How to Reduce Wedding Day Stress – Tip #2

DOUBLE the time you think you need – for EVERYTHING!

This is the most important tip of all.  Time seems to pass much more quickly on the wedding day.  No wedding vendor we know (and we know a MANY) can think of one bride who didn’t run late for just about everything.  This creates a huge amount of anxiety and stress for you and for your family and wedding party.  Then add booze to the mix and chaos will rule!

The solution is simple.  Double the amount of time you think you need for everything.  If you think hair will take an hour – give it two.  If you think makeup will take 30 minutes – give it an hour.  Wedding planners can really help with this but if you don’t have a planner, you must allow plenty of time or you will not have a stress-free wedding and you will not have time to get the gorgeous photos you saw on your photographer’s website!

One of the most common causes of wedding day delays is getting from one place to another.  If you will be in different locations for hair, makeup, getting dressed, ceremony, photographs, and reception, a lot of time can be chewed up getting around.  This is why a carefully thought out timeline is so valuable.  Having a limo is great because you don’t have to deal with parking but if you don’t have this luxury all day, select a designated driver to get you around.

Here are a few of the time-killing delays you can expect related to getting around…

  • Getting out of the bridal suite – you may have to find things to take with you, get others to come along and in a messy bridal suite, this can take time.
  • Getting from the bridal suite to the car – you may have a bit of a walk to the car, in the big dress, and while you’re walking, you are running into friends and relatives who want to greet you and chit-chat.
  • Getting the car – your car may be in valet so make sure you call down before you leave the room.
  • Getting into the car – you may be wearing the largest garment you’ve ever worn and getting into a car may be difficult.
  • Finding your destination – you may not be familiar with the area or how to get to your destination.  Be sure to print directions to all destinations before the wedding day.
  • Traffic – what else is going on in town on your wedding day?  Any parades or big sporting events that might create a traffic nightmare?  Find out ahead of time by asking your hotel or checking a local events website.
  • Drive time – calculate the expected drive time taking into account the time of day and any other possible issues such as detours or weather.
  • Parking – scout out the parking situation ahead of time for every location you’ll be going to on your wedding day.   Use a limo or designated driver to avoid the parking dilemma.

Really take the time upfront to think through the flow of your day and pad the schedule.  It will make ALL THE DIFFERENCE.

How to Reduce Wedding Day Stress – Tip #1

Don’t be afraid to ask for help…

Your wedding day should be one of the best days of your life, filled with laughter and tears of joy.  You should be surrounded by people you love who are having the time of their lives at your wedding – the wedding that they tell you is the best one they’ve ever been to!  However, your wedding could be one of the most stress-filled days of your life, filled with arguments and tears of anguish.

So begins our Guide to Planning a Stress-Free Wedding Day – available as a free download here.

However, today we have a little sample tip from the guide to share with you here on the blog.  Check back again soon for more tips or download the guide now!

Get Wedding Planning / Coordination Help

While not everyone has the budget for a wedding planner, almost anyone would have a smoother wedding day with a little help from a professional planner or at least a day-of coordinator.

You’re probably not a professional event planner so why put it all on yourself to plan the most important event of your life?  You’re already too busy with your job, dress hunting, honeymoon planning and (admit it) dieting!  A wedding planner can schedule meetings for you, attend them with you (or for you), help pick out invitations, linens and take care of all the details you just don’t have time for. 

A professional planner knows the industry, they know many other vendors and they are simply very efficient and know where to find the best prices on everything.  You can very easily save money on your wedding by hiring a wedding planner.

A good wedding planner will work with your photographer to make sure your wedding day flows smoothly and you have all the time you need to get the gorgeous photographs you’ve been dreaming of.

So, our advice is to look into hiring a planner even if you don’t think you have the budget for it.  You just might find that they pay for themselves and you get your life back!

This tip is an except from our Guide to Planning a Stress-Free Wedding Day – available as a free download here.

How to Choose a Wedding Photographer

Choosing a wedding photographer is unlike any other choice you will make as you plan your wedding.  There are no other decisions that have such long term implications for how you remember your wedding day for the rest of your life.  For this reason, there are some very important considerations you will want to make.

So many couples make their wedding planning choices based primarily on price.  This does make sense for many of the things you need for your wedding.  However, unlike the food, the dress, the flowers, or the music… your photography is not forgotten after the wedding.  Your wedding photos are all that remain of the wedding day and you don’t get a second chance to get them right.

So, let’s talk about what’s really important…

You gotta LOVE your photographer!

You will spend a significant portion of your wedding day with your photographer.  You will want to spend that time with people who enhance your experience and make it even more exciting.  This is why its so important meet face to face with your photographer candidates before you book one.  Meet them for coffee or a drink and get to know them a bit.  If they are not someone you’d want to hang out with, then they are not your photographer – regardless how nice their portfolio looks or how low their prices are.  Don’t settle for a mediocre experience on your wedding day.  You deserve better!

You gotta LOVE their work!

There is a huge variety of photographic artistic styles out there.  Which one is right for you?  I suggest imagining yourself in the photos you see on each photographers website.  When you do this, how does it feel?  If you feel anything but excited and happy, they are not your photographer.  Keep looking.  You don’t want to have to give stylistic direction to your photographer so that you get images you love.  You are hiring an artist and you should give them the artistic license to fulfill their vision.  Just make sure that you love their vision by looking at a lot of their work.

