Working with RMP – What to Expect
I think one of the hardest things about wedding planning is unless you've recently been involved in a friends' or family members' wedding planning, you don't know what you don't know. You don't know what questions to ask when you are hiring a photographer or a florist, or any of the other dozens of vendors you've never even thought about hiring before because you've never done this before. People keep asking you all sorts of questions, expecting you to have opinions, but you've never even thought about half of this stuff before! What the heck is a chivari chair anyway? Are those the pretty ones or the uncomfortable ones?
One of the biggest (forgotten) differences I find when comparing photographers is the service experience you'll receive. Do you want to work with someone who is going to be incredibly hands-on and reaching out to you in advance or do you want someone who will wait to hear from you? Do you want to take on the bulk of the work, planning shoots and picking photos that work well for Save the Dates and your album? Or do you want your photographer to take as much work off of your shoulders as possible? Aside from liking the photographer's work, this experience side of things is one of the biggest things to consider when hiring your wedding photographer.
In the spirit of taking away a bit of the mystery (while keeping a few of our fun surprises secret), here's a loose timeline of what you can expect after you reserve your wedding date with Rebecca Marie Photography:
Your Engagement Session
We don't require specific timing for your engagement session, so depending on when you book, this may happen right away or it may happen a couple of months later. If we don't hear from you within 2 months after booking your wedding date, we'll reach out to get the ball rolling on planning your engagement session, so you don't have to worry about it. (Spoiler alert: All that follows is about taking work off your shoulders). Engagement sessions can take place anywhere you like and we definitely encourage our couples to get creative here. Now is the time to take advantage of doing something you might otherwise not have time for on the wedding day. We've traveled as close as New Orleans or Michigan for engagement sessions or as far as Paris. Don't hold back!
Logistics to keep in mind when planning your engagement photos:
-While we don't have parameters on when your engagement session takes place, we do typically have to plan it on a weekday, given that most of our couple's weddings and events are taking place on the weekend.
-We do suggest having your engagement session take place no less than 3 months before your wedding day. This way you can relax and enjoy yourselves without feeling like it's just another item you have to check off the list.
-Photos are ready within 2 weeks of your engagement session date.
-Worried about what to wear? Click over to this post for our quick and easy perfect outfit formula.
Preparing for the Big Day
3 months before your wedding day we'll reach out with a couple of handy questionnaires. These are meant to be used as worksheets as we know you might not have absolutely every single detail finished yet, but they will help spark some ideas and final discussions to have together and with family. One questionnaire will help walk you through what formal group portraits you (and your parents!) would like captured. From your answers to this questionnaire, we will compile your portrait schedule that is sure to keep things moving efficiently. We know you want to spend as little time taking posed photos as possible, but at the same time, when else are all of these people in one room? 2 weeks later, we'll have a phone call to go over these questionnaires and help with any final timeline planning and questions. There is a big difference between what you can do on the wedding day versus what you can enjoy doing on the wedding day. We'll focus on a timeline that emphasizes the latter, obviously.
Logistics to keep in mind when finalizing your wedding day timeline:
-We know you want family formals to go as quickly as possible, but we still have to be realistic. Assume a rough average of 5 minutes per every group photo you'd like. We typically suggest 2 hours for all of your portraits. That winds up being approximately 30 minutes for the two of you alone, 45 minutes for your wedding party and 45 minutes for family. It's a short enough time to keep everyone focused but also long enough that if things get a bit emotional when your grandma sees you for the first time, we don't need to rush you through that precious moment.
-Does everyone keep telling you to "be sure to soak it in, because it will go by so fast"? Click over to this blog post for some real, tangible solutions on how to actually remember your wedding day.
1 month before your wedding day we'll check in again to make sure nothing has changed since our last phone call. At this time, we'll also reach out to your vendor team to learn about any special details you've planned with them in order to make sure everything is documented properly. We also highly encourage you to share our contact information with mom, dad or Aunt Sue if they have their own questions or concerns about photos. Everyone has their own list of important photos they want to make sure they receive and you don't need to be the middle-person coordinating all of that. We can plan for as many group photos as Mom might want, just as long as we know in advance.
Logistics to keep in mind:
-Unless otherwise requested, we do not typically photograph the traditional "table shots." Unfortunately, these tend to interrupt your catering team's ability to serve dinner and we want to make sure your party flows as smoothly as possible. This is why there are a few open-ended questions on that portrait questionnaire (see above) about specific important groups of people that may not otherwise be photographed during family photos.
-There may be group photos that parents want to be photographed that you don't necessarily have to be a part of. Think of groups like your dad and all his siblings or neighborhood friends. If we know about these ahead of time, we can be sure to plan to photograph them before guests get sweaty from all their dance floor moves.
-This is also when we will set the date of your Ordering Party!!! This party happens no more than 6 weeks after your wedding and it's when you'll see all of your photos for the first time! Having this date on the calendar before the wedding means when everyone starts asking you at brunch the day after, you can tell them the exact date all of your photos will be ready! #winning
The Wedding Day
Relax and focus on enjoying yourself. Alongside your planner, we'll keep track of time and make sure everything runs smoothly. You shouldn't be worrying about anything except greeting your guests and soaking in each precious moment. This is going to be amazing!
One Week After
This is where I'm going to be purposefully ambiguous because we don't want to ruin all the surprises. You can rest easy knowing that we'll be posting preview photos and surprising you with sneak peeks between now and your Ordering Party.
Six Weeks After
Your photos are ready! You'll know the exact date you will see all of your photos before the wedding day even happens because we've already set the date for this party a month before the wedding. We'll either get together in person or have a virtual hangout and relive the day together. During this party, you'll also finalize your wedding album in about an hour, thanks to our super simple process. Second, only to the wedding day itself, this is the most fun day!
Your 3-Month Anniversary
By this time you'll have our wedding album in your hands and loved ones will be gushing over all the memories. Your online gallery will have already been shared with guests and you'll be rockin' that #spousestatus.
There are so many more details we could have included, but if you've gotten this far, you've already read a novel! If you still have more questions, let's jump on a quick phone call! Click here to contact us and we'll keep the ball rolling.