When Should You Hire Your Wedding Photographer

Maumee Wedding Photographer

When Should You Hire Your Wedding Photographer?

Michigan Wedding Photographer Kurt Nielsen PhotographyCongratulations on your engagement! I’m sure by now you have heard that statement about a million times. After all, it’s not just exciting for you to be engaged, it’s also exciting for all those around you. But I bet you didn’t know that planning a wedding would be so much work!
Maumee Wedding PhotographerThe very first thing that needs to be done when planning a wedding is choosing the date or potential date. The next thing you should do is make a preliminary guest list. Knowing how many people are on your guest list will help you prepare your budget. Obviously, the more people that are on your guest list, the more you will need for your budget.

The next thing you should do is find the perfect venue or venues for your ceremony and reception. Remember that there are thousands of brides and grooms getting married every year in our area. Keeping an open mind and having different choices will prevent you from being disappointed if your dream venue is unavailable on your dream wedding date.

Now it’s on to finding the perfect wedding professionals and the rest of the planning. When do you hire which ones? If you search online, you can get an assortment of answers. What is the right answer?
Urban wedding photography in Industrial spaces in downtown Toledo

There are No Right or Wrong Answers

The truth is, there are no right or wrong answers. However, there are right answers for you. What do you value most? What is important to You? If finding the right pair of shoes is more important than your wedding cake, then you should find those shoes first.

The most important thing to remember is that you are not the only bride or groom looking for wedding professionals. There are hundreds of brides and grooms just like you that are also searching for their dream team. Most wedding professionals book their services with the first bride or groom that contacts them. If you don’t book early enough, you risk the chance of not getting who you want.
university of toledo wedding cakeI’m not just a wedding photographer. I also photograph other life cycle and corporate events and even have a portrait studio.  There are days when you can find me photographing school events.   Back before the Walleye, I was the official photographer for the Toledo Storm.  Therefore, I can easily be booked two years or more in advance for some of these events.

Many other photographers are also event photographers. Even if someone is exclusively a wedding photographer, they may also be planning things for themselves. Some take family vacations or go to seminars and conferences to learn more about photography and business.

These things also get scheduled months in advance. Therefore, our schedules also matter when it comes to our availability to photograph your wedding. But, if we know you want us for your wedding date, even if it is a year and a half from now, we can adjust our plans accordingly and be there for you.
Artistic Ohio Wedding Photographer

What is Important to You?

Basically, this all boils down to what you feel is most important. If having your dress and decorations are the most important thing, then take care of those things first. However, if you have your heart set on working with specific wedding professionals, then you absolutely should book them as soon as possible.

Most wedding professionals require a deposit and a signed contract to hold your date. Obviously, coming up with all of the deposits at one time can be an issue for some. However, right now it’s bridal show season. Many of your favorite wedding professionals are having specials that can save you money.

My Bridal Show Special not only saves you money but also has a lower deposit requirement. If you book my Complete Wedding Collection, you save $200.  This package includes all day wedding photography and my photo booth for your entire reception.  If you book My Kurt’s Kustom Keepsakes green screen photo booth, you save $100. No matter which package you decide, if you book my services you only need to pay a $200 deposit instead of $400 which I normally require.  The deposit will go toward your package total amount.pink wedding shoes

So When Should You Hire Your Wedding Photographer?

Now is the time to ask yourself what do you really want. Do you want someone to capture all of the aspects of your wedding day that you have worked so hard to perfect? Do you want to save money? Are you not willing to risk not having the professionals that you spent hours finding? If you answered yes to any of these, now is the right time to hire your wedding photographer.Wedding at the Stables on Obee captured by Toledo Wedding Photographer Kurt Nielsen PhotographyFor more information about Kurt Nielsen Wedding Photography, including pricing, please visit my website at: www.kurtnphoto.com.

To contact Kurt to schedule your FREE Wedding Consultation, please call the studio at:

Kurt Nielsen Photography
5431 Schultz Drive
Sylvania, OH 43560
419 885 7153

Feel free to make comments below and/or share this blog post on your favorite social media site. Pin your favorite images to your Pinterest board!

Read what other brides are saying about me on The Knot
and Wedding Wire!

5 Things Wedding Photographers Wish You Knew BEFORE Contacting Them

Perrysburg Wedding Photographer Kurt Nielsen Photography

5 Things Wedding Photographers Wish You Knew Before Contacting Them

Wedding Photography by Kurt Nielsen Photography at the Toledo Loves Love MuralCongratulations on Your Engagement!

