How To Plan Your Grand Forks-East Grand Forks Area Wedding. Grand Forks Wedding Photographer

He finally popped the big question!

You said, “YES!”

Congratulations!!

Now that you're engaged, everything is exciting! You're probably bursting at the seems with happiness and have announced it to everyone you know...literally! 

Everything in your journey together has led you RIGHT HERE! Your BIG DAY is coming and if you haven't already found out...planning everything is going to be ALOT of work! It can be fun and exciting, but it can also be stressful and overwhelming. If you're reading this right now...it probably means that you're hoping for a little guidance on where to begin. 

When my wife and I first got engaged (almost 4 years ago), the world of wedding planning was completely new to both of us. Though, at that point, I had been photographing weddings nearly 8 years...I really didn't pay much attention to everything that went into making someone's wedding day so special. Neither of us really had any idea how much things cost, or how far in advance certain things book up. We got married in Duluth, MN and even with the access of the almighty Internet and Smart Phone...it was difficult (and stressful) trying to find everything we were hoping to make part of our wedding day. 

Doing Google searches for venues or dress shops can give you dozens of results for each service you search. How do you know which one will fit your needs, story, and personality the best? You can waste countless hours of your lives contacting each one and waiting for replies or relevant information. Some websites don't even address your specific questions or concerns! You may need to make decisions fast or the service, or venue, you are hoping to have for your wedding may book up while you're waiting to hear back with the answers to your questions. Trust me...it's frustrating!  

Though our wedding was super special and we both were so happy with everything...we still wish the planning process could have been a lot less stressful for us. So I wanted to do something for future Brides (and Grooms) to help their planning process be as stress free as possible so they can focus on enjoying the engagement phase of their journey and have more time to just be in love!

That's why I developed this guide. I've been photographing weddings and engagements for 12 years now and in that time, I've worked with tons of other wedding professionals and vendors. When I got married, I wish I had an industry professional who, not only would've pointed us in the right direction, but also provided us with contact information and answers to most of the basic questions asked for each service in question. 

I hope that this guide will provide you with some direction and/or useful information. It may be updated so check back often. The vendors highlighted in this guide are all elite professionals with tons of wedding experience. I have worked with each one and am proud to have their names and businesses highlighted in this guide! 

Without further adieu...

 

 

The Dress

One of the most important pieces to your wedding day puzzle is, of course, THE DRESS. This is a big one! Some women have been dreaming of the perfect dress since they were little girls.

Bridal gowns have had a long and changing history...going back to ancient Rome where brides wore white robes as a tribute to Hymen, the god of marriage and fertility and were accompanied by their bridesmaid. Medieval weddings were mostly arranged and were more political than for love. Therefore, the bride's appearance reflected directly on her family. Her garments were of rich and bold colors and expensive materials like furs, silk, and velvet.

The all white bridal dress is relatively new, tracing back to 1840 when Queen Victoria married Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and wore a relatively plain white satin gown adorned with orange blossom wreath headdress with lace veil and eighteen foot train, carried over her arm. The wedding photo was published around the world and all white wedding dresses became the rage overnight! Back then, garments had to be hand washed and getting an all white gown completely clean by hand was impossible...therefore, all white wedding gowns were for society's elite who could afford to buy such a gown and only wear it once. The white color was never a sign of the bride's purity...but an elite status symbol.

Being such an important symbol of the modern day wedding, many women can feel overwhelmed at the prospect of picking out a dress. So how do you make sure you find that ONE dress that is perfect for you and your special day? Consider finding a trusted full service bridal boutique/store. 

Kristen's Bridal

Grand Forks, ND                                      Kristen's Bridal on INSTAGRAM
2650 32nd Ave South                              Kristen's Bridal on FACEBOOK

701-775-0567  

www.kristensbridal.com

Grand Forks Wedding Dress 10.jpg

 

Kristen's Bridal's business is "BRIDES"....so who better to ask, than owner Nancy Zalewski, what are some of the most common questions brides ask when coming into Kristen's Bridal to seek out their perfect dress? 

1. How long have you been in business?

Nancy - "We are a family owned business which is happy to be celebrating our 40th year in business! We have worked with thousands of brides in the Grand Forks (and surrounding) area to help make their big days even more special!"

2. Do you offer in-house alteration services?

Nancy - "Yes, we are a full service shop offering an in-house alteration department and have an alteration staff on hand to make sure your dress will be perfect for your special day!"

