When two people fall in love and decide to tie the knot, often they don’t realize how much work takes place behind the scenes on the big day. You have wedding planners, wedding coordinators, wedding photographers, caterers, viedeographers — the list goes on and on.
After all, this can be one of the biggest days in a couple’s life! And the professionals that work behind the scenes to make it all possible must execute their jobs with absolute precision.
These professionals are the wedding vendors. Each vendor has a role of their own and once a couple hires them, they immediately get to work. Everything they do plays a part in creating a smooth wedding day for the couple as well as their guests.
Being a wedding photographer often means being a VIP to the bride and the groom. They rely on you to get their beautiful and intimate moments captured on their wedding day.
But being the center of attention, your couples may get lost in the details of the wedding venue, the ceremony, their emotions and the guests who love them. They trust you to capture all this on your camera and show them the whole story once it’s done.
You feel responsible and are doing your best to fulfill the expectations. But there is one more person who is doing her/his best to make this wedding a dream wedding for the bride and the groom. That person is the WEDDING COORDINATOR.
Who is a Wedding Coordinator?
A wedding coordinator is the one who manages the whole wedding on the final day. Not to be confused with the wedding planner, the coordinator helps in keeping timelines perfect and vendors managed.
They usually begin helping a month before the wedding and function as the point person on the wedding day. They confirm vendor contracts and create a day-of timeline, as well as make sure things like payments and guest counts are in order.
Reasons Brides & Grooms Hire a Wedding Coordinator
Hiring a wedding coordinator has proven to be helpful to the to-be married couples and has also become a trend. And there are some solid reasons why couples hire a wedding coordinator these days.
1. Couples Want Someone to Oversee Their Wedding Day
The coordinator instructs the bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls, ring bearers, parents, and officiant on how to stage the ceremony and make entrances at the beginning of the reception. This often involves working with the musicians or DJ to ensure attendants enter and exit at the correct time.
The coordinator also instructs the best man and maid of honor when to give their speech during dinner. The coordinator takes care of all timelines and manages vendors. If any attendants have issues or questions on the day of the wedding, they direct them to the coordinator instead of the bride, groom, or parents.
2. When Couples Don’t Have the Budget to Hire a Wedding Planner
According to planners, full-service wedding production and design runs approximately 15 to 20 percent of the total wedding cost. This depends on their experience, what region of the U.S. they’re based in, and how much time a wedding demands. A wedding coordinator generally will cost at least 25 percent of what a full-service planner would charge.
3. Couples Don’t Know How to Create a Timeline and Want a Smooth Wedding Day
When the bride and the groom have no idea about creating an accurate, wedding-specific timeline — they hire a wedding coordinator. Wedding day timelines are an art form in and of themselves, and they’re best left for professional coordinators.
4. The Couple Wants To Relax on Their Wedding Day
You don’t want to be the one organizing vendor setup and tear-down on your wedding day. It’s just not a job you want to stick any of your wedding party or family members with, as it leaves them no time to actually enjoy the celebration.
Why Photographers Need To Establish Great Relationships With Wedding Coordinators
With an upward trend in hiring coordinators, it is quite likely for you to find one at a wedding you photograph. Since you will get a chance to meet with the wedding coordinator before and during the wedding, why not establish a good relationship with them early on. It will benefit your greatly when the wedding day arrives.
TOP 3 REASONS TO FORM RELATIONSHIPS WITH WEDDING COORDINATORS
1. Wedding Coordinators Help Photographers With Timeline
Wedding coordinators help in creating the timeline for the wedding day and this directly affects photographers. You are working and shooting according to the schedule and time slots created by the planner. Having a good relationship with a wedding coordinator can potentially allow for a killer timeline for you to work by.
2. Bright Future Prospects
Having trust in each other’s line of work will allow you the ability to provide the best service to the couple with ease. Having that continued mutual respect and trust in one another will only strengthen your business relationship. This way, whenever you both cover a wedding, there will be so much understanding for each other’s work making it easy for you to function and get what you want.
Photographers often receive inquiries based off of referrals. Another way to receive word-of-mouth inquiries other than past clients is by vendors you’ve worked with. Wedding coordinators are a great source of referrals for you.
When couples are ready to begin wedding planning, they typically look to hire a photographer. If the couple hires the coordinator first, there is a high chance of you getting a great referral!
HOW TO BUILD A RELATIONSHIP WITH A WEDDING COORDINATOR?
Whether you are a newcomer in the industry or highly established, these tips will help you build and strengthen your relationship with wedding coordinators. They will also help you carry out your work with much ease. Let’s begin!
1. Send a Welcome Email
Ask your client if they have a wedding coordinator at the initial consultation. Once the client books with you, email the coordinator to tell them you’re excited to work together. Take a look at their blog, and let them know what you love about it. This will make a great first impression. If you have worked together before, this will also strengthen your relationship.
2. Smile and Be Polite
This may seem simple, but always be as friendly, courteous, and professional as possible. You can also plan a phone meeting with them.
3. Copy Them on Important Info
Whether your client is adding an extra hour to the wedding day, or discussing the timeline, email a copy to the coordinator. You’ll save them a few steps, and they will appreciate your professionalism. Also, remember to respond to all communication quickly.
4. Group Shot List
Discuss the group shot list with the wedding coordinator before it’s actually given to the client to complete. Clients usually prefer to keep their group shot list short, and this may pose an issue when coordinators present their own list. It’s best to discuss this in advance, so you are on the same page.
5. Buffer Your Timeline
The timeline may change — even before our window of time for formal portraits begins, things might be running late. This is why it’s important to add a buffer for formal portraits. Discuss this with the coordinator and make sure you respect this timeline. You can’t have a good relationship with a coordinator who got late on things because of you.
