One of the first things you might experience as you begin planning your wedding is price shock. What makes a bride’s bouquet cost $300? Is it normal to pay $8 per table runner to rent them? And with all the DIY wedding projects on Pinterest, it’s tempting to think it would be easier and cheaper to do it yourself.
Without having previous experience or industry knowledge, it can be hard to understand what makes weddings such an investment. But as you’re determining wedding vendor prices, there are many factors to consider. You have to think about things like:
Benefits of Hiring Professional Wedding Vendors
One of the most important factors to consider about hiring wedding professionals is that you get access to their expertise and experience. These professionals can listen to your vision and help you figure out how to achieve your wedding on your budget. They know the ins and outs of the industry, they know what works and what doesn’t. These wedding vendors have done things enough times to know it’s not always faster, cheaper or realistic to do projects yourself.
I get that weddings are a big investment. There are many details to think about and each one should be factored into your budget. It’s important for you to understand the benefits of hiring wedding professionals to assist you on your wedding day. This ensures you have an appropriate budget set up in order to have your dream wedding.
Importance of Hiring a Wedding Photographer
One of the first things on your to do list after you get engaged should be to find a wedding photographer. But why is hiring a professional wedding photographer important? Your wedding photographs are one of the few things you’ll be able to enjoy for years to come.
Today, I’m thrilled to have Callie of Callie Manion Photography on the blog to talk about all things wedding photography. Let’s get started, shall we?
01. Tell me a little about you and the story behind Callie Manion Photography.
I started my photography business about 6 years ago, but before that I was a photographer. It’s always been my passion and turning it into a business after my first daughter was born made sense. It was a way to transition into motherhood and being able to have something that was just for me. I started out photographing families, but found my niche in the wedding industry. I love working with engaged couples. Developing a lasting relationship with them leads to a smooth and successful wedding day.
Since starting my wedding photography business, I’ve made three cross-country moves. I have transitioned my business into each new market, and added destination clients. I love to travel and often travel for my couples!
Photography is my number one passion. I love being able to hand over beautiful curated images that tell the story of a bride and groom’s wedding day. These images are heirlooms that they will have to look through and treasure as their life together develops.
02. What got you started doing wedding photography?
The first couple I worked with was my younger brother and his fiancé. After he proposed, I shot their engagement portraits and realized the enjoyment I got from working with couples in love! After that one experience, I switched from focusing on family photography to marketing to the wedding industry. It took about a year to make the full transition into being a wedding photographer. Though I photograph families on occasion (and love it!), my primary niche is weddings and working with engaged couples.
03. What’s your favorite part about weddings?
The love! As corny as it may sound, I’m a sucker for love stories. Each one is different and each couple expresses their love to each other in different ways. I absolutely love being able to see this up close. I feel lucky that my sweet couples allow me to come into a private time in their lives. That they allow me the opportunity to capture these romantic moments with each other.
As their wedding photographer, I’m the first (and sometimes only) one to see these moments. The secret hand-holds, the knowing glances, and the romantic way a groom will look at his bride. (Hiring a professional wedding photographer means you’ll have these moments forever captured on film. Plus, it’ll be less awkward than if your uncle was photographing it.)
It’s such an incredible thing to experience at weddings. I never get tired of it! I love weddings because I love strong marriages and I love love. It’s as simple as that!
04. Why do you think hiring a professional wedding photographer is important?
The old saying, “you get what you pay for”, is especially true when it comes to photography. Hiring a professional wedding photographer may seem like a large investment. And it’s just that-an investment. A couples’ wedding photos are one of the few things they’ll walk away with from their wedding. After all the time and money they spend planning their wedding, it’s important to invest in great photography to capture it all!
05. What are the benefits of hiring a professional photographer versus having a friend or family who owns a camera take your photos?
Hiring a professional photographer means you get professional grade images, but you get the experience of a professional. Most brides are planning a wedding for the first time. They aren’t familiar with how to make many of the decisions when it comes to planning, timing, lighting, etc. of their wedding day. (If you choose a natural light photographer, you want to make sure you take your photos while the sun’s out. Not taking having the light, airy photos you want because of timing issues can be avoided.)