3. How Early should a Bride-to-be choose, and purchase, her dress?

Nancy - "To make sure there is adequate time to get everything just right for your wedding day, a bride-to-be should decide on (and purchase) her perfect dress at least 9 months before the wedding date."

4. Besides Bridal Gowns, do you offer any other wedding related attire for purchase or rent?

Nancy - "Yes...we have one of the largest selections of Mother's Dresses in the area along with bridesmaid dresses, flower girl dresses, and tuxedos for the men in your wedding party!"

5. What sets Kristen's Bridal apart from the rest?       

Nancy - "As mentioned before, we are a Full-Service shop with an on hand alteration staff who is dedicated to your happiness...but more important than that is our experience helping brides' make their dream days come true for over 40 years! Being a family owned business, it is our goal to make each bride feel like they are part of our family!"

 

 

Venues

One of the first things to take care of when starting to plan your upcoming wedding is finding (and booking) the perfect venues that will help round out the look and feel of your special day.

There are so many factors to consider while searching for the venue that you'll end up celebrating your wedding at with all of your family and friends. It can seem overwhelming if you don't know where to start, what you should be asking, and who you should be talking to.

Now...If you're planning to have a religious ceremony, chances are that you already have your ceremony venue chosen. It may be your family's life long church and that's fantastic! However, for the purpose of THIS guide...I am going to focus on a couple of uniquely amazing venues that are open to everybody and can accommodate BOTH the ceremony AND the reception! 

 

The Gorecki Alumni Center

3501 University Ave Stop 8157
Grand Forks, ND 58202

Contacts: Keeley Gregoire    Keeleyg@thegorecki.com

                Amy Sansaver       Amys@thegorecki.com

(701) 777-2611                                       The Gorecki on INSTAGRAM

www.thegorecki.com                           The Gorecki on FACEBOOK

The Gorecki Alumni Center on UND's campus is a remarkable venue. It is a sleek, contemporary, architectural masterpiece! It's massive walls of windows allow for an unlimited supply of natural light to bathe your ceremony in...which, during the summer months will last until late into your reception! The staff are all amazing to work with and the Gorecki can handle many different styles, and sizes, of ceremonies and/or receptions! Without a doubt...the most versatile venue in the Grand Cities (in my opinion)!

1. How many people can your venue accommodate? 

Amy - "Our venue is one of the most versatile venues within the community. We are flexible on our guests' accommodations pending the type of event you host.

a.       If you are looking for a wedding ceremony, we host up to 250 guests inside the room for theater style seating.

b.      If you are looking for a seated wedding reception we can host up to 215.

c.       If you are looking for a reception style wedding reception we can host up to 350."

2. Can anyone book the Gorecki, or is it exclusively for UND Alumni? 

Amy - "The Gorecki Alumni Center is open to anyone!"
 
3. Do you have an In-House caterer, or a list of preferred caterers…or do I need to provide my own? 

Amy - "We do not supply catering. Catering must come from one of our approved licensed vendors that is found on our website. For reference, this list consists of: Ground Round, Blue Moose, Hugos and UND Campus Catering. We actually do not allow guests to bring in their own food/alcohol. Catering services will also provide all service ware, tables cloths, etc."
 
4. Are you licensed to provide alcohol services? 

Amy - "The center does not provide alcohol serviceGround Round and El Roco are the approved licensed vendors to supply alcohol service."
 

5. How far in advance can I reserve my date?  

Amy - "We accept reservations as far in advance as you would like to make. Typically, wedding dates book out about 1 year in advance. Most of our 2018 weekends are chosen, however we accept weddings any day of the week. If you're flexible with your date; you can book on any notice that is adequate for you."
 
6. What else would you like a potential Bride and Groom to know about The Gorecki? 

Amy - "We would be thrilled to host your special day! Booking at the Gorecki Alumni Center provides you with an event coordinator that assists in your wedding planning needs as much, or as little, as you want. We specialize in making sure your wedding day is exactly as you envisioned and successfully portrayed at our venue. We hope you find the Gorecki Alumni Center to be a good fit for your special day!"

