When we first started our business 6 years ago I believed that booking your venue first was the best way to go, and I still do. However, I have also learned that when a bride sets her mind on the photographers she wants to use – everything else comes second. And I totally get it! I am right there with you.
I can remember Brandon and I planning our wedding, before we even had our date selected I was perusing the internet checking out wedding photos. I was looking for ideas and inspiration. I often caught myself daydreaming away a entire Saturday looking through hundreds of photos. During this time I was also noticing what type of photography I gravitated towards. I began checking out specific photographers and before I knew it I had fallen in love with two wedding photographer’s blogs. So essentially I was already narring down our photographers.
Fast forward to owing our own business, about 2 years into this amazing journey of photography we began to receive emails and phone calls from brides who had not booked their date and venue yet but new 100% that they wanted us to be their photographers. They wanted to know what to do to make sure it happened.
Here are 8 steps to ensure your wedding date + venue line up with booking your dream photographers:
1. Start planning a year out. The earlier the better – both venues and photographers book up quickly.
2. Narrow down your wedding date to 3 days + your venue selection to two.
3. Reach out to the photographers you want to use and explain that you want them to document your beautiful day. Inform them that you have not yet nailed down your venue and date as of yet, however, you do have your date narrowed down to three dates depending on the venue and their availability. (wedding dates often change due to venue availability)
4. Set up a consultation with your photographer, state your three dates and ask the photographer if any of those dates are already taken. Depending on their availability, it may help to narrow your dates down even more.
5. Get all the info you need in order to book your photographers right after you have your venue booked. We offer the option of a $500 deposit to hold your wedding day once you have your venue booked.
6. Once you have this info visit your two venues and select the venue you love the most. Follow this by checking their availability for wedding dates.
7. This step is key – once you have the venue selected and the date – right before you sign with the venue step out of the office and call your photographer. Make sure the date you are about to book your venue on is available.
8. Follow up your venue booking by securing your photographer immediately after with a deposit to hold your wedding day.