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37 QUESTIONS TO ASK A PHOTOGRAPHER
Sweet Beginning, Engagement, & Wedding Tips

A blog series to help every couple on their adventure to marriage.

By | Crystal Horton Photography

Mother's Tears of LoveMother's Tears of Love

So many photographers. So many options. So many qualities and prices and packages and availabilities; how do you choose? How do you shuffle through all the different options? How do you not get suffocated? Right now, you need to know that your wedding is important. It is special. This particular event, with these specific people, will never happen again. This is a one shot chance to capture all the memories of that day. If you are reading this, you know that you shouldn't trust your wedding photographs to just anyone. You understand that your wedding is worth every penny that you are putting into it. This blog will give you so much power. I want to help make sure that you don't get stuck with 'joe-bob or jane-doe' who simply bought an expensive camera and call themselves a 'photographer'.

When I was getting married, which feels like forever ago but was only 4 years, I was petrified to go to a wedding venue event. Everyone making a big deal out a big celebration that costs thousands of dollars and only lasts for a few hours! I remember opening the door to the duke energy center in downtown Cincinnati, going up the escalators, and into the giant room full of people wanting my money. My sister-in-law having won free tickets was very excited, and my mother-in-law couldn't wait to try all the free cake samples. Me on the other hand, I was so scared. I felt like I was a cash cow. Did any of these professional really care about me and my wedding? Do they really listen and care for what I want to look back at every year? So after walking through the door, I stuck the bride sticker on the pocket of my pants and allowed my shirt to hide it. I just wanted to be one of the women in the crowd. I became a chameleon and I was happy! My goal was to get ideas, maybe try cakes, but to observe photographers.

I was already looking at becoming a photographer myself, so my research on what made a good photographer was basically done, but I still needed to talk with a professional and get the real them. I wanted a passionate professional who would not know I was the bride, but would still treat me with the upmost respect. In honesty, this was the best thing ever because I quickly eliminated several "professionals" who pushed me away because they didn't see the name tag that said bride, mine was hidden for that exact reason.

I did find my photographer that day, and actually found two options. One had their entire staff booked for our wedding date, but thankfully the second still had one of their highly recommended photographers available. Both of the professionals answered my questions and really hit the hammer on the nail. Not because they knew what to say, but because when they said it, I could feel and see that they meant every word. They may have had passion in their art, but they also showed that they cared about 'my wedding' when they spoke to me.

P.S. both photographers had no idea I was the bride until I told them after the conversation. I originally told them I was helping gather information, which was true. I was helping gather information for my husband! *wink*wink*

So let's get down to it. What are the things you should be thinking about and asking professional photographers when on the hunt? This will help you separate the money makers from the passionate ones, and the mediocre from the top artists.

 

  1. Are you free for my wedding date? (no point in the hassle if they are busy.)
  2. Besides memories, what am I getting?
  3. Are you paying for just their time?
  4. Are you getting any photographs or albums with your purchase?
  5. What kind of customer service can you guarantee?
  6. Are you getting constant communications?
  7. Are you treated the same as a $1000 wedding if you'er only spending $200?
  8. Is photo enhancement important to you(the bride)?
  9. How much Enhancing or Editing is included in the price?
  10. How extreme is the enhancing?
  11. When I get a photograph, will I look plastic or like I have a heavy amount of makeup on?
  12. When enhancing my photos, if I get a giant volcanic crater of a pimple will it be removed from the photographs?
  13. How clear and understanding are the packages?
  14. Does the photographer have a website?
  15. Is the website clean?
  16. Does the website load fast?
  17. Is the website easy to navigate?
  18. Can you easily find the prices, portfolio, and contact information?
  19. Do you like the photographs? (Why would you pay more or less for photos you don't like?)
  20. Really look at the price with the photograph quality. If the engagement session is only $40, does the entire engagement session look like it's only worth $40? If the package is $120 does it look like it's worth $300? Always getting a better photograph for a lesser amount is better.
  21. Are there hidden fees?
  22. Do you pay extra for a CD/memory stick?
  23. Do you pay extra for a photo album?
  24. Do you have to pay extra for designing that photo album?
  25. Is there traveling costs?
  26. Are the photo prints printed on photographic, uva/uvb, fade resistant paper or just local walmart prints?
  27. Does their package price include taxes?
  28. Can you pay for an extra hour, or is 8hrs the max?
  29. How long have you been capturing photographs? Anyone in today’s world can go out buy a $1000 camera and say ‘ I’m a photographer’. That should scare you! Someone could take your money and capture dull, lifeless photos which you could have paid your uncle Larry to capture on his cell phone. This isn’t the most important question to ask because someone could be gifted with the photographer's eye, and basically take amazing photos of everything.
  30. Are the photographs unique or traditional or do they all look the same?
  31. Can you feel the emotion in the photograph?
  32. Can you CLEARLY see the photographer is passionate?
  33. Will teasers be uploaded to social media?
  34. How will I receive completed memories?
  35. What is the process after a photography sitting is over?
  36. Do you upload photography sittings in order, or as they are completed? This is a major note to make as a bride. A wedding photographer could capture over 1000 good images from your wedding, and that should take about 6-8 weeks for enhancing. HOWEVER a senior sitting may only get 80 images, and take only 2 weeks for enhancing. Don't be discouraged if they upload sittings as they are finished. It's not fair to the senior to have to wait 2 months for 80 photographs.
  37. Do you really want to skimp and "save money" on your wedding photographs? You might want to save money but do you really want to gamble that you are going to get mediocre stale mundane photos?

 

Your wedding is special. This event, with these people will only happen once. Your memories are priceless. Don't let just anyone capture photographs of your wedding. The last thing you want to do is hire a photographer just because they have a good price. Do you want to regret that decision for the rest of your life? Do you want to see bad photo every time you look at your wedding? Don’t set yourself up for failure.

Most of all don’t be afraid to ask questions. The more questions you ask the better chance you will have to get the photographer you want. You also increase the chances of getting photographs you will love. This is powerful knowledge, I'm giving to you. You should believe that the photographs of your wedding really don't have a price value! Your memories are priceless! Your memories should come to life every time you look back at them. Don’t gamble with your wedding day. Be 100% sure that your photographer is giving you their all, that you are getting the best you can get!

 

Questions to ask a Wedding Planner

Questions to ask a DJ

Questions to ask a Caterer

Questions to ask a Venue

- - - - - - - - - -   ~  - - - - - - - - - -

 

Check out Timeless Wedding Services here

 

Have a quick question: Click Email me HERE! and a new email should pop open.

 

Meet me HERE on my Personal About Page before you actually “meet me” or jump right to setting up a Free Coffee or Consolations Here since I only book 30 Weddings each year.

 

Desire to see why Bride & Groom’s recommend me. See these Reviews!

_______

Crystal Horton Photography

1729 Red Clover Dr., Lebanon, Ohio 45036 

937-550-3133

Crystal.Horton@CrystalHortonPhotography.com

Captivating Wedding Photography in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Ohio Tristate

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Booking Wedding Vendors During Covid-19 https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2021/7/booking-wedding-vendors-during-covid-19 HOW TO BOOK A WEDDING VENDOR POST COVID PANDEMIC
Sweet Beginning, Engagement, & Wedding Tips

A blog series to help every couple on their adventure to marriage.

By | Crystal Horton Photography

In a world that is ever changing, brides have another curve ball.

As if planning a wedding wasn't difficult enough. It is harder for couples to find and choose professional wedding vendors. Going to a bridal expo and gaining a first impression would be a couple’s first smart move. This is my immediate recommendation. Today, that is not happening. So, what are couples to do?

 

Your answer is one that is simple, and one you DON’T WANT to hear but NEED to hear; book phone calls and video meetings. Technology is always in our hands, pocket, or purse. The new human habit is to avoid meeting someone in person and book them online. Almost as if it were a clothing purchase. Bad idea. That is unless you want to gamble a few hundred or thousands of dollars and the quality of your wedding.

 

Hiring a wedding vendor online is not like buying a pair of jeans.

You could send the jeans back if they are the wrong fit. But a wedding vendor usually has a non-refundable retainer/contract. Sorry. You won’t get your money back if that person is not the right fit.

 

NOTE: A contract is a legal binding agreement. It should be there to protect you and protect the company you are hiring. Many unprofessional vendors sneak in limitations and curve balls. You overlook them because of big legal jargon and long sentences. Or, you don't care because of an amazing, yet distracting, sale.

 

Don’t judge a book by it’s cover when hunting online.

Unfortunately, everyone online can have almost identical websites. - Great written text boxes.

- Beautiful photos

- Similar delicious sounding sales pitch.

- Pretty colors and themes.

The difference is how the vendors treats you before you hire them. And how they treat you after the wedding day.

 

When you hire a pro, you are not hiring them to play or practice with your day.

You are hiring them for how they will treat you, how they treat your family, how they react in a bad situation. That is the difference between someone who is $200 versus someone who is $1000. Isn’t your experience worth the little extra time and money? Don't you deserve to be happy? Then ask the right questions! You could waste your money. Paying someone who treats your wedding like another paycheck.

 

So again, I ask; how do you make sure you don’t get one of those low quality vendors? How do you resist the mouth watering temptation? How do you know if someone has a good deal, or is a cheap scam? How can you be sure the vendors won't do half-ass work?

Simple. Book phone calls and video conferences. If big corporations can do it, why can’t you?

 

Steps to simplify the process.

Let’s simplify the process that I am going to share with you here. If you follow these steps and tips, you should not regret who you hire online, or over the phone.

 

  • Begin Your Hunt Online.
  • Skim a few good and bad reviews.
  • Make a hot sheet of good first impressions.
  • Take a break. Don’t do any more research.
  • The following week, hunt online again.
  • Reevaluate the names you originally liked.
  • Hit the contact button.
  • Send Hard Questions BUT Don’t ask for price? (I will explain why).
  • If you like this first impression, set up a phone call. (or send one more email then the phone call.)

 

THAT’S IT!

You might be thinking that is too simple. But it is that simple. Human nature is to make things seem harder than what it is. So, let’s touch base on a few of those points because you might still be wondering why I said, Don’t ask for price.

 

Hunting online seems simple.

The only safe place for health right now is the internet. Don’t only use social media. Look all over. Check places like Google, Maps, LinkedIn, or Yahoo. Start gathering your vendor names from there. Anyone can make a facebook account or an Instagram feed. That doesn’t make them good or professional or business savy. They could be the bottom of the barrel waiting to steal your money. They might take your money and run. You not have that vendor on your wedding day. (yes it happens every year! I’ve seen it first hand.)

 

TIP: keep in mind when visiting websites and profiles. Photos can be bought online and people can be paid to write catchy website texts. Sad to say, but even a photographer could buy a photo and use it on their website. Yes, I have seen this firsthand also.

 

TIP: Also, vendors control what goes on their website. They will only put the best photos and the best written jargon to attract anyone and everyone. Kind of like fishing. The delicious, beefy, lure always gets more bites then a simple hook on a string.

 

Check reviews.

After you found a few names you like, check their reviews. Read good and bad. Never only trust the good ones. Vendors can always “bribe” a couple to leave an amazing review. But don’t only trust the bad ones either. Some couples can’t be pleased. Depending on the vendor, the couple might have buyer’s remorse. They can't get out of a legal binding contract after they jumped the gun and picked someone.

 

These review will help you get a feel for who you like. Someone who responds to their couple’s comments is always a good pick. Someone who tries to help the unhappy couple shows they are making an effort. They want to keep their business integrity and a happy future couple.

 

But these reviews will also tell you if the business wanted to get paid and do the least amount of work.

TIP: the vendor doesn't have reviews. RUN!!! Run far away and never return. I don't care how good a deal it is, or how wonderful they sound. No reviews, means they are hiding something.

 

Make a hot sheet.

You will know how Alice felt when she spiraled down the rabbit hole. There are so many “wedding vendors”, and always new ones every year. Don't risk mixing name, packages, and availability with all the vendors. It looks bad on your part. Vendors can deny you, like you can deny them.

 

TIP: Make notes if you liked how someone made you feel. Did they have a good deal? A special add on? Jot that in a note section.

TIP: Star the companies/names that you felt an immediate attraction. Did they have an amazing first impression? Anyone missing The Bachelor/ette on ABC?

 

Take a break.

If you don’t do this, you will get exhausted. You will get irritated and make a bad decision because you “just want to pick someone.” Take a break. Turn off your computer. Make final notes and then walk away. Clear your mind.

 

A week later, start again. Why a week? I don't want to wait a week? It gives you time to turn your mind off completely. You might stumble upon a verbal recommendation that you would have otherwise missed.

 

What if you skip and only rest a day or two? You might forfeit a good quality vendor for a cheap price. Worse, you might miss a great deal, for a stuck-up rude professional.

 

Reevaluate the names you starred.

Remember the names that you gave a first impression rose to? Go back to their website and look again. Did you miss a piece of information you actually don’t like? Did you overlook a fee that would otherwise be included with your second choice? Did your first choice vendor get new gear, or update their website and if looks even better? Did they get a new review? Did they add a new wedding experience? Does it actually look terrible and you don’t know what you were thinking?

 

Contact Button.

This does not mean you are hiring them. Many gree professionals think getting an email means, you will hire them, but don’t worry, it doesn’t. You need to contact them so that you can weed out how professional they are. Sometimes they are rude. Uncommunicative or disrespectful. Distracted or too busy to respond to you. Either way, YOU need to contact them. They can’t read your mind and contact you. Besides, you are only knocking at the door and saying hi. You are not booking them. You are only going to ask them hard questions…oh and look I have next.

 

Ask Questions.

Don’t ask for price. Biggest number one mistake every couple can make! YES. This is one of the most important questions to you. But because someone says they are $5k, doesn’t mean that is the package you want. They might have a $1K package that you can modify. If they say they are only $1K doesn’t mean you will get what you want. You might have to add the extra bells and whistles. You wedding funds could disappear fast.

 

Your next question should be; “What kind of questions should I ask?“ Copy and paste the following:

 

Good Day Vendor!

I hope you are doing well today. I came across your website, and I wanted to ask a few initial questions if you have a moment. I’m not looking at booking anyone at this exact moment and would like to not be pressured. I am sending this email to several other professionals as well. If you meet our first criteria, we will be setting up phone calls, video conferences, or in person chats. So here are my few quick questions:

  • Are you available on this, or any of these dates:

  • How long have you been a registered business?

  • Approximately how many weddings have you worked professionally?

  • How many weddings do you book per year?

  • Do you have several teams?

  • What is your retainer amount or percent?

  • When do you need payment in full?

  • What is your price range? (Low-High)

  • Would you be willing to let us see your contract before we discuss package options?

 

I know these questions might be on your website, but I just wanted to make a contact email and hear it straight from you.

Thank you,

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The other reason that this is great is because you will get to see how quickly they respond. Second, you will see if they send you a link back to their website. If they are willing to take the 5 minuets and write out an email respond to your inquiry, they are worth it.

TIP: If they don’t respect you as a potential client, why would they hold the respect while you are an active client?

 

Set up a phone call.

Or video chat. Or in person meeting. This is such an important step. Many couples think they don’t need it. It can be the make or break for if a vendor will treat you right or not. Things like:

 

  • Did they want to know about us and our wedding?

  • Did they only want to throw us a number and finish?

  • Were they willing to work with our budget or what special needs we have?

  • Were they willing to ask us our concerns? (without you telling them.)

  • Did they ask us good questions or basic filler questions?

  • Did they keep asking us if we have questions? (pros should know popular questions and share answers with you.)

  • Did they only talk about themselves? (we have two ears and one mouth for a reason!)

 

These will be immediate ques to if you like someone or not. If the phone call didn’t go well, don’t hire them. Even if they are a great price, or have a good quality, if you did not like the person on the other side, don’t do it. DON'T. If you don't trust me, trust your gut. Send an immediate thank you email, and look else where.

TIP: Sending a No Thank You email is great because it prevent vendors from spamming you. If you didn’t like them at all, don’t sit on it, don’t wait, tell them straight forward, no thank you. You can’t hurt their feelings. And if you do, they are not in the right industry.

 

Don’t forget the truth.

No matter how good a price, how beautiful a photo, how good of a sales talker, this is your wedding. You need to do a little bit of research and work. Like anything in life, nothing is easy. Anything that is too good to be true, probably is. (Most of the time). Don’t forget this either; sometimes things happen for a reason. You might get what you deserve all with one vendor.

 

Happy Hunting, and Have a beautiful memorable wedding!

 

Have you book one of your vendors yet? What did you do?

What did you ask? What did you avoid? So many couples listen to other couples and experience. Please share it here. Let other couples know of great questions, or red flags to watch out for when booking a vendor.

 

 

- - - - - - - - - -   ~  - - - - - - - - - -

 

Follow our quick links here and see why we are the best.

Timeless Wedding Services

Send us a quick question HERE! (a new pop up should open).

Top Secret! Why Crystal Horton Photography is the best. 

Meet Crystal herself. 

Meet our experts.

Set up a Free Coffee/Consolation (since we only book 30 Weddings each year.)

Read why brides and grooms highly recommend us!

