended by a number of top wedding venues in the UK. It is always worth considering a venue’s recommended suppliers and having a chat in the first instance. However, if your chosen supplier isn’t recommended or hasn’t worked at your venue before, don’t worry – they have the potential to bring a fresh approach to proceedings.”

Reviews

Online reviews made by other couples will tell you all you need to know about whether a wedding DJ is good or great and will provide a professional and reliable DJ service. Browse the DJ’s website and social media; if the DJ has been given exceptional reviews, they’ll certainly want to share them.

All the Questions You Need to Ask Your Wedding Band or DJ

Let’s be honest here: The music can make or break a party, which means the band or DJ is one of the most important factors of your reception. And you definitely don’t want to hire someone without thoroughly vetting them first. Ask the below questions when you meet with any potential musicians to find the right fit for you.

How would you describe your style?

You need to figure out if their style will work with the vibe you’re going for. If you want an elegant cocktail party with lots of casual conversation, a band that describes itself as “rock and roll with a whole lotta edge” is a music mismatch. (And if you’re having trouble determining what kind of band or DJ you want, do some research on The Knot Marketplace or GigMasters—both can help you find exactly what you’re looking for.)

Can we come listen to you perform?

Seeing them perform live will give you the best idea about what your wedding entertainment would actually sound and feel like. While most musicians and the couples that hire them mutually agree in advance that the wedding is closed to prospective clients, some will have mini “concerts” for the public to attend and see whether they’re a good fit or not.

Do you know our reception space and its acoustic, power and amplification requirements? If not, will you check it out beforehand?

Your musicians may need an extension cord, backup generator or other supplies, and it’s important to know this beforehand. If they don’t want to check out your venue, cross them off your list.

Can you play the songs that are important to us (such as a traditional Jewish hora tune or a favorite pop hit)?

The band or DJ should be able to play, learn or download any tune you’d like. If a band says “yes,” but they’ll need to learn and/or arrange it, ask them if they’ll charge for that.

How did you pick your DJ?

We ended up going with the more expensive one, because his personality was outgoing. He was so much fun to talk and our meeting ended up running longer than anticipated. We were looking for someone outgoing and confident in what they did. We sa down and talked to 3 different DJS. Make sure you talk to them on the phone or in person. The DJ sets the tone for everything at your wedding you want to make sure they are good at it.

This is going to sound corny, but it will just feel right. I spoke with a few DJ’s, I even booked one, then canceled because he and I just did not connect as far as what my vision was, etc. The DJ I ended up finding was extremely personable and knowledgeable. He took the time to go over every detail and explain his cost compared to the industry, etc. He also gave me great tips on finding a photographer and made suggestions on how to cut back cost. I trust that he will make my wedding day run as smooth as possible.

He picked us. He said “you guys look like a cool couple. I wanna dj your wedding” we told him we weren’t planning on having a dj and he said he’d do it at a discount. He has 20+ yrs experience and we vibed well.

I picked 5 DJs based on their reviews and pricing and made a spreadsheet. I listed what they were offering, how long they would be there, extra fees (set up, traveling) and the cost of each one. It really helped me to see all the options laid out and I was able to narrow it down to two. I contacted both and figured out which one would work best for what we needed/wanted.

They’re not corny, cheesy, they don’t dance, they don’t have plasma TV’s, uplighting or photobooths, they are always there early, they don’t dress like slobs, they don’t put giant ugly banners on the DJ booth (which always looks neat). They don’t do games, they don’t miss ceremony cues, they don’t mispronounce names and they actually have the processional order and the entrance details down before they are going to happen. We live in an area with very busy airwaves; they bring backup equipment in case the frequencies are a problem (Hudson river area, flight path, marinas….). They play well with others. They have interesting music suggestions beyond 1000 years and I think I wanna marry you. If I have couples that need international music, I have two DJ’s that shine in that area.

What You Need To Know Before Short Listing The Best Wedding Photographer

HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER

Picking your Wedding Photographer is an important decision, once the wedding is over these photos will hold all those memories and key moments. There are thousands of photographers in the UK, so how do you go about choosing a professional wedding photographer for your special day.

