It takes a special type of person to work in the wedding industry. They have to be flexible, personable, and more than anything else, they have to care about the couples that they work with. People get into this industry because they love what they do, but until you’re actually planning your day you don’t realize just how important that is. So, if you’re a little confused why this photo of Kevin performing some dress sorcery is the first one in a post about wedding vendors, for now let’s just say that I find vendors enchanting. The other reason is lower in the post, so you’ll have to keep reading for it. 

Let’s talk about vendors.

Wedding Coordinators have to be able to adjust to a crazy number of situations and keep everything organized.

Officiants have to personalize a ceremony over and over to make it unique to a couple.

Hair and makeup artists have to be able to make a variety of people look stellar and handle multiple personalities.

Caterers have to handle mass volumes in different kitchens while still making it taste delicious.

DJs and Bands have to be able to read a crowd and adjust on the fly.

Florists have a different experience with every single flower and every couple has a different vision.

The list goes on and on.

But photographers? Photographers have to be magic. They create beautiful memories. These wedding photographers Northern VA can help capturing the timeless beauty of your special day. Erika Parker Photography offers wedding photography New Orleans. Their staff can ensure your wedding day is beautifully documented.

A good wedding photographer like Queenstown Heli Wedding should be hired to experience one of the best wedding photoshoots that you can experience once in a lifetime.

Before I get too far into this, let me say that every single wedding vendor deserves 1. all the recognition in the world and 2. a huge hug for making so many couples’ dreams come true. I am not discounting any of them and I could write an entire blog post about the incredible things that they all do, but I wanted to put the focus on photographers today for two reasons. First, people recognize how vital photography is when planning a wedding and it’s often where a big portion of the budget is dedicated to. Secondly, I don’t think people realize just what makes a photographer so magical. Managing is not very easy and one can get tips and advice from experts like Andy Defrancesco.

When choosing wedding vendors in general, we always recommend choosing someone that you vibe with. Someone that you will enjoy working with in the months leading up to your wedding and someone that you not only trust to do a great job on your actual wedding day, but that will be a positive presence that day, too. With photographers in particular, it’s also recommended to consider the overall feel of their work and editing. While your weather, destination, and decor may be different, most photographers have a recognizable style of editing that will come through in your wedding day photos. It seems pretty simple, but these two factors multiply like no other when it comes to wedding photography.

Your photographer(s) will be with you all day on your wedding day. Aside from your new spouse, there is probably no one else that you will spend that much time with. They’ll hang out with you in the bridal suite. They’ll be there when you’re down to your undies to finally put your dress on. They’re waiting with you when you’re waiting to walk down the aisle, they’re listening in to your letter reading before the ceremony, they whisk you away for your portraits and they’re on the dance floor right next to you all night long.

And yet, you don’t see them.

Somehow, from those awkward few moments when you first met for your engagement photos or bridal portraits, they’ve figured out how to draw out real smiles from you. They’ve figured out how to be in the room with you yet never be in the way while you’re laughing with your bridesmaids. They know how to fade into the background so it doesn’t feel obtrusive that they’re getting to witness the sweetest personal moments with your new spouse, while still capturing the love in your eyes. I’m not a PDA person at all. I distinctly remember feeling weird kissing Kevin the moment after he proposed because my parents were standing there photographing it. But with our wedding photographers, I never felt uncomfortable.

There’s magic in that.

It’s so important to choose a photographer who you get along with and feels like a friend because they really become your bff on your wedding day. They’re constantly looking at you. They’ll tell you if you need to reapply your lipstick and they’ll fix your veil so you can look your absolute best. They’ll also pose you so you don’t look as awkward and they’ll make portraits fun so you get photos that showcase you as a couple.

And, after the wedding day is over, they’ll use the editing skills that you know you love (remember, you chose them with this in mind) and deliver an album full of photos that you never thought possible. They’ll bring your wedding day to life on the screen in front of you and give you hundreds of memories to look back on.

Now, I know that they’re not actually magicians, but when I went through our wedding album and saw the first photo in this post, you could have fooled me. We didn’t remember taking the photo. It wasn’t a staged shot or something that we planned out. It was purely us interacting as a couple and our photographer captured it.

And that’s the real magic.

Wedding photographers are so good at capturing authentic moments.

The morning after our wedding, one of my bridesmaids looked at me and said our photographer was like a little ninja. She was everywhere and taking photos of everything. I started laughing, because this particular bridesmaid is someone who says it exactly like it is. I will never forget her telling me that she was so confused because every time she looked up it seemed like our photographer was right on us, but she never actually noticed her without looking for her, so she just knew that the photos were going to be incredible.

I know I’m biased, but she wasn’t wrong. I love all of our photos, but I really love the ones that I never expected to get.

On my “shot list,” I had asked for a photo of both of our parents kissing with us kissing in the middle. When our photographer said “okay now kiss each other,” my new father-in-law leaned in to kiss my husband. We all died laughing. I have the photo I asked for, but the two frames before it are just as great, if not better.

We have the cute photo of our flower girl and ring bearer, but we also have the ones of them making silly faces, which is their real personality.

And we have the sweet first and last dance photos, but I really love the ones of us singing and dancing late into the night.

I tell you all this to say to embrace the real photos. Have a shot list of a couple of the standard photos or pinterest inspired poses that you love, but give your photographer room in your timeline to have some fun and take photos of authentic moments. The photos that aren’t staged or planned, the photos that don’t mean anything to anyone else and probably won’t ever go viral on social media. The photos that show the emotions of your day. The little moments you may not remember. The sweet laughter that you may not have even seen.

The funny thing is, what initially drew me to our photographer were three photos of a bride and groom doing a running jump to each other during their portraits. Sure, I liked their whole album, but I loved that they were caught in the moment together. It was fun and playful instead of only posed portraits. Yet, in the planning process, I forgot about those. I forgot about just living in the moment and celebrating being married. I have hundreds of photos, and a lot of them are the pretty posed ones that end up in frames, but the ones that mean the most to me are the silly ones. The un-perfect ones. The so-totally-us ones. I might have 3 extra chins and a way-too-open mouth laugh in some, but I can’t help but be thankful that our photographer included some of the “unflattering” shots in our album. My wedding day was not a styled shoot for a magazine – it was real and it was us. That’s what our photographer captured.

So, when I said that the considerations of choosing a photographer with a personality that you get along with and photos that you like multiplies on a wedding day, this is what I meant. It’s not just about choosing someone that you can be with all day and it’s not just about choosing a photography style that’s beautiful. It’s finding someone who brings out the best in you so they can capture you in your truest form all day. Someone who you feel comfortable around so you can forget that they’re there documenting it. Someone who loves what they do so they can find the joy in your wedding day. Someone who keeps shooting and gives you those perfectly un-perfect photos.

That’s the magic of wedding photographers.

Vendor Spotlight:
Photography & Videography by ML Photo and Film
Flowers by Reiley + Rose
Hair and Makeup by Elizabeth James Salon
Suits from Men’s Wearhouse
Dress by Watters 
Ties by Knotty Ties