 

 

NAASTAD ACRES

26993662_386306651816108_7294804867406259678_n.jpg

14969 16th Street NE (22.68 mi)

Hatton, North Dakota 58240

(701) 317-8221

Naastad Acres on FACEBOOK

Not too far outside of Grand Forks near Hatton, ND lies Naastad Acres and if you've just become engaged...it's well worth the short drive to go out there and see what they're all about! When my wife and I were planning our wedding, we wanted a barn wedding and the closest one we could find at the time was in Wisconsin. Now...our wedding ended up being super special and everything we wanted...but if Naastad Acres was around back then, we would have definitely booked with them!

What started out a little over a year ago as a backdrop for a lovely family wedding has snowballed into one of the most grand and unique venues around the area! Naastad Acres is WAY more than a small little barn wedding venue. They have literally EVERTHING you need to have the perfect wedding on their beautiful property! AND...they are still adding amenities! 

Please...don't take my word for it...hear what owners JoAnn and Jon have to say:

1. Tell everyone how Naastad Acres came to be what it is today.

JoAnn - "Naastad Acres, has been a dream of ours, since leaving the hospitality business in the early 1990's. We knew it was something we wanted to get back into. John and I had been employed with Tharaldson, Enterprises Inc.,  John was on the development end and I was on the operation side.   Learning from different franchises, helped us to understand what we needed in order to have a product that stood out. Our favorite franchise was the Marriott brand as their moto was not to satisfy, but to go above and beyond and "IMPRESS" your guests.  We knew that we wanted a higher end venue and our main focus is the quality of service that our guest received.  We are committed to going that extra mile in making sure that we have guest that want to return.

This piece of property has some unique qualities, as it rest on the plains, is surrounded by tree rows, is conveniently located with paved roads from all directions, including the driveway.  It has been our home for the past 18 years, and we wanted to share it with others.  We love adding to our family and everyone who comes to the farm becomes family. We wanted that warm touch that made you feel comfortable like home, with a resort feeling, so you could relax enjoy your event and let us serve you.

We can handle many events; weddings, family reunions, retreats, company picnic, small or large group events. We are here to serve."

2. Are the ceremonies held INSIDE or OUTSIDE of the Barn? 

JoAnn - "We have not yet had a wedding in the barn, but it certainly could happen with a smaller group. We call the barn the "Little Red Barn" , the size of the barn is 34 x60. At this time, our weddings have been in what we call the court yard. We have a large pergola as the main focal point of the yard. The pergola has a complete sound system, it is set up for handling the entire service. The barn is surrounded by stamped plank concrete, and most dances have been out under the stars with the barn as the back drop and the tent for covered seating. We are open to work with whatever our couple wishes are. We have had a bride come from the barn, and we set up her chairs and another alter." 

3. Do couples drive way out there for their ceremony and then have to have everyone drive elsewhere for the reception? 

JoAnn - "We are set up to handle everything for the event. Our weekend packages have the party coming in at 8 am on Friday for decorating and rehearsal. We have an outdoor kitchen along with a commercial kitchen, in order to handle the grooms supper. We have sleeping quarters for up to 22 people in our Grain Elevator, so people would not have to leave the property at all.

 Second day would consist of getting ready for the wedding. We have two salon chairs for hair and makeup, we call the dome the "hen house", as there is plenty of room for the ladies to relax and get dressed. The dome consists of a small kitchenette, sleeping for 4 and a complete bathroom. The evening of the wedding the dome is included for  the bride and groom to stay. Our gift to them. "

4. What size ceremonies can your venue accommodate?

JoAnn - "We have done weddings as small as 100 and the largest has been 300 wedding /400 reception. It is 10 acres so there is lot's of room and many options."

5. Are there hotels close by so the wedding party doesn't have to drive so far?

JoAnn - "Our Grain Elevator can sleep 22. The Dome "Hen House"  could sleep 4 and the Barn has a pull out sofa in the loft and a futon. The wedding party should not have to leave the property at all! We will be adding more rooms in the future. At this time we do allow for 5 campers $50 per night and $10 tents. 

For wedding guests and family...we have a list of hotels in the area, along with some bed and breakfast places. We recommend bus services if they have guest staying in the Grand Forks area. We have a listing for that as well."

6. Are you licensed to provide alcohol services?

JoAnn - "We are a full service bar, and are able to serve adult beverages, wines, beer and mixed drinks. It is run as any other bar, no outside alcohol is allowed due to liability. Our bartenders are trained and carding is done when guest come on to the property. They are wrist banded before any serving of alcohol. Safety is the utmost importance to us."

7. Please tell potential couples looking for wedding/reception venues anything else you want them to know about you! (Why should they come book their wedding with you?). 

