Photographer: NSI Productions
Regrets! No one wants them, but they’re sometimes a word associated with weddings. Things that couples often wish they had or had done and didn’t. Things they went the more budget friendly option and regretted it either in the lead up to, on the day, or worse, after their big day. These couples now run around telling all of their friends and family, no matter what you do on your wedding day you must do, (you fill in the blank).
I’ve spoken to many couples throughout my career as a wedding planner and have heard it all. From regretting to invite a certain family member who manages to make it all about them. Through to regretting choices of menu for the night.
There are a few key themes that always seem to pop up as regrets. The biggest of these being not spending the money on good vendors and going the budget option through to spending too much time sweating the small stuff.
The absolute number one regret I hear from couples is always to do with their suppliers and in particular their videographer and photographer. They either didn’t have one or the other and got a friend to do it instead, or hired someone on a budget and ultimately got ‘budget’ results. The age old saying goes, you get what you pay for, and when it comes to your photos and video from your special day, this saying couldn’t stand more true.
There are very minimal barriers to becoming a photographer or videographer. Buy a camera, setup an Instagram and there you have it. You’re now in the industry. There are new suppliers cropping up every single day claiming to be the next best photographer, when truth be told, they aren’t even entirely sure on how to turn their camera on. When you pay more to a photographer or videographer, you are paying for the years of experience that comes with them. The better equipment. The more advanced editing suite they use and most importantly the essential knowledge that comes with being in the wedding industry. What areas to take the bridal party to for photos, how long they will need so you can time the rest of your day.
I hear what you’re saying though, it’s all well and good to know they suck when you get back your wedding album and cry tears of disappointment instead of tears of excitement, but it’s too late then. What can we do to make sure this doesn’t happen to us! Here are my tips:
Do some price matching, see what the average going rate looks like in the industry across a few suppliers. If the average price for a 10 hour package is about $3,500 and your photographer is charging you $500, it’s probably safe to say there is a reason for this, and it really is too good to be true! I’m all for getting a bargain, but getting something for nothing is usually a pretty good indicator you really will get nothing.
Photographer: Pixel Punk Pictures
Have a look at their past work! Check out their website and Instagram. If you love their past work, then stop reading this post right now and book them. However, if their feed is full of posts of other photographers work and reshares from event pages, you might want to dig a little deeper. This usually means they have no portfolio, or none that they are proud of and this is a big red flag.
Ask your friends. You are bound to know at least one friend who has been married. Word of mouth reviews are absolute gold and you really can’t go wrong with them! If your best friend says they were the bomb, chances are they really are and you should absolutely be booking them. But on the flipside, bestie thought they sucked, for the love of anything, please don’t book them!
Check reviews! This one shouldn’t be taken as a hard and fast rule as reviews can be easy to fake. Sending a Facebook page link out to your family and friends and you can have 25 five star reviews from people you have never worked for. Having said that, if the number is up there past 10 or so, it’s usually pretty safe to assume they are legit.
Cutting the videographer
Another big regret from couples is simply cutting the videographer entirely. It seems like an easy but big cost to cut. I cringe every time I hear a couple say, oh really we’ll only watch it once and never again. You may only watch it a handful of times, but are the handful when you first get it, your first anniversary, with the children and grandchildren, worth it? In 20 years’ time when you sit the kids down to show them, the few thousand you spent will be all but forgotten and the memories will last a lifetime.
Sweating The Small Stuff
A second regret couples often have is sweating the small stuff. I usually sound like a broken record when I chat to clients about this. They run around stressing about the placement of a menu on the table, what will look good and what won’t. I like to remind them that on their big day, the focus is on marrying the love of their life. Not where the napkin is sitting! In all the events I have done, I am yet to meet a couple or a client who turns around on their event day and goes damn I really hated the colour of the cutlery I picked. It really doesn’t matter!
Are your nearest and dearest there? Check! Did you just marry the love of your life in front of them all? Check! Is there good food and drinks? Check! Then you are right on your way to a perfect event, even if some of the finer details go a little hay wire.
Family to Coordinate
I hear it all the time, don’t worry my mum is coordinating, or my cousin will make sure it runs smoothly. This just like with the photography, it makes me cringe when someone you love is doing the job. It’s not to say they’re not absolutely qualified to do so. The question is though, do you want your best friend to be working the night, or enjoying and celebrating the night with you?
The answer is hopefully, enjoying the night! You don’t want her running around and making sure the MC is ready, or that the food is on its way out, or to remind the DJ to play a certain song for your first dance.
They will always promise to be all over it like a bad rash, but all it takes is a few drinks and a good song on the dance floor and all of sudden they’re forgetting their duties and you’re running around trying to salvage the day.
Overall, no matter what, your wedding day should be one of the best days of your life. You are marrying the love of your life and that is really all that should matter. However, making some serious decisions beforehand can make sure that there are no niggling regrets that hang around for years after.
Photographer: Match Made Photography