STYLE

First off is decide your style, you can browse our site and see hundreds of different wedding photos by different photographers, however it is important you find a photography style that matches what you want, a style that you want your photos to follow. Shortlist photographers that match your style, be it reportage, traditional or contemporary, quirky and creative.

EXPERIENCE

They may have been taking photos for years, but have only recently started capturing weddings. Make sure they have a good few solid years of photographing weddings. Weddings are very different to fashion shoots or staged shots as they are dynamic, it is a live event, an experienced wedding photographer will know the flow of the day and know where to be at the right time to get those stunning shots.

TESTIMONIALS

If they have the experience then they should certainly have a lot of testimonials and great references. Ask to speak to previous clients, make sure they were happy with how it all went and are thrilled with the end result when they got their photos.

CONSISTENCY

You may have found a photography with the perfect style you are looking for, they have some great shots on their website, now you want to see some albums, whole weddings that are complete.

How to Choose a Wedding Photographer

The photographs from your wedding day will be a timeless memento of a truly special day. Wedding photographers can be very expensive, specialise in a number of different styles, and offer a variety of levels of service. Choosing a wedding photographer takes careful thought and consideration about what sort of pictures you want to document your wedding day. Do plenty of research and interview a number of candidate before making your choice

Decide what style of wedding photography you prefer. There are a number of different styles of wedding photography, and different photographers will specialise in different styles. Take some time to read up on and learn about the different styles and think about which one suits you best.

Start looking early. Booking your wedding photographer should be one of the first things you do after you have booked your venue. Wedding photographers are in high demand, especially in the busiest times of year for weddings, and many of the best ones will be booked up a year in advance

Ask for personal recommendations. The best wedding photographers will tend to develop a reputation, and may be known locally to your friends are family. Start your search by asking people you know and trust if they have any recommendations, either through personal experience, or word of mouth. Talk to people you know who have got married in the last few years and ask about their experience

Avoid hiring family or friends. It may be tempting to hire somebody you know to be your wedding photographer. You may be drawn towards hiring someone you trust, who knows you and your partner well, and you think will understand what kind of pictures you want. While this might turn out perfectly well, it is highly likely that this person will not have the technical skills and experience to give you the best photos

Tips for Choosing the Perfect Wedding Photographer

It’s that time of year. The time of year you may well be getting ready to pick a wedding photographer. We do a lot of work with wedding photographers on APW (they make up the majority of our amazing sponsors). And if there is one goal I have for matching photographers with clients, it’s that the RIGHT matches are made. You want a wedding photographer whose work you love, and who’s personally a match for you. Any photographer worth their salt wants the right client for them, not just any client. APW has two in-depth articles on choosing a wedding photographer: one on storytelling/lighting/composition, and another on wedding photography styles. But today, we thought we’d boil it down to our most practical tips and tricks to help you find exactly the right match (or hell, to decide you’re going DIY on your photography).

PHILOSOPHY

For some wedding vendors, you really don’t need to care about their philosophy. Wedding photography is not one of those places. Chances are, you’re going to spend more time with your wedding photographer than with your maid of honor on your wedding day, so you want to make sure they’re someone you jive with. The simplest way to start is to sort through the vendor listings of a wedding website where you feel like you fit in. (Oh, hi, APW Vendor Directory.) Once you’ve found photographers you’re interested in, look at their About pages. Those pages are carefully constructed to give you a sense of who the photographer is and how they work. Back when our CRO Maddie shot weddings, she had an About page that really laid out who she was very clearly. It said, “As a wedding photographer, I believe that getting married is one of the bravest things a person can do. It’s messy and it’s hard work, and rarely the result of a perfect love story.” That sets out a very specific philosophy that might be really right (or really wrong) for you. Look for written philosophies that feel like they just click, and then see if that feeling continues when you meet with the photographer in person or talk to them on the phone.

DO YOU LIKE THE PHOTOGRAPHER?

Once you’ve narrowed down photographers whose work you like, and whose philosophy you seem to gel with, set up an in-person meeting (or a Skype session, if that’s what works). Then, figure out if you LIKE them. If you don’t, please don’t hire them. You spend enough time with your photographer on your wedding day that you should find them generally pleasant at minimum, possible-BFF-forever at maximum. (Only you know how much you care about love-loving them, but make sure you like them.)