JoAnn - "We would love to have people come out and have a personal tour with us. The property is set up for our guests, and we are committed to making their events... Impressive!"

 

 

Florist

Flowers can play a giant role in your wedding day. The right flowers can be the heart for your celebration and really set your wedding apart from the rest. Finding the right florist is key when it comes to bringing your wedding day vision to life!

EAST GRAND FLORAL/Wy's Floral

  • 1521 Central Ave NW
  • East Grand Forks, MN 56721
  • 218-773-3400    
  • www.eastgrandfloral.net

With locations in both Grand Forks and East Grand Forks...Shelly and Jeff Duchscherer know what it takes to make your wedding day come to life. When I spoke with Shelly, she gave me the answers to some common questions she gets asked by brides-to-be on a daily basis. 

1. How many weddings do you handle per year?

Shelly - "Between both of our Grand Cities locations (Wy's and East Grand Floral), we average 50-60 weddings every year!" 

2. Do you have examples of your work to view (Live or photos)? 

Shelly - "We have photos of our work all throughout our website (listed above)...as well as plenty of photos at both locations. If you come into our stores, you can also view some of our beautiful pre-made Live floral arrangements to see our quality of work first hand."

3. Do you provide other decor or services?

Shelly - "Besides providing your wedding day with Bridal bouquets and groomsmen boutonnières...we also specialize in amazing accent arrangements and full centerpieces for your reception, as well as, table set up. Our bouquets, boutonnieres, accent arrangements, and reception centerpieces can provide your entire wedding day with the beautiful and consistent visual flow that will breath life into your special day!"

4. What sets you apart from other florists?

Shelly - "We pride ourselves on our amazing customer service, as well as, the quality of our flowers and craftsmanship."

5. What's the most important thing you want a potential customer to know about you?

Shelly - "We are a local florist and love serving the Grand Cities! We pour our heart and souls into making sure our product and service is second to none!"

 

 

CATERING, CAKES, & FLOWERS

You have tons of family and friends gathered all to join in the celebration of your wedding day. After the ceremony...it's time to feast together and and toast to the amazing day you had and the bright future that lays before you. The food you choose as your very first meal as husband and wife can make a significant impact on your entire day...not only for you...but also for all of your starving guests. What a couple chooses for their wedding day meal/s could be the talk of the evening between guests (whether it's good or bad talk depends on the choices you make). 

The reception venue you decide to book may have their own food service that you must use...or it may give you a small list of approved caterers that you can hire to bring food into their venue. If the latter is the case...odds are, that Hugo's Family Marketplace is on that list of approved caterers! If so...you cannot go wrong having them cater your wedding reception. There are so many choices...all of which are delicious. 

 

Hugo's Family Marketplace

Mitch Vervalen - Catering Manager   701-738-2935   catering@gohugos.com

Ann Vossekuil - Event Coordinator   701-746-0688   ann.vossekuil@gohugos.com

HUGO'S ON FACEBOOK

HUGO'S ON INSTAGRAM

I asked Catering Manager, Mitch Vervalen, some questions that brides and grooms often have when thinking of hiring a caterer for their wedding day. 

 

1. How long has Hugo's been catering weddings?

I have been at Hugo’s catering for over 7 years. My predecessor was here for a few years prior to me.

2. Is Hugo's licensed by the state?

We have state and city licensees and get special permits for events as needed.

3. If a future bride and groom were thinking about having Hugo's cater their wedding...how do they start the process? (Who should they contact? What information should they bring with them? Etc...)

They can contact myself for catering at Catering@gohugos.com or 701-795-2935. Cakes at Cakes@gohugos.com. Floral at centralfloral@gohugos.com. They should bring their wedding date, time, estimated number of guests, possible menu, any questions they have, and also a deposit to hold the date.

4. Does Hugo's offer event packages or is everything A' LA CARTE? 

We are flexible to the customer’s needs. If they need the whole meal catered or just a few party trays delivered, we can make custom quote for them.

5. Does Hugo's offer any other wedding related services? (cakes, Flowers, etc...)?

Yes, cakes, and flowers. If you book your cake, flowers, and catering through Hugo’s, we offer a 10% discount.

6. Add anything else you want potential brides and grooms to know about you/your business...(Why should they choose you?). 