 

_______

Crystal Horton Photography

1729 Red Clover Dr., Lebanon, Ohio 45036 

937-550-3133

Crystal.Horton@CrystalHortonPhotography.com

Captivating Wedding Photography in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Ohio Tristate

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contact@crystalhortonphotography.com (Crystal Horton Photography) booking call covid-19 phone photography professional questions vendor wedding https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2021/7/booking-wedding-vendors-during-covid-19 Mon, 12 Jul 2021 18:27:24 GMT
Questions to ask a Wedding DJ https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2021/7/questions-to-ask-a-weddin-dj 50 QUESTIONS TO ASK A WEDDING DJ
Sweet Beginning, Engagement, & Wedding Tips

A blog series to help every couple on their adventure to marriage.

By | Crystal Horton Photography

first dance in the light of lovefirst dance in the light of lovefirst dance for the newly wed bride and groom at the reception at Lost Creek Memory Barn in Casstown, OH

Feel free to print this page and take it to your interview with your Wedding DJ. I hope that this will help you pick the best most professional wedding DJ and you won't get scammed! Feel free to read and print my other wedding questionnaires, listed at the bottom, to use at your other interviews.

  1. Do you have my wedding date open/available?

  2. What days around our wedding are you free?

  3. Do you have a temporary hold on our date?

  4. Do you have any wedding references that we may contact?

  5. How long have you been DJ-ing?

  6. How many weddings have you performed for?

  7. What is the largest wedding you have entertained?

  8. What is the smallest?

  9. How would you describe your style?

  10. What is your preferred style of music?

  11. Can you modify the style to fit the mood of the event?

  12. Are you able to create an elegant setting and then transition or the dancing?

  13. Is there a way to view you performing live? Maybe visit a wedding you're working?

  14. How do you work the day of?

  15. How early will you arrive to set up?

  16. How much time do you need to set up?

  17. Have you performed at our venue?

  18. Are you quick to fix feedback? (the really loud bad sound from speakers)

  19. Do you have the appropriate equipment to accommodate any venue we choose? Outdoor, high ceiling, all windows, tile floors, ect.

  20. Are you willing to visit the venue with us if we should decide to use you?

  21. Can you play the songs that are important to us, such as a traditional Jewish hora tune or a favorite pop hit?

  22. Do you charge extra for songs that you do not already have in your selection?

  23. If the style of music we choose doesn’t get people on the dance floor, are you able modify it and learn what the guests want to hear?

  24. Do you work with a partner or have an assistant?

  25. What equipment or items will we be charged extra for?

  26. Do you have the appropriate stand and lighting equipment?

  27. Do you plan to use lighting or any other special effects?  (this could cause issues with your photographer’s photographs or the venue site regulations)

  28. How do you ensure a comfortable sound level for all the guests?

  29. What do you typically wear? Can I request that you wear a specific attire, or all black?

  30. How many hours are included in the package?

  31. Am I able to add on an hour if the party is still going?

  32. Are you able to balance the upbeat music with the occasional breather?

  33. Are you able to announce moments of events and make the roll call, introductions, and so on?

  34. How many weddings do you typically do in a year?

  35. How do you motivate the crowd?

  36. Can you make musical recommendations for our theme?

  37. How many events in a single weekend?

  38. What's your sick-day policy?

  39. Do you have liability insurance? Can you provide a copy of the certificate?

  40. What's your backup plan if there's an equipment malfunction?

  41. What packages do you offer?

  42. What is your deposit?

  43. Do you have a payment schedule?

  44. What is the last day you will accept a payment?

  45. What's your cancellation policy?

  46. What is the last day that we are able to make changes to our package?

  47. Is there anything that we can include in our package?

  48. Is there anything that is not included in our packages?

  49. Is there anything that would cause an extra fine or fee?

  50. Can you describe to me a wedding that was not going well at all, where things were going completely wrong? (pause and wait for the answer then ask) What did you do to fix the situation?

  51. Ask them to give you a second bad situation from a completely different wedding, and how they resolved it.

Questions to ask a Wedding Planner

Questions to ask a Photographer

Questions to ask a Venue

Questions to ask a Caterer

Back to Original Post

 

P.S. ask the professional if they have been through a bad situation and go into detail about what happened. Then ask them how they handled it, and if you can have that bride’s information. (trip them up more, ask them to give you 2 situations and then ask how did they handle it.)

 

 

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If you are serious about the quality of your wedding photographs, send me your questions, or date. I only accept 30 weddings each year.
 

What makes me a different kind of wedding photographer? Let me share the intimate details of how losing my job in the middle of planning my wedding, defined me as a photographer. Focused on not just stunning images, but the experience of a lifetime for you.
 

You know 30 weddings a year is not many. But, that is because I give more than digital downloads. I deliver an unforgettable experience. Pick the perfect wedding photography package and experience from one of my specially designed packages. 

 

_______

Crystal Horton Photography

1729 Red Clover Dr., Lebanon, Ohio 45036 

937-550-3133

Crystal.Horton@CrystalHortonPhotography.com

Captivating Wedding Photography in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Ohio Tristate
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Questions to ask a Wedding Caterer https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2021/7/questions-to-ask-a-wedding-caterer  

50+ QUESTIONS TO ASK A WEDING CATERER
Sweet Beginning, Engagement, & Wedding Tips

A blog series to help every couple on their adventure to marriage.

By | Crystal Horton Photography

Head table for wedding receptionHead table for wedding receptionan empty head table, draped in white cloth waits for the bridal party and guests to enter for reception

 

The internet is crawling with actual wedding nightmares from real couples. Many of them involving Caterers. Now, bad things can happen because we are only human. That doesn't mean you can't help prevent a bad scenario.

Actual Wedding: Bride hired a reputable caterer approximately 8 months before her wedding. She paid in full. She ordered a "home cooked" style meal. The main course; fried and baked chicken on the bone. Day of the wedding, the planner couldn't get a hold of caterer. The ceremony is starting. Planner saw the caterer read their social media message but refused to respond. One hour before the reception, and still no word on dinner. Planner has to inform the parents of the couple of the situation. Without hesitation, they gave her money. The planner called a local restaurant. She orders the appropriate quantity for the entire wedding head count. The restaurant thought it was a joke and put her on hold. The manager answered and took the order. Food made it to the reception a little late, but there was chicken and the bride was happy.

This is one example of why you need to do your homework. The bride still had a beautiful wedding. She was also prepared with hiring an experienced planner. But, could you imagine yourself in that situation? dreadful.

To avoid this kind of a situation, you need to ask questions. I have here over 50 questions.

Feel free to print this page and take it to every interview. Be sure to highlight the ones that are requirements for your wedding.

And don't forget, I have plenty other questions for all your professional vendors. Including photographers.

 

  1. How many wedding have you catered before?
  2. Do you have valid catering license?
  3. Do you have license for serving alcohol?
  4. Do you have the optional use of a bar tender?
  5. Could you please provide references from your previous clients?
  6. What services are typically included?
  7. What services are extra?
  8. What services do you not include at all?
  9. Where do you source your ingredients?
  10. Will the season of my wedding affect the price or type of ingredients use?
  11. Will you freeze my meals weeks before my event?
  12. How early do you purchase fresh ingredients like salad and bread?
  13. What is the server-to-guest ratio?
  14. Buffet: One server to 18 to 25 guests
  15. Family-style: One server to 15 to 20 guests
  16. Plated: One server to 12 to 15 guests
  17. Have you ever catered an event at my venue?
  18. How will the food be prepared at my wedding?
  19. How early will you prep the food for my wedding?
  20. Do you provide chair and table rental if my venue doesn’t provide it?
  21. Do you provide table linens?
  22. Do you supply dinner ware and glass ware?
  23. Do you charge extra for real plates verse paper/plastic?
  24. How many weddings have you catered before?
  25. How many events will you cater on my wedding day?
  26. How many events do you plan in one weekend?
  27. Do you offer cake cutting services?
  28. Is there an extra fee for that?
  29. Do you supply dessert dishes and linens?
  30. Do you offer coffee or tea after the meal?
  31. What is your favorite dish to prepare?
  32. What is a more popular dish that clients rave about?
  33. Do you offer a tasting?
  34. What food/dishes/style do you suggest for my theme?
  35. What is the typical portion size?
  36. Will you be preparing this dish any differently on the day of the wedding?
  37. Are you open to changing to meet allergy requirements?
  38. Do you have food allergy options?
  39. Do you have a child’s menu?
  40. Do we get to take left overs home?
  41. What is your deposit?
  42. How do you accept a deposit/payments?
  43. What kind of payment schedule do you offer?
  44. When do you need the final payment?
  45. Are you comfortable working with a wedding planner?
  46. Are you comfortable with last minuet changes?
  47. What is the latest date that we can make changes to our packages/choices?
  48. When do you need an official head count?
  49. Is gratuity included in your package rates?
  50. Are there any other fees that we should be aware of?
  51. Describe to me a wedding that didn’t go as planned and was in complete disarray. How did you handle the situation?
  52. Please give me a second situation where you had to make some immediate changes to a wedding menu?

Questions to ask a Wedding Planner

Questions to ask a DJ

Questions to ask a Photographer

Questions to ask a Venue

Back to Original Post

 

P.S. ask the professional if they have been through a bad situation and go into detail about what happened. Then ask them how they handled it, and if you can have that bride’s information. (trip them up more, ask them to give you 2 situations and then ask how did they handle it.)

- - - - - - - - - -   ~  - - - - - - - - - -

If you are serious about the quality of your wedding photographs, send me your questions, or date. I only accept 30 weddings each year.
 

What makes me a different kind of wedding photographer? Let me share the intimate details of how losing my job in the middle of planning my wedding, defined me as a photographer. Focused on not just stunning images, but the experience of a lifetime for you.
 

You know 30 weddings a year is not many. But, that is because I give more than digital downloads. I deliver an unforgettable experience. Pick the perfect wedding photography package and experience from one of my specially designed packages. 

 

_______

Crystal Horton Photography

1729 Red Clover Dr., Lebanon, Ohio 45036 

937-550-3133

Crystal.Horton@CrystalHortonPhotography.com

Captivating Wedding Photography in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Ohio Tristate
SaveSaveSaveSave

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Questions to ask a Wedding Planner https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2021/7/questions-to-ask-a-weddin-planner  

50 QUESTIONS TO ASK A WEDDING PLANNER
Sweet Beginning, Engagement, & Wedding Tips

A blog series to help every couple on their adventure to marriage.

By | Crystal Horton Photography

 

Feel free to print this page and take it to your interview with your Wedding Planner. I hope that this will help you pick the best most professional wedding planner and you won't get scammed! Feel free to read and print my other wedding questionnaires, listed at the bottom, to use at your other interviews.

  1. Are you available on the date of our desired wedding date?

  2. What dates around our wedding are you available?

  3. How many weddings to you typically plan a year?

  4. What do you typically charge for a wedding?

  5. What are the differences in your packages?

  6. Do you have a simple day of coordinator package?

  7. **Do you charge per communication/text/email/email/phone call/FB message? ** (This is so important to know because some brides need more communications.)

  8. Are you familiar with our wedding location?

  9. How do you choose the vendors you work with?

  10. Do you get kick back from your recommended vendors? (this can be a bad thing) **

  11. Do you coordinate deliveries, rentals, set up times and other meetings with various vendors on the wedding day?

  12. Is this an Extra charge?

  13. How do you request a deposit?

  14. How do you accept payments?

  15. Do you have a payment schedule?

  16. When is the last day I can pay you?

  17. Do I pay you to pay my vendors?

  18. Do you handle the day of payments to my vendors?

  19. Will you keep track of my contracts?

  20. Will you confront any vendor not meeting the contract agreements?

  21. Will I get a copy of all my contracts?

  22. What is your cancellation policy?

  23. What is the latest we can cancel?

  24. What if we want to upgrade or down grade our package?

  25. When’s the last date to make changes to our package?

  26. Will you set up a meeting for me you and a recommended vendor?

  27. Do you charge extra to meet with me and a vendor I’m interested in but is not on your list of vendors?

  28. What is one of the most memorable weddings you have planned?

  29. How do you stay calm under the intense pressure of a wedding?

  30. How often will we be in touch and what is the best way to contact you?

  31. Do you offer a flat rate and what do you charge for in addition to this rate?

  32. How do you help us stay within our budget?

  33. Do you have decorations on hand that we may utilize?

  34. Do you charge us to use these decorations?

  35. What is the largest wedding you have planned?

  36. What is the smallest wedding you have planned?

  37. Can you name a few wedding styles you have helped plan?

  38. Do you have a team that you work with?

  39. What happens if you get sick on our wedding day?

  40. What is your back up plan if your family has an emergency on our wedding day?

  41. Do you specialize in the design or coordinating?

  42. Do you have an education in planning and coordinating?

  43. Do any ideas spark your creativity with our vision?

  44. How do you ensure that everyone sticks to the schedule planned out?

  45. Do you have insurance?

  46. Do you have testimonials or references that we can contact? ** get/ ask at least 3-5 non relative references.

  47. Do you have a digital album of the weddings you have planned?

  48. Can you describe to me a wedding that was not going well at all, where things were going completely wrong?

  49. (pause and wait for the answer then ask) What did you do to fix the situation?

  50. Ask them to give you a second bad situation from a completely different wedding, and how they resolved it.

Questions to ask a DJ

Questions to ask a Photographer

Questions to ask a Venue

Questions to ask a Caterer

Back to Original Post

 

P.S. ask the professional if they have been through a bad situation and go into detail about what happened. Then ask them how they handled it, and if you can have that bride’s information. (trip them up more, ask them to give you 2 situations and then ask how did they handle it.)

- - - - - - - - - -   ~  - - - - - - - - - -

If you are serious about the quality of your wedding photographs, send me your questions, or date. I only accept 30 weddings each year.
 

What makes me a different kind of wedding photographer? Let me share the intimate details of how losing my job in the middle of planning my wedding, defined me as a photographer. Focused on not just stunning images, but the experience of a lifetime for you.
 

You know 30 weddings a year is not many. But, that is because I give more than digital downloads. I deliver an unforgettable experience. Pick the perfect wedding photography package and experience from one of my specially designed packages. 

 

_______

Crystal Horton Photography

1729 Red Clover Dr., Lebanon, Ohio 45036 

937-550-3133

Crystal.Horton@CrystalHortonPhotography.com

Captivating Wedding Photography in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Ohio Tristate
SaveSaveSaveSave

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Questions to ask a Wedding Venue https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2021/7/questions-to-ask-a-wedding-venue  

50+ QUESTION TO ASK A WEDDING VENUE
Sweet Beginning, Engagement, & Wedding Tips

A blog series to help every couple on their adventure to marriage.

By | Crystal Horton Photography

Private Windamere balconyPrivate Windamere balconyAnother photo of the bridge groom private balcony.

 

As you read through these, be sure to highlight your favorite ones, and then have your fiance highlight their favorites. Also, Feel free to print this page and take it to your interview with your Wedding Venue. I hope that this will help you pick the best most professional wedding venue and you won't get scammed! Feel free to read and print my other wedding questionnaires, listed at the bottom, to use at your other interviews.

  1. Do you have my wedding date Open and Available?

  2. What days close to our date do you have open?

  3. What is the capacity of your facility?

  4. What is the minimum and maximum number of guests I can invite?

  5. How many wedding do you schedule on a day/weekend?

  6. Do you have special pricing breaks for Friday vs Saturday vs Sunday or afternoons vs evening?

  7. If an emergency occurs, do you have contact information to call in a professionals last minuet?

  8. Do I have any payment scheduling options?

  9. How do you require a deposit?

  10. How do you require payments? (credit card, cash, check, cashier’s check, money order, paypal)

  11. When do we have to have our account paid in full?

  12. Will you take the last payment on the day of?

  13. Do you have any fees or cost not included in the package(s)? Service charge, gratuity/tips, cleaning fees, or overtime charges?

  14. What is the last possible date that we can make changes to our event?

  15. Can you explain your cancellation policy?

  16. Is there a point when we will be charged a fine for changing or canceling?

  17. Do you work with specific vendor partners that I must use?

  18. Do we have to use these vendors? If not, are there any other limitations on working with outside vendors?

  19. Do you have other professional vendors you recommend that you have worked with?

  20. Is there room for a band and/or dancing?

  21. Does the venue own sound equipment and speakers, or will that need to be rented?

  22. Is the site handicap accessible?

  23. Are there any noise restrictions?

  24. May we be married onsite?

  25. Is there a large enough area for brides/maids and groomsmen to change in?

  26. Are there adequate bathroom facilities?

  27. Is there a coat check?

  28. Is there enough parking?

  29. Will guests be charged for parking?

  30. Is there a valet parking option?

  31. Is there a backup plan for rain or inclement weather?

  32. Are there any decoration limitations?

  33. Can we remove certain decorations?

  34. Can we use candles?

  35. Are there restrictions for the photographers or DJ’s in terms of lighting and other equipment?

  36. When can my vendors arrive to setup?

  37. What time will my guests have to leave the venue?

  38. Who is responsible for setting up and tearing down the decor, and when will it be completed?

  39. Is there an extra fee for set up and tear down?

  40. Is there an in-house caterer?

  41. Do we have to use that caterer?

  42. Is there a limitation on outside caterers?

  43. Do you have a liquor license to sell or distribute liquor?

  44. What is your pricing for alcohol?

  45. What is your selection of alcohol?

  46. Can we specially request a brand?

  47. Will you allow us to bring our own liquor?

  48. Is there a corkage fee?

  49. Do you allow a cash bar?

  50. Can my guests BYOB?

  51. Can we give our guests wrist bands or drink tokens?

  52. Will you cut off anyone who is overdoing the enjoyment of drinking?

  53. Are there any consequences for not fulfilling the food and beverage minimum?

  54. Who is our contact throughout this process?

  55. Who will be our manager/matradee the day of our wedding?

  56. Can we meet them now?

  57. What is the venue capacity for a ceremony?

  58. What dates do you have available?

  59. Can you hire the venue exclusively?

  60. What is the difference in cost and what extras are included?

  61. Can we purchase the venue for the night before for set up?

  62. Are there any other functions taking place on the same day?

  63. Do you have a list of nearby hotels?

  64. Are children allowed?

  65. Are sparklers/fireworks allowed on the premises?

  66. May we capture images for references?

  67. Will you temporarily hold our date while we make a decision?

 

Questions to ask a Wedding Planner

Questions to ask a DJ

Questions to ask a Photographer

Questions to ask a Caterer

Back to Original Post

 

P.S. ask the professional if they have been through a bad situation and go into detail about what happened. Then ask them how they handled it, and if you can have that bride’s information. (trip them up more, ask them to give you 2 situations and then ask how did they handle it.)

