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20 Questions to Ask Your Potential Wedding Planner

The real reason you hire a wedding planner/coordinator is so that your wedding doesn’t end up being some kind of sh*t show. I mean – having a wedding planner is no guarantee that it won’t still be a total mess (because you know – crazy family, crazy friends, crazy YOU) – but your sanity will probably remain intact.

Atlanta Wedding Planners

Your wedding is important. It should and can go off with relative ease. You can make that happen by having a wedding planner help you – or do everything for you. Cost and rates vary. But I can tell you that when you’re working with a great wedding planner – it is ABSOLUTELY WORTH THE MONEY.

So how do you find a great wedding planner? Well. Here’s a list of Atlanta Wedding Planners to check out:

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And then when you meet a wedding planner – what do you ask them? How do you know if they’re any good? More importantly – how do you know if they’re the right wedding planner to work with you on your wedding? You just have to ask them a lot of questions. That’s all. Simple right? Of course you might not know what questions to ask. SO. Below is a list of questions you can ask any potential wedding planners. Their answers will vary and you should take notes. Write down their answers and maybe also how you feel about their answers or things you notice during your meeting with them. Do they seem like someone you want to work with? Do they seem like someone who can tell other people to F*ck off? (In the nicest way possible of course – and only with your best interests in mind.) You’ll want a wedding planner that isn’t wishy washy and that will stand her ground and basically be your champion.

You want a wedding planner that will be the ‘bad-guy’ so that you don’t have to be that person.

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How to Find a Wedding Planner

And now – the questions.

  1. Are you available on our wedding date? (uh, duh.)
  2. How many other weddings will you be handling on the same weekend as our wedding?
  3. Wedding planning is crazy – why do you like it?
  4. Are you crazy?
  5. How long have you been a wedding planner/coordinator/designer (they seriously have all those different designations)
  6. How many weddings have you planned/coordinated?
  7. How many weddings to you plan per year?
  8. Have you ever worked with Mark of LeahAndMark & Co.?
  9. Is Mark of LeahAndMark & Co. really as funny as he thinks he is?
  10. Can we see any weddings/galleries you’ve planned/coordinated in the past?
  11. Are you a member of any professional wedding organizations?
  12. Do you have a business license? (I mean – you can go with someone who’s not legit, just know what that means…)
  13. Do you receive commissions from any vendors? (If they say ‘yes’ then you’re supposed to not go with them because it’s supposed to mean that the wedding planner will steer you toward certain businesses, regardless of what’s in your best interest.)
  14. What are your rates/fees and how does your billing structure work?
  15. Can you work with our wedding budget?
  16. What are the exact list of services/hours that we would be receiving?
  17. How many hours per week are you available to spend consulting with us on our wedding? (Because you KNOW that you’re crazy so you need to find out how crazy this wedding planner is too.)
  18. How often will you provide updates to your clients and how are they communicated? (will they contact you by phone, text, or email regularly?)
  19. How will you dress on the day of the event? (Alright look – I mean – it depends on who you’re hiring. If you’re hiring someone cheap – then yeah – you should probably ask this question. If you’re spending good money on a good planner – they’ll dress wedding appropriate. But trust me – I’ve seen some planners show up and never change out of their jeans and sneakers… yeahhhhh)
  20. Will YOU be there personally or will one of your staff be there on the day of the wedding in your place?

Atlanta Wedding Photographers LeahAndMark & Co.

 

Four (4) Questions You Should Ask Your Wedding Photographer

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There are many lists of questions out there on what you should ask potential wedding photographers. Many of those questions on many of those list – suck. bad. They’re either outdated, useless – or outdated AND useless. That question about what gear does your photographer use? Doesn’t matter. (If you’ve actually seen their work and their photos – you know they make amazing stuff. You don’t ask your caterer if they only cook with cast-iron pans or whatever so why ask your photographer if they’re shooting with a medium format blah blah blah.)

SO. Here are four questions you should ask your wedding photographer (during your sit down meeting with them.)

1. Do you have insurance.

I know – insurance talk is never excited and it’s probably not at the top of your list when you’re trying to find your wedding photographer. But whether or not they have insurance is a clear indicator of whether or not they’re a Professional Photographer. Again – this is really boring and not sexy at all, but it’s TRUE. They’re asking you to give them $4,000 to photograph your wedding. Would you give that much money to ANY other business that didn’t have their paperwork in order? Then WHY would you give $4,000 to someone who isn’t professional enough to have something as simple and basic as business insurance?