We also cater grooms dinners, gift openings, brunches, etc. and we have a grilling wagon in which we can grill on site for you or do whole hog roasts. Feel free to ask any questions you would like and we will do our best to accommodate them.

 

 

DJ/Reception Entertainment

When the bride has walked down the isle, the couple has kissed and has become husband and wife, the meals have been shared, the speeches have been said, and the cake has been cut...it's time to cut loose and celebrate! 

When capping off your wedding day celebration...the DJ, or band, you choose to hire will be the LIFE (or Death) of your reception. So how do you navigate the sea of entertainment choices for the celebration of your wedding day? Easy...you skip right to the front of the line and ask to talk to Dance Man Dan! 

Grand Forks Wedding DJ 6

Dance Man Dan

dancemandan@hotmail.com

701-741-3343

 

I've had the pleasure of working with Dance Man Dan on numerous weddings and he ALWAYS has the dance floor packed! When I meet with my brides and grooms weeks after the wedding to deliver their wedding photography packages...they always rave about Dance Man Dan and how much fun they had at their reception! He always goes above and beyond for his couples and is one of the best at what he does!

Grand Forks Wedding DJ 3
Grand Forks Wedding DJ 2

1. How long have you been doing weddings? 

Dan - "I have been a wedding DJ for almost 18 years!  Time flies when you are having fun, and entertaining wedding guests is still a blast, after all these years!"

2. Do you use lighting or other effects?

Dan - "I do have special effect lighting.  I also have a few uplights that I put behind my setup for more visual effect.  I do not charge extra for lighting.  The amount of lighting I set up depends on the size of the area I have."  

3. How extensive is your music collection? How do you keep it up to date? 

Dan - "My music selection is vast.  I belong to a music service so I get the newest of the new every month. Working at iHeart Radio also keeps me in the loop of what is hot in both country and top 40." 

4. What sets you apart from your competition?

Dan - "I think what separates me from the competition is my experience and my passion.  Every wedding I book, I DJ myself.  I also take the time to meet with couples to go over all the details a couple weeks beforehand.  It's fun to listen to what couples want to do with their dance that makes it different from other wedding dances they have been to.  I have a lot of fun doing what I do, and I have heard people say that it really shows!

Think about any person you meet while they are at work.  If you can tell they are having fun, doesn't it make everyone around them have fun too?"

5. What else would you like future brides and grooms to know about you?

Dan - "I am very aware that not one guest is there because I am DJ'ing...the focus is always on the bride and groom.  This is kind of interesting...but I keep the church program from MY wedding with my equipment at all times, as a reminder that this day is just as special to the bride and groom as my wedding to my wife Sherry was to me!"

 

 

Wedding Cake

 

The history of the wedding cake is strange...but quite interesting! In ancient Rome, the groom would smash a barley cake over the bride's head and this, somehow, was to bring the new couple good fortune! 

As Sugar became plentiful in England during the mid 16th century...the wedding cake became a symbol of status. The more refined the sugar, the whiter it was...so pure white icing soon became the staple. So, now the color white not only symbolized the bride's purity...but the whiteness was now a status symbol and a display of the family's wealth. A family with a multiple tiered, white frosted cake was held to be society's elite!

Modern day cakes serve as a centerpiece to the couple's wedding celebration and some couples use the cake to reflect their personalities or creativity. A cake can be large or small and still encompass the feel of that couple's wedding day! With so many combinations of flavors and styles...how is a modern day bride and groom supposed to decide on the perfect centerpiece for their wedding reception?? This is the best part of wedding planning (for me anyways)...CAKE TASTINGS!

PAOLA'S PASTRIES is a rather new addition to the Grand Forks' community but the moment I saw some of their amazing cakes...I had to reach out and learn more! Being an extremely "VISUAL" person myself...I find myself admiring their wedding cakes like I'm staring at a Monet painting in a museum! Their wedding cakes are literal works of art. If you are looking to make an impact at your wedding reception with a totally unique masterpiece, then Paola's Pastries is where you want to go! If the cakes look so wonderful, I can only imagine how they taste! Yum! 

Paola's Pastries

Owner - Maria Chaparro

110 N. 3rd St.

Grand Forks, ND 58203

701-757-2253

Paola's Pastries on FACEBOOK

 

Paola's Pastries on INSTAGRAM

 1. Tell us more about you and your business. How did you get started? How long have you been in business? How would you describe the style of your wedding cakes?

