Most couples have never planned a wedding before (for 60% of couples, it’s their first marriage!), and thus are often learning off the cuff how the process of booking their vendors go. To make things more complicated, this is often a slightly different process for every vendor. To make sure you have all of the information you need, today I’m breaking down the four step process of how to work with me!
The first step of this process to work with me is to fill out my contact form with info like your dream place and time. There’s a couple large text boxes available for you to add in more information if you’d like to share it, but you’re welcome to keep your response minimal or empty if you’d like. They’re optional for a reason!
If you really have no idea where you would like to get married, that’s totally fine! (and honestly understandable, how are you supposed to choose??) You’re welcome to put in a general region or maybe even a whole state or country. Same thing with your date; if you have no idea when to get married, or just don’t care, you can leave that field blank. I can help you nail both of those details down later; at this stage in the process, it’s okay to be unsure about them.
2. Schedule a phone call
Once you send off your inquiry, I’ll get back to you so fast it’ll feel like *magic*. (you know, unless I’m catching up on sleep on a Wednesday morning — which I actually do sometimes –, then it will be slightly slower than *magic* speed.) One of the tidbits I’ll include in that email response is a link to my consult call calendar. You and your partner will choose a day and time that’s best for both of you to hop on the phone with me, and we’ll chat about all the things! These calls are usually around 30 minutes; I like to hear more about what type of wedding day you’re dreaming about, the photography needs you have, and any questions you might have.
The second reason I like chatting on the phone with a couple is to get to know them as humans, and for them to get to know me. In order to have the best working relationship possible, it’s really important for me and my couples to be aligned along our personalities!
3. Choose a package
After we get to know each other on a call, I’ll send over three package options, and you’ll choose the one that’s best for you two. These vary on price to accommodate a range of budgets, and different tiers include things like a second photographer, engagement session, and faster gallery deliveries (all of which is also available à la carte!). The other thing to note about these packages is that any and all travel fees are built in. You don’t have to worry about “shipping and handling” being added on at the end of checkout! The numbers you see on these options are the total amounts you’ll pay.
4. Officially book your date
After we’ve determined that we’re a mutual great fit and you choose a package, you’re in the final stretch of the booking process to work with me! In order for me to consider you locked into my calendar, I require a signed contract (with both of your signatures) and a non-refundable retainer payment of $500. This fee is non-refundable because it compensates me for reserving a specific date for you; in exchange, I turn away other inquiries/income for that date. Same concept with keeping a lawyer on retainer!
Signing a contract sounds kinda scary, but this is industry standard. So standard, in fact, that I would recommend questioning a vendor’s professionalism/credibility if they do not require one. In addition to my laid back, casual personality, I know by the time your wedding day rolls around, it’ll feel like we’re friends (it’s also entirely possible we’ll become *actual* friends!)– for those reasons the idea of a contract might feel stuffy and formal. But it’s an important stuffy and formal document! A contract is a fancy way of outlining all of my expectations and making sure we’re all on the same page so there aren’t any surprises down the road (four months later: “omg, she wants to do WHAT?!” just kidding, there really aren’t any crazy stipulations in my contract).
In addition to protecting me from the possibility of life going rogue on your end (not meeting said expectations in any way, cancelling, etc), it also protects you. In case life goes rogue on my end (not showing up to your session/wedding, not delivering images, etc), you have a legal course of action to take against me. Without a signed contract in place, you wouldn’t have those protections!
So there you have it, the four step process of how to work with me! I hope you found this helpful, and hope to see you on the other side of my camera soon! And in case that’s sooner rather than later, here’s the link again to get in touch. 😉