- - - - - - - - - -   ~  - - - - - - - - - -

If you are serious about the quality of your wedding photographs, send me your questions, or date. I only accept 30 weddings each year.
 

What makes me a different kind of wedding photographer? Let me share the intimate details of how losing my job in the middle of planning my wedding, defined me as a photographer. Focused on not just stunning images, but the experience of a lifetime for you.
 

You know 30 weddings a year is not many. But, that is because I give more than digital downloads. I deliver an unforgettable experience. Pick the perfect wedding photography package and experience from one of my specially designed packages. 

 

_______

Crystal Horton Photography

1729 Red Clover Dr., Lebanon, Ohio 45036 

937-550-3133

Crystal.Horton@CrystalHortonPhotography.com

Captivating Wedding Photography in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Ohio Tristate
SaveSaveSaveSave

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4 Tips for Choosing your Wedding Professional https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2021/7/how-to-choose-a-wedding-professional  

4 TIPS FOR CHOOSING YOUR WEDDING PROFESSIONALS
Sweet Beginning, Engagement, & Wedding Tips

A blog series to help every couple on their adventure to marriage.

By | Crystal Horton Photography

What makes a professional a professional?

final touch with veil and momfinal touch with veil and momBride stands while delicate veil is pinned in her up-do by her mother

 

Avoiding a scam by what I call a "faux-fessionals".

My definition of a Faux-fessional is someone that appears to have all the right "stuff" but is not what they seem. If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it could be a platypus.

You don't want to experience a scam. No one does. A scam should be nowhere near your wedding. You know your wedding deserves the best. You know you and your fiance deserve the best. You deserve to hire the "actual" professionals. They should have 4+ years of experience. Your professional will have plenty of weddings under their belt. Have raving reviews. And, be well worth the dollar you are giving them.

I’m here to help you filter out the faux-fessionals from the true professionals. (and even find the skilled but inexperienced professionals.) They exist and need somewhere to start, but it's your choice to use the inexperienced or not.

Now, I'm not some blogger off the street. I am a professional wedding photographer. I have over 5 years experience. I also only accept only 30 weddings each year because I strive for Quality not quantity.

I also have worked with all types of vendors and many other professionals. The best part is, I have no reason to misguided you. You can guarantee my information will be helpful.

Note: A true wedding professional can come from all sorts of backgrounds. Someone fresh out of college, a stay at home mom, a previous math teacher, even a car mechanic. Let me be the devil's advocate here. Someone who is in it for your quality, will have skin in the game. They will be very upfront and honest about what they offer, and will hide nothing from you. Why?

 

Someone who loves what they do.

Someone who believes in their company, will know that they may not be the right person for you.

Would you rather have a 'good deal' and blurry images, or a fair price and stunning moments? What about a computer with speakers versus a special equipment soundboard?

So it comes down to you. You hold the power. So you need to ask the right questions immediately. Simple as that.

Don’t stress if you sit down with 5 photographers, 4 wedding venues, 3 DJs, 4 wedding planners, and 6 caterers.

BUT..... I really like this person.

Great, if you like them and have read through their contract and agree with every sentence, then hire them! Don't wait. But if something doesn't seem right, talk to a few other people. Or, do some extra research on that person. It will all be worth it in the end. I mean, that’s why most couples start planning a wedding a year in advanced right.

Here are the 4 questions to ask a professional.

1. Don't Always Trust Social Media (Or the internet)

Don't you remember the saying, don't believe everything you read on the internet? (If not, then I'm definitely showing my age.) Someone may have a great profile. Doesn't mean that what you see is what you pay for. Several times thieves, sex offender, and addicts can become "wedding professional". There is nothing anyone can do. They don't have a boss. There is no committee monitoring them. It all comes down to the home work you are willing to do.

 

Real Experience: For the longest time I avoided the internet. I absolutely didn't trust it. Scams in emails, scams in the mail, scams over the phone, why does there have to be so much down right "wrong" in the world. wrong and distrust. So when I was hunting for my wedding professionals i knew where I was willing to take risks, and where I wasn't. My DJ was a friend who wanted to do weddings and I said you can test mine for sure. However for my photographer I knew I needed to pay over a certain price point and I wanted to find them at a bridal expo. I knew that I wanted to have a very high quality experience and someone whose sole focus was to accommodate me and what I wanted, not what other people wanted, nor did I want a photographer that was all about what they got and what photos they wanted to capture or when they wanted me in the dress. Hello. This is my wedding not yours. you take the photos when they happen. And they did! Not once did I ever regret my decision to spend a quarter of the whole wedding cost on just the photographer. It was reassuring and I knew I would have the best longest lasting memories!

 

2. Doing your research

 

This is the perfect follow up to our number one on how to choose a wedding professional. So let's say you did find a few names on Facebook. That is totally fine, but now go at least one step father. Ask your selves these questions.

Does their facebook have review visible? If not why?

Do they have a website directly linked to their facebook page? This should be an automatic yes. That being said here is your number three.

My Experience: Do research is something that I hear most often brides will admit to lacking in. "If only I would have looked up about this", "If only I would have read a few more review.", "If only I would have trusted my gut." I have nothing to hide from my brides. I even tell them that when I had them my contract to read. I tell them, this is to protect both me and you; and it is! If we don't have trust, then how can we have a great trusting relationship?

 

3. Do they have a professional Website?

This of course should be an automatic yes. If they don't then ask yourself. Where are they putting their money? How are they professionally bettering them selves to prove that they can be the best? If they don't have a digital store front, do that at least have a brick and mortar? You don't have to have both, I personally don't. But at least in today's day and age have an online website.

 

My Experience: As I said I am a professional, and I only refer other professional to hold their business to the same expectations as I do with my own. I don't mind using facebook here and there, but I still prefer google. I want to see someone's digital store front. I want to see their examples, I want to see how many albums or clients they have. I want to see what they are willing to post for the ENTIRE WORLD to read. If I, with my photography website, am unafraid to be upfront and honest, then why should I go with someone, or refer someone, who sounds fake, or sounds like a parrot mimicking everything someone else has just told me.

 

4. Are they willing to meet in person?

Seriously! everyone seems to be in it for your money! I might be old fashion but isn't your wedding intimate? Won't your wedding have emotions? Won't you laugh, cry, and act all crazy in love? Of course you will. So how on earth can you expect to talk on the phone once and have someone really know you? Here is the other advantage to meeting someone in person. You can get a feel for them. How do they dress? How do they hold themselves? How to they speak? How do the present their business? Are they willing to talk about logistics and the uncomfortable topics like cancellations or date changes or medical illness? Are they doing most of the talking? Are they asking you questions to get to know you?

 

My Experience:

It is not your job, as a bride, to tell a professional what you want them to know. It is their job to ask you for the information. They should be asking you the questions and doing more of the listening. It is their job to get to know you on such a deep and personal level, that when you and your best friend or mother are having an intimate emotional experience of looking in the mirror at your dress, they know to stand back, quietly capture a few moment, and then to let the moment happen on it's own. They can't control when the sun will rise and when the sun will set, so why should they take control of your wedding day? Make sure that they are willing to listen to you and that they see what is happening around them to be there in the moment with you.

 

So now that you have an idea of how to help you choose a wedding professional, let’s take a look several popular wedding professionals and what makes them professional.

 

Photographer will know how to:

  • Will have constant communication with you

  • At the wedding, they will Let the moment happen and capture it

  • Work with the schedule, not force the schedule

  • Can move from indoor to out door in a second

  • Knows what lens to use and why

  • Has backup equipment for a worse case scenario

  • Can work with natural light and a flash.

  • Moves around guests to keep the moment true and intimate

  • Be ready for a moment to happen at any time

  • Communicate with the bride if things are simply not do-able

  • Create amazing results from a not so optimal situation

  • Will have a post wedding meeting

 

DJ will know how to:

  • Transition music smoothly from song to song

  • Integrate a whole mix of musical styles

  • Never have a silent moment (dead air/no music playing)

  • Create the setting you desire

  • Lead a crowd the entire evening

  • Work in any given space, indoor and outdoor

  • Fix equipment or music issues within seconds

  • Will never not show up to a wedding because a speaker broke

 

Venue will know how to:

  • Adjust the number of tables and chairs if fewer guests attend

  • Cooperate with other professional vendors

  • Help direct the guests to specific areas

  • Fix an onsite problem and have a list of professionals like plumbers and electricians

  • Will never cancel a wedding because of a roof leak

 

Makeup Artist/Hair Stylist will know how to:

  • Fix a section of hair that won’t cooperate

  • Fix a makeup mistake

  • Adjust a color if you don’t like the way it looks

  • Make sure you have no allergies prior to the day of

  • Cover up a last min pimple

  • Make the hair style exactly how you want it from the picture

  • Will have the right brushes and good quality makeup

  • Select the hair products that will hold the entire wedding

  • Can recommend a change if something isn’t working

  • Will never cancel or will offer a backup recommendation

 

Planner will know how to:

  • Tell you what will and will not go with your wedding theme

  • Keep you on track with your wedding budget

  • Collaborate all the other wedding professionals

  • Make sure other professional stick to their contract

  • Communicate with disruptive vendors

  • Communicate effectively with unruly guests, family, and bridal party members

  • Call another professional if one falls through

  • Go above and beyond what your expectations are

  • Will never blame a bride for a bad wedding

 

Hopefully this helps you when you are looking to interview with your professionals. Don’t just look at the price and say you, that’s in my budget, because you could be getting someone way better for just another hundred dollars and I can tell you from all the weddings I have been to, professionally and as a guest, it is always worth the extra hundred to go with a better option.

 

Questions to ask a Wedding Planner

Questions to ask a DJ

Questions to ask a Photographer

Questions to ask a Venue

Questions to ask a Caterer

 

BONUS QUESTION:

Think back to when you were interviewing for your job. One of the questions was something like, "Can you think back to a time when you were in a very tough situation and things were not going the way you wanted? Tell us what you did, how you handled it, and was the client happy?"

 

What questions would you ask your professional vendor/venue?

 

- - - - - - - - - -   ~  - - - - - - - - - -

If you are serious about the quality of your wedding photographs, send me your questions, or date. I only accept 30 weddings each year.
 

What makes me a different kind of wedding photographer? Let me share the intimate details of how losing my job in the middle of planning my wedding, defined me as a photographer. Focused on not just stunning images, but the experience of a lifetime for you.
 

You know 30 weddings a year is not many. But, that is because I give more than digital downloads. I deliver an unforgettable experience. Pick the perfect wedding photography package and experience from one of my specially designed packages. 

 

_______

Crystal Horton Photography

1729 Red Clover Dr., Lebanon, Ohio 45036 

937-550-3133

Crystal.Horton@CrystalHortonPhotography.com

Captivating Wedding Photography in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Ohio Tristate
SaveSaveSaveSave

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The Windamere Event Venue_Review & Story https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2021/7/the-windamere-event-venue_review-story  

THE WINDAMERE EVENT VENUE IN MIDDLETOWN 
Sweet Beginning, Engagement, & Wedding Tips

A blog series to help every couple on their adventure to marriage.

By | Crystal Horton Photography

 

A Stunning and Unique Wedding Venue to Host Your Wedding

Keys to the safeKeys to the safeOld keys to the safety boxes at the Windamere

Chase by a windowChase by a windowOne of the balconies at the windamere. A classy chaiase sits under a window.

Have you heard the rumor? Have you seen the photos? Did you visit the venue?

 

The hidden diamond I share here is The Windamere. It's like finding a bottle of forgotten red wine in your basement. Unless you walk through it, my photos can't do it justice. It's a old bank turned wedding and event venue. I promise you won’t need to look any further after your first visit.

Located in Middletown, Ohio, The Windamere Event Venue & Art Gallery, is the spot to visit. The building has battled the sands of time. It's on its second rebirth. This piece of land, this mark on history, is not giving up so easily.

 

Mica is the owner, and is a great pairing with this venue. She is professional, fun, and personable. On top of that she is knowledgeable and she has some great connections. Those connections will tie your entire wedding in the best bow.

I love my photos, but let me tell you, this venue is even better in person. Set up a time to go see it! This venue is the best for getting the very unique accent for your wedding.

The windamere ceilingThe windamere ceilingThe very high ceilings at the windamere. Perfect for a unique wedding experience.

It has dual balconies, a bridal and grooms room, and an old safe where drinks get served. The safe is my personal favorite.

A Little History

Private Windamere balconyPrivate Windamere balconyAnother photo of the bridge groom private balcony.

 

The Windamere's history goes over 100 years in the past. Back to the 1800’s to be exact. The Windamere started as a log cabin. In 1847, the log cabin became a general store.

Funny bit, the store became a small safety box for farmers. The owners held spare money and precious personal items. This is because the owner had a super great safe for the times.

Reflection of Table decorReflection of Table decorThe windamere has so many beautiful angles. This is looking at a reflection in the glass of the safe. The owners saw this opportunity and the general store developed into a bank in 1889. In 1929 the building got a massive makeover. That is what we now see standing.

From 1971-2001, Bank One bought the business and continued to run as a full functioning bank. Soon a great run, was turning into the last inning.

In 2001 Chase Bank bought the company but shut the doors for good. They believed the building to be too old. They determined it to be unfit as a bank. But this building is a historical site. The upgrades needed to keep it as a functional bank would be too exhausting in a financial aspect.

 

The End? Reception tables at WindamereReception tables at WindamereBeautiful tables for a reception at the windamere

This is the building that would stay empty and dormant for years. This building that stood strong, that stood ever long, had a good run and was ready to sleep a good long sleep.

 

Not Today!

Hello Mica! Strong and intelligent. This woman, has always had a yearning for more from life. You can't help but draw into her smile when you see her. You want to know what she knows. You want to talk and laugh with her.

After working in the corporate world, she dove head first into weddings. Again though, in the wedding world, she worked under someone. After trying to share her knowledge, no one would listen. So before getting herself into any other moments of frustration she went on the hunt. What else would a strong intelligent woman do in her case.

 

Your Hidden Treasure Awaits

 

Windows at the WindamereWindows at the WindamereFloor to ceiling windows at the windamere.

Mica happened upon the Windamere. She gazed upon the details of crown molding and the wooden teller stations. Her eyes followed along the single wall of windows, which reached all the way to the ceiling.

Oh and the ceiling! Let me attempt to fill your mind with just how powerful and graceful this building is. It feels as if there is no ceiling. It is completely open.

Safety deposit boxesSafety deposit boxesSafety deposit boxes in the Windamere's historical bank safe. If you think it can't get better. It can. The giant safe filled with old fashion deposit boxed. It stayed secret and hidden within the four walls of the building for the last 17+ years.

Again I could go on, and on, and share more about the Groom's "Stag Room" or the elegant bridal room and balconies. Truth is, you need to go see this venue and book it. If you aren't too late, you will have the most unique wedding venue. You and your guests will be talking about it for years.

You need to set up an appointment with the Windamere HERE .
 

 

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

A special thanks

Mica; Thank You! You allowed me the privilege of hearing the history of your spectacular venue. I learned so much about it and can never stop bragging about it's beauty. You gave me an insight of what it took to get you where you are today. Your building is nothing short of being stunning and grand.

 

 

- - - - - - - - - -   ~  - - - - - - - - - -

If you are serious about the quality of your wedding photographs, send me your questions, or date. I only accept 30 weddings each year.
 

What makes me a different kind of wedding photographer? Let me share the intimate details of how losing my job in the middle of planning my wedding, defined me as a photographer. Focused on not just stunning images, but the experience of a lifetime for you.
 

You know 30 weddings a year is not many. But, that is because I give more than digital downloads. I deliver an unforgettable experience. Pick the perfect wedding photography package and experience from one of my specially designed packages. 