Maria - "I started baking from home, which I did for years. I've always loved sweets and felt the desire to work hard to turn this dream into a reality. Paola’s pastries opened the doors in May 2017, and we love to make as many different styles of desserts as we can, for us every cake is an experience on it’s own, but we are particularly passionate about unique cakes."

2. How far in advance should a bride place her order for one of your wedding cakes? And how far before the wedding will it be prepared? 

Maria - "Depending on the difficulty of the design the couple has in mind, we would usually need a couple of months in advance to plan everything, we make the cakes as close as possible to the special date but the sugar art decorations can be made weeks before."

3. Besides the wedding cake...do you offer any other related services such as cake stand rentals, ceremonial cake knives, delivery to the reception site, or cake set up? 

Maria - "We do have some cake stand options available for events and we do delivery of the wedding cakes with the set up to ensure a good final result."

4. Do you offer Cake Tastings? 

Maria - "We do cake tastings, we like to set up an appointment in advance to make the flavor combinations the couple is looking for."

5. Tell potential brides anything else you would want them to know about you and your business (why should they come to YOU?). 

Maria - "We always want to give our very best to make an unforgettable day even more special. We offer a customized experience to work every detail to give you a beautiful and one of kind cake."

 

 

PHOTOGRAPHER

Last, but definitely not least, is choosing a wedding photographer! Now...I MAY be a bit biased (I definitely AM)...but who you choose as your wedding photographer is one of the most important decisions you face when planning your wedding. 

"Usually", when a couple gets engaged and starts planning their wedding...they first book the venues, then find a dress, then look for a photographer. I say "Usually" because the order in which couples book their vendors can vary depending on the value the couple puts on each vendor. It may be more important for a certain couple to book their dream Band for their reception than to book a certain photographer. Typically, though, couples tend to look for a photographer 3rd on their list.

Choosing a photographer is such an important task because unlike all of the other vendors you will hire...your photographer will be by your side your entire wedding day. Some vendors you may not even see on your wedding day. Others you may only see at the beginning, or near the end of your day. Your photographer, on the other hand, will be with you for anywhere between 6-12 hrs straight! So it's SUPER important that you put time into choosing someone you LIKE and can get along with. 

Secondly, your wedding photos/wedding album will be your very first family heirloom and the only thing from your big day that you will get to actually take home with you and will keep for years to come! 

For these reasons, you want to make educated choices when it comes to hiring a photographer who has the technical know-how AND experience to not only capture amazing photos of your wedding, but do whatever it takes to make sure your day is stress free and enjoyable. 

*FREE BONUS*

(CLICK HERE TO READ MY GUIDE ON HOW TO HIRE YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER)

 

Shawn Morrissey Photography

701 741 1407    Grand Forks/ East Grand Forks

ShawnMorrisseyPhotography.com

Shawn Morrissey Photography on FACEBOOK

Shawn Morrissey Photography on INSTAGRAM

Grand Forks Wedding Photography 001

Shawn Morrissey Photography has been around for over 12 years. I've not only photographed tons of weddings, I specialize in them! To help ease your burden of searching through the hundreds of area photographers, I've decided to give you answers to questions I am most often asked by couples who are looking to hire a photographer for their wedding day.

So...here they are:

1. Our wedding is somewhere other than Grand Forks...Do you only photograph weddings in Grand Forks, or will you travel?

ME  -  "Though I am based in Grand Forks, I absolutely love traveling and I photograph weddings in all sorts of places other than Grand Forks! In 2018, so far, I have weddings booked in Redwood Falls, MN...Park River, ND...Turtle River, and Fargo! In the Past, I've photographed weddings in amazing places like Wisconsin, Minneapolis, Las Vegas, and even Key West! If you are getting married outside of Grand Forks...don't let that stop you from contacting me!"

2. My Uncle said he would take pictures of our wedding for $300...Why should we hire you and pay you what you're asking? 

ME  -  "If there ever was a time to pick an experienced "PROFESSIONAL" over a "hobbyist" or an up-and-comer, this is it! When it comes to photography, experience is usually proportional to the quality of the product (YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR). A Hobbyist or a bright-eyed young photographer simply won't have the know-how or instincts to turn out the best photos possible for your wedding album. Consider selecting a more seasoned, if slightly more expensive, professional to get the results you crave. If you are spending hundreds (or thousands) on your dress, and thousands more for the rest of your wedding, it only makes sense to INVEST in a professional who will capture your entire day in photographs you will cherish for decades! Remember...THERE ARE NO "REDO's" FOR YOUR WEDDING DAY!" 

