If you’re like most brides, then this is likely your first time planning a wedding. Consequently, it’s your first time looking for the perfect wedding photographer, too. I remember having new clue where to start and what to expect when finding my vendors, especially the vendor that was going to photograph one of the happiest days of my life.
Choosing your wedding photographer is different then choosing most vendors on your wedding day. Why? Well, from you getting ready on your wedding to the end of your reception, you’re going to spend more time with your photographer than you will your husband-to-be. Knowing this, it’s important for your PHOTOS and your overall wedding EXPERIENCE to choose someone you like and feel like you can be friends with. But your decision shouldn’t just stop there. It’s SO important to know what to expect from your photographer throughout your engagement process and AFTER your wedding day.
If you’ve found your way to this blog post, then you’re probably wondering what it’s like to have me as your wedding photographer. First of all, I’m so happy you’re here! If you’re hoping to find a wedding photographer to only keep in touch when you book, show up to your engagement session, and then drop off the grid until your wedding day, then you probably don’t want me to be your wedding photographer.
Here’s the spark notes version of what you can expect: The Stormy Bride Experience
The Condensed Stormy Bride Experience
Full disclosure: I’m not going to share everything I do to spoil and surprise my brides because that’s no fun 🙂 I could also dive in really deep to each of these, but I’ll keep it concise!
As someone who constantly checks her email, when you first inquire through my contact page you can bet that you’ll receive a response back MUCH quicker than you expected.
If I’m available on your wedding date and I already feel like we’d be a good fit from the message you sent on my contact page, then I’ll next set up a time to get to know you, your fiancé, and your love story even better! Usually I treat my potential couples to a coffee date in person, but I’m also flexible to set up a video chat so we can see each other’s faces! I’m very thorough with all of my consultations and you’re not going to need that “list of questions to ask your potential photographer” you found on Pinterest. We’ll even go over things that you never would have guessed to ask, but are super important to know.
So, we’ve had the chance to meet and you’re ready to be a Stormy Bride and Groom! Let’s make this easy shall we? I’ll send over an online proposal customized to you with the contract and invoice for your retainer. You can sign and pay online, easy peasy! (When I booked my wedding photographer, I had to print my contract, sign it, scan it, and email it back. I also had to ask her how I could pay her and it took me two months as a busy college student to get all of that done.)
After everything is official, you’ll get your “Next Steps” email with just about EVERYTHING you need to know leading up to your wedding day all in one spot. Why? Because nobody has time to read through a billion separate emails when wedding planning is practically a part-time job. This is when you’ll get your engagement session information including my engagement session style guide and location suggestions. I’ll also send preliminary timelines (with and without a first look) to reference before you’ve even picked a ceremony time. The email will have information about my two questionnaires and everything else you can expect leading up to your wedding.
Stormy Bride Community
In that first email after you’ve booked, you’ll be invited to join my EXCLUSIVE Stormy Brides Facebook Group. This group includes all of my past and present brides. It’s a great resource to ask questions or for vendor recommendations. We also use it to just hang out a chat, too! Wedding planning can feel like a whole new world that you didn’t know existed and I think it’s awesome to have a place to talk about wedding planning with other brides. Let’s be honest, your family and friends might get tired of hearing about wedding planning, but other brides will not!
Timeline & Wedding Planning Assistance
This step in the process doesn’t happen at a specific time, but this is us communicating back in forth about anything relating to the timeline draft and questions about wedding planning. Michael and I always joke that if I wasn’t a wedding photographer, then I’d be a wedding planner. For example, brides will reach out for vendor recommendations, how to convince their groom to do a first look, should they have an unplugged ceremony (the answer is always YES, by the way), etc. Anything you need, I’m here for you!
I also like to do random check-ins to see how planning is going or to share any useful resources. I’m here to make everything as stress-free as possible, so don’t be shy to reach out!
Engagement Session & Planning
After you’ve had the chance to read over your style guide, I’m here to help pick and coordinate the perfect outfits. Whether you’re sending me photos to help you decide or you’re out shopping and want to know what photographs best, I’m here for you. Outfits can be hard, but that’s why I’m here! If you want to get a peek into what to wear for your engagement photos, then check out this post.
Now, it’s time for the fun part. We’ve already talked about the importance of your engagement session and how I pose and work to keep you both comfortable, but now you get to experience it for real! You’ll quickly see that even though you might be nervous at the beginning, it’ll quickly fade away. Don’t believe me? I LOVE showing the back of my camera screen and hearing my couples say that can’t believe they look that amazing.
After your session, your love story will be featured in your very own blog post before receiving your full gallery!
Dashes of Love In Between
I believe that being engaged is such a special time. It goes by so quickly when you put in perspective that you’ll be married for the rest of your life. I go out of my way to surprise and remind my brides to enjoy being engaged before their wedding day. Although I’m not going to give specifics, these dashes of love are some of the best parts of their wedding experience, my brides say. Every bride deserves to be spoiled!
Your Wedding Day
Although we can’t predict what will happen on your wedding day, you can trust that I’ll be there to hype you up on one of the happiest days of your life. Michael, too! Maybe the timeline will run a little behind, but you don’t have to stress because this girl will make up that time without sacrificing the photos you’ve dreamt about. Consider Michael and me your photographer extraordinaires, friends to lean on and celebrate with, your honorary wedding planners, and family photo wranglers. What it boils down to is that I’m committed to doing whatever I can so you can truly enjoy your wedding day. You can bet that I’ll be crying when your dad gives his toast, smiling from ear to ear during your first dance, and out on your dance floor with you!
Once a Stormy Bride, Always a #StormyBride
Here we are. Your wedding day concludes and you have all the swoon-worthy wedding photos to remember your best day ever. Our relationship doesn’t have to end there, though. Once you’re a Stormy Bride, you’ll always be a Stormy Bride! But what does that mean? That’s entirely up to you! I’ll still be cheering you and your relationship on and celebrating all of your new life changes. Maybe you plan to do anniversary photos or maternity photos in the future, who knows?
My brides and grooms hold a special place in my heart and that’s why I like to take it one step further with my annual Stormy Brides Brunches! Let me spoil you and introduce you to all of my other awesome #stormybrides in person. Check out how much fun we had at our 2020 brunch!
A Last Note
If you’ve made it this far, then thank you so much for reading! Even though I didn’t cover absolutely everything, I hope you can see how committed I am to making this season of your life AMAZING and STRESS-FREE while also being a friend and supporter for your fiancé and you 🙂
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