 

_______

Crystal Horton Photography

1729 Red Clover Dr., Lebanon, Ohio 45036 

937-550-3133

Crystal.Horton@CrystalHortonPhotography.com

Captivating Wedding Photography in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Ohio Tristate

]]>
contact@crystalhortonphotography.com (Crystal Horton Photography) bank center classic event middletown reception the windamere unique venue wedding https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2021/7/the-windamere-event-venue_review-story Wed, 07 Jul 2021 13:23:00 GMT
5 Tricks for Budgeting my Wedding https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2021/7/5-tricks-for-budgeting-my-wedding 5 TRICKS FOR BUDGETING MY WEDDING
Sweet Beginning, Engagement, & Wedding Tips

A blog series to help every couple on their adventure to marriage.

By | Crystal Horton Photography

Peaceful moment in the parkPeaceful moment in the parkafter a wedding ceremony, the bride and groom pose by a brickwall, surrounded by leaves

 

Congratulations, You’re engaged. Excitement. Fear. Joy. All emotions hitting you at once. No worries, This whole things will be a fun roller coaster.

You are here because you want to do your wedding the correct way. The correct way is to keep a handle on your finance. Being blind to the cost of a wedding is one of the biggest reasons our countries divorce rate is so high. Yes I said the “D” word. But it’s a fact of the matter. I want to make sure you avoid any unneeded stress that comes with planning your wedding.

In news, books, and internet, marital surveys are gathered. You will read that finances are one of the leading cause of divorce.

My 5 tips summed up:

  • Know Actual Wedding Costs

  • Get a wedding loan or not

  • Tracking & Organizing

  • Time versus Money

  • Need versus Want

 

Groom waiting for the first lookGroom waiting for the first look

Actual Wedding Costs

Who reading this remembers the movies in school called ‘School House Rock’? What would they always say? “Knowledge is power.”

Knowledge of your wedding is the best power. Do you know what different aspects of a wedding can costs you? What can you splurge on? What can you save on? Let's find out.

Note, that these are not exact numbers. Different areas have different costs. And ultimately your decisions will result in different pricing points.

The biggest factor to these costs is your engagement length. The longer your engagement the easier it will be to pay for your dream wedding.

Now I'm not saying an engagement should last years. But, 18 months is a great number to work with. Vendors will still be available. And, plenty of time to budget your dream celebration.

reflection of the ceremony for a beautiful wedding momentreflection of the ceremony for a beautiful wedding moment

Estimated Wedding Item Costs for 2020

Wedding Bands/Rings $200-$3,000

 

Venue/Reception $3,000-$15,000

  • Table Settings

  • Venue Rental

  • Table/Chair Linens

  • Teardown/Cleanup

 

Food/Catering $20-$70/head

  • Wine, Beer, Liquor (Estimate 3 drinks per guest)

  • Centerpieces

  • Thank You treat/gifts (Estimate $3-$10/guest)

 

Ceremony $800-$2,000

  • Facility, Temple, Church, Synagogue, Ect

  • Decorations for Chuppah, Mandap, Alter, Chairs, Isle

  • Programs & directions

  • bubbles/rice/rose petals

  • Unity memorabilia

 

Stationary $200-$800

  • Postage

  • Save the Date

  • Invitations

  • Thank you cards

 

priceless and timeless makeup momentpriceless and timeless makeup moment

Hair & Makeup $200-$700

 

Florist $400-$3,000

  • Boutonnieres

  • Bouquets

  • Corsages

 

Rehearsal/Thank You Dinner $600-$3,000

  • Meal ($15-$35/head)

  • Maids/Groomsmen Gifts

 

 

Attire $600-$8,000

  • Tux/Suit Groom

  • Bridal Gown

  • Alterations

  • Veil/Hair Piece/Garters

  • Corset/Spanks/Bra

  • Crinoline (Underskirt)

  • Shoes

 

Cake $300-$2,000

  • Slice per guest ($2-$10/guest)

  • Cake Topper

  • Cutter & Server

 

Photographer $1,000-$10,000

  • Engagement Shoot

  • All day wedding photographer

  • All day photographer’s assistant

  • Prints or digital images

  • Wedding album

  • Wall art

  • Mother’s albums

 

DJ $500-$3,000

Up-lighting $300-$800

Videographer $600-$2,000

Ordained $0-$400

Wedding Planner $600-$5,000

Transportation $700-$3,000

Monetary tips for all professional $50-$100/professional

Don't feel like you have to get everything I listed. It's just a general check list that most of my weddings have.

Things that get forgotten are Rehearsal Dinner and Tipping the pros.

 

wedding reception hallwedding reception hall

First To Get a Loan or Not

I veto this idea. But I can see the perks. If you are good with finances, you can choose to. Many couples want a shorter engagement. Means less time to save and pay for your celebration. The quick solution; get a small, short term loan.

Remember that a loan, just like credit card, will have interest and you will be paying extra.

If you are considering this option here are some pros and cons to think about before you bring this up to your s.o.

 

Cons

 

  • Another form of debt on your credit

  • Starting marriage in debt

  • High interest rate depending on the office

  • Wedding may cost more than the loan amount

  • Regret when still paying for your wedding a year later

  • Can affect the chances of getting a home loan.

 

Pros

  • Get everything you desire for your wedding

  • raise your credit score

  • One single bill, rather than having seven bills for each vendor you hire

  • A year or more to pay off your wedding

  • Pay all your professionals upfront

  • No confusion with several late fees or missed payments

  • Less Stress when tracking and organizing and budgeting

  • All bills in one place

 

a gift from the bride for the groom, a pocket watcha gift from the bride for the groom, a pocket watch

Tracking and Organizing

This is my favorite tip. Being aware of what you have. Know what you need. Accountable for your wedding stuff. You will look like you know what you are doing. How to track your wedding:

 

  • Paper Planner

  • Or use a cell phone app

  • Wedding Email

  • Sign up for a free google or yahoo email.

  • Avoid WEDDING SPAM to your regular email.

  • Keep all wedding emails in one place.

  • Wedding Binder

  • Contracts at your fingertips

  • No contract and no receipts, no proof of purchase or accountability.

  • Accordion File

  • Old school but works with the limited contracts if you don't want a binder

  • Free Checking Account

  • Keep your wedding budget completely separate.

  • Don't spend your wedding budget on coffee.

  • Attend Bridal Expos

  • Find wedding pros. Get pricing. Get ideas.

  • Blogs/Magazines/Bridal Classes

  • Learn from other's experience.

  • Get great recommendations.

 

Dayton Art Institute Engagement session evening sunDayton Art Institute Engagement session evening sun

Time versus Money

convert these words into DIY or Buy. Not everyone is left brain. Some of us are more creative and can create amazing things with our hands. Warning, DIY can be more as expensive than buying it out right. And people with money, know that time is way more valuable than money.

Also, go down the rabbit hole and look up “pinterest fails”. It’s funny, but on a serious note, it’s so bad!

Here are some of your Pros and Cons on DIY or Buy:

 

Need versus Want

This is one of most difficult things you will do for your wedding. Deciding what you need versus what you want. One of the most important ways to stay within your budget.

Purchasing something you want or purchase something that you need.

Types of things a wedding typically Needs:

 

  • Food

  • Drinks

  • Entertainment (DJ/Band)

  • Attire

  • Venue

 

Types of things as a wedding Want:

  • Popcorn Machine

  • Candy Table

  • Alcohol

  • Elaborate Decorations

  • Bird/Butterfly Release

 

Peeking at the maids finishing their detailsPeeking at the maids finishing their details

Every couple is different and even each person in the relationship is different. While you think something is a need, someone else might see it as a want. Blurring that line is what will cause you to lose sight of your budget and ciaos will ensue quickly.

Tip: Every time you see a detail or item for your wedding ask yourself a questions. “Will my wedding still have meaning and be beautiful without this?”

Your wedding will be beautiful. Your celebration will be spectacular. Keep in mind the before the wedding and the after the wedding. You have been happy before your wedding. You will be happy after your wedding.

 

- - - - - - - - - -   ~  - - - - - - - - - -

If you are serious about the quality of your wedding photographs, send me your questions, or date. I only accept 30 weddings each year.
 

What makes me a different kind of wedding photographer? Let me share the intimate details of how losing my job in the middle of planning my wedding, defined me as a photographer. Focused on not just stunning images, but the experience of a lifetime for you.
 

You know 30 weddings a year is not many. But, that is because I give more than digital downloads. I deliver an unforgettable experience. Pick the perfect wedding photography package and experience from one of my specially designed packages. 

 

_______

Crystal Horton Photography

1729 Red Clover Dr., Lebanon, Ohio 45036 

937-550-3133

Crystal.Horton@CrystalHortonPhotography.com

Captivating Wedding Photography in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Ohio Tristate

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contact@crystalhortonphotography.com (Crystal Horton Photography) budget budgeting cost finance how to keeping track organizing paying for a wedding professional tips tricks wedding https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2021/7/5-tricks-for-budgeting-my-wedding Wed, 07 Jul 2021 13:22:31 GMT
Stress Free Wedding Trick - Wedding List https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2021/7/wedding-list HOW TO HAVE A STRESS FREE WEDDING
Sweet Beginning, Engagement, & Wedding Tips

A blog series to help every couple on their adventure to marriage.

By | Crystal Horton Photography

Help, I'm feeling a little stress with my wedding.

romantic engagement kiss near waterromantic engagement kiss near water

 

  • I don't want to be a Bride-zilla.

  • I want to have the wedding of my dreams.

  • How do I tell people I don't like their idea?

  • How do I get my Significant other to step in?

 

I can help answer these questions right here. They are very valid questions. Any normal bride will ask at least once while planning.

Every couple deserves the perfect day of celebration. They are spending all this time and energy to be able to celebrate something that they have. Companionship, love and a fairy tale.

 

I don't want to be a Bride-zill.

Are you someone who doesn't like to rock the boat? Then I'm sorry to tell you but in someone's eyes you will be a bride-zilla. Not for any other reason than that they don't agree with your decision. Opinions always come out during the wedding process.

But, there is a way to avoid it. Say something like, "That is a great idea, I'm going to write that one down." Then do what you said and write it down. You don't have to like the idea, but you avoid being a Bride-zilla, and you don't cause ripples in the water.

 

Oregon district coffee press shopOregon district coffee press shop

I want to have the wedding of my dreams.

Sad truth is, most parents who have a child getting married, tend to bring out their opinions. In particular if they are paying for something. Being a photographer, I see this too often. Parents pay for my service, but then they want to call the shots on the photos and tell me what to do. To save the couple stress, I tackle this before it happens. In my contract I let the "payee" and the couple know that no matter who is paying, the bride is the voice that I listen to. It is their wedding, and they are the ones that will be looking back at the wedding memories for the rest of their lives.

I am nice and let the "payee" know that if they haVe an idea, I will attempt to accommodate their idea.

To get the wedding of your dreams, you need to be a filter. Allow everything to come to you, and then only note the ideas and opinions that you like. Oh, and try not to roll your eyes if you are getting frustrated.

 

How do I tell someone I don't like their idea?

Is someone nagging you about their idea? or, are they non stop sending you ideas? Don't fret, it happens all the time. Tackle the first question, if someone is nagging you about a single idea. Let them know that you have several idea that you are thinking about. Also that you and our s.o. (significant other) will have to agree on the idea. You can also let them know "hey, I have your idea in my notes, and it's good. I am going to consider it. I also want to make sure that it will fit with my wedding." Using the word "my" allows them the opportunity to step back off of you. It's not their wedding. They may have had one, or have an open future.

The other side. Someone is sending you non stop idea. This can get on your nerves super quick. You feel the exhaustion, but outsiders are still excited. They aren't dealing with 'all' of it, only the 'fun' stuff.

My answer for you here, let them know that you need a break from what ever they are sending you. If they are sending you several subjects, tell them you are taking a break from wedding planning. And, remember to tell them you appreciate it, but they can take a break too.

If they still won't let you be, let them know this. You have 3 ideas you like, and even thought it was a great idea, their idea didn't make the cut. ---Done.

 

cheers to the new bride and groomcheers to the new bride and groom

How do you get your significant other to step in?

This is the idea of getting them involved with filtering the noise from family and friends. (not getting them to choose wedding decisions. That's another blog)

Getting them to step in is hard. If you are a quiet type, your fiance is more like the loud type. You are lucky, it should be easy if you explain. If you have the strong opinion, they may be the go with the flow kind. Both my husband and I are the soft voice unless we're upset or passionate.

If you need them to step in, ask them to. Explain to them how you feel, and especially if it is their family. Sometimes choosing which battle to fight with the future-in-law family is smart.

I remember the big issue with the maid's dresses. Husband and I wanted long, the maids wanted short. I went 3 different times to hunt for gowns. Finally I had enough, I hit the point of frustration. Exhaustion. I let them get the short dresses. I went home and sobbed. The husband was very mad at this point.

My problem, he stepped in too late. The dresses were still pretty. They were non-returnable. They weren't what we wanted. Learn from me, pick your battle, or step in before it's too late.

 

It's your wedding.

Look it's your wedding. It doesn't matter how annoying or opinionated someone is. It doesn't matter who is paying for what. It is your wedding.

There is a time for a bride-zilla, and there is a time for the quiet type. If you don't express your decisions now, you will regret them later. You will regret them every time you look at your wedding album.

- - - - - - - - - -   ~  - - - - - - - - - -

If you are serious about the quality of your wedding photographs, send me your questions, or date. I only accept 30 weddings each year.
 

What makes me a different kind of wedding photographer? Let me share the intimate details of how losing my job in the middle of planning my wedding, defined me as a photographer. Focused on not just stunning images, but the experience of a lifetime for you.
 

You know 30 weddings a year is not many. But, that is because I give more than digital downloads. I deliver an unforgettable experience. Pick the perfect wedding photography package and experience from one of my specially designed packages. 

 

_______

Crystal Horton Photography

1729 Red Clover Dr., Lebanon, Ohio 45036 

937-550-3133

Crystal.Horton@CrystalHortonPhotography.com

Captivating Wedding Photography in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Ohio Tristate

]]>
contact@crystalhortonphotography.com (Crystal Horton Photography) bridezilla bride-zilla can't decide cost efficient wedding experienced experiences perfect wedding professional stress free wedding tips tricks wedding itinerary wedding list https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2021/7/wedding-list Wed, 07 Jul 2021 13:22:02 GMT
Premium Wedding Checklist for Every Bride https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2021/7/premium-wedding-checklist-for-every-bride PREMIUM WEDDING CHECKLIST EVERY BRIDE NEEDS
Sweet Beginning, Engagement, & Wedding Tips

A blog series to help every couple on their adventure to marriage.

By | Crystal Horton Photography

Woohoo. You're getting married. You're getting married. You're getting married. You need to start somewhere. The best place is with a check list. You could make a check list from scratch. You could get one from your friend. But, if you didn't get the list from someone in the wedding industry, you could miss a crucial piece.

By the way, it is never too early to start planning your wedding. The early bird catches the worm. No that doesn’t mean you have to get up at 4am. haha!

This is one of my top posts. I have several in the “How to Have a Smooth Wedding Day” series. If you have followed me, you know why a checklist is beneficial.

wedding bouquet with the bridewedding bouquet with the bride

Where to Begin?

First of all, how far from your wedding are you? I mean, how long is your engagement? Here is my bit of comedy on where to start.

 

2 Month Engagement…umm; best of luck?

  • This isn’t an ideal situation. (but it is do-able)

  • You will have some stress and that's okay. You could also feel pressed for time and money if you are looking at a large wedding.

  • Consider adjusting your wedding to be a Micro Wedding.

  • You really need this information I am sharing with you.

 

6 Month Engagement…Not bad

  • It will be a challenge. I've seen a few spectacular weddings.

  • You should have enough time to find 'okay' quality professionals.

  • A year is better. Here's why.

 

12+ Month Engagement…Now We’re talking!!

  • The average couple allows 12 months or more to plan and PAY OFF their entire wedding!

  • 12+ months of budgeting makes a wedding more enjoyable.

  • Small to almost no interest to pay off wedding aspects.

  • More experienced professionals available for interview and hire.

 

Let’s get serious

Weddings are fun but you need to take it serious. You will invest $3,000 or even $13,000. Money is nothing to joke about. So, the very first thing you need to decide is what is most important to you. Like the dress, the dj, or the photographer. The second most important thing, how soon you want to book that important item. Some people book their number one professional immediately, usually the venue and photographer.

 

Tip* Booking venue first allows for you to give the other professionals a solidified date. Some pros won't book you if you don't have a venue booked. They don't want you to change your date to one they don't have open for you.

 

When you read this list, feel free to rearrange it. Again putting high priority vendors/professionals first. Then book them! Give them a retainer and get a contract. You don’t want to miss out on a good quality.

 

Personal Experience. I missed booking my first desired photographer because the woman in front of me booked him first. I still got one of his photographer, but I didn't get him.

 

Now let’s write!

Below is the list. Black bullet points need your primary focus for organizing. Indented bullet points are extra thoughts, notes, and optional to write down.

FINAL NOTE: If you seek ambition, put these dates in your cell phone calendar or planner. It might take a little longer, but it saves you from having to do it later. It's what I did.

 

12 Months (till wedding date)

  • Choose a Wedding Date. If you haven't done this, do it now. Many pros won't book you unless you have a solid wedding date.

    • Avoid birthdays, or big holiday's. Simple good rule of thumb.

    • This may change when you find your favorite venue, but at least pick one.

  • Choose attend a bridal expo. Write down three but attend at least 2.