3. In which part of our planning process should we REALLY start looking for our wedding photographer? How far in advance do couples' book you for their wedding dates?

ME - "It depends on how important your wedding day photography is to you. If having amazing, high-quality, professional images of the most important day of your lives is something you really want...contact potential photographers as soon as you set your date! I, personally, have had couples book me 19 months in advance. Most couples, though, book me 9-12 months out. I only take on a limited number of weddings each year so I can give each couple the time and attention they deserve. So if you set a date that's 10 months away...don't wait 3 months to start contacting photographers. Chances are...if they are in demand...they will be booked by then." 

4. What makes you different from any other potential photographers we could hire for our wedding day?

Me  -  "My 12 years of wedding experience and my unique style aside...I think what past couples enjoyed most about working with me has nothing to do with my camera! It's the experience as a whole I try to provide for each couple.

This journey of yours is leading you to the most important day of your lives...and that is how I treat our experience together. I take the time to meet with my couples numerous times to really get to know what is unique about them. This is vital for me being able to tell their one-of-a-kind love story through my lens. I've actually made some amazing friendships working so closely with my couples and that is something that is priceless to me! Your big day is all about YOU and I will do whatever I can to make sure it's a happy, stress-free success!"

(Be sure to see what other have to say about working with me recently HERE!)

 

5. My fiance and I are not very photogenic people and nervous in front of the camera...How do you work with couples like us? 

Me  - "I'd say that 75% of couples feel like you do...so you are not alone. Don't feel like everyone else I've photographed has had modeling experience and loves being the center of attention. There's nothing wrong with feeling that way. In fact, I felt the same way when my wife and I met with our wedding photographer! I ALWAYS recommend booking an engagement session with your wedding package...for many reasons. Most importantly, it gives us a chance to work together BEFORE your wedding. Consider it a practice run for your big day. I want to have time to get to know you as a couple and for you to get to know me a bit. That way...we can not only get a bit more comfortable working together, but we also build trust. You'll have a fun time and once you see your photos...you'll realize that you're both ROCK STARS in front of the camera and that will melt your insecurities away and make for a stress free wedding day!"

6. We would like to meet you in person to ask some questions and see if you are the right photographer for us...Can you meet with us and do you charge a FEE for an initial meeting?

ME  -  "AWESOME!!! I WANT to meet with any potential couples in person and I strongly encourage it! It is SO important to meet your potential photographer in person BEFORE hiring them. How else are you going to get a feel for them and see if they'd be awesome enough to be by your side your entire wedding day? In fact...it should be a HUGE 'red flag' if a photographer won't meet with you before you hire them. Look elsewhere, if that is the case!

I feel so strongly about getting to know each other BEFORE we work together that not only do I offer initial consultations FREE of charge...I actually REWARD you for booking a consult!

If you book a FREE no-strings attached consultation with me and afterwards decide you'd like to book me for your wedding day...you will get $200 off your entire wedding photography package!" 

If you'd like to see samples of my work...please check out my

ENGAGEMENT PORTFOLIO

WEDDING PORTFOLIO

 

 

So there you have it!! If you are recently engaged and starting to plan your wedding in the Grand Cities area...I hope this small guide has provided you with SOME value! My goal with this guide is to arm new couples with knowledge to help them relieve some of the stress and frustration of wedding planning so they can spend more time being happy and engaged! Time will fly and your wedding day will come faster than you think...and with everyday life taking up most of your time, getting all of your wedding planning tasks completed can seem impossible at times. 

Having an industry professional point you in the direction of elite businesses, provide you with answers to many common questions, give you contact information, and give you some helpful tips...is something "I" wish I had when I was going through the planning stage of my own wedding. So...If you found this guide at all helpful...I will consider it a success.

If you know someone getting married...please forward this guide to them. Also...if there are some questions you may have that aren't covered here, please contact me and I will do my best to add them in. Remember...this guide will be updated as I get new information to help make it better and keep it up to date. 

So...congratulations on your engagement...and best wishes on your upcoming wedding! If you haven't yet picked a photographer, click the orange button below and lets meet for coffee and talk about your big day! If you already have a photographer, I wish you the very best in this amazing journey you have begun!

Click the button above to schedule your FREE No-strings attached consultation and get $200 off if you decide to book with Me!