Planning your Chicago wedding photography is just one of the many steps you will have to take in putting together your dream wedding. In this blog post, I want to share some information on wedding planning and finding a wedding photographer. There are many brides in any major city for example, scoping out the same Chicago wedding venues you are. Many couples are getting married a year or more away. Setting a date and finding a venue is key.
To take on this process alone or to enlist the help of a wedding planner is an important decision. One often looked after benefit of hiring a wedding planner is that they can help you find unique wedding venues that often don’t advertise in big wedding magazines or on the top wedding blogs. One of my favorite couples Marta and William hired Greatest Expectations Special Events & Weddings for their winter wedding held at a private club. The wedding planner was able to help select a venue that matched the season, location, capacity, and the investment the couple wanted to make. During your engagement, a wedding planner can help you review contracts, understand insurance requirements, coordinate timelines, and keeps numbers (and backup numbers) handy in instances where a limo could be running late. Understanding how an early afternoon wedding ceremony impacts the total wedding cost when a reception that starts five hours later is where a planner’s expertise will come in handy. An experienced event planner who has an assistant can run and go get more ice for the bar at a midsummer tented wedding during a heat wave, set up a late night candy station, and help facilitate donating your flowers at the end of the night. I have worked with a bride who hired a wedding planner to act as a liaison between family members. Another instance where a planner is useful is when brides and grooms may be in school, have busy work schedules traveling frequently, studying for the bar exam, or planning a hometown wedding from out of state.
When hiring a wedding photographer, there are several ways to go about this. Ask friends who they used and talk to your wedding planner. If you have certain requirements or styles you enjoy, an event planner will be able to point you in the right direction. It is important to look through a wedding photography portfolio and look for natural, unorchestrated moments. There are a lot of wedding blogs loaded with pictures of pretty things that show the style of a wedding which are great for inspiration and ideas, but after your wedding the photos that tell the story of the day will be much more meaningful than shots that are a catalog of the things you bought.
In the initial stages of planning your wedding, it is fun and useful to see photos of weddings in your venue. It isn’t as important to find a photographer that has shot in your venue, but it IS important to find a photographer that can adapt to challenging situations, who has continued shooting in a church that has lost power and lighting, or was able to still get storytelling photos during an unexpected rain storm at an outdoor beach wedding ceremony.
Both of the above photos were on Moment Junkie, one of the best wedding photography blogs that showcases split-second moments that have a high impact and relay part of the story of the wedding day. A close friend of mine is engaged, and I advised her to look for action and emotion in the wedding photography portfolios she was reviewing. A wedding day is a day full of emotion and the photos should certainly reflect that.