Working with couples during the time they are getting married has to be one of the most pleasurable and rewarding jobs around. As a wedding supplier I’m let into the inside if what’s essentially a very private and personal time, an incredibly happy and emotional time and also a time that will go on to define the couple’s family history. As such, I always feel a real sense of responsibility and privilege to be able to do what I do, to give each couple the best experience and the very best of my work that I can.
I can say completely hand on heart that I always give 100% to every wedding and treat every couple in exactly the same way …….but……….very occasionally, some couple make it much easier than others!
So, what can you do to make it as easy as possible to get the very best out of your wedding suppliers, how can you help them to help you and ensure a harmonious relationship throughout the course of your wedding?
Well that sounds a bit Star Trek but, from a supplier’s point of view that first email from you is really important……a couple of examples from my own experience……..
…….some brides will send a first email describing their wedding, giving me a bit of an idea about what type of pictures they looking for and sometimes mention something they like about the pictures on my website. Others will send a single line asking for prices.
Now, I’ll respond as best as I can to both scenarios but, in responding to the first email I can be much more chatty, I can probably send links to pictures you’ll be interested in and, to a certain extent start a useful conversation with you that will give us both an idea as to whether we are a good fit.
It’s really hard to answer the second email. I actually don’t want you to choose me as your photographer on price. I want to work for you because we get on, because you love my pictures, because of the service that I provide and because we are a good fit together.
Often, in the past I have received a lovely detailed email from a bride, and I just know that I have to work with her. If I know that the wedding is going to be that good and the rapport between us is going to be so right I will move heaven and earth to make it as likely as possible that we will work together. Yes, and that does include shifting on price if need be. It’s vitally important to me that I work with the right types of clients for my business – there really isn’t much point otherwise.
Communicate and prosper
After you have booked me – (yeah!) Keep in touch! We’ll schedule a planning meeting but beyond that please keep me in the loop! We can do this on social media, via your wedding website or, well indeed, why not by good old fashioned phone or email! Firstly I (and most other wedding suppliers) are here to help so ask for our help and advice as you are scheming and planning for the day. It’s also really nice from my point of view if I get to know a little bit about you and your family and what is going to happen on the wedding day that will make it personal and special to you. You might have friends or family coming from a great distance away for example or you might have a theme or activity that has some special significance. All of these details make is easier for me as a photographer to record the day in as personal way as possible. I can look out for certain things and, if I know where your priorities lie create a set of pictures that are much more personal to you.
Similarly, keeping in touch helps to alleviate any potential problems and manage expectations. We need to be “singing from the same hymn sheet”! There isn’t really any scope for misunderstandings and confusion on the wedding day and the more we communicate and plan beforehand the better. I’m not suggesting that we have to be in daily contact but it’s good to talk! Most suppliers will offer some sort of planning meeting as well and it’s really important to go prepared and to give over as much information as possible at this time.
It’s a wedding Jim, but not as we know it
For most suppliers a wedding day is exhausting……in a completely good way of course but, non the less after 10 hours of photographing and travel in between I’m usually completely shattered when I get home. There are essentially only five things that help me on the day to do my very best.
Firstly, I need to know asap about any last minute changes. You would be surprised at how many times I am the last person to know and it can make life much more difficult than it really needs to be.
Secondly, I need parking -PLEASE- if space and time is tight reserve me (and your other suppliers) some parking space.
Thirdly, I need food and water. Actually I’m not that bothered about food and generally bring my own or (if it’s kindly offered) eat at the same time as you do. The liquid thing is much more important, it’s not easy carting around a bottle of water and of course I can ask your waiting staff for drinks but I always feel much better if I have been invited to help myself! Other suppliers might require food etc as well…..it’s a long day and a bit of hospitality goes a long long way.
Fourthly, say “hello”. I know it’s your wedding day and I know that your suppliers are being paid to be there and I also know that we are way down on the list of people to chat to. I also know that in the way that I photograph I’m very background and discreet but I have honestly photographed the odd wedding where no one has spoken to me for the whole day…….it doesn’t make any difference to the pictures as I work just as hard but please, I’m still a human being – you could at least say “Hi”!! I really don’t require much maintenance but a quick chat or a brief “how’s it going” really does go a long way for all suppliers – we want to feel part of a team all working together to make it a great day.
Fifthly (is there really such a word?) – don’t worry about us or what we are doing. If we have all done our planning and preparation everything will be fine – just let us do our thing and get on, you really don’t need to worry!
To boldly go where no man has gone before
Finally, after the wedding is over and in the years to come do keep us in mind and recommend us. This can be greatly advantageous to you because, as a trusted and valued supplier you will know that we will come up with the goods! You are very likely to need a florist over the next few years, you might need a caterer or a cake maker for a significant birthday. Lots of my past clients ask me to do baby and family shoots years after their weddings – this sort of thing has a lovely natural flow to it and it’s really nice to keep in touch. From a supplier’s point of view this is great business – we will always do our best for you, give you the best that we can and work our hardest to get the best value for you.
So, I hope that’s been useful! I’m not exactly sure myself where the Star Trek references fit in but they amuse me a little!
Leave me a comment and let me know what you think……….
Let's have a chat about your ideas for your wedding and your photography.