That’s where a professional comes in! We’re the experts who can advise brides because we’ve seen it all before. We know from experience what works and what doesn’t work. This information and experience, paired alongside photography skills that have taken years to develop, are invaluable!
06. What is your process after a bride contacts you?
I get in touch either by phone or by email and let them know if I’m available on their wedding day. If I have their date open, I begin the conversation by providing more information about myself, my business, and my services. After that I schedule a meeting or phone consultation. We’ll dive deeper so I can learn more about their wedding and their specific needs.
At this point, we’ll create a custom collection. After the phone call, I send over the contract and the invoice. Once a bride signs and pays the retainer, we’re all set and their date is booked! Then we get to the fun stuff. We start planning the engagement session. I send over some helpful advice for planning her wedding. I like to keep in touch with my brides throughout their engagement. This keeps us on the same page and helps my couples from feeling overwhelmed at the end!
07. What’s one piece of advice you would offer brides?
Make your wedding special, unique to you and your relationship. Let it be about you! For example, I have many couples book with me who love to travel. We try to emphasize this by doing either a destination wedding or engagement session. It’s more meaningful to them. They get to spend time together in a new or favorite place and have gorgeous images to capture it!
08. If you aren’t shooting gorgeous wedding photos, what do you like to do?
I’m a mom to two and a third on the way! I’m always busy doing things with my little family. My kids are young and life is sometimes chaotic, but in the best way. I love spending time with them on day outings or weekend adventures, and watching them discover and learn new things.
My husband and I love to travel without kids. If we aren’t currently on a trip, then we’re planning for the next one! We’ve found this to be key in our marriage. It helps strengthen our bond as “mom and dad” and as husband and wife.
Benefits of Hiring a Wedding Photographer
The benefits of hiring a wedding photographer goes beyond having beautiful photos. It means having a professional by your side who will capture every expected (and unexpected!) moment without you having to worry about it. It means taking advantage of their knowledge and experience to ensure you end up with photos that will last a lifetime.
Thank you, Callie for sharing your insight about the benefits of hiring a professional wedding photographer! Callie is an amazing, talented fine art photographer and does a gorgeous job of capturing love stories on film. She has a true gift for giving her couples heirloom photos that can share with future generations.
Photo Credits (listed in the order they appear in the blog post)
1. Photography: Callie Manion Photography | Film Lab: PhotoVision Prints | Planning & Design: Meggie Fransisco | Florals: The Flower Del | Hair & Makeup: Jackie Soriano | Dress: Louvienne | Dress Retailer: Lovely Bride | Venue: Kimpton Seafire Resort
2. Photography: Callie Manion Photography | Film Lab: PhotoVision Prints | Planning & Design: Ivory & Vine Event Co | Florals: Everly Alaine Florals | Invitation: Minted | Calligraphy: Scribbles & Swirls | Venue: The White Sparrow
4. Photography: Callie Manion Photography | Film Lab: PhotoVision Prints | Planning & Design: Ivory & Vine Event Co | Florals: Everly Alaine Florals | Invitation: Minted | Calligraphy: Scribbles & Swirls | Venue: The White Sparrow
6. Photography: Callie Manion Photography | Film Lab: PhotoVision Prints | Planning & Design: Lindsey Brunk | Florals: Pollen | Bride’s Dress: Olvi’s | Bridesmaids Dresses: Adrianna Papell | Venue: The White Sparrow | Hair & Makeup: Casey Cutz
8. Photography: Callie Manion Photography | Film Lab: PhotoVision Prints | Planning & Design: Lindsey Brunk | Florals: Pollen | Bride’s Dress: Olvi’s | Bridesmaids Dresses: Adrianna Papell | Venue: The White Sparrow | Hair & Makeup: Casey Cutz
10. Photography: Callie Manion Photography | Film Lab: PhotoVision Prints | Planning & Design: Lindsey Brunk | Florals: Pollen | Bride’s Dress: Olvi’s | Bridesmaids Dresses: Adrianna Papell | Venue: The White Sparrow | Hair & Makeup: Casey Cutz
11. Photography: Callie Manion Photography | Film Lab: PhotoVision Prints | Planning & Design: Ivory & Vine Event Co | Florals: Everly Alaine Florals | Invitation: Minted | Calligraphy: Scribbles & Swirls | Venue: The White Sparrow