LIGHTING SITUATION FOR YOUR WEDDING

Before we get too far into this idea of, “Just hire someone whose work makes you feel happy inside,” let’s have a quick reality check. The easiest wedding to shoot is a wedding in the daytime, with a ceremony under shade and great natural light. If that applies to you, ignore the rest of this paragraph. If, however, you’re getting married in a dark church or you’re having an outdoor evening wedding reception, it’s really important that you specifically look for a photographer that’s skilled with those lighting environments. Don’t assume that experience equals skill in low lighting. Look for weddings shot in similar lighting environments in your photographer’s portfolio, and ask them specifically how they would handle your particular situation. (Some photographers use external lights for dark receptions, while others may rely on their camera’s ability to see well in the dark.) If you notice that after it gets dark, all wedding photos in the portfolio are processed in black and white, that’s a hint that the photographer may not be super comfortable in darker situations. (Please note: Your wedding in a Gothic cathedral is not going to look like a wedding in a sunlit field, no matter who you hire, so don’t expect magic tricks.)

REVIEWS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Every photographer is going to have their strengths and weaknesses. It’s pretty easy to get a sense of what someone’s strengths are (let’s assume taking stunning photos is one of them). The trick is to get an accurate sense of what a given photographer’s weaknesses are, and then decide what you can live with. You can do this by a robust conversation with a photographer. (Just ask them flat out what their weaknesses are. A professional will tell you. Run away if they say they have none.) Or you can ask to chat with a past client. Here are a variety of weaknesses I’ve observed in various photographers (most of whom are kick-ass people and artists): not super good time managers on the wedding day, slightly socially awkward, slow delivery of photos, slow or poor client communication, not cheerful and outgoing with the couple, don’t take direction well.

Ways to Choose the Right Wedding Photographer

After so many months and weeks of wedding planning, you will be surprised how fast your day will go by. Before you know it, you’ll be having coffee with your husband reminiscing about your wedding day. That’s why having the right wedding photographer to capture and preserve your wedding day is very important. Good thing, soon-to-wed couples have a lot of options when it comes to choosing the right wedding photographer.

With so many factors to consider in choosing the right wedding photographer, it always boils down to how important memories are to you. For some, wedding photography is merely a way to remind them of the day. But for others, photography is an art form, a delicate way to tell a love story, your love story.

Start looking as early as possible

When you want to have the cream of New Zealand top wedding photographer to capture your big day, you have to book them as early as possible. This also applies when your wedding date is a weekend or scheduled for a holiday season. The truth is, top photographers are always booked all year-round. So start doing your homework and research early. Many brides book their photographer 1-2 years out. It is never too early to start looking and booking your wedding photographer. It will be a big relief once that is done.

Research for wedding images, and more research

There are just so many different styles of wedding photography, not to mention different wedding packages and photography costs. It is important to do your research, visit as many wedding photography website as possible. Many New Zealand wedding photographers do travel outside their regions, some are free, and some do charge a small amount to cover the basic costs. It is important to know what wedding photography styles you want, from natural lighting to flash, super glamour or natural and editorial. This also applies to the editing of the wedding images. Some photographers like the film look, while others are more dark and moody. As you look through the websites, you will develop a taste of what you want, and what wedding images attract you. It is important to remember that every wedding photographers have their own style. Do not choose a photographer and ask them to copy other’s people styles. It will make for a very uncomfortable atmosphere, and likely to end in disaster.

Interviews your wedding photographers

As soon as you’ve narrowed down your list of potential wedding photographers, you must conduct interviews. This is an important part of your selection process because it will determine who among the shortlisted wedding vendors fit the bill.

How to Choose Your Wedding Photographer

Wedding photography is one of the biggest (and in our book, best!) investments you’ll make in your wedding day. So it’s important to choose a wedding photographer whose work you love now, will still adore in years to come, and who you feel is the right fit for you, your partner, and your wedding.