Now that the planning process has begun, it’s time to start your search for the perfect wedding photographer! Websites like The Knot and WeddingWire make it easy for you with their contact forms. Or do they?
Happy Bride at the Toledo Club by Wedding Photographer Kurt Nielsen PhotographyGenerally, these websites pretty much make your message say the same thing. “I found you on this website. Could you send me some info?” Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. In order to give you a proper quote, wedding photographers need a few details about your day.
Weddings at the Historic Church of St. Patrick in downtown ToledoThe very first thing we need to know before anything else is your Wedding Date.   We simply won’t be able to be your photographer if we are already booked for another wedding or event. Any other discussion about your wedding day would simply be a waste of time for both of us. That doesn’t mean we won’t give you referrals and help you any other way that we can.Stone Ridge Golf Club Wedding PhotographerThe next thing is something we as your potential wedding photographers don’t necessarily need to know, but you most certainly do. You need to know your budget. More importantly, where we are concerned, you need to know how much you have for your photographer in your overall budget. There is nothing worse than finding a photographer you absolutely must have only to find out you can’t afford them.

I post my prices directly on my website. Many other photographers post theirs as well or at least a starting price on their websites. Doing a little research can help you weed out the ones that are not in your price range.

A good place to start looking is on WeddingWire. They allow us to post our starting price range and our most popular package pricing.
St. Rose Catholic Church Wedding Photographer - Kurt Nielsen Photography

When Do We Start?

By the time you start looking for wedding photographers, you should have already booked your ceremony and reception venues. Many of these have multiple events each day. You probably discussed your start and end times for each venue.

Many venues, especially churches, adhere to strict rules about the times you are allowed to be there. It is therefore utterly important that we know these details.

Another reason this is important is that I like to arrive at least an hour before the ceremony begins. That would be my start time unless you want me earlier for the getting ready photos at the salon.

Many photographers have different packages that include a specific number of hours worked. Knowing the ceremony start time plays a big role in figuring out how many hours our services will be needed.
Tamaron Wedding Photographer

Timeline for Wedding Photographers

The fourth thing we need to know is your wedding day timeline. Of course, you probably won’t know this the first time we talk. We will probably even be instrumental in helping you plan this. However, you probably already know what is important to you that you want to be photographed.

Knowing things like when dinner is served and if you are planning on having your first dance before or after dinner is key to designing a timeline. Are you cutting the cake before or after dinner? Will you be doing an anniversary or dollar dance? Are you playing the shoe game or the dash for cash?  If these are important to you, we will need to add them to your timeline.

What does your timeline have to do with your quote?  It matters for the number of hours your photographer will be needed.  For example, say your photographer starts at the salon at 10 am.  Cocktail hour is at 5:30 and dinner will be served at 7 pm.  Your photographer will be finished before cocktail hour is over if you choose the 8-hour package.
Bowling Green Country Wedding Photography

Location, Location, Location!

Yes, I travel!  Are you having a destination wedding? Is your wedding local but outside of the Greater Toledo Area?  You may have travel fees added if this is the case.

Travel fees also vary greatly by each photographer.  Some charge per hour for drive time, while others charge by the mile.  Is your ceremony more than a couple hours away from Toledo?  Does it start early or end late?  You may be charged for overnight accommodations fees if one or both of these apply.

As far as local locations for the bridal party and romantic wedding photos, I don’t charge for travel.  However, your timeline will need to include travel to each destination where you want portraits taken.  Your photographer can let you know how much time they need at each destination.

Always add extra time for traffic and other delays.  Remember, your photographer counts this in their timeline as well.  Include the travel fees from your photographer in your photography budget.
Wedding Grand Entrance into the ReceptionAre you ready to start contacting potential wedding photographers? Do you know your wedding date? Do you know your photography budget? Where will your photographer begin and at what time? Have you planned the events you will be doing and when they will be?  Will your photographer need to travel to get to your wedding or reception?

Knowing these little details before contacting your photographer, or any of the other wedding professionals, will save you time and headache.   We can help you better when we know what you want us to do for you.

Good Luck and Happy Planning!
Summer weddings in Toledo

Want to Learn More?

For more information about Kurt Nielsen Wedding Photography, including pricing, please visit my website: www.kurtnphoto.com.

To contact Me to schedule your FREE Wedding Consultation, please call the studio at:

Kurt Nielsen Photography
5431 Schultz Drive
Sylvania, OH 43560
419 885 7153

Feel free to make comments below and/or share this blog post on your favorite social media site. Pin your favorite images to your Pinterest board!

Read what other brides are saying about me on The Knot
and Wedding Wire!

Bridal Show Survival Guide

Bridal Party Photos at the Stables by Kurt Nielsen Photography

Bridal Show Survival Guide
The Best Wedding Photographers in Toledo Ohio
Congratulations on your engagement!!!

