((Writing from 1 year before our wedding, portraits from our wedding day))
It's not easy trying to find "the perfect" wedding vendors, ESPECIALLY when you're having a destination wedding. Being a former wedding photographer myself, I knew some of the questions to ask and things that were important to me.
Main ones being:
- The Family Portraits
We will never have this group of loved ones together again. The photos we take with our families and friends are beyond priceless and we need someone who does a good job directing people and who will focus on both the posed and candid portraits. Detail shots, while pretty are absolutely not a priority for me. The connections and love we feel for all of our guests is paramount.
- Be able to also shoot in the evening, with more limited light aka, they should know how to work an external light if needed.
On our wedding day the sun won't set until after 10pm, there will be tons of natural light to play with, but during the speeches etc, I don't want someone who just gets a ton of blurry and grainy photos because they don't know how to use ambient light or flash. I realize this is technical and that you can get amazing stuff with just ambient light if you know how to use it, but I want the option to be there for external light. And if my photographer uses the flash, it won't look like we are in a dark cave because they don't know how to balance ambient light and flash.
- We need to connect. Our photographers are going to be there in and out all the time on our wedding day. We need to be able to hold a conversation for more than a few minutes and about more than just our wedding. If they can fit in with me, they can fit in with my family and Pyk's family (which is so important! I don't want awkward portraits!)
When I started looking for our wedding photographers (Pyk left this totally up to me. I believe he said, "Babe, you're the professional!". Thanks love.) I was totally lost. I knew a bunch of photographers here in Paris but the ones that fit my style didn't speak both French and English, so then I started looking all over France, in Bordeaux, on French wedding blogs like La Mariée aux Pieds Nus and French Wedding Style. Honestly, I didn't find any that totally spoke to me. I asked one of my girlfriends here in Paris, to see a few full weddings but in the end decided not to go with her. While her work is absolutely breathtaking, it didn't have the focus on family portraits that I was looking for.
Many brides are super detail conscious and LOVE detail photos, they want the pinterest shots. Me? I honestly cannot be bothered if a photographer knows how to set up the perfect invite suite with ribbons and a spring of baby's breath, I care if they're getting moments of the people who I absolutely LOVE who are at our wedding. It took me a bit of time and research to realize that this was what I wanted for our wedding.
You need to really think about what you want, in the whirlwind of newly engaged-ness it's easy to look at what other have and think, "oh that's beautiful we should have that." When in the end, it's beautiful, yes, but not the right fit.
I began asking around my friend group in the industry in Paris and three of them pointed me in our wedding photographer's direction. They had all worked with them in some capacity and couldn't say enough good things. So I sent over an email and after a bit of back and forth we set up a time to meet! I had already looked through their packages and chose but I wanted to meet them in person. I needed to know that we could have a conversation about something other than our wedding. If they're hanging with us for 8-12 hours on the big day, we'd better be comfortable with each other!
Spoiler alert! It went great! Their work is what really drew me in as I couldn't get too much of a vibe on their personalities through their social media. They are both super duper laid back (it's a husband and wife team!) and had a ton of great ideas to share. We talked a lot about rugby because they are based in New Zealand (but come to France every summer!) and because that's Pyk favorite subject other than our cat.
And now, they're booked! Phew! A HUGE stress off my to do list! Honestly, wedding planning isn't so stressful other than when you can't find a vendor. It was SO SO frustrating because I KNEW someone right was out there for us, I just could not find them.
In lieu of this epic search and find, I've put together a lovely little guide on how and where to look for your perfect wedding photographer. AND when you find your wedding photographer soul mate, 10 questions to ask them!
Click HERE to get it in our VIP space!!