Along with a wedding video – and all the memories of course! – your wedding photos are among the few things you’ll have as a keepsake of your day, long after the confetti’s been swept away and the last of the wedding cake has been eaten. So having your day documented by the right person is so, so important

Unless you’re a photography buff yourself, it can be hard to compare photographers, work out what makes a photographer great, or know if they’re the right person to photograph you and your other half on the big day. To help, we’ve rounded up some essential tips for how to choose a wedding photographer.

Do Your Research

The first job on your to-do list is to seek out wedding photographers who work in your area and view their photographs. We’ve compiled a handy list of recommended photographers to use as your starting point – these guys come with the One Fab Day seal of approval, so you can trust them to give your day the love and attention it deserves!

At this point, you’ll start to notice how many different styles of wedding photography there are – fine art (dreamy, reminiscent of fashion magazine editorials), documentary (candid, off-the-cuff), traditional, modern, etc. When you’re looking at a photographer’s photos, it doesn’t matter if you don’t know what style you’re looking for, all you need to ask yourself is, do you like their work?

Break Away From The Stressful Journey Of An Event Planner

Ideas To Add Some Fun To A Serious Event

Unfortunately, there is still the widespread misconception that making business events more interesting and enjoyable damages their force, or that it’s a trick to appeal to the younger generations alone. Actually, using some of these ideas not only allows a wide and different audience to be more engaged, but also gives the event a touch of freshness. And the meeting will have more impact and will be remembered much longer.

Here are 12 ideas to have a little bit of fun even at the most serious events.

Cocktail show
If the chosen venue has a bar, you can hire professional bartenders who can perform striking stunts while mixing and creating great drinks. It’s a way to entertain those queueing at the bar and reduce boredom.

Mix your own drink
You can organize a stand where participants can propose or prepare their own drinks. Bartenders can supervise and offer tips and tricks.

Choose a theme
To create a fun atmosphere and get the users even more involved, you can suggest an event theme, which doesn’t necessarily have to be related to the business event. Themes require participation and a small creative effort, and facilitate the conversation. They can be as simple as the invitation to wear a certain color or article of clothing, or the attendees’ favorite team’s kit, or an item or symbol of their business.

Undercover entertainers
A visible stage isn’t the only place to offer entertainment; you can provide a more engaging experience by hiring performers who can blend in with the crowd and interact with it. The performances can be connected to the event theme and contribute to its storytelling, and you can use acrobats, clowns, or actors playing the part of historical characters or the event’s mascot.
Other ideas: call a comedian to make fun of the event, or organize a flash mob, either by secretly involving a group of participants beforehand, or by using professional undercover dancers.

Weird Staff
You can add another funny element to the meeting with singing waiters, historical characters welcoming the attendees, or bartenders pronouncing apparently unintelligible words that actually reveal clues to win a prize. Surprising and intriguing the audience always works, and it’s also cheap.

Drumming Display

Corporate percussion groups are geared toward corporate clients and can enhance your event theme. Specialist groups can perform using products i.e. recycled materials, ladders, machinery, etc. Drumming performances have wow factor, as they are fast paced, high energy and loud!

Laser Wizardry

LED and laser shows are the here and now of corporate entertainment. These seriously ‘in’ corporate shows can even incorporate logos that interact with audiences.

Robots

Walking, talking Robots are great for corporate events that include trade shows, exhibitions and conventions, or as great walk around acts to meet and greet guests. Some events are even using robots for things like mixing drinks.

Dance and Visual Performances
Video mapping dance groups are proving to be a big hit so far this year for corporate events. New technologies have allowed performers to take their dance and visual performances to the next level as humans and computers merge. These acts can incorporate specific music and graphics, as well as logos and corporate messages.

Stand Out, Make Your Events More Unique

Every event planner wants their work to stand out – that’s a given. It’s a crowded space these days, and we’re not just talking about event management – virtually every field is flooded with hopefuls due in large part to the advent of mass communication. Distinguishing one’s self requires true creativity, and if you sit back you’re going to be lost in a sea of noise.

Competitive, creative event planners can make their events more unique by paying attention to a few core areas, and tweaking things just a bit, just enough to be seen as going against the grain.  There is always risk in stepping outside the comfort zone, but if you’re the event planner that gets it right, you may start seeing the jobs roll in.