 

If you are just starting to plan your wedding, or if you are still trying to find the perfect wedding specialists to complete your list, you are probably considering attending a bridal show.  If you have never attended one before, it can be quite overwhelming.  Arguably, it’s even overwhelming to the participants who are there to help you.  But it is also the perfect place to meet and talk with, albeit sometimes only briefly, those wedding professionals who can help you on your wedding day.
Bridal Show Survival Tips by Award Winning Wedding Photographer Kurt Nielsen Photography

Here are a few tips to assist in your bridal show survival.
wedding invitations photographed by Kurt Nielsen Photography
1.  Pre-Register.  Almost all of the bridal shows now allow you to pre-register for the event.  This will save you lots of time from standing in line.  In addition, many also allow you to purchase your tickets online as well.  Of course, purchasing them online will save you even more time.

stone oak country club wedding photographer
2.  Show Up Early.  Bridal shows are very busy and chaotic.  Arriving early means you will be able to get to speak with the wedding professionals before most of the rest of the brides.  This is especially important when your wedding date is the same date that many other brides also want.  Remember that when booking a wedding professional, it is usually a first-come, first-served basis, so if you know you want to book a particular wedding professional, the sooner you do that the better your chances will be of getting your wedding dream team.

detail shots at wedding ceremony
3.  Print Address Labels.  Almost all of the wedding specialists will have some sort of drawing.  Print address labels prior to attending to save time.  Be sure to include your name, email address, phone number and wedding date.  Not only does this save time, but will spare your hand from cramping!

Church Wedding Photographer in Toledo
4.  Know your budget.  Knowing your budget will save you the embarrassment of hiring someone you will not be able to afford and then have to cancel their services.  Keep in mind that most deposits are non refundable to protect the vendor.  Therefore, it’s better for you to spend that money on things that are necessary and that you can afford.  Don’t waste it on the fluff no one will remember.

Toledo Photo Booth
5.  Bring your checkbook!  If you are serious about planning your wedding, you will want to bring your checkbook.  Many wedding professionals do not accept credit card payments.  Therefore, it is wise to bring your checkbook.  This will ensure you get the wedding specialists that you want from the show.

save the date fall engagement photo
6.  Have your calendar available.  If you wish to sit down and meet with your favorite wedding specialists before booking them, you should know when you are available.  Chances are that they have their calendars with them and can schedule an appointment at the show.

Bridal Party Photos at the Stables by Kurt Nielsen Photography
7.  Bring your posse.  Have your mom, your maid of honor, your bridesmaids, and your fiancee come with you.  Bring whoever will be helping you plan your wedding.   (Just be careful not to bring too many people so you don’t get overwhelmed or confused.)  They can help you decide on things and also help carry the massive amounts of literature that you will receive from the show vendors and also help you fill out the drawing entry forms.

candid photos from a real Toledo wedding by Kurt Nielsen Photography
8.  Take notes, pictures and collect as much information as you can.  There will be a lot of things running through your brain and this will help you keep track of what you like.  Accordingly, there will also be a lot of photo booths that you can try out, so be camera ready!

wedding cake cutting gone horribly wrong
9.  Eat before you go.  No one likes it when you are hangry.  There will be small, almost bite-sized, food samples at the show.  But, they are just samples and not enough to fill you up.  It’s a good idea to eat lunch before the show to help keep your mind focused.

champagne toast in back of limo as captured by Kurt Nielsen Photography
11.  Bring something to drink.  You will be talking to a lot of people and your mouth will get very dry.  For that reason, you should bring something that will quench your thirst and keep you going.

red converse wedding shoes with artificial rose and baseball roses bouquet
12.  Wear comfortable shoes!  Your entire bridal show survival could depend on your feet comfort level!  You will be doing a lot of walking and standing.  There will not be any seating areas provided in the venue.  Therefore, it’s important to wear something comfortable and supportive.

fun halloween photo of bride and groom being chased by blow up frankenstein
13.  Don’t get pressured into booking at the show!  There will be many eager brides ready to find the one perfect wedding professional for their special day.  And there will also be many eager wedding professionals ready to fill their calendars with weddings.  Don’t let their overzealous antics force you into a contract that you aren’t ready to sign.

bride being pushed on a tree swing by the flower girls
14.  Have fun!  Don’t forget to have fun at the bridal show!  After all, this is what you have dreamed of and worked for your whole life.

sun's out, guns out bridal pose at real perrysburg weddingIf you have recently become engaged and are looking for a wedding photographer and/or photo booth, I will be at the Sounds of Music DJs Superbowl of All Bridal Shows on Saturday, January 27 and Sunday, January 28 from 1:00 pm until 5:00 pm. I will be located at The Premier on Heatherdowns.  Don’t forget to stop by and say hi and check out my photography and my photo booth! Here is a map of the layout and where I will be.
Toledo Wedding Photographer Kurt Nielsen Photography will be at The Premier for the Sounds of Music DJs Superbowl of All Bridal Shows
Use these tips to get the most out of the bridal expo! Happy planning!
Toledo Wedding and Engagement Photographer - Kurt Nielsen Photography

For more information about Kurt Nielsen Wedding Photography, including pricing, please visit my website at  www.kurtnphoto.com.

To check for availability and schedule your FREE Wedding consultation, please call:

Kurt Nielsen Photography
5431 Schultz Drive
Sylvania, OH 43560
419 885 7153

Feel free to make comments below and/or share this blog post.  Help spread the word and pin this image to your Pinterest board!