    • Get a feel for How Many couples you’re up against when booking pros. If you don't book them, someone else will.

  • Set a Budget for Wedding (& Honeymoon)

    • We all wish we had a lottery budget but sometimes we don't. Decide “A” number to start with. Choose 5k, 10k, 13k, 17k, 21k, 28k, 32k; It’s up to you and your soon-to-be spouse.

    • Oh, make sure your S.O. agrees with this number since “what’s yours is mine” starts now.

  • Tip* if you have smart finances, and you have your own account, sweet. You can take your extra dollars and spend it where you want. buy and extra gift. cool. or continue to get your morning coffee. yumm.

  • Write a general Guest List.

    • No need to get addresses yet. Stick with names and +1.

    • 50 people? 80 people? 120 people? 200 people? 250 people?

    • ***You need this number for most of your venues & caterers

  • Rank your vendors

    • Who/What is most important? write numbers next to them so you remember. Every pro thinks they are number one on your list.

    • Reserve your vendors. (or at least start interviewing your highest needs.)

 

10 Months (till wedding)

  • Pay a Deposit. Get a receipt and contract!

    • Reception Venue

    • Ceremony Venue

    • Photographer

    • Caterer/Food

    • DJ/Musicians

    • Florist

    • Planner

    • Experienced Hair & Makeup Artist

  • Research Wedding Gown styles

    • Schedule at least 1 or 2 fittings for fun. Try on designs you might not like.

 

8 Months (till wedding)

  • Ask Brides Maids and Groomsmen.

  • Go Dress Shopping

    • Buy your gown

    • You need time for alterations or any hiccups/issues

  • Build a Gift Registry

    • Popular ideas: Amazon, Bath & Body, Target, Macy's, Lowes, Local Mall,

  • Hire remaining vendors/professionals you have left to book

  • Complete Guest list. Get addresses.

  • Schedule Cake Tastings (BEST PART EVER!!)

    • If the fiance didn't like wedding planning, they will love this. Book several, even if you don't think you will book them. You never know.

 

7 Months

  • Hire the Cake Baker

  • Schedule Bridal Shower(s) Date(s)

    • Schedule a lunch with family and friends to start planning and solidify details.

  • Get Mom(s) dresses

    • If reluctant, make them go. Tell them you would like to see them in a new outfit they haven't worn.

  • Final decision about your centerpieces and decoration

    • Sometimes you can find holiday deals at craft stores!\

    • Think about watching deals.

    • check out social media and garage sales. You can find unused items for half price.

  • Book your Engagement Photography session (if you have one)

 

6 Months

  • Check your Budget.

    • Need More? Are you on target? I had a binder I kept everything in.

  • Mail Out Save the Dates! (Especially for out of town guests or Destination Weddings!)

  • Schedule Bachelorette/Bachelor Party weekends

    • I will keep saying it, "Don't do this the weekend before!" Do it two so there is time to recovery.

 

5 Months

  • Research, meet, and email Hair & Makeup Artists

  • Research Honeymoon

  • Book hotel Accommodations for all guests.

    • Add the details in your invitation pack

    • offer to all guests. some guests will go heavy on the drinks and not want to drive.

  • Start a Skin & Hair regiment

    • Anything you can do before your wedding will help your photographer. The better "real life" is, the better your memories will be.

 

4 Months

  • Book Rehearsal Dinner Reservations

    • Book morning after brunch if needed

  • Book Your Makeup & Hair Artist

  • Decide on Wedding Day Transportation

    • Do you have the budget for a limo? want to rent a nice expensive convertible?

  • Get Wedding Dress Alterations!

    • You do not need to go through the bridal shop. I didn't and I saved over $700 on alterations!

  • Book Honeymoon flight/hotel/resort

  • Order Invitations & Thank You Cards

  • Do Maid’s dresses need alterations?

    • Get those in asap!

    • Try to get everyone to the same shop so they are all the same.

 

3 Months

  • Get details about Marriage License

    • Where do you have to go to get it? No one told me about it and I had to rush to get it.

  • Early mail out for Invitations

    • If you didn't send save the dates, mail invitations now

  • Select Groomsmen Attire

    • Buy/rent this if customized

    • Consider buy him a tux from like Men's Warehouse.

  • Decide on music for ceremony/reception

    • Set up a meeting with your DJ/Musicians

  • Confirm vendors, vendor’s contracts, and location of wedding!!

    • If you don't have a planner, you NEED to do this now. This is the last chance to get a decent pro if one falls through.

 

2 Months

  • Decide on a Thank You favors for guests

  • Mail Invitations (Last chance)

  • Get all RSVP’s by 30 days prior at the latest.

  • Design a Wedding Day Itinerary

    • 1 min of planning, saves 10 min of stress and execution

  • Final Dress Fitting

 

4 Weeks (1 Month)

  • Deliver final head count to Caterer/venue

  • Makeup & Hair Trial Run

    • Can book earlier like when you do your engagement photographs.

  • Create a Rain Plan! (Trust me it’s worth it!)

  • Give final Wedding Itinerary to all important people and vendors

    • Give a copy to all vendors. Church, Reception, Caterer, Photographer, DJ, Hair & Makeup, Baker, ect

  • Confirm Honeymoon bookings and flights

 

3-2 Weeks

  • Get Marriage License

  • Create Seating Arrangements

  • Get yourself wedding ready

    • Want sun kissed tan?

    • Freshen hair. Dying hair? Highlights?

    • Start a skin treatment

    • Teeth whitening and skin tanning

 

WEEK OF (WooHoo You made it!)

  • Create a Day of Checklist (Items you can’t forget!)

  • Get dressed steamed or pick up from alterations

  • Pick up groom’s attire (& groomsmen’s attire)

  • Get nails done and unwanted hair waxed

  • Box/Pack all wedding day items (or give to planner in advance)

  • Final Confirmation with all vendors on time and location!

  • Pack for Honeymoon

 

 

- - - - - - - - - -   ~  - - - - - - - - - -

If you are serious about the quality of your wedding photographs, send me your questions, or date. I only accept 30 weddings each year.
 

What makes me a different kind of wedding photographer? Let me share the intimate details of how losing my job in the middle of planning my wedding, defined me as a photographer. Focused on not just stunning images, but the experience of a lifetime for you.
 

You know 30 weddings a year is not many. But, that is because I give more than digital downloads. I deliver an unforgettable experience. Pick the perfect wedding photography package and experience from one of my specially designed packages. 

 

_______

Crystal Horton Photography

1729 Red Clover Dr., Lebanon, Ohio 45036 

937-550-3133

Crystal.Horton@CrystalHortonPhotography.com

Captivating Wedding Photography in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Ohio Tristate

 

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6 tips for saving money on a candy bar https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2021/7/6-tips-for-saving-money-on-a-candy-bar 6 TIPS FOR SAVING MONEY ON A CANDY BAR
Sweet Beginning, Engagement, & Wedding Tips

A blog series to help every couple on their adventure to marriage.

By | Crystal Horton Photography

 

Weddings 2017

As a request by one of my readers (Special Thanks to Charlie Smith), I am here with a delicious blog. This is popular, stunning, yet expensive idea. You may have even crossed this idea at another wedding. I'm talking about a CANDY BAR.

 

It's seen in movies. Photographed in Magazines. Showcased in Hollywood. Candy Bars have been and still are popular.

The trick is how to do it at an effective cost. Well Here are a few options for you!

 

Rent your glassware.

Truth is, the glassware is one of the most expensive parts of the sweet treats display. And the down fall is, you are only going to use those vessels once. Okay, twice if the holiday season comes around and you remember. To keep this detail budget friendly, rent your glassware. Don't rent from a stranger though. They don't have to meet any requirements like a company.

There are a few places in Dayton, Ohio that have this option. One place is call Prime Time Party Rental. You can get your whole wedding there. The other favorite is a wedding planner. Angela's Premier Event Design. They have a stock pile of wedding details. Some of which are glass vessels for a candy bar.

My favorite part is that you set up, enjoy the beauty, then return. No figuring where to store it, reselling it, or worst, forgetting about it in storage boxes.

 

Weddings 2017

Re-purpose the glassware.

You have to buy the really fancy style. No one is judging. Consider reusing the vases and jars. If you know that you are going to need to decorate your home, select styles and sizes that you will reuse. Need something for your bathroom bath salts, cotton balls, or tooth supplies? What about your guest room need a candle holder? Does your kitchen need some colorful noodles?

If you know you are going to do some homemade gifts this coming year, it bakes sense to buy stuff. They look great for Baby showers, Christmas parties, or birthdays.

 

Don't buy glass.

Awww. I want to see the pretty colors and textures. Yes that is nice. But again, if what you want is a candy bar, and you have limited funds, something's go to give. Consider getting cute buckets, barrels, tins, wooden vessels, even Shadow boxes. Hey consider that as a great re-purpose. Shadow boxes filled with colors and photos and sweet treats! Plus you can put wedding photos and memorabilia in them.

 

Weddings 2017

Fake it. Premake it.

No don't go buy plastic balls, beads, or fake food to fill the vases. What I mean is pre-make portions. Buy the minimal amount of decorative candy, enough to fill the vases at different heights. Include enough to portion out servings. 

First, Then fill your vessels to make them photographic ready. Step two, pre-portioned treat bags so that you know the cost per bag. Guests always take extra of the expensive treats, like kit-kat versus sweet tarts. It's a little extra work, but you know guests (and sugar high kids) tend to scoop heavy hand. That adds up fast.  Also, remember, use colorful treat bags and ribbon to match your theme.

Now when setting up at the wedding, set the beautiful display to your liking, add a few pieces of tape or elmer's glue to the lids, and all the treat bags up front. Then a lovely little sign that says something like:

"We love that you're here to wish us well and eat,

So please take one and enjoy our sweet little treat."

 

Shop in advance.

If you know immediately that you want a candy bar at your wedding, start shopping now. Candy lasts. You can get some things on clearance. And because of the chocolate or sugar coatings the insides will stay sealed.

Also, if you do buy early, get a large container and several bags and triple seal the candy. This will insure the candy is as fresh as it can be. And if you have the ability, place them on a shelf in the basement. That way they will not have hot and cold temperature changes. If you don't have a basement, put in a plastic box, in the bottom of your pantry, labeled "save for wedding".

 

Weddings 2017

Homemade. It's still the best.

Home made candies. Some of them are a lot easier than you would imagine! Can you say Candy Chocolate Bark? Ummmm, Chocolate dipped pretzels. Ever had a Chocolate covered marshmallows dipped in nuts or sprinkles? Snowball cookies (AKA Mexican Wedding Cookies) are a good luck treat. Bite Sized Sugar cookies (Shape of a heart of course). Maybe skip the almonds unless you want that 5 almond tradition. I personally have made peppermint candy bites because I can't eat dairy. Super easy and sooo refreshing. My notes: go easy on the extracts and don't make candy when it's raining. Humidity fluctuation messes with candy some how.

 

If I were shopping today for my candy bar, what would I do?

 

Weddings 2017

Coupons. No I'm not a crazy coupon lady. I do know how to shop. First, I look at the clearance sections. Then I move to what coupons are available, it's a smart way to shop. Plus if I know I need a new vessle for decoration, I try to multi purpose, and re-use. example: a cotton ball jar for the bathroom can hold quite a few Life Saver Mints.

 

Facebook Groups. I hate facebook, but it has it's perks. Finding a wedding second hand group is so beneficial. Not only can you buy items that at a once time use, but you can resell to that exact group.

 

Online shopping. Even though I am dairy free now, most of my guests aren't. Look at places like oriental trading company. amazon. bulk candy. It is a great way to get a good deal for the amount you need.

 

Buy smart. Photos look pretty with wrapped mints and chocolate turtles, it's not cost friendly. Consider the most cost effective options. For my own wedding, I bought sixlets (which are gluten free!!). I lost my job, so I couldn't splurge, but if I could have I would have. Budget friendly ideas are skittles, chocolate chips, honey roasted nuts, butter mints, M&Ms, Candy sticks.

 

Homemade. I do a ton of things homemade. As I said I've done the peppermint patties, and they were delicious! I have also done chocolate covered oreos/cookies, and chocolate covered pretzels. These are easy treats that look beautiful in candy jars. And if you really want to wow someone and use your wedding colors, do Chocolate bark. any chocolate, any pretzel/cracker, and any toppings. salty sweet is always a fun twist!

 

Weddings 2017

- - - - - - - - - -   ~  - - - - - - - - - -

If you are serious about the quality of your wedding photographs, send me your questions, or date. I only accept 30 weddings each year.
 

What makes me a different kind of wedding photographer? Let me share the intimate details of how losing my job in the middle of planning my wedding, defined me as a photographer. Focused on not just stunning images, but the experience of a lifetime for you.
 

You know 30 weddings a year is not many. But, that is because I give more than digital downloads. I deliver an unforgettable experience. Pick the perfect wedding photography package and experience from one of my specially designed packages. 

 

_______

Crystal Horton Photography

1729 Red Clover Dr., Lebanon, Ohio 45036 

937-550-3133

Crystal.Horton@CrystalHortonPhotography.com

Captivating Wedding Photography in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Ohio Tristate

]]>
contact@crystalhortonphotography.com (Crystal Horton Photography) bar Candy cincinnati dayton how to ohio photographer professional romantic save money session timeless wedding https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2021/7/6-tips-for-saving-money-on-a-candy-bar Wed, 07 Jul 2021 13:21:03 GMT
Attending My First Bridal Expo https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2021/7/attending-my-first-bridal-expo ATTENDING MY FIRST BRIDAL EXPO
Sweet Beginning, Engagement, & Wedding Tips

A blog series to help every couple on their adventure to marriage.

By | Crystal Horton Photography

Should you go to a Bridal Expo? Ummm...YES!! Free pass or paid ticket. Go! It is worth every moment.

There comes a point in every engagement when a couple is looking at going to their first bridal expo. There are many reasons to go to a bridal expo. A groom who enjoys meeting with professionals face to face. A bride looking for a girls day out. A couple wanting a quick interview with several vendors in one place. Getting an expo price or the first one to book your favorite vendors! No matter the reason, you can never be too prepared. And trust me, you want to go prepared.

 

Truth about bridal expos.

Now after I told you to go, let me scare you! But, not too badly. Whether you have been to an expo before or not, these are the facts about bridal expos in the eyes of a bride.

 

  • They are busy and a bit crazy.
  • There are usually 4 of each vendor at the smallest expo.
  • 7 to 10  vendor types at large ones.
  • There are vendors you wouldn't expect. (some just spam, some for your wedding only)
  • There are a bunch of giveaways. Take advantage of them.
  • There's a plethora of brides (and tribes). Don't be shy. If you want a vendor get their attention.
  • Your hand will cramp by the time you leave. All the writing, and form filling.
  • Your feet will hurt if you wear high heals.
  • Food and Cake vendors are usually slammed. Watch for the gaps and always grab a taste!
  • Half vendors will be pushy and rude. Find the fun and personable ones. feel the connections.
  • You will get a ton of name, documents, and business cards. Be prepared  for info overload.
  • Many brides book appointments that day with vendors. If you want the best, you need to beat them!
  • Vendors offer deals or inclusions for booking via the event, or at least scheduling a coffee!

Feel free to Share, Set As, Tag, or even Pin, but please do not edit or print without Explicit Permission. Crystal Horton Photography 2017

 

Time for some help.

Now that you are wondering "should i really go to a bridal expo?", I will repeat; Yes! Yes you should. 

It's like Google search, but with actual people and actual products you can taste, touch, and experience.

Even if you have all the time in the world, you would not be able to meet with every vendor or professional in your area. So meeting a bunch of them at one time, face to face is a great way to do a quick filter. If you don't feel the vibe from someone after saying hi, then no point in continuing farther.  Even if the vendor's table is busy and full, if they appear to be friendly, and interested in a couple that is a great sign, and you should book a meeting before you even walk away! And, don't be afraid of being honest. But, don't shut down a professional or vendor if you need it.

What's the saying, "don't judge a book by it's cover." Well here there will be a ton of judging but at least get the information and read how the vendor interacts with each person.

 

Finally the tips and tricks.

I can only help you so much in this blog. Share if you think of any I missed. I do have here some very helpful trick and tips for taking your first bridal expo head on. JUST DON'T GO IN BLIND.

 

Bring pre-printed labels.

Oh YES!!! even as a photographer, I love seeing these. Make sure you aren't missing any questions, but a bride who can peel and stick a label on a free entry form...she is a thinker. It also works for those meet me for coffee forms. Again, there will be extra line items to fill out. Remember, your hand will LOVE you if you don't have to write your address and phone number 20 times.

 

Bring one or Bring them All.

You have a bride tribe. You have mothers, fathers, siblings. You can choose to bring them all, only your maid of honor, or the groom. If you think about bringing one person, consider it being the groom or your maid of honor. They are more likely to help talk with professionals and vendors you will want to hire.

If you decide to bring them all, bring them all! Have fun. Give them each a vendor to collect information from. One can get photographers. One can get venues. One can get make up artists. And you can collect the second best to photography, getting cake and bakery info.

Side note: If there is someone, a professional, that you seem attracted to, speak with them directly! Don't miss an opportunity.

 

Be the first in line.