Focus On A New Angle

Do homework on the industry you’re event is promoting, and understand all the topics currently being discussed at other industry events. Can you find an emerging perspective that will draw a thought-leader crowd? Better yet, are you able to present fresh topics that none of your competitors seem to have touched on that your guests would be interested in hearing about?

Tip: certain event management companies establish themselves as “thought leaders” in one field. This generally takes time and total emersion in a particular field, but pays off making them the go-to team for all things related to said-field.

Get Creative With Your Venue

Don’t just book out another conference hall and call it a day – that’s boring. It’s what pretty much everyone’s doing for their events. While you may not want to break the bank on deco, consider ditching the conference hall for something a bit more memorable; a bit more ‘out there.’ A lakeside cabin, a rustic farmhouse, a bowling ally, a cruise liner; these locations may not be typically used for corporate meet-ups, but who says they can’t be.

Hint: don’t forget what you require of a venue, but view the possibilities of a unique space with an open mind. A kick-ass space may meet all your needs, and more.

Hire An Up-And-Coming Guest Speaker

Celebrity isn’t always what an event needs. Ask around within an industry for someone new on the scene whose making waves, getting published, starting cool projects, and being written about. A few lesser-known speakers or experts who may be more eager to speak could offer some adrenaline at the perfect moment. Often that new speaker provides a new perspective even a seasoned expert cannot.

Tip: a lesser-known keynote is more likely to self-promote the engagement and in turn, your event.

Things To Know Before Booking Entertainment For Your Event

In theory, booking entertainment for an event should be a breeze: identify the entertainer, make an offer, then sign the contract. But in practice, there’s a lot more that goes into booking entertainment, and some of the things you might not consider can potentially mean the difference between successfully booking entertainment and scrambling to find someone to fill the slot.

Know How To Reach Out

The first step towards booking entertainment for your event is to identify the entertainer you want at the event. The kind of entertainment you book should depend on the kind of event you’re running; there’s no quicker way to throw away money on entertainment than by booking someone who isn’t a good fit for your event’s guests. In order to make the most of your booking (and get your money’s worth), make sure the entertainment you hire is a good match for your guests.

Have A Plan Of Action

When it comes to booking entertainment for events, your next step should be to figure out what that entertainment will look like. After all, you wouldn’t open a restaurant without putting together a menu first, right?

The Entertainer’s Fee ≠ What You’ll Spend

So you’ve reached out to an entertainer and they’ve accepted your offer — you can go ahead and cross the entertainment off your to-do list, right?

Wrong.

One of the most common errors event planners make is in assuming that the performance fee for the entertainer is all they’ll have to spend on entertainment. In reality, the entertainer’s fee is just one part of the overall cost of entertainment, and if you don’t plan accordingly, you might find yourself going over-budget in a heartbeat.

Know How To Negotiate

Once you’ve gotten in touch with the entertainer, don’t be afraid to (effectively) negotiate the booking fee — just because you’re quoted a particular fee doesn’t mean you should pay it. Being willing to negotiate on the fee can save you a lot of up-front costs, but with any negotiation, though, you have to know when to push and when to ease off. If you don’t, you risk ensuring the entertainer will never consider working with you again.

How To Promote An Event

By now, this event management cycle should be familiar to you:

  1. Planning the event: From idea to action plan.
  2. Organising the event: From action plan to execution.
  3. Promoting the event: Spreading the word and selling tickets.
  4. Hosting the event: Making sure things run smoothly on the day.
  5. After the event: Thank yous and follow ups.

DJs Then And DJs Now

How to Choose a DJ

While I do take requests from coworkers, the song choices usually fall on me.  I’ve learned that starting a Monday off with too much emotional rock can easily set the wrong tone – and only the funkiest of jams can be played to liven up Friday afternoons. That’s why I give credit to the real DJs.

