As a vendor we all get the generic “I’d like to hear more about your prices and services!” one line email from The Knot and WeddingWire brides. Shame on both of those services for letting you send out that email! There’s so much more we as vendors need to know.
Imagine you’re hungry, it’s the same dilemma. What are you hungry for? Are you thinking of eating in? Steak or a Hamburger. You get me, there’s a lot to think about. You can’t just walk into a restaurant and say, “Food please, How much?” I mean you can, it’s gonna be a weird few minutes. These things (wedding photography/meals in restaurants) work better if you have an idea of what you want.
Now, listen, I’m not here to make fun of you or berate you for know having a plan. Planning a wedding is a ton of work, and it’s a lot of research in areas you really never needed to know much about before this. That’s why I made this handy Top 5 List for you. Let’s do it!
1. When is your date?
No piece of information is more important. Are you aiming for a Friday? or Saturday. What about Sunday-Thursday. I give weekday weddings a better price than my weekend weddings. Some photographers price differently in the spring/summer than Fall/winter. AND If we’re already booked… We might be able to refer you to a colleague that has a similar style.
2. What is your Budget like?
It seems crazy, right? Just telling me what you are looking to spend and I can tailor a package to your needs… who does that? A dedicated service professional thats who. Nothing is worse in my business than getting back that “You are waaaay too expensive.” email. Or worse yet, nothing… no feedback at all. If we can both be honest about what we can offer, I promise I can figure out a package that suits your budget.
3. How many locations will you need me for?
It’s easy to forget that I can’t be everywhere at once. You need me to shoot your groom getting ready at his house, and you want me to get you and your bridesmaids at the hotel having make-up done. That’s going to take 2 people. Then we ride over to the Church get the ceremony, then we go to the Reception Hall. That’s 4 locations, and it’ll need 2 photographers.
That’s a lot different than having the whole thing in your folks house. With the Groom getting ready in your kid brother’s room and you in the Kitchen, the whole ceremony taking place in the backyard… well that makes things a little easier. You still might want a second shooter in this case too, though.
4. Have you had your engagement photos done yet?
No? AWESOME. I do them for free when you book with me. Many photographers do as well. Or offer similar value. This is great for you, because it’s a great chance to get to know your photographer. Come the big day, we’ll both feel a lot more comfy around each other. For me it means I have something new to share on my blog. Everyone wins!
5. Where will you be getting married.
Seems simple right? Most brides forget to mention it. Are you staying in town or flying to Thailand? I’m going to have to adjust my price if it’s halfway across the world. I try to keep my prices the same until I cross 2 state lines. Then I need to worry about places for me and my team to stay. Be sure I’ll be more than happy to travel with you around the world (I have my passport), but you’ll likely need to foot the bill for travel and lodging.
Just 5 simple bits of info. All that info changes so much in regardless to what many vendors charge. And with a little work you can expect to see more responses faster from prospective vendors too! That’s going to make things so much easier as the big day sneaks up on you! I promise.