Not all expos will apply to this, but most do. Being the first 10-30 people in line, or brides, will give you extra bonus items. A nicer bag. A free magazine subscription. Chance to win extra money or ring or dress or vacation. Heck I've seen a free drinks bracelet for all you can drink mimosas!

 

Being the first to get a coffee.

Not only do you get the fresh snacks, tastes, and bites, but you are first face to make an impression on the pros. You get to see the vendors at their freshest, most excited faces. You will get in their calendars first. Coffee dates book up quick. I know first hand. I found my dream photographer. The bride standing next to me pulled out her check and gave the photographer a retainer. Right there, at the expo, and for my wedding date. My wedding date! I was soooooo sad! But she came prepared. More than I. The mouse got the cheese.

 

Bring the planner (or fully charged phone).

You will want to try and be the first bride, or groom, to set up a meeting with the vendors you like first. If they have your wedding date open, and you enjoy what they have to offer, set up a coffee asap. Only way to do that is to have your planner or phone calendar on hand.

It's better to book a coffee and reschedule, then to forget and keep forgetting.

 

Wear the flats you love the most.

You might be the kind of gal who loves getting all cute, sexy, and professional. But, leave your clubbing heals at home. With all the standing, walking, and herding at a bridal expo, your feet will hate you. You could be standing and walking for over 2 hours depending on the expo size.

 

Visit all the booths.

Okay, almost all the booths. If you have a makeup artist, and walk past a booth, grab a card. You never know what could happen the day of the wedding. Your professional could get severely sick. Or worse, double book your date. (Oh yes! I have seen that before.) I actually have seen vendors claim bankruptcy and not have to give couples anything. (2019 bridal season in Dayton/Cincinnati Ohio)

So don't skip a booth because you assume you don't need it. Just say "I have my vendor, but I still want your info."

Not only that, but as a professional, if you have not given a contract and retainer, your wedding is not booked. And, you should get a signed copy of the contract and a receipt for your own files. But that is another blog for another time.

 

Giveaways, Giveaways, Giveaways.

There are plenty of them. Sign up for them. Some vendors have amazing giveaways that come only filling out the form. Some are only available for attending the expo. And, even if you don't win the big gift, lots of vendors give share mini offers

 

When you're done.

Ahhh. It's time to head home. You have tired feet and arms, cramped hand and smile. And, if you are successful, a HUGE collection of names and info. Your wedding will be GREAT!

Get your binder ready, with tabs and sheet protectors, and start organizing IMMEDIATELY. Even if you weren't sure about the vendor put them in this binder. Then get sticky notes and start making notes.

If you are not driving home, this is great for you to decompress. Start writing down anything and everything you remember about each vendor.

 

You Deserve a Beautiful Wedding.

Take all this in and enjoy it. It may be stressful and exhausting, it will be fun. They also get much easier with every one you attend. And attend them you should!

 

- - - - - - - - - -   ~  - - - - - - - - - -

If you are serious about the quality of your wedding photographs, send me your questions, or date. I only accept 30 weddings each year.
 

What makes me a different kind of wedding photographer? Let me share the intimate details of how losing my job in the middle of planning my wedding, defined me as a photographer. Focused on not just stunning images, but the experience of a lifetime for you.
 

You know 30 weddings a year is not many. But, that is because I give more than digital downloads. I deliver an unforgettable experience. Pick the perfect wedding photography package and experience from one of my specially designed packages. 

 

_______

Crystal Horton Photography

1729 Red Clover Dr., Lebanon, Ohio 45036 

937-550-3133

Crystal.Horton@CrystalHortonPhotography.com

Captivating Wedding Photography in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Ohio Tristate

 

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contact@crystalhortonphotography.com (Crystal Horton Photography) attending Bridal bridal expo Cincinnati Dayton Expo first hours how long need Ohio Photographer Professional reception rental Romantic Session time Timeless wedding what to expect https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2021/7/attending-my-first-bridal-expo Wed, 07 Jul 2021 13:20:29 GMT
After the Bridal Expo https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2021/7/after-the-bridal-expo AFTER THE BRIDAL EXPO, WHAT DO I DO?
Sweet Beginning, Engagement, & Wedding Tips

A blog series to help every couple on their adventure to marriage.

By | Crystal Horton Photography

 

Your feet wanted to sit. You wanted a hot shower. Your head needed a break. You had a spectacular bridal expo. You got a ton of names. You entered into a few raffles. You hopefully signed up to have a few coffees. This is your wedding and you want to make sure that you have the best of the best. Question is, what do you do now? How do you organize? How do you filter the vendors?

Collecting your thoughts.

 

All those papers you have sitting in a bag (that are a few days old) you need to organize them. In my last blog you might remember seeing my note about a binder, sheet protectors, and tabs. How you want to keep the categories organized. But you also need to keep your notes clean and clear. That is the biggest trick to keeping your wedding organized. The supplies is not expensive and so worth the afternoon to build. Your sanity will approve. UNLESS, you hire a planner. Then you should have a super simple wedding.

 

My Wedding Binder.

 

If you didn't read my last blog about prepping for your first bridal expo, here is one of the quick tips. The biggest and best trick I have told every single couple I work with, and now you. Go to your local office store, grab sheet protectors and tabs and do as I say.

 

Open the binder and stick only the sheet protectors into the binder.

 

Get the bag of brochures and info and dump it on the floor.

 

Start organizing by vendor type.

 

Next take each of the vendor's documents and put each company in a sleeve protector.

 

Then take the pack of tabs and separate the vendor categories.

 

Now when ever you get more information or you find notes about that vendor, you can slide it where it belongs.

 

Again, don't get rid of it because your first vendor may get booked while you are reading this.

Don't scare your fiance!

 

As much as you want to get your fiance involved asap, don't scare them. If you pour all those names in front of them, they are going to either help for a a brief moment, or shut down immediately. Their response will be, "pick who you want". Which is great, but that defeats the purpose of "our wedding". You big job, is to first filter the names first. Then let your fiance work as a second filter. Finally the names that remain, are the ones that you should book coffees or phone calls with.

Don't wear yourself out.

 

Just as important to not scare your fiance, don't wear yourself out. You have a ton to go through. As long as you get things organized to the bare bone, you will feel good. Take it step by step. If you went to the expo and got a ton of DJ's, file those, and put the rest to the side. Do the others tomorrow, but don't skip them. Make sure you keep up on your binder.

Now what?

 

As I said, start setting up meetings and coffees asap!

 

Too often I get couples wanting to learn about me, or share a coffee, but sadly, I'm already booked. The worse part is when clients want to meet during busy seasons. Then it's hard to even find an opening in the schedule. Most of the openings are for the current clients and appointments with their vendors.

 

I can't express enough YOU NEED to get on their calendar. Even if you are unsure. What can a free coffee or phone call hurt?

 

A Coffee or meeting, what?!

 

Yes. Get the courage to cold call them, or text, or better, meet them in person. And yes I have a whole opinion on why you should meet in person, or at least chat over the phone. You need to know the real them, not the sales person from the expo. After you sit down with them, keep your notes organized. Ask them a few of my questions I have listed in my "Smooth Wedding Day Series". Then, immediately put those notes with their designated sleeve or tab or folder.

 

Don't throw away their information. Even if you want to book another vendor, keep these notes. You could try to book your favorite vendor, yet they booked another bride just moments before you.

You don't want to start from scratch do you?

Baby Steps.

 

With everything that comes with weddings you have to keep taking every step you can. The next important thing to shuffle through is your in person coffee and meetings. If I haven't said it enough, you need to get these meetings booked asap.

 

Most couples start booking vendors 12 months out. They get to enjoy paying small monthly payments versus going through suffocation. Or struggling to find pennies in the couch.

 

If you don't know the vendors that book first are, venues, photographers, and planners. The next wave is Dj's/Music, Cakes, Caterers, & Flowers.

 

Note: at my recent expo, several vendors (and brides) told me they were already booking for winter 2021.

 

And one final note, don't be afraid of anything. This is your wedding and your investment. Be sure you love the vendor and what they believe in. And make sure you have your back up vendors ready. You aren't booked until there is a transfer of money and documentations.

 

- - - - - - - - - -   ~  - - - - - - - - - -

If you are serious about the quality of your wedding photographs, send me your questions, or date. I only accept 30 weddings each year.
 

What makes me a different kind of wedding photographer? Let me share the intimate details of how losing my job in the middle of planning my wedding, defined me as a photographer. Focused on not just stunning images, but the experience of a lifetime for you.
 

You know 30 weddings a year is not many. But, that is because I give more than digital downloads. I deliver an unforgettable experience. Pick the perfect wedding photography package and experience from one of my specially designed packages. 

 

_______

Crystal Horton Photography

1729 Red Clover Dr., Lebanon, Ohio 45036 

937-550-3133

Crystal.Horton@CrystalHortonPhotography.com

Captivating Wedding Photography in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Ohio Tristate

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contact@crystalhortonphotography.com (Crystal Horton Photography) after bridal expo bridal expo cincinnati dayton do from how to info ohio organization photographer professional romantic session timeless to wedding wedding binder what with https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2021/7/after-the-bridal-expo Wed, 07 Jul 2021 13:19:51 GMT
5 Reasons To Have Engagement Photos https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2021/7/5-reasons-to-have-engagement-photos 5 REASONS WHY YOU NEED ENGAGEMENT PHOTOGRAPHS
Sweet Beginning, Engagement, & Wedding Tips

A blog series to help every couple on their adventure to marriage.

By | Crystal Horton Photography

 

Most of couples who end up here wonder

"Do I really need to capture professional engagement photographs?".
 

Engagement to a firemanEngagement to a firemanengagement photograph of girl holding her fireman fiance while she looks at the camera

There comes a time in every couple's wedding planning when you get asked "Are you doing an engagement session?". You will have one of two feelings. You will have excitement wondering what you will wear. Or you will moan and reply with distastes. I promise it's not bad. If anything you will be very surprised how much fun you had and how much you love the photos. Unless you have an inexperienced photographer.

Don't feel bad if you are on the fence for an engagement session. I know the feeling. I didn't want one. Thanks to chance, I received a free session. My husband and I are so glad we did.

I'm here to help you. I have 5 reasons why you should have an engagement session. Even if you just aren't sure. I'm here to give you confidence that you are making the right decision. This is even better if you haven't found a professional to photograph your wedding.

Eden Park engagement photos kiss in the gazeboEden Park engagement photos kiss in the gazebo
 

5. Professional Photographs

Are you thinking this: 'Seriously? Do I really need a family photo? Won't I get one at the wedding?'

Yes, you should. But, there is a catch. Your photos, your beautiful professional photos will ALL be in wedding attire. The downfall with that is those photos will stand out like a sore thumb when mixed with other memories.

That leads be to this point. and During one of my photographer courses, the mentor stated this exact comment and I just melted.

"Consider this. Most couples have not had the luxury to hire a professional photographer." 

Have you had the chance to take photos expressing your fun, romantic, playful, love for each other?

Probably not. Most couples would rather buy a coffee every morning, or go to the movies. Then they regret not getting professional photos down the road. There is nothing wrong with that choice.

Instead, take advantage of capturing a fun engagement session as some bonus photos. These will look great on your wall!

Just before a kiss Dayton engagement session,Just before a kiss Dayton engagement session,


4. Comfort in front of the Camera

Still with me? Good! This second reason makes me giggle inside.

I am a photographer. But for good reason. I like being behind the camera. Not in front of it.

I do enjoy when I got to photograph someone who hates cameras or photos of themselves. No joke.

An engagement session will help you, or your fiance, get comfortable in front of the camera. It also will help you get to know how your photographer works with couples. I can spend 2 hours, or 30 min with a couple and in minuets they are relaxed and having fun.

It's never good to get to your wedding day and find that you feel lost during the private photos.

Imagine this: you are 30 minuets behind schedule. It's a super hot (or cold) day. You want outdoor photos. Rain is soon to come in. Your photographer is telling you how to stand with your fiance, but you have no idea what they want. And as hard as you try and every way you move, it seems wrong.

An engagement session will help avoid that terrible possibility.

Sharron woods engagement kissing aloneSharron woods engagement kissing alone

3. Formal Photos not in Your Wedding Clothes

Remember how I said you will capture formals at your wedding. And that is great. Do you want to see every one of your wedding formal up on your wall? Maybe. Would it not be more beautiful seeing a mix of two outfits, and wedding photos up on your walls?

Ummm, Yes. Yes it would! I'm a professional. Take my advice!

romantic pose Eden Park engagement photos, sunset momentromantic pose Eden Park engagement photos, sunset moment

2. Save the Date & Decorations

Are you an "on top of it" type of couple? Are you sending save the dates? You should. Do you know what design you want?

Consider doing something unique. Choose one of your stunning photos as a save the date image. If you tell your photographer that is what you want, they can capture a photo (or a few) to help this idea. True professionals understand negative space. We know how to frame images for save the dates.

Oregon district inspires love engagementOregon district inspires love engagement

1. Better Photographer Relationship

Not every photographer is going to be a fit. You will interview one who you love, but is way outside of your price. You will discover one who is way under your budget, but you don't trust. You may talk to one who you call to book, but they booked your wedding date 3  after you met.

Capturing engagement photographs allows you to learn more about your photographer. You may like what they said when you interviewed them. Get them behind a camera and they may be a very different person. They could be bossy, unresponsive, stoic, uncomfortable. Imagine that on your wedding day. not good.

Having a good relationship with your photographer is so important. That is why it is my number 1 on my 5 reasons.

 

What do you think about engagement photographs?

Are they worth their priceless memories?

 

Did I help do you feel better about an engagement session? Are you a little more excited for one?

So, hire your professional and very experienced photographer. Get your outfits selected. And, schedule that engagement session. Share the images.

Did I forget something? Do you think I should add or swap out a point? Let me know!

Remember: A wedding is one shot chance. Don't gamble with your wedding memories. Hire an experienced professional

 

- - - - - - - - - -   ~  - - - - - - - - - -

If you are serious about the quality of your wedding photographs, send me your questions, or date. I only accept 30 weddings each year.
 

What makes me a different kind of wedding photographer? Let me share the intimate details of how losing my job in the middle of planning my wedding, defined me as a photographer. Focused on not just stunning images, but the experience of a lifetime for you.
 

You know 30 weddings a year is not many. But, that is because I give more than digital downloads. I deliver an unforgettable experience. Pick the perfect wedding photography package and experience from one of my specially designed packages. 

 

_______

Crystal Horton Photography

1729 Red Clover Dr., Lebanon, Ohio 45036 

937-550-3133

Crystal.Horton@CrystalHortonPhotography.com

Captivating Wedding Photography in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Ohio Tristate

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contact@crystalhortonphotography.com (Crystal Horton Photography) Cincinnati Classic Dayton Do I need End Engagement Experienced High Ohio Photographer Professional Romantic Session Timeless https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2021/7/5-reasons-to-have-engagement-photos Wed, 07 Jul 2021 13:19:12 GMT
Why You Need a Wedding Day Itinerary https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2020/10/why-you-need-a-wedding-day-itinerary How to have a Smooth Wedding Day Series

Why You Need a Wedding Day Itinerary

grooms men pose like a cd covergrooms men pose like a cd coverthe groom, in a white tux, is surrounded by his groom's men as they pose in chairs as if for a cd cover.

 

Are we at the brink of wedding season yet? Spring & Fall are the typical peek seasons for weddings, at least for me. Do you believe you are in your busy season? Work? Family? Kids? Vacations? Umm, wedding planning? Then you need to know how to make sure your wedding day is smooth. Design a wedding day itinerary.

Did you groan? Roll your eyes? Did you laugh? Think I'm crazy? To be honest with you, when it comes to your wedding day, an itinerary can make a difference. Your day could stay on course or fall to utter chaos.

 

When you have a wedding day itinerary, you will get more captured photographs.

You will get more candid images and laughs. You will be able to enjoy more of the moments and spend less time directing. Even less time answering questions.

 

Surprise. most successful weddings have a wedding itinerary. It's usually designed by a wedding planner, but none the less. An itinerary is present.

 

"But Crystal, why? Why could this help my wedding be more enjoyable?"

  • It helps everyone know when and where to be.
  • It gives answers to questions that you don't need want to answer.
  • It keeps the processional vendors in check.
  • It simply gives you a peace of mind.

 

Successful people are successful because they know time is money. So if you are spending money on your wedding, then you should be enjoying that time. Don't spend money, to have to work on your wedding day.

 

Think about this:

 

“Every minute you spend in planning saves 10 minutes in execution;” -Brian Tracy

The average wedding is around 12 hours long. That includes the setting up reception hall and doing hair and make up. It includes eating a lunch, capturing photos, and even the clean up after the reception.

 

The math is: 12 hours times 60 minuets. 720 minuets. Divided by 10 minuet increments. Totaling an hour and a half to plan out your wedding day.

 

Can you carve out one and a half hours to guarantee that minor wedding hiccups are already solved. And yes every wedding will have stress and or a hiccup.

 

Hiccup Example. Absolutely everything was at the wedding. Nothing was out of place. People were on time and the bride was ready. Decorations were hung, food was prepped. I needed to capture a photo of the rings. Suddenly no one could find the rings. This was a traditional catholic wedding. The photo was not important because the rings are blessed by the pastor/priest/father. No rings, no blessing.

 

Still not convinced you need an itinerary?

