All Your Questions Answered : March Edition

Thank you to everyone who submitted questions last week via email, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook!  I loved reading your responses and am excited to be able to help.  

Wedding planning can be overwhelming and confusing at times, but with the right information it will all start to make sense and can even be pretty fun.  I absolutely loved planning my wedding, and the fact that my job centers around one of the most exciting days of human existence makes me pretty happy.  I want everyone to have the best wedding experience possible, a) because a happy wedding is one beautiful thing to photograph and b) because I loved my experience and I want to share that love with you.

So let’s get right down to it.  

Q: Do we need a second photographer?

A: There are a few things I would consider when trying to decide whether or not to hire a second photographer.  

First off, are you doing a first look?  If the answer is yes, then having a second photographer means you will be able to capture the first look from both the bride’s perspective as well as the groom’s.  If you only have one, you will only be able to get one perspective.  I haven’t figured out to be in two places at once. ;)

If you are not planning on doing a first look, and you want the initial look to be the moment you walk down the aisle, then I’d say yes, absolutely hire that second photographer.  If I’m flying solo, I obviously won’t be able to get the first look from both of you and my focus will be on the bride.  I will capture everything, but I just can’t get both perspectives simultaneously.

A second photographer will give you another angle, and if we are pressed for time, the second photographer is an awesome tool to ensure you still get a lot of images in a shorter time span.  

You can’t redo your wedding day, so if you are on the fence regarding hiring a second photographer, I would say go for it.  Especially if photography is something you and your fiance listed in your Top Five.

Q: What is raw footage?  Should we get just the raw footage from the videographer or just the trailer?  

A: So raw footage is all of the footage the videographer has from your wedding day, not just the stuff he edited and included in your trailer.

To be perfectly honest, I love the raw footage from my wedding just as much as the trailer.  Hiring a videographer is a perfect compliment to the documentation photography provides.  Photography documents every second and every last detail of the day in a beautiful, still, displayable art form, whereas videography documents the movement and sounds from the day.  I love that in the raw footage from my ceremony, I can hear the river rushing behind us.  I love that I can hear Matt laughing during our best man’s speech.  I love watching not just what is happening as the focus in the frame, but also the people moving in the background.  I love the moments that didn’t make the cut, moments that may seem insignificant for the videographer to include in our trailer, but are so significant to me.  

When we got our raw footage, we watched ALL OF IT in one night.  My heart felt so full recounting the moments from that day, and I am so happy I will be able to revisit it forever.

Q: What’s better?  A band or a DJ?

A:  I’d say this one is totally preference.  It depends on what you are into.

A band will be more costly because it is live performers, however you choose a live band because it has an entirely different energy than a DJ.  There are people on stage playing music and interacting with your guests on the dance floor.  A good band can really make a party come alive.

A DJ gives you a lot more flexibility if you want to include a wide array of genres into your dance floor playlist.  There really aren’t any limits when it comes to the type of music you are able to play.  

Really, you can’t go wrong with either.  I’d say just be sure to do your research and hire a quality band or DJ.  A great one will make the party, a bad one can break it.

Q: My sister is really good at doing hair, she should be fine doing everyone’s hair the day of the wedding...right?

A:  Ummmm… you hate your sister?

If the answer is no, then don’t do that to her.  Your sister wants to celebrate with you, not stress out over getting everyone’s hair done and perfect before pictures.  Also, the pressure that comes with doing the bride’s hair is pretty heavy.  I know what you’re thinking, “But I’m so laid back, there wouldn’t be any pressure!”  


Even if your sister is a professional, get her to recommend someone else and hire them.  In the grand scheme of wedding expenses, hiring a professional hair stylist to either come to you or for you go to them is WORTH EVERY PENNY.

Q: Why should we hire a wedding coordinator?  My aunt is really organized and she offered to help, but the venue coordinator said we should really consider a professional.  What do you think?

A:  I think you should listen to the venue coordinator because as organized as your aunt is, she’s not a pro.  And professional wedding coordinators can be total life savers.

A giant misconception is that the coordinator only takes care of the day of the wedding when, in fact, the coordinator is working one to sometimes two weeks before your wedding.  They work to coordinate with the vendors and the venue to make sure everything will go according to plan on your wedding day.

Let’s face it.  There are hiccups on the wedding day.  Some issues are larger than others, but there is always some problem that arises.  And that’s where your coordinator swoops in to save the day.  Check out this post where I interviewed my sister, a Chicago wedding coordinator, on how she works to bring your day to life.

Q: How long before we can expect to get our pictures back?

A:  Are you getting married in February?  If not, please keep in mind that many photographers are shooting multiple weddings a weekend during wedding season, and while they want to get you your images ASAP, they care more about doing an amazing job.  Every photographer is different, so if you need the pictures before a certain deadline, definitely ask them this question during your consultation.

Q: How do you politely demote one of your bridesmaids to wedding guest?


You don’t?

There’s no real polite way to demote a bridesmaid and still remain friends afterwards.  However, if a bridesmaid’s offenses are so bad that you are thinking about asking her to step down, then maybe she isn’t a friend you would like to keep around anyway.

But, if your demotion is based on a comment she made about the color of the bridesmaid dress, you may want to grow a little thicker skin because everyone will have an opinion about every choice you make during your wedding planning process, and you can’t let it get you down, girl!

Q: I want to do Evites instead of traditional wedding invites, but I am getting tons of push back from everyone.  Suggestions please!

A:  You do you.  Like I said above-literally everyone and their brother (who wasn’t even invited, so why does he care anyway?!) is going to have an opinion about the choices you make regarding your wedding, and if you’re really lucky, they will be sure to share those opinions with you.

I think Evites are awesome, and you can get really creative and have as many colors and designs as you want without worrying about them costing a fortune.  Especially if invites weren’t in your Top Five, I’m all about utilizing technology and saving trees.

Q: We don’t really love being in front of the camera.  We are pretty awkward people.  Is an engagement session a must?

A: Not a must, but HIGHLY recommended for those who feel uncomfortable in front of the camera.

Hear me out-the only way to overcome a fear is to face it, and while getting your picture taken isn’t nearly as scary as haunted houses or public speaking, the more you publicly speak, the less terrifying it becomes to hear your voice in a room full of strangers.  

Also, one of my business superpowers is making you feel comfortable.  Being in front of the camera is not my happy place either, so I get it.  It makes me really good at sympathizing with you and knowing what kind of direction to give you that will make you feel at ease.  I’ll talk you through what I am thinking for your session before it starts, and I may take you to grab a drink beforehand if it seems like that may help.  Having an engagement session allows you to get to know me as a sort of dress rehearsal for your wedding day.  It may take a sec to warm up during your engagement session, but once you get over the initial discomfort, you will be good to go for your wedding day.  You will even have fun.  And that’s what we’re going for.