who to hire to make your dream wedding come to life
SOOOOO you’re getting MARRIED… the question was POPPED and you might have squealed YES… so now what?
After 8 years shooting wedding’s we have seen this time and time again… guess what you are not alone! The excitement settles (KIND OF) and you are now left with planning one of the biggest days of your lives! So where do you start?
OKAY, yes we are photographers, so why would we have any insight to this? You spend the majority of your day with us… (spoiler alert!) but it’s not just us who help you create the day you want to relive over and over again. It’s the collective of vendors that all come together and forge one hell of a combination of artistry that molds your thoughts and dreams into reality!
This my friend is why price shopping is out of the question for this core team of wedding professionals, and why finding those special people that make you breathe out a sigh of relief will be your top choices. These professionals collectively, will become your dream team and provide you with your dream wedding.
So where should you start? Really there is no particular order… we have found most couples secure their venue first, then go off their collections and see which wedding professional is included and which ones are not. The rest is up for you to decide but how do you know who to include and who you can maybe leave out? In no particular order we have compiled a list of 11 wedding professionals that we feel should be on your list of must have people to hire to bring your dream wedding to life!
1: muah – professional makeup and hair
This is one vendor that is overlooked and say they are hired about 50% of the time. While most brides are excellent at doing this themselves they have never ever tried doing this on one of the most nerve racking days of their life? Let me paint the picture… drink about 3 red bulls or 5 cups of strong coffee and go paint your face… DO IT (lol). During the getting ready part of your big day is the time when you shouldn’t do anything but sit and relax and let others do it for you!
“BUT MY BRIDESMAID IS A TOTAL MAKEUP QUEEN!”
This may be true and if you have a professional friend who can do this service, that’s awesome but think of like this… do you want that stress now on her or would you rather her enjoy the day along side of you? This is a BIG day for you… so her nerves might be calm and collected on the outside but she is slightly dying on the inside wanting to not MESS this up. I mean you’re only going to see her work in EVERY photo you take on that day!
Average Investment: $150 +
2: coordinator and planner
The tone of your day is set by the flow of events. I can’t stress this enough… if you try and handle all the things on your day it will affect you. I have seen even planners try and coordinate the day of their wedding, with details that only they can facilitate, and it’s STRESSFUL… so why not leave it to a professional and hire a Day of Coordinator to either help day of or hire a Wedding Planner, that you can plan your wedding day start to finish with.
Here we are interviewing a group of planners and day of coordinators to help bring you behind the scenes of what they do, and how they do it. Stay tuned, this is going to be good!
3: Dress + Tux Boutiques
When should you physically step inside a dress shop? WHENEVER YOUR HEART WANTS TO! Seriously though… there are so many times that this could be right for you, individually as a Bride or Groom to decide. Now depending on alterations some dress shops in Scottsdale Arizona recommend 6-9 months prior to the big day, so they can make sure your dress is ordered, custom made (if applicable) and or altered. You don’t want to be waiting until the last minute but also some couples, with shorter planning times may have to sacrifice the dress they want, for the one that can be ready in time. A lot of these boutiques have off the rack wedding dress specials, and some even hold special events for them. Check out “off the rack wedding dresses in Phoenix” to see when the next event is being held at a boutique near you.
4: Cake + Sweet Treats
Okay this is by far one of the most important vendor’s you will secure. What are you going to provide for your guests to end the night on a sweet note? We have seen some of the most gorgeous wedding cake designs to date. (UMMM hello to the beautiful cake below! We have also seen the most creative additions to weddings via none cake options; caramel covered apples, donut walls, and even mini treats all scattered on a table. Whatever your sweet tooth craves, prepare to have the dessert there that will blow your taste buds and have your guests dancing from sugar highs.
Most cake bakeries recommend 3-6 months prior to your wedding to meet for a wedding cake design session and cake tasting. If your cake vendor is included in your venue package, then you will be informed by the venue when to connect with your chosen vendor. If you want to add to the sweet tooth and bring your own additions, start planning… there are so many you an choose from!
Tell me did you walk barbie down the aisle toward her perfectly half dressed Ken doll, to the sounds of the prelude to the Wedding March? Nope just me,? Ha well I’ll tell you this … I dreamed up… the entire thing, the aisle way, the white dress, and even the blonde plastic hunk that would be waiting for me at the end of it all. My dad would tear up, and hold tight to my arm as he was asked “Who gives this women away today..?” In the matter of a poof that dream turned into reality and I was facing my decision of how I wanted to say I Do…!