If you are trying to do one thing, and someone is freaking out about something different, you can't think. You brain is unable to do those two things at once. Most people will shut down and stop thinking.

 

A real bride who didn't have an itinerary.

One of my brides refused to create "rain plan". She told me she didn't need one. She said if she doesn't think about rain, it won't rain. Farmer's Almanac said, no rain for the last 2 years.

 

To her surprise it poured all over her outdoor ceremony and the decorations. Everyone was rushing around trying to find and create a spot to move the wedding to. The bride was balling her eyes in the corner saying "it wasn't suppose to rain."

 

For almost 40min I was unable to photograph the bride. Every time she was almost done clearing her red eyes, someone would bring up another rain issue. She would begin to cry again.

 

You may not know how to design a wedding day itinerary, so here I am to help you. First of all you should ultimately hire a wedding planner. There are too many reasons to list, but I have that link here. If you refuse to hire an experienced planner, then here is a quick way to design a very basic wedding day itinerary, or even just use this. Remember this is very basic and was not designed for your wedding. 

 

Best of luck and may you enjoy every captured photograph from your wedding experience.

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If you are serious about the quality of your wedding photographs, send me your questions, or date. I only accept 30 weddings each year.
 

What makes me a different kind of wedding photographer? Let me share the intimate details of how losing my job in the middle of planning my wedding, defined me as a photographer. Focused on not just stunning images, but the experience of a lifetime for you.
 

You know 30 weddings a year is not many. But, that is because I give more than digital downloads. I deliver an unforgettable experience. Pick the perfect wedding photography package and experience from one of my specially designed packages. 

 

_______

Crystal Horton Photography

1729 Red Clover Dr., Lebanon, Ohio 45036 

937-550-3133

Crystal.Horton@CrystalHortonPhotography.com

Captivating Wedding Photography in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Ohio Tristate

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contact@crystalhortonphotography.com (Crystal Horton Photography) day itinerary of plan planning schedule smooth wedding day stress free wedding stressful wedding wedding itinerary wedding planning https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2020/10/why-you-need-a-wedding-day-itinerary Thu, 01 Oct 2020 12:37:20 GMT
Wedding Budget & Finance & Cost, Oh My! https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2020/10/Wedding-Budget-and-Finance-and-Cost-Oh-My How to have a Smooth Wedding Day Series

Wedding Budget & Finance & Cost, Oh My!

Focused on the bridal bouquetFocused on the bridal bouquetWedding gown is in the background of this wedding bouquet that has sunglowers, gerber daisys, and greenery through out

 

Have you been to a wedding? Ever helped a couple plan? Did you ever hear any talk of the cost?

If you have ever experienced a wedding, you know weddings are not cheep. And the cost of these weddings, is for a good reason. Fact is, quality and experience doesn't come cheep. And, gambling the value of a wedding vendor or detail is a high risk decision.

 

There are so many little things that go into a wedding. You have to choose vendors like a reception location, a planner, a dj and so forth. What you don't realize is you have to calculate the small things. Do you need lunch the day of? Are you getting bridal party gifts? Is there a special decor or moment that you need extra equipment for?

 

If you have never viewed real numbers for a wedding, you are about to have a giant shell shock. Again, not every person will pay the same amount for certain aspects of their wedding. But this should give you a general idea of where you want to divide your dollars. You may decide to trim the guest list, and up the quality of the photographer. I say that's a good choice! Haha.

 

The real numbers

 

According to online statistics by Brides.com

Link: https://www.brides.com/story/american-wedding-study-how-much-average-wedding-2018-cost

 

2017 average wedding costs were around $27,000.

Then in 2018, the average jumped to $44,000.

Did you gasp for air reading that? Remember, these numbers include both low income weddings and the Hollywood lavish parties.

I was only a little shocked at the number, but also not surprised. Weddings are an important aspect to a couple. Its one of the largest celebrations a couple get's to experience.

 

Don't worry yourself too much. This should be more of an eye opener. Give you a good estimate of what you want and or what you can expect for your dream wedding. Doesn't every couple deserve the wedding of their dreams?

 

Knowledge is power

 

Knowing what you are getting into is the smart move. Knowing what you plan on spending, or what you need to spend is great! And, be sure to talk to your fiance about the wedding finance. They may have a different number in mind. It is healthy for your relationship. You should compromise because this is a wedding for you both.

 

Why a Budget is Healthy & Smart

 

Some individuals think they don't need to talk about where their money is going. They assume it's their hard earned dollar they should get to choose. To a point that is true, but you are about to go into a partnership. Keeping secrets is disaster waiting to unveil. Over spending and the stress of how to pay is not a good way to start a marriage. As the saying goes, to decide not to decide is to decide. But since you are here, that doesn't apply to you.

 

But why should I care about my wedding budget?

 

  • It Empowers you to know what is good quality versus cheap. If a photographer is only $1000, versus another who is $3000, you might wonder why. Why is one only charging $1000? Do they have insurance? Do they have quality equipment? Will they still be in business when your wedding arrives, or will they claim bankruptcy. (Update: as of August 2019, this is a sad popular truth for the Dayton, Ohio area. A few photographers have claimed bankruptcy. And!!! They did not have to deliver photographs captured from the weddings.)

 

  • Keeps you mindful of what you can afford. No one wants to say, ' you mean i could have purchased the pair of jimmy choo shoes?!' or ' we could have added an extra wall canvas for our home?!'

 

  • Assists with deciding which aspects of your event are most important. wouldn't it be great if you had an extra few hundred to add white glove dinner service for your guests?! Personal tip here; it adds a much higher experience for you and your guests.

 

  • Prepares you for any unexpected life, or wedding, hiccups (unemployment/unresponsive vendors). Unemployment was a sad reality for myself. I was lucky because my husband and I were very finance aware. Loosing my job only changed a few decisions.

 

  • Eliminates stress that comes with sticker shock after meeting a vendor you love.

 

  • Prepares you for interviewing professional vendors and venues. you won't book a vendor that you can't afford.

 

  • But Most of all….. It prevents you and your future husband or wife from getting into a very large argument. You don't want to debate about what you want, don’t want, or where your money is being spent at a vendor meeting.

 

What the Cost of a Wedding looks like.

 

I know this is not for every single person because. We are all different. We all put different values on different aspects. Someone may value a Beanie Baby while someone else will value a Postal Stamp.

 

These numbers are to give you an idea. Help you get a base of where you should aim for, to save for, or where you desire to spend your hard-earned dollar.

 

If you have already made a wedding list, you already know what you value the most. Those are going to be the things that you will want to hire the top notch quality for.

 

Don't have a wedding list? Follow this link. It will help you design the perfect wedding.

 

Want a super quick answer? Most people, in Ohio, spend the most money on reception hall, Photographer, or Honeymoon.

 

TIP & TRICK: Time Vs Money.

Want to save extra cash? Are you a crafty person? Save a few hundred dollars on your bouquet. Make a forever keepsake. Even package your own thank you treats. Borrow a slip for under your dress. Have the groom/men buy a new suit. For the rehearsal consider going back to a house and enjoying a fun backyard grill out. 

 

DON'T skimp on your photographer or reception hall. I'm not just saying this because it's my opinion. I'm saying this from experience. Photos are the last thing you will ever have from your wedding. And Reception hall is huge. Guests will spend almost all day there. My example: I photographed a wedding at a pole barn. Couple was told a year before there would be AC. Arrive day of, the only "AC" was two giant cow fans blowing air around. Everyone was melting.

 

The Average Couple's Budget List

 

Below is an average cost of what couples will spend on each item. According to the Knot.com their national survey found that: The average wedding cost for 2018 was: 33,931

The values broken by category are as follows.

 

Reception Venue: $15,439

Photographer: $2,679

Wedding/Event Planner: $2,002

Reception Band: $4,247

Reception DJ: $1,292

Florist/Décor: $2,411

Videographer: $2,021

Wedding Dress: $1,631

Groom Attire: $283

Wedding Cake: $528

Ceremony Venue: $2,382

Ceremony Musicians: $797

Officiant: $286

Catering (price per person): $70

Transportation: $856

Favors: $245

Rehearsal Dinner: $1,297

Engagement Ring: $5,680

Invitations: $386

Hairstylist: $123

Makeup Artist: $102

 

BUT....What about my Budget?

 

I don't know. What is your budget? This is hard for anyone to say what you can or can’t afford.

And I'm not going to throw a number at you. But, lets think of a few points that could help.

 

  • What's the Length of your Engagement?

 

  • Monthly Income (per person vs couple)?

 

  • Expected Monthly Bills?

 

  • Number of Guests?

 

An Actual Bride's numbers!

 

To give you an idea of what to expect, I’m going to use one of my very best girl friends who recently married. I’m going to call her MB. She is down to earth. Has a great full time job. Her fiancé has a very promising full time job in the finance world and they have been engaged for over 12 months. They selected an October wedding date. They are also doing a merged religious wedding with modern touches.

 

Here is what she had to say:

“We (her and groom) talked about what the max we could/would spend. Came up with a guest list and then found a venue to hold that many. Then we said from there, we have an upscale venue, so we need good quality in everything else. We also picked photography as a priority expense, so we have quality, timeless, memories. If catering wasn't included, we would have picked that as our second priority. That will be experiences for the guests.”

 

So here is their original list and budget break down:

  • Overall Budget $10,000-15,000

  • Venue $10,000 (includes catering and bar)

  • Photographer $3,500

  • Dress $700-$1,000

  • Decorations (centerpiece vases for fresh flowers) - $240

  • DJ $1,000

  • Flowers $500-$700

  • Cake $500

What number looks nicer? $15,000 or $1,205?

Wait 1250? where did that number come from? Break down the 15k by 12 months and you get a monthly budget of $1,250.

 

Now that is a number almost anyone can handle. Also having 12 months to plan is a huge help! Giving yourself 12 months to budget means you can afford a nicer quality wedding. That in the end means, you will have nicer photos, and better memories for you to look back upon.

 

No one wants to say, 'wow look at this crummy photo.' or 'Ugh, look at the flowers and center piece, I wish we would have...'

 

TIP & TRICK: Work backwards.

Still don’t know what your budget should be, work backwards! Decide what your flexible income is a month and multiply that by the number of months you wish to be engaged. The average is 12-17 months. Here are a few written out examples to make calculations easier.

 

$500 x 8mo = $4,000     |     $800 x 8mo = $6,400        |    $1,400 x 8mo = $11,200

 

$500 x 12mo = $6,000     |     $800 x 12mo = $9,600     |     $1,400 x 12mo = $16,800

 

$500 x 15mo = $7,500     |     $800 x 15mo = $12,000     |    $1,400 x 15mo = $21,000

 

$500 x 18mo = $9,000     |     $800 x 18mo = $14,400     |    $1,400 x 18mo = $25,200

 

In the end....

 

Remember one thing. This is a very special celebration in your life. This specific celebration, with this person, will only happen once. You will be sharing these memories for a lifetime.

 

Don’t break the bank.

Nothing beats a good quality.

When it comes to your wedding and it’s photographic memories, don't go cheap, search for quality.

 

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I’m love capturing precious moments from my client's wedding photographs. I also love learning and sharing knowledge and experience. I'm always interviewing actual brides and professionals.

Remember you deserve the best photos. And, you deserve the best upto date knowledge.

Be confident in your wedding decisions and you will never regret anything.

 

- - - - - - - - - -   ~  - - - - - - - - - -

If you are serious about the quality of your wedding photographs, send me your questions, or date. I only accept 30 weddings each year.
 

What makes me a different kind of wedding photographer? Let me share the intimate details of how losing my job in the middle of planning my wedding, defined me as a photographer. Focused on not just stunning images, but the experience of a lifetime for you.
 

You know 30 weddings a year is not many. But, that is because I give more than digital downloads. I deliver an unforgettable experience. Pick the perfect wedding photography package and experience from one of my specially designed packages. 

 

_______

Crystal Horton Photography

1729 Red Clover Dr., Lebanon, Ohio 45036 

937-550-3133

Crystal.Horton@CrystalHortonPhotography.com

Captivating Wedding Photography in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Ohio Tristate

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contact@crystalhortonphotography.com (Crystal Horton Photography) budget budgeting cost cost of wedding finance how to keeping track paying for a wedding time vs. money tips https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2020/10/Wedding-Budget-and-Finance-and-Cost-Oh-My Thu, 01 Oct 2020 12:34:48 GMT
Gatherings on the Green Event Venue https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2020/10/gatherings-on-the-green-event-venue Crystal Horton Photography

with Angela's Premiere Event Design at

Gatherings on the Green

Wedding & Event Venue

Weddings 2017

Everyday, a newly engaged couple is on the hunt for the right wedding venue. They understand location is important. They want a neutral design that can compliment their wedding's personality. They search for something that is not too old, nor too modern. I present the venue known as Gatherings on the Green. I had the pleasure of not only visiting the venue, but to also photograph some beautiful aspects of it.

Weddings 2017

The first thing that caught my eye as I was pulling into the drive was that this venue has plenty of space. Perfect for stunning sunset backdrops. The building itself sits back from the main road. I loved this because it gave the location a secluded feel. I could also picture a beautiful lantern design lighting the way for guests.

 

If you haven't set up a walk through, you should. The property turned from small private golf club to a celebration location. Weddings 2017

One of the outdoor structures is a very tall, very large pavilion. It is a few yards away from the main venue. I could see this being a great spot for dancing among the stars. Imagine seeing Edison bulbs sparkling above the dance floor. I could see the DJ placed in a corner, and long, dramatic, organza, draped around each column.

 

Weddings 2017 My favorite area is the dreamy and romantic wedding ceremony spot. A massive, powerful, and elegant wooden pergola stands on it's own, overlooking a pond. Designed by the owners Kim & Lee, this is your picture perfect ceremony! The pergola sits only a few yards away from the main venue. Imagine draped sheers, with slight touches of greenery accenting your vows.

 

The main building is a diamond in the rough. It can hold about 250 guests. I lost my breath when my eye caught sight of the chandelier. The chandelier is the signature for Gatherings on the Green. You can see it used in their logo. The owners Kim Oswald & Lee Markley knew the moment they saw the chandelier, it must be in their venue. They believe every couple needs their first dance under this show stopper. Weddings 2017

 

The rest of the room is simple, but still a bit of character. Dark wood rafters and metal Silver half walls with white wash wood texture.

 

Weddings 2017 Opposite the chandelier, is a tremendous, handmade, wooden sliding door. With different size wood planks, the stain colors appear red and brow and tan and blue.

 

The last little detail I want to mention is the simple, quaint bridal sweet. The details made the room gorgeous. A French divider and an old style makeup vanity. There is even burgundy settee sofa. Weddings 2017

 

If you are still on the hunt for a wedding venue, schedule a walk through soon. This venue can play on almost any character or theme that your wedding embodies. So, if you seek something that is a bit of modern, natural, warm, and sparkly, you found it. Reach out to Kim or Lee before you wedding date books.

- - - - - - - - - -   ~  - - - - - - - - - -

If you are serious about the quality of your wedding photographs, send me your questions, or date. I only accept 30 weddings each year.
 

What makes me a different kind of wedding photographer? Let me share the intimate details of how losing my job in the middle of planning my wedding, defined me as a photographer. Focused on not just stunning images, but the experience of a lifetime for you.
 

You know 30 weddings a year is not many. But, that is because I give more than digital downloads. I deliver an unforgettable experience. Pick the perfect wedding photography package and experience from one of my specially designed packages. 

 

_______

Crystal Horton Photography

1729 Red Clover Dr., Lebanon, Ohio 45036 

937-550-3133

Crystal.Horton@CrystalHortonPhotography.com

Captivating Wedding Photography in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Ohio Tristate
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contact@crystalhortonphotography.com (Crystal Horton Photography) area ceremony dayton gatherings on the green lake reception venue wedding https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2020/10/gatherings-on-the-green-event-venue Thu, 01 Oct 2020 12:30:02 GMT
9 Reasons You NEED a Wedding Planner https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2020/10/9-reasons-you-need-a-wedding-planner How to have a Smooth Wedding Day Series

9 Reasons You Need a Wedding Planner



 

 

Let me get this right off my my chest and say, NO!. You do not need a wedding planner. Anyone who says you NEED to hire one is thinking with their mind, situations, and experiences.

 

The answer for you comes with a slight stipulation. While you don’t NEED a planner, most brides would agree to some extent. After their wedding, a planner would have been helpful. I recommend every bride I photograph, consider the option.

 

Every day, someone gets the idea that they should jump head first into the wedding industry. Planners are no exception to the mold. Newbies assume since they coordinated a birthday, or helped a friends wedding, they can do it as a job. They might have the skills. But are you willing to risk your wedding day? Everyone has to start somewhere, and good competition is healthy for the market.

 

Your not here to decide if a new planner is who you should hire. You want to know if you should invest some of your wedding finances in an experienced planner.

 

Why should I pay someone to plan my wedding?

 

A survey done by WeddingWire.com found the average wedding cost $29,000. Not including ring and honeymoon cost. They also calculated these numbers on over 18,000 weddings.

 

When you write that first check for your planner, you are not paying for them to only be present at your wedding. You are paying for their expertise, the professionalism, their referrals, and other skills.

