If I have said it once, I've said it a thousand time. Planning a wedding is not for the faint hearted. However, I am hoping I can simplify at least one element of your wedding co-ordination by giving you a few suggestions on How to book a wedding photographer.
Before you get ready to contact a wedding photographer I recommend taking a peek at "How to choose your wedding photographer" to get you in the right frame of mind and prepared.
When first getting in touch, your timing is worth thinking about. while we wedding photographers are happy to answer questions and schedule a consultation at any stage of your planning, the whole process is a lot easier if you already have these elements confirmed: The venue/ceremony date and times. Permission for photography to take place. There isn't much a wedding photographer can do for you before you have a date and that is because you don't know if they will be available for that day.
However you decide to get in touch, whether it be email, WhatsApp, Calling or DMing. I recommend having a few bits of information prepped and ready to give.
Information you should provide upon first contact
The Date. The Location. A rough Idea of how long you would like to hire them.
Here is an example of an email and the reply you are likely to receive:
Pretty straight forward right? Giving this information automatically puts you and the Wedding Photographer on the same wavelength and takes up a minimal amount of your energy. If the photography isn't available you'll know straight away and won't waste any of your time. If that is the case there is a good chance that they will reply with a list of recommendations of photographers with similar styles, you not feel free to ask them for a recommendation list if you don't know where to go next and of course a thank you is always nice.
So you've found an available wedding photographer, what do you do next? Look over the prices and make sure they fit your budget, if they don't, politely respond thanking them for their time and let them know you that they unfortunately aren't suitble.
If you are liking the look of this photographer and have read my previous blog posts you'll know what I'm going to say you need to do next... Book a consultation. Can you organinse your wedding photography all via email? Sure. Do I recommend it? No and honestly in a world with video call there is very little excuses not too. I have and will always recommend booking a consultation with anyone you are seriously considering hiring to capturer one of the biggest days of your life. You should meet any serious candidate for the simple fact that you may not "click" with them. You and your partner need to feel like you're in safe hands and at ease. This will eliminate a lot of your wedding photography worries and often is what helps you make your final decision.
Once you have chosen your photographer, let them know and be ready to pay a deposit. At Beadie Productions I request a 40% non-refundable deposit, this is the standard within the industry. I then give you till four weeks to your wedding to pay the remaining amount, this can be in instalments or as a whole (however you feel is best for you). This may vary for supplier to supplier. NOTE!: Please understand that until you pay the deposit you haven't hired anyone and up until that point another couple could hirer them on your date.
Most wedding photographers will also request that you sign a contract. This such includes all the terms and conditions and important dates. Congratulations you have a Wedding Photographer!