So here’s the thing… when choosing where you will get married, decide on these things. Do you want an all inclusive resort with all your vendors included (minus some), do you want the freedom to bring in all your vendors and just rent out the space, or do you want to throw on those boots or take off the sandals and find yourself off the grid with no one in sight but the two of you? this my friend is going to be your VENUE.. those choices will alter the direction you choose.
We have been honored to shoot at some of these best locations and venues! We have complied some of our favorites and will continue to add onto the list. Tap the link below to view the full list!
Elegant chic, desert glam, simplistic and simple… there are so many types of wedding flowers. When you think of your wedding flowers, think of this… they will be in your photos, their colors will add to your day, and even the most simplistic decor that boasts these beauties will add a special element to your wedding photography. Flowers can come at a sticker shock so really work out what your must haves are for the day. Some details we see where wedding flowers are added:
Entry Way Signs
Lining the aisle
Reception Center Pieces
Typical meeting time frame is 6-8 months prior to your wedding, if it’s a shorter planned wedding that 2-4 months is key.
Having someone come in and record your day so you can watch the memories unfold with motion can be an added bonus. If this is a must choose a videographer that will work with your photographers. We have been blessed to mainly work with videographers that follow our lead and know what footage they need to capture. When you work with someone due to budget constraints make sure you communicate with them to not get in the way of your photographer. A good team will know how to give and take time to capture what needs to support the entire day without being in each others frame. Now video may be extremely important to you, or it might just be an added bonus, don’t let the added bonus take away from memories that can’t be duplicated, after all once everything is said and done these are the memories you will have left to look at.
Average video is $2000 plus that we have worked with, and this is someone who is good! So think about that when adding it to your wedding budget!
8: Invitation Suites + Paper Goods
Every wedding either has one or 100+ guests right? So how are you planning on inviting your party guests? WE love invitations suites, they can be as simple as this one below it was a one pager that folded up into a postcard size letter, that then was stamped and sent off.. talk about saving paper! Or we have seen where there are seven components planning out the whole evening on tiny little cards for their guests. Whichever way you go here is my ADVICE… Keep a set for your photographer! So many times we show up, and take these beauties with all the details that the bride will use while she gets ready. It’s a great memory piece to look at, especially when the cards aren’t in great shape years down the road.
There are so many ways to go about creating your wedding invitations, you can hire a professional designer, or you can use self service websites like minted.com. Either way you go, these little pieces of paper will add so much to your wedding photography!
9: Rental Companies
Did you know you can totally turn any space into a venue with the proper support. Cloth and Flame is a big company that can transform and create the wedding of your dreams anywhere. Using a company that provides rentals, can add to that space as well. Wanting to add the detail into your decor, and not just a regular round table… farm tables and hairpin tables are so in right now, having your guests gather in longer settings more surrounded in conversation, and just having a party. These are options that can be supported… don’t hesitate to look into these companies if you need the support on your day with decor and seating arangements.
10: Dj’s + Entertainment
The most silently anticipated moment, during your wedding is “will guests get up and dance?” I will tell you over the years and countless number of weddings we have seen the Dj and entertainment add to this anticipation or take from it. Hiring yourself a wedding DJ that will reflect your personality and either get your guests onto the dance floor or find ways to entertain them the whole night will set the tone of your wedding reception.
A new trends we are witnessing right before our eyes are MC’s these Djs are entertainment packages bursting with energy and games that keep your guests focused and filled with laughter. Gone are the traditions of stand up, and sit down, watch this dance, and hear this speech… now you see.. scavenger hunts, dance offs, signing contests, photo contests, anniversary celebrations, and much much more.
May venues have your dining included in your package. Your food tasting will set the stage for the flavors your guests will experience that night. Think of it like this, it’s one big family dinner… a lot of people eating. Having food passed around during cocktail hour is a way to feed your guests while they wait on you to take pictures for the first time as husband and wife.
So many people are living with food allergies these days, working with your caterer upfront to see how they will support this will help you when you get those RSVP’s returned asking for dietary restrictions. Some of the more popular dining experiences we have seen are plated diners and buffet style served by the caterers staff. Either way choose food you want to enjoy on your wedding day as well. This will most likely be the first time you eat all day!
MEET THE TEAM
MARRIED HEAD PHOTOGRAPHERS Dana and Joe, have compiled an epic photography team, that captures life, love and adventure full time. Calling Phoenix Arizona home, we stay busy capturing love stories, while venturing out to epic locations, doing whatever it takes to get “the shot”, and always saying YES to adventure.
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tell us about your day!
After we collect a few short details of what you are dreaming up, we will reach out to get everything started. We take on a maximum of 10 wedding per year.
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