Song choice and order are pivotal to one’s surroundings, especially at a party, club, or on a radio station.  Careful attention to the mix of songs played and how they blend together is an impressive skill. If you have visited our DJ page, then you’ve noticed how many different options you have when it comes to hiring this type of entertainment.  GigMasters features Club DJs, Emcees, House DJs, Karaoke Performers, Latin DJs, Mobile DJs, Party DJs, Radio DJs, and Wedding DJs

Having trouble understanding the differences among them? Here’s a quick guide:

Club DJs – Think: “I just want to dance.”  Club DJs will be playing the most popular songs mixed with dance beats to keep the energy up.

Emcee – Worried about how to move guests along from a cocktail hour to the wedding reception, or when to give speeches to the newlyweds?  A Master of Ceremonies is practiced in making announcements, and a DJ with a magnetic personality.

House DJs – Picture fist pumping and electronic beats.  House music is multicolored, non-stop dance music.

Karaoke “KJs” – DJs who offer Karaoke are a great addition to any celebration.  Bars and restaurants should offer guests the chance to sing “Paradise By the Dashboard Light” at least once a week.

Latin DJs – These DJs will have the widest selection of Salsa, Merengue, and Reggaeton music.

Mobile DJs – Self-sufficient and able to provide all of their own equipment.  These types of DJs are great for events at all types of venues, even outdoors.

Party DJs – The goal is to make the party a success.  These DJs know what songs are best, from slow dancing to group dancing.

Radio DJs – If by some chance Delilah isn’t syndicated in your area, you can find these on-air personalities to play music and communicate with listeners.

Wedding DJs – Liven up a reception with the songs that you want to hear.  A professional Wedding DJ will be sure to set the mood with the music you choose for this special day

How to Choose Between DJs

A reader writes:

“Awesome article on choosing between a band and a DJ.  My fiancée and I decided the DJ route is the way to go for us, but now it’s my job to pick the most kick ass DJ St. Louis has to offer. Do you have any tips on choosing between different DJs.  Oh, and none of them will let you attend a function they are putting on, disrespectful to the clients (or something like that).

You found some good news. Do you really want to attend random functions of random people you don’t know, just to hear the random DJ? I mean, yes, that would be helpful for your decision, and yes, we (half-heartedly) recommend doing just that. But trust us–you dodged a bullet. It’s sort of like if you go on a beach vacation and “forget” your jogging shoes. Oh no, you can’t go jogging, you have to sleep in, instead. Damn.

Plenty of experts suggest that you get technical. They instruct you to ask your DJs about his sub-woofers, about the specs of his lighting system, etc.  Screw that. You’re not really going to know what you’re talking about, and he’ll secretly laugh at you

Ask other friends who have recently gotten married. Ask your other vendors.  Hell, as geeky as this sounds, even ask your co-workers. If all that yields nothing, you’re stuck doing things the old-fashioned way: google.

And we know, we know, it’s a crapshoot. When we just googled Best St. Louis wedding DJs, we got 87 pages of shot-in-the-dark, standalone businesses. A better option: check out sites like OneWed.com or MyWedding.com, which aggregate vendors and provide user reviews.  In this case, there’s something to the wisdom of crowds. Call me lazy, but if I see one vendor who has 17 user reviews with an average of 4.7, and they charge the same as the dude with only 1 rating (2 stars), well, that’s not exactly an agonizing decision. Why over-think it, right?

How to Pick a Band or DJ for Your Wedding

Picking the right sound and mix of entertainment on your wedding day will not only help set the tone but also ensure your guests have a night to remember. Here, a few of the industry’s top music experts share their advice on how to pick a wedding musician or DJ and what to ask before you make a decision

Match Your Band To Your Style

“When choosing a band, ask for their song list and make sure that they specialize in the genres that you like best. Find out their policy about taking specific song requests and what their approach is to making announcements to make sure it fits in with your style. You can also ask about what the performers wear, and if you can have input so that the band aesthetic matches the overall tone for your wedding.”—Valerie Romanoff, CEO, Starlight Orchestras

Pick A Genre

“Know what type of music you like and what kind of experience you want your guests to have. A great band will create a vibe for the night based on what you desire.”—Marianne Bennett, CEO, Element Music

Pay Attention to the Band Leader

“Always ensure the band has a very experienced emcee or band leader that is a part of the band. This person is the communicator for the wedding coordinator to the guests. Nothing is worse than someone who is choppy and does not have flow.”—Jordan Payne, CEO/Wedding Planner & Designer, Jordan Payne EventsBand: Jordan Kahn Band

Look for Passion

“I really love having true musicians for weddings—working with a talented performer who might DJ on the weekends for extra cash, or a bluegrass trio who loves random small gig. It’s fun to bring in artists who are passionate about what they do.”—Jaclyn Journey, Owner/Designer, Jaclyn Journey Event & Floral Design

Key Steps To Picking The Perfect Wedding DJ.

