During the wedding day, there are various resources involved in making sure everything runs smoothly for the bride and groom. In addition to you photographing the happenings of the day, multiple vendors take care of the cake, flowers, decorations, and music. These vendors are people you should get to know and create lasting relationships with. Not only can they help you meet ideal clients, they can become friends who support what you do and help you get through the longest wedding day shoots.
An important vendor involved in the day is the wedding coordinator, who has been working with the couple from the beginning to help their vision come to life. Jessica Gillon, owner of Events by Design, compares a coordinator to a producer or director of a movie. The star of the movie has great ideas but may not have the ability to make them come to life, but the producer or director can help their vision happen. Among other important decisions, a wedding coordinator helps the bride and groom choose the perfect vendors, which includes the wedding photographer!
Since wedding coordinators are a large part of the day, it is important for you to build a relationship with them. Not only is the coordinator someone who can make it easier for you to shoot the couple and their wedding party, they are powerful referral sources for your business. When you connect with the wedding coordinator, they get to know who you are and can help match you with the perfect couple. Here are some of Jessica’s tips to help you make the wedding coordinator your best friend.
Follow the Timeline
Because the wedding day can be chaotic, the wedding coordinator helps the couple create a timeline which helps everything run smoothly. This is a detailed list of everything happening during the day, such as when the bride and groom get ready, what time they should arrive at the ceremony, and when they should include each activity within the reception. There are also specific details included in the timeline of when you should arrive and start shooting the couple and their wedding party.
Similar to the timeline you develop to capture the important images, the coordinator uses their wedding day timeline to help structure every single event of the day. Respecting the coordinator’s timeline is key to creating a trusting relationship. If you are late to the shoot, or you take too long shooting the couple portraits, you risk upsetting the coordinator and the schedule. Following the timeline (as best you can) ensures you can capture the necessary images and keep the relationship with the wedding coordinator intact.
Tip: Communication is key to creating trust with your photographer. If you know the family formal shoot is going to take longer than expected, reach out to the coordinator and let them know. When you are respectful of the timeline the coordinator made, they will work to help you achieve your goals.
Capture Detail Shots
During your wedding day shoots, you typically know what images your clients will love (since they hired you for your Signature Style!). You likely also have images which you love to capture to represent who you are as a photographer. The same can be said for the wedding coordinator. They spend months preparing for the wedding day with the couple, so it is important to capture as many stunning detail shots as possible (your photos are what they share with larger audiences to meet new clients, after all).
“[A photographer is my best friend when they] not only know how important it is that they fit in those detail shots, but those details shots are great.” – Jessica Gillon
Even if it is the first time you are working with the wedding coordinator, think of what details could help them showcase their work. The images you provide to them can help them continue meeting new clients, which means you have additional referral opportunities from the coordinator.
Share “Wow” Images
When the wedding day shoot concludes and you receive your images back from a photography editing company, you share the images with your couple. It can also be crucial to building trust with vendors to quickly share images which represent their contribution to the day. There are a few ways to do this, starting with posting the images on your blog and sharing it on social media. Tagging the wedding coordinator in your posts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest can help them immediately see the images and share them with their audience. Both you and the wedding coordinator benefit from this, as their work is depicted in your stunning photos and you can reach an entirely new audience with your images.
A second way to do this is to voluntarily submit images from the wedding day (which represent the coordinator’s work) to popular wedding blogs and magazines. This takes the responsibility away from the wedding coordinator, helping them to eliminate one task off of their endless checklist.
Since referrals are your best friend, continue to make connections with vendors, such as the wedding coordinator. The more relationships you can build in the industry, the easier time you will have accomplishing your goals and meeting new clients. Learn more about connecting with vendors in our Guide to Marketing for the Wedding Photographer!