Your venue has insurance. Your caterer has insurance. Your wedding planner has insurance. So your wedding photographer should definitely have insurance. Your wedding is not the day for amateurs and beginners.

2. Do you have back up gear.

I’m not talking about an extra memory card, or extra batteries. I’m talking about a full back up KIT. That’s the whole thing. Camera, lenses, batteries, flashes – a full backup set. Of course this is a just-in-case scenario where your photographer would need to pull out the backup gear, but it’s YOUR WEDDING. You hired a professional photographer because they can handle anything and EVERYTHING – but most importantly – they have invested in their business, and they have professional gear and backups for their backups. The only answer you ever should accept to this question is “YES. I have a lot of backup gear.”

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3. When will the photos be delivered.

This is an easy question to forget to ask. For everyone’s sanity (yours and the photographer’s) – you should find out when to expect delivery of your photos. That way whenever your mom/grandparents/aunts nag you about the photos, you can simple say “It’ll be another 3 weeks. So stop asking please.” And at the same time it holds your photographer to making that delivery deadline. It’s a simple question and your photographer will probably include it in their contract anyway. You just want to make sure you know what to expect so that you’re not thinking it’ll be 2 weeks when your photographer’s normal delivery time is 6-8 weeks (especially if they’re a busy rockstar photographer.)

4. How many weddings do you photograph a year?

You want to ask this question partly to find out how experienced your photographer is, and what kind of workload they have. Just like the rest of us – being busy with work is great – to a point. A general rule of thumb is 30 weddings per year is about right for a very busy wedding photographer handling everything on their own (sales, shooting, editing, delivery). If they’re photographing more than 30+ weddings a year then they should definitely have a good workflow and process setup to keep things organized and running smoothly.

Also – there is a big difference in experience between a photographer that’s been doing this for 5 years but only does 5-10 weddings a year vs. a photographer that’s been shooting 30+ weddings a year for the same 5 year time period. A BIG DIFFERENCE. The photographer that does 30 weddings a year will have run across many more problems to solve, and will honestly just know how to handle many more surprise situations, deal with different people – and make the most AMAZING photos out of EVERY situation and location. You can’t beat experience most of the time.

 

All photos by LeahAndMark & Co.

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Atlanta. Wedding. Photographer. LeahAndMark & Co. Questions You Should Ask Your Wedding Photographer.

How to Not Kill Your Wedding Photographer

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Around here we’re BIG on making time for your wedding photos – but that doesn’t mean that we think you should ever feel uncomfortable when it comes to making those photos.

Having your photo taken is all about the experience. If you’ve ever had a portrait session and felt miserable – then you know what I’m talking about. Because as miserable as you felt during that portrait – our clients tend to have the exact opposite experience. It’s both big things and little things – but it all comes down to your photographer. Often times it doesn’t even depend on you. You can be all for the session, apathetic, or even just not really into it.

If you have a great wedding photographer – honestly, none of that matters.

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A great wedding photographer energizes you. They know what they’re doing – they read you. They can tell how long they’ve got – how long you’ll last. But at the same time they know how much to push you. Whether creatively, time wise or just long enough to get the shot that you’ll love… later. A great wedding photographer is your friend – but one that you hired to GET THE JOB DONE. So you give them enough leeway to make what they make because you know it’s for your own benefit… even if you don’t feel like it.

So how do you NOT kill your wedding photographer?

You hire a f*cken amazing wedding photographer that has the personality to back up their photos.

Because really – who wants to hangout with a BORING PERSON disguised as a photographer for 8 hours on their wedding day? It’s a tricky thing – hiring a badass photographer that can make beautiful, atmospheric photos while battling guests and not make them feel bad – while also making sure you get out of your head so you’re not constantly asking WHAT DO I DO WITH MY HANDS?!

Hire a wedding photographer that you trust, that you know will make you look amazing – and one that will do it NO MATTER WHAT. With style. With class. With JOKES. If your photographer isn’t at all funny (or make you laugh) then it’s going to be a looooooooooooooooooong wedding day.

 

 

All Photos by LeahAndMark & Co.

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