6. Walk-Through of the Venue Before the Day of the Wedding
You can do a walk-through of the venue yourself and ask the coordinator if you have any questions about it. In fact, many coordinators do a walk-through with the client, so you might be able to go then. The bonus of doing this is that you can pre-visualize certain photos, and plan your off-camera lighting setup.
7. Review Their Timeline In-depth
Review the timeline from beginning to end, so you can communicate with the coordinator on any changes in advance.
8. Provide Them Photos
Always give the coordinator images as soon as you deliver them to the client. They are more likely to refer you to future clients, and your watermark will help promote you. A sweet thank you note is always a great touch too.
We hope our tips will help you calm any fears about working with a wedding coordinator. It’s an amazing opportunity for your business rather than something to feel burdened about.
Use our tips and build ever-lasting relationships with wedding coordinators you meet at work.
After the engagement session, as the wedding date gets closer, there is still much to be done.
Sometimes the gap between engagements and weddings is a full year, so how do you often use that time? Do you relax and put off preparations until one week before the date? If so, you may already know how much stress this can create for you and your clients.
So what should you be doing? Perhaps you could list everything you have learned about the couple so far — which poses suit them, what they expect from you and what gear would be best to bring for their big day.
These kinds of notes will help you a lot when planning your wedding workflow. But there are still so many ways to improve your workflow before, the day of and after the wedding.
Having a solid workflow foundation in place will benefit not only you, but your clients as well.
As a wedding photographer, you know the importance of charts and lists to keep your workflow organized. Without keeping a list of your assignments, it can be tough to complete work on time. Some tasks may fall by the wayside while others are downright forgotten. This can be a problem when your clients are eager to receive their galleries.
Running a wedding photography business is a challenge. You must provide a great client experience while also networking, marketing, shooting, editing, and so much more. So it’s important to have a plan, especially when it comes to your photography sessions.
Today we want to cover engagement sessions. Everything from initial contact to delivery of the final edited images. Great planning and execution of your engagement sessions will mean a lot to your clients. It could also be the deciding factor of whether you’ll capture their upcoming wedding or not.
So read on to make sure your engagement sessions are a positive experience for both you and your clients.
Do you remember the days when our parents used to take out a large hard-covered albums with all of their photos in them? Many of us still have our parents’ wedding albums at home. They may be as old as 50 years or more. They’re old fashioned, but those black and white photos sandwiched between tissue paper still look new.
The best thing about photo albums is that you can physically touch them. The smell of an old wedding album takes you back to the time when you had your first look or were waiting for your bride at the altar. It is also a reminder of those that may not be with us anymore.
Wedding albums are also easy to access since there’s no computer required!
Featuring Dana & Nate of Lovers of Love Photography
Many of us know the good fortune that comes from welcoming children into our families. They’re playful, they’re fun — but the house is always a mess with them throwing things in every corner and we’re always exhausted chasing after them as they run helter-skelter. The stories we most often hear are from parents hoping for more time and more energy to focus on themselves and their careers post-children. So when we meet a husband and wife team that say their lives have become more disciplined and organized after the birth of their babies, it can be inspiring to the rest of us.
“Our business really took off once we became parents,” say Dana and Nate, wedding photographers and the owners ofLovers of Love Photography. Read on to find out more about how they succeed as parents and entrepreneurs.
ShootDotEdit’s Fast Five — 5 useful quick tips you can apply to your photography business right now!
No matter where you are in your photography business — whether at the beginning or you’re a seasoned professional wedding photographer, planning for your success is key. Starting a photography business can be so exciting, but as you book more weddings and fill your calendar, what once was your dream job can turn stressful and unmanageable. Having a photography business plan will ensure you can handle your growth and scale.
Being scalable and creating a plan allows you to implement proper systems that give you more time to work on your craft and require less time working on other tasks. This results in you saving time, energy, and greatly reducing stress. Here are FIVE amazing tips on how to become scalable for your business and create an effective plan.
Santa Claus is big business this time of year and Professional Wedding and Portrait Photographers are cashing in. With the wedding off-season fast approaching, photographers in colder climates are making up for a lack of wedding income with special holiday-themed mini photo sessions. Many photographers target their current clients and offer spur of the moment photo booth style shots.
“I offer a reasonably priced 15-minute holiday session where the client can choose what they want in their set. Options include: wreaths, presents, lights and small handheld type things like snowflakes and bells for little kids to play with to keep them smiling.”
While quick and easy works for many photographers looking to up their income during the holiday season, some go all out — creating a buzz and a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) among their colleagues.
“We’ve talked about doing personal Santa experiences with families. Hiring a professional Santa and giving each family 15-20 minutes to meet and take family photos with and without Santa. I’ve heard of photographers making thousands in a weekend with this idea.”
Santa may be the star of the show before Christmas, but don’t rule out other holiday-themed ideas, like a family pajama party that can live on long into the winter months. And, if you pair holiday-themed photo sessions with holiday photo print sales with EXTRA, your income won’t skip a beat this winter.
Happy Holidays from everyone here at ShootDotEdit! May they be merry and full of photography sessions!
“I’m a photographer who shoots weddings?” Rebecca Yale answered my question with a laugh and a rising intonation in her voice that I wasn’t used to hearing. Her answer, which presented more like a question, made me think she wasn’t sure what to say when I asked her what type of photographer she is. The uncertainty in her voice had me abandoning my planned questions to find out why a 20-year photography veteran with a degree in photography and aesthetic philosophy from NYU would answer in such a peculiar way.