You gotta TRUST your photographer!

Gaining trust in someone you’ve just met can be challenging.  To some extent, you will need to make a leap of faith.  So, in addition to meeting them in person, you should read their reviews and connect with their client references if possible.  We collect client reviews on WeddingWire.com and Yelp.com but there are various other review sites out there.  Be sure to ask each photographer for their reviews.

So how do you go about finding the right photographer?  Here is the advice that I give to people I care about.

Personal Referrals

Ask your married friends and family about their photographer.  There is nothing better than a referral from someone you already know and trust.

Photographer’s Website

Many wedding photographers don’t have a studio that you can go visit so their website is their virtual storefront.  Spend some time exploring their site.  It will tell you a lot about them and how they run their business.  If the site is outdated with broken links then that may the kind of photographer they are.  If the site is clean and easy to navigate and understand then that is likely to be a photographer that is easy to work with and communicate with.

You’ll find the photographer’s portfolio on their website.  These are the photos that the photographer believes to be their very best work.  It is also the work that best represents their artistic style.  If there are lots of different styles in their portfolio then it is hard to say what style photos you’d get from them from your wedding.  Choosing a photographer with a consistent style that you love is very important.

Photographer’s Blog

Don’t forget to check out the photographer’s blog.  This is typically updated much more frequently than the website itself and gives you a much better idea of the quality and style you could expect if you hired them.  If a photographer hasn’t updated their blog in several months then that’s a red flag and you should wonder whether they are actively working in your market.

Speak with your photographer candidates

Whatever you do, DON’T simply send emails asking for pricing and package info.  If you like the photographers’ work, and their online presence is promising, pick up the phone and call them and make a personal connection.  The price list tells you nothing about the experience you’ll have.  Make sure you get a feel for what they have to offer before ruling them out based on price alone.

Meeting in Person

When you finally meet in person with your short list of photographers, have some questions ready for them that will help you understand what it would be like to work with them.  Here are some great things to ask/discuss when you meet:

  1. What is your style of direction and interaction with your clients when you’re shooting?
  2. How can you help us look our best in the photos?
  3. How does the wedding day flow with you as our photographer?
  4. How will we view our proofs after the wedding?
  5. When will our proofs be ready to view?
  6. How will my family and friends order prints after the wedding?
  7. What is included in each package and how are they priced?
  8. What add-ons may we be interested in and how are they priced?
  9. What kind of guarantee do you offer?
  10. May I give you direction about who/what to photograph on my wedding day?
  11. How will you make my wedding day coverage unique to me?
  12. What is the process with you after the wedding for proofs, ordering, delivery, etc.?
  13. Will you be shooting our wedding personally or is there a different photographer?
  14. Why are you a wedding photographer?

 

In addition to asking these types of questions, be sure to take some time to get to know them as a person.  This will give you a much better idea about whether or not you want to spend a large part of the most important day of your life with them.

Stepping Up and Booking your Photographer

When it finally comes down to making the decision, trust your gut.  If it doesn’t feel quite right, its probably not.  If you really like the photographer then chances are that you will get great photos.

Before you sign on the dotted line, confirm exactly what you’re paying upfront and when the balance is due.  Also be sure you understand what the payment and refund policies are.  Most photographers (including us) make all payments non-refundable.  However, by this point you are confident in your choice because you did your homework and your due diligence.

Celebrate!

Finally, when you’ve booked your photographer, signed the contract and paid the retainer, its time to celebrate having made one of the most important decisions about your wedding.  If your photographer is interested in providing fabulous experiences, they will be giving you a bottle of wine or champaign after you book.  Crack that baby and have a toast to a fantastic wedding with amazing photographs that you will cherish for the rest of your life!

San Francisco Wedding Photography by San Francisco Wedding Photographer, Jim Vetter Jim Vetter Photography is anything but your average San Francisco wedding photographer. Each wedding is treated with care and creativity not found with other San Francisco wedding photography studios. Your wedding day is carefully crafted to offer one of a kind unique photography in the San Francisco area.  This is San Francisco wedding photography at its best. Jim Vetter Photography is an award winning photographer based in the San Francisco bay area. Offering wedding coverage in San Francisco, San Jose, Napa, and destinations worldwide.  This wedding photography studio is one of the top studios in the country and is located right here in the San Francisco bay area.

Elegant. Romantic. Fun. These are the words typically used to describe this San Francisco wedding photographer.  We take pride in offering our clients the type of San Francisco wedding photography they are looking for. Its one thing to take pictures, its another to create art for our clients.  Our San Francisco clients are typically looking for artwork for their home vs. snapshots, and that is what draws them into our San Francisco wedding photography studio.  Serving the San Francisco bay area Jim Vetter Photography offers San Francisco wedding photography coverage in the San Francisco bay area, including but not limited to, San Jose, Marin County, East Bay, San Mateo, Napa and Sonoma, and the surrounding areas 

Not looking for a San Francisco wedding photographer? Please be sure to consider us for all your family photography needs in the San Francisco area.  We are located conveniently in the San Francisco bay area just across the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin County.  Please call or email us for more information.  Learn more about this San Francisco Wedding Photographer