Choosing Wedding Services
During this time you can leisurely book supplies and wedding services that you decide upon, do make sure you negotiate the price. If you re wedding/ partnership is at a popular time then book suppliers sooner rather than later and don’t be surprised if, again, they are unwilling to negotiate (this goes back to supply and demand as mentioned earlier). You should ideally have everything booked by the time your invitations are sent.
Choosing a florist
I know that choosing the flowers should be one of the most enjoyable aspects of your wedding or civil partnership. Whatever your style the choice of flower s available is vast, and unless you know exactly what you want that choice can seem daunting.
Two questions I am often asked are, “how much should we be spending”? and “what are we getting for our money”? Whilst you can actually see what you are getting from a hairdresser or make-up artist, it can be more difficult to understand why a florist is charging a certain amount for an arrangement.
The words “they’re only flowers” are commonly heard. To get the best from your florist and your flowers, here are my top ten tips for your perfect day.
Be realistic with your budget, depending on our requirements allow around 10% of your total spend for personal, ceremony and venue flowers. When choosing your flowers, be seasonal.
Modern horticultural methods mean that most flowers are available for most of the year; but remember that all flowers will be at their best and their best price in their natural season.
So think tulips, narcissus and blossom in Spring, garden roses, peonies and delphiniums in Summer, hydrangea, berries and lush foliages in Autumn and elegant calla lilies anemones and scented pine in Winter. Your florist will be able to advise you on the best possible flowers for your time of year.
Make your flowers work for you. If your ceremony and reception are in separate places it is pointless spending a fortune on flowers that are only going to be seen for half an hour, unless money is no object and you think you just can’t do without six huge pedestal arrangements!!
With more and more couples having their ceremonies and receptions in one venue, I advise the use of multi-purpose arrangements that can be moved to different areas so being more cost effective.
As a client you are paying for the expertise and knowledge of your chosen florist. The unseen work that goes into providing the flowers for your wedding is something that rarely gets a mention; but from the initial consultation to the reception there are market and site visits, samples, mood boards and many other costs involved in your day.
Your perfectly wired bouquet can take a skilled florist 3 hours to make and the reception venue may insist that everything is cleared after the party at 2am, and those costs have to be accounted for.
All good florists should be open and honest and tell you why they charge what they charge. After all, they’re only flowers!!
Choosing a photographer
It’s supposed to be the most memorable day of your life, but, sometimes, the disappointment can start when the wedding photographs arrive. Many people don’t realize what a complicated and precise science wedding photography can be and a wedding is certainly something that can’t be photographed again.
When it comes to the business of choosing your wedding photographer, firstly, it’s important to be realistic with your expectations.
The size and location of the ceremony venue whether it be a country or city wedding, a church or town hall, at a hotel or stately home and the time of year (weather) – these are all factors that will influence the tone and balance of your images.
Shots you may be drawn to in magazines may not be possible at your venue. However romantic a shot of a couple walking up a grass slope being followed by bridesmaids trailing ribbons and throwing confetti might be, this may not be possible if the venue opens out on a high street.
When making your decision and navigating the many options available to you, here are a few things to bear in mind: Begin your search for a wedding photographer early; the best photographers are often booked up well in advance.
If a well-meaning friend or relative offers to take your photographs, say thanks, but no thanks’. A gifted amateur is more than likely to struggle with the social and time pressures wedding photography brings with it. Make sure you meet the photographer in person before the day.
This will provide peace of mind and help to start establishing some rapport. Commissioning some engagement portraits is also another way of getting to know your photographer and helping you feel more comfortable in front of the lens.
Ask to see an entire wedding – don’t allow a photographer to be selective about what they show you, flicking hurriedly through an album or portfolio. It’s best to ask to see an example of an entire day presented rather than occasional highlights.
Establish what is included within the package offered and just as importantly, what isn’t. For example – how will you receive the imagery (on CD or proof book), how many prints will you receive and is a buyout of the rights to the images include. Find out how long the coverage runs for – you don’t want to find out on the day that photographing your first dance incurs an extra cost.
Try not to shop only on price – quality coverage of your big day is worth investing in and like many other services, you get what you pay for. Also, don’t be fooled by deals which promise proofs back the same night – a proper job requires care and attention. Find out if an on-line gallery is included.
This is a great way for your friends and family to view images from your big day and handles all the many requests you’ll receive for photographs. Many on-line galleries are accompanied by password protection. Find out if they are covered for unforeseen circumstances – a good photographer should always have extra sets of equipment.
Ultimately, your choice of photographer will depend on the style of photographs you have in mind, the quality of their work and the personality of the photographer. It’s worth spending time now to arrive at a considered decision – this will also give you peace of mind on the day.
Choosing a Videographer
Videography has come a long way in the last few years. The Wedding Film has become an art form in itself. With so many companies to choose from, how do you find the one that is right for you? Here are a few pointers;
When approaching videographers, ask to see examples of their work in the form of a show reel which you can take away and watch in your own time.
It is also a good idea to check whether there are additional examples on the company s website. Make sure that the quality of the show reel you see matches up to your expectations for your own wedding film. You will be surprised at how poor some show reels can actually be.
Find out what your videographer really does for a living. We believe that the best videographers are always full time filmmakers. Some people just to do a spot of wedding filming to earn extra cash at the weekend, whilst having a different job during the week. Wedding films are a specialist product and you need someone who understands the genre inside and out.
You should never hire a videographer on price alone. Making good wedding films is a costly business – this is because a good film requires several days of skilled labor with expensive equipment. You should regard cheap quotes with suspicion.
Prices vary from place to place but professional videography should be at least as expensive as professional photography it s just as important in terms of capturing your memories, and the time and skill involved is comparable.
So, always weigh up different companies and choose the best one you can afford. Ask exactly what is included in the price of the film. Expect editing, music and titles to be included. Are there things included that you don’t want? How bespoke is the service?
Find out how many copies of the final film are included in the price and how long the finished DVD will be.
Ask how many cameras will be used to film the ceremony and reception. One camera is not enough to capture everything in a wedding ceremony in every eventuality. Two cameras allow for much better shots and produce a more varied and creative film.
Ask what format the film will be shot and supplied in; widescreen is a must. You might also like to ask about other formats such as clips for your iPod.
Don’t be blinded by the science of exact camera models etc. You should regard the use of broadcast quality cameras as a given, as is the use of professional sound equipment and radio microphones. These are not unique selling points. Also bear in mind that biggest cameras are not always best, as they can be more obtrusive and less flexible in a potentially fast moving, one take, creative situation.
Ask about the type of music that will accompany your film. Can you have contemporary music of your choice or will the videographer use naff copyright- free music? Establish if the videographer has the appropriate copyright licenses to record any copyright material that will be captured on the film during your service and reception, and to use contemporary music as a background soundtrack.
Always choose a videographer who is an accredited member of a professional organization, for example the Institute of Videography (IOV). This will give you a further level of confidence in the people you chose to make your film. You should also check that they are fully insured.
Find out whether your videographer has filmed at your venues before. If not, only go with a videographer who is happy to visit your venue prior to your big day, as part of their preparations. They should make no charge for doing this.
The videographer should be able to get on with people and communicate well. Videographers need to work with both guests and other professionals, but of course, on the day, they should always be as unobtrusive as possible.
We know from our own experience that the decision to have a wedding video is seldom regretted. We hope this has given you some ideas of what to look for in a reputable company.