Now your wedding is around the corner, it slowly dawns, that the show must be perfect. Nothing should be compromised. Having checked all other boxes like venue, outfit, flowers, it’s time to let the music play to the high heavens. Music is one of the intricate fibres that make up a near perfect wedding. Guests may easily forget that the dessert didn’t get to their corner of the hall but will not as easily forget how the music you played made them feel. Music and entertainment are very important in determining what kind of memory the guests will leave with.

While the most important part of the day is the exchange of vows between two lovebirds, music comes next quite closely. Interestingly, statistics show that about 72% of brides say they wished they had spent more time carefully choosing their music vendors. 65% of couples that chose a band to entertain at their wedding, said, if they had to do it all over again, they would have chosen a disc jockey.

The back and forth that go on in the minds of couples, on whether or not to use a band or DJ is worthy of note. Both have a lot of good to offer when got right, however, you can’t afford to risk anything, especially the entertainment at your wedding. Sad as it may sound, you just can’t hide bad music, so it behooves you to get it right. A lot of working DJ’s are part-time hobbyists who do it just for fun. You’ll want to get a professional to man that stand to avoid sad stories. How then do you check that box perfectly?

Investigate- Take your time to search them out. Go out to some events and get the contacts of the DJ’s behind the parties you enjoyed. Ask friends and family to recommend a few and then create a list. Carry out some level of research on those on your list. What equipment are they using? What attitude do they exude when on duty? Read reviews and then decide who to pursue.

Stand your ground- You may have picked out a DJ, now be sure to communicate exactly what you want. Some DJ’s may want to side-track you and have their own way, don’t let them. Make him listen to you and your demands. If that’s such a hard thing for him to do, it’s time to change DJ’s.

How to Choose Your Wedding DJ

It’s time to add another key player to your supplier squad! You may have chosen your wedding’s key songs, but now you’re going to need to hire someone to play them. Your wedding DJ will be responsible for making sure the energy stays up from dawn ‘til dusk (and probably long after), so you’ll want to find one with awesome emcee skills and a killer tracklist.

Sort out the important stuff

Step one is taking the time to write out any wedding details that may affect your decision. Knowing things like your venue size, venue style, budge and wedding theme will help you figure out exactly what you’re looking for in a DJ. You should also note the genres of music you love, your favourite artists and your most played songs – those will come in handy when you start interviewing potential candidates.

Do your research

Now it’s time to do a little bit of homework (it may not sound fun, but it is!). Scroll through our wedding supplier listings, check out Instagram and ask your recently married friends and/or relatives for recommendations – you’re sure to find a handful of amazing options by the time you’re finished. Pay close attention to their reviews and ratings – comments from couples who have used their services in the past are super insightful.

Get in touch

Once you’ve selected your faves, start reaching out. If you’re using WeddingWire, simply click the blue “Request more information” button at the top of a listing and it’ll connect you right away. If you’re using another method, reaching out via their website or through email is your best bet (no sliding into DMs – Those are easy to miss!). Remember to ask key questions like, “are you available on my wedding date?”, “what is your rate?” and “can I see a copy of your standard contract?”. If you’re satisfied with their answers, book a meeting with them IRL or schedule a Skype call.

Sample their work

When you’re meeting with your candidates, you’ll want to do a deeper dive into their work. Yes, you’ve probably already sampled a playlist or two, but at this stage you’ll want to get a bit more. Ask your potential DJs about their music repertoire and give them a bit of insight into the types of songs you love. You’ll also want to let them know exactly what you’ll be needing music and emceeing for (i.e. the ceremony, the reception, dinner, the after party). This will help them customize a tracklist just for your event.