 

Could you ask your aunt or co worker to help? Yes. They can direct vendors, help guests, and decorate tables. But, what happens if a vendor decides not to show? A caterer prepared the wrong dish. The venue doesn't have enough tables and refuses to comply.

 

Anyone can come up with a solution if it comes to it. But why add that stress to someone or risk them passing that stress onto you? You should enjoy your wedding day.

 

Lets count down the top 9 reasons why you might need a wedding planner.

 

9. You want your family to be present not working

Let's be real. Wedding professionals exist because there is a need for their skills. You wouldn't ask your doctor to replace the alternator in your car. Same goes for family. They have skills, but they aren't the same.

 

Too many times, brides have had sad experiences where their "helper" wasn't helping. popular excuses were, "I have/had to get ready.", "I wanted to eat too.", and "I didn't know what to do.".

 

Family should enjoy the celebration. They should be present in the photos. They should laugh, cry, dance, and party with you. You have been planning this for a few months now, let a professional take over.

 

8. Back up and experience in the field

Yes, this is a huge big deal personally. Not only does a true planner know what to expect, but they absorb the stress for you. I watched an entire box of wine get shattered mid reception. The planner didn't blink. They sent an assistant to buy more wine, and the party was none the wiser.

 

Not only do they know how to fix a situation the moment it happens, but they have back ups. Let's say your DJ friend donates their services. Morning of, they are not answering their phone and are now 2 hours late. Planners have a whole network of professionals to reach out to. Yes, I've seen this happen too.

 

And in case you were wondering, no these aren't "cheap weddings". This stuff happens to any wedding. No one can predict the future, but experience allows preparation and readiness.

 

7. Honest Unbiased Opinions

Haven’t you ever been at the store and liked a pair of pants. Did a friend start bashing them and sway your decision? If not pants, then food, or colors of paint, or even soap? Then, why would you risk your dream wedding becoming someone else's?

 

My own wedding is an example here. I allowed for my bridal party to decide the dress length, even though both my husband and i had decided to go long. It's a silly dress, maybe. But it's my wedding memories that I am reminded of every time I look at my album.

 

A wedding planner is unbiased. They don’t care what colors you want, what theme you like, or if your wedding cake matches the celebration. They are there to coach you and help you filter through all possible options.

 

Not to mention, they are going to do what you want because they work for you. They would love a referral from you or a high rated review so why would they screw up.

 

Also, planners have seen so many weddings, they have an honest opinion and real options. They can help your vision come to life while staying in your budget.

 

6. Keeping your budget in mind

Oh look at that. Budget! I don’t care if you are a hot to trot movie star or a down to earth science teacher, everyone has a wedding budget in mind.

 

One of the very first weddings I was part of had the perfect storm. I watched the couple hire an "aspiring" event coordinator/ wedding planner. No experience, no reviews, no background in weddings. Only scheduling caterers and event rooms for the executives was on her resume.

 

Cue the budget. The couple had a strict budget and idea for their decor. By the end of the wedding, the couple had over $600 worth of "stuff" they had to return to the stores. Sad reality, after the wedding, several receipts went missing.

 

You are less likely to go over your budget with a planner. They also understand if you say your dress is more important than your centerpieces. They are not going to design $80 centerpieces for 18 tables.

 

5. Constant Contact (Or almost)

Everyone gets busy. It's a fact of life. People today are more busy then they ever have been. It’s a planner’s job to keep you up to date

 

The first several months of wedding planning are quite slow and easy going. The value of a planner arises come the last 6 months. Give or take. Vendors start needing decisions. Payments get mailed. Trial runs, meetings and more are all colliding onto your calendar.

 

Again, que your planners help.

 

Unless you booked a "day of only" planner, they will be sending you emails monthly or bi weekly. They will also have phone calls or meetings ready to set up with you. Again, it's their job to remember.

 

4. On the same page

Think about your schedule. You have family stuff, parent stuff, and work stuff. You have girlfriend time, tv time, guy time, and personal time. Add in to that wedding vendors and meetings. Oh and don't forget, they have the same stuff happening in their life and work.

 

A wedding planner talks to everyone. They set appointments and confirm appointments. They make sure everyone is where they need to be and when they need to be there.

 

Your planner gets the vendors on the same page. Example: grandma has a wheel chair and may be late. Your planner will inform everyone who needs to know that!

 

3. Timelines are the Lifelines at a wedding

It is no exaggeration. Even if not followed to the T, a timeline is so very important. Every wedding I've photographed, except 1, has run behind. The ones with no timeline, were a hot mess and everyone was everywhere. Dinner was late, videographer missed part of the ceremony. And, the reception hall was not decorated or unlocked on time.

 

Try tearing a bride away from decorating tables, when she needs to be getting her make up done!

 

2. Are we having fun yet?

Your wedding day should be about love and having fun. You are going to marry your best friend. Start a life together. You are going to look across the room and see friends getting ready. You will see the reception floor full of laughs and dancing.

 

Don't do what I did. I choose not to hire a planner because of money and relied on the venue coordinator. Who didn't show till the end to "lock the doors".

 

I had to pick up my own cake. I had to decorate my own reception hall, with 4 helpers. I had to direct my own vendors. I had to go to the store because someone forgot the seating chart. Then after my makeup, someone forgot the bag of hair supplies and there was only 5 bobby pins total.

 

1. Keeping the drama in check

Weather to rubber neck, or to get involved, human nature is to get pulled into drama. Traffic jams on the highway, and the accident is on the other side of the barrier. People want to know who, what, where, when, why, and how. Why do you think reality tv is so popular?

 

Drama has no place at a wedding. A wedding planner is the go to person for this. from family issues, to vendors struggles, the planner is the middle ground. They will find the best solution and only involve you if it requires it.

 

Why is this so important and my number one spot? Because, if a bride is angry or crying sad tears, I can’t do my job. If I can’t do my job, couple's, like yourself, won’t get the beautiful, majestic images you hired me for. And no one wants to look back through their wedding album and see themselves screaming. Thy don't want to remember the terrible moments that made them break out in hives. Stress happens, and again, if you have gotten anything, I hope it's that a wedding planner is invaluable.

 

Now let's ask the question again:

Do you NEED a wedding planner?

 

Ultimately, it's your day, your budget, and decision.

 

A wedding happens fast. You should sit back, relax and let someone else run the day exactly how you want it run.

 

If you are hesitant about hiring a planner, take that as a hint from your gut that you NEED a wedding planner.

 

Follow me here to What questions to ask a wedding planner if you want to simply read through them or..


Sign up for our Smooth Wedding Day Series, you will instantly get the Blank Wedding Day Itinerary and more downloadable files through my series. Click the link above to get that instantly and directly to you!

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- - - - - - - - - -   ~  - - - - - - - - - -

If you are serious about the quality of your wedding photographs, send me your questions, or date. I only accept 30 weddings each year.
 

What makes me a different kind of wedding photographer? Let me share the intimate details of how losing my job in the middle of planning my wedding, defined me as a photographer. Focused on not just stunning images, but the experience of a lifetime for you.
 

You know 30 weddings a year is not many. But, that is because I give more than digital downloads. I deliver an unforgettable experience. Pick the perfect wedding photography package and experience from one of my specially designed packages. 

 

_______

Crystal Horton Photography

1729 Red Clover Dr., Lebanon, Ohio 45036 

937-550-3133

Crystal.Horton@CrystalHortonPhotography.com

Captivating Wedding Photography in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Ohio Tristate

Save

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contact@crystalhortonphotography.com (Crystal Horton Photography) 9 reasons countdown do i need a wedding planner planner series smooth wedding day stress free wedding wedding wedding planning https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2020/10/9-reasons-you-need-a-wedding-planner Thu, 01 Oct 2020 12:29:24 GMT
How to Design Your Own Wedding Day Itinerary https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2020/10/how-to-design-your-own-wedding-day-itinerary  

How to have a Smooth Wedding Day Series

How to Design Your Own Wedding Day Itinerary

 

You already know “Why You Need a Wedding Day Itinerary” and you are here because you need a little guidance on designing your own. I applauded you for not only seeking guidance, but for standing up and saying this is something I must have, not something that is negotiable.

As with any itinerary or schedule, you need to understand how the day will play out. Truth is, this actually might seem daunting since you have probably never been married before, or you didn’t think about a schedule for a wedding in the past. It’s absolutely okay and you don’t need to fret one bit. Creating this schedule is easy if you know some of the basic key points of a wedding day.

 

The typical scenario

What usually happens is a wonderfully blissful bride (or groom) sits down to meet with one of the top vendors for their wedding. Usually this is the photographer or reception hall. And what unexpectedly happens is the vendors says, “How long are you looking to have your wedding?” or “How long will you be needing a photographer?”.

Let’s be honest here, you probably have no idea how to answer that. Yes; you may have seen or been part of a wedding before, but you didn’t know all the fine details that were involved with that wedding, and you probably want slightly different aspects. So, you just assume the minimum or the maximum just to give an answer. The downfall wont arise until later, when you're stuck with not enough time, or over paying for things you didn’t actually need. Again, you have a lot of gears turning to make you wedding day happen smoothly, and if you don’t have a wedding planner, then this all lies on your shoulders.

 

You’re not like other brides (or grooms)

You clearly know that whether you have made all your deposits, are just recently engaged (YEA!), or are finalizing all the wedding details, you need this wedding schedule and you need it now. Let me tell you exactly what you can do.

First if you haven’t already signed up for my “How to have a Smooth Wedding Day Series”, follow the link now so that you can get a printable blank wedding day schedule and follow along with me. This will make it so much easier than starting with a blank document. Promise.

 

The absolute set in stone times

There are probably a few times that you know exactly when something will happen: 

  • The Ceremony
  • Dinner

 So your first task is to fill those in and basically work backwards, or sporadic if you already have other vendors coming at specific times. I’m going to assume that you will decide when the vendors arrival. Now, work backwards to know when bridal party needs to arrive, when you need to have hair and makeup done and so on.

If you are at the point of not knowing how long you need a vendor for, this is where the itinerary will be the most helpful.

Automatically and for the sake of ease of mind, lets assume the following:

  • Ceremony is at 4:30pm,
  • Dinner served at 6:30pm.
  • Ceremony will last 30-50minuets,
  • Giving you open time from 5:30-6:30pm to capture photos
  • Guests will enjoy hour d’ourves or drinks at this time too.

These photos would typically consist of immediate family & bridal party photo, plus time for just you and your new spouse to get some one-on-one photos that will hang on your wall, especially if you didn’t have a first look/reveal.

Your schedule should look something like this:

4:30 P

Start Ceremony

5:00 p

5:15 p  - Cocktail Hour - family photos -  Bridal Party Photos

5:30 p

5:45 p  -  Bride & Groom only photos

6:00 p

6:10p  -  Grand entrance & Blessings

6:30 p

Dinner Served

Quite simple is it not!

By the way a little special tip about photographs, assume that for every group or individual shot you want, it will take approximately 5 minuets for the photographer to check and compose the people, jewelry, and light for the photograph.

 

But I still need to know when to do my hair.

No worries we are getting there. Like I said, it’s better to work backwards, and no one knows how to do this like a professional wedding photographer! (especially one that has done her fair share of weddings.)

BIG TIP! when it comes time for the ceremony, it is very crucial that the bride is hidden at least 30minuets before the wedding. Guests will typically start arriving 45 minutes before the ceremony actually begins. Now add that into your schedule:

4:00 P

Hide Bride

The next step is to ask yourself a question. How important are the maids and grooms men photos to you? Obviously, every image will be important to you but if enjoying another momosa and relaxing is better for you, than I recommend you add relax time. Otherwise, capture all the maids with some sass against a brick wall, or all the groomsmen enjoying a toast to the man of the hour.

These images will need at least 15minuets on their own for each group, so that is another 30minuets.

**Remember that the more photos you capture before the ceremony, the less time guests will have to wait.**

3:30 P

Bridesmaids & Groomsmen photos

4:00 p

Hide Bride

 

Now to ask you questions

The next few questions I have can be listed all at once and I can give you an idea if you were to tell me as your photographer that you want them all.

  • Do you want photos of just the bride and just the groom?
  • Are you doing a first look with the Groom?
  • Are you doing a first look with dad?
  • Do you want photos of you getting into your dress?
  • Do you want photos of the groomsmen’s details?
  • Do you want photos of you without any makeup on, or with your hair all crazy and frizzy?

 

Your answers will ultimately determine what time you need to have the bridal party arrive and be dressed, as well as when you, or the Bride, need to have your hair and makeup started by. Remember that in case your hair doesn’t agree, or you break out in a stress rash, you may need a little extra time for hair and makeup.

10:00 a

Start Bridal Hair  -  Maids & Mom’s Start Hair

10:30 a

Latest to start bridal Hair

11:00 A

 

11:30 A

Latest to start Bride Makeup!

12:00 p

 

12:30 P

Photog Arrives: Photos of Wedding Details – (flowers, ring, reception, dress)

1:00 p

Bride’s Final touch up – mascara & lipstick  -  Photo brides details

1:30 p

Maids & mom’s in Dresses - Groomsmen Dressed & detail photos

2:00 p

Get Bride in Dress - Bridal Details (veil & jewelry)

2:30 p

Bridal Portrait – Groom Portrait

3:00 p

First look with Dad – First Look with Groom

 

As you probably observed, everything starts moving very quickly after the bride gets into the dress. It’s one photographic moment after another, only if you want it that way. If you have a well experienced photographer, they may appear out of breath, but their brain is running fully speed and they will be able to get this accomplished for you.

 

Did you notice the bold 12:30 P?

if you noticed the 12:30 is in bold, good for you. That is when the photographer should start photographing. Essentially a professional who cares about your day and your memories will arrive a hour early so they are ready to photograph on time.

 

What about the reception?

This is simple, and usually your high end wedding planner, or DJ should be able to direct you on how they can work the best for you and your venue requirements. Be warned, while venue coordinators have their duties and their purposes, they do not always work well with other professional because they may be set in their ways. Stay calm and be firm. You are paying them.

The big question for you here is:

Do you want people to leave immediately or do you want them to hang around to party?

That answer will tell you when you should “cut the cake”. Want them to stick around; wait to cut the cake till the end of the festivities. Want them to leave early; then cut the cake immediately after dinner. I like recommending cutting the cake last.

6:30 pm

Dinner served – Photos of Guests

7:00 pm

 7:15 Speeches & Toasts

7:30 pm

first dance  -  Parents Dances  -  Dollar Dance

8:00 pm

garter toss  -  bouquet toss  -  Cut the Cake

8:30 pm

Dancing for all  -  Photographer leaves

9:00 pm

 

9:30 pm

 

10:00 pm

DJ Leaves

10:30 pm

Must Be out of Venue

11:00 pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You Survived!

Now you have the power and control over your own wedding day. If anything should go awry or someone is running late, you now know where you can change or fit things in to make sure that your day is as special as you want it to be.

P.S. if you are worried about the photographer leaving as soon as everyone is getting on the dance floor; don’t be. As I explain to everyone of my uneasy brides, take a photo of someone doing the electric slide, the cha-cha slide, or the Cuban shuffle, and it all looks the same. So a few minuets of everyone cutting a rug, is the perfect way to end the collection of photographic memories.

 

I want to have zero worries on my wedding day

Your wedding day can never be too smooth. If you are anything like my recent bride, you are probably one of those people that want to make sure you have your hand in everything because it is your wedding and you are probably paying for it, but you probably want to sit back and relax and let someone else do the thinking and scurrying for you.

There are two things that you can do to be able to have a Wedding that is smoother than butter in the summer.

You can ask a friend not in the bridal party to help you out, OR the work smarter not harder choice is to hire a wedding planner. Surprisingly enough they are well worth the budget. And just so you know, a venue coordinator is not the same. Occasionally, but not always. They can be harder to work with simply because of job restraints.

In our next post we will dive into how a wedding planner is one of the best tools that you can utilize for your wedding day. Surprisingly no one really ever thinks about how they actually can save you both time and money; but they do.

 

 

Get your answer of: Do I really need a wedding planner?

By seeing 9 Reasons You Need A Wedding Planner

(Especially to make your wedding day smooth.)

 

 

Or Sign up to receive the entire "How to Have a Smooth Wedding Day Series" and a BONUS blank wedding itinerary form Here and Now.

If you read this but aren't sure if you really need a wedding day schedule, follow me here and see exactly "Why You Need a Wedding Day Itinerary".

- - - - - - - - - -   ~  - - - - - - - - - -

If you are serious about the quality of your wedding photographs, send me your questions, or date. I only accept 30 weddings each year.
 

What makes me a different kind of wedding photographer? Let me share the intimate details of how losing my job in the middle of planning my wedding, defined me as a photographer. Focused on not just stunning images, but the experience of a lifetime for you.
 

You know 30 weddings a year is not many. But, that is because I give more than digital downloads. I deliver an unforgettable experience. Pick the perfect wedding photography package and experience from one of my specially designed packages. 

 

_______

Crystal Horton Photography

1729 Red Clover Dr., Lebanon, Ohio 45036 

937-550-3133

Crystal.Horton@CrystalHortonPhotography.com

Captivating Wedding Photography in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Ohio Tristate

Save

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contact@crystalhortonphotography.com (Crystal Horton Photography) agenda create design download how to schedule smooth wedding day smooth wedding day series time wedding day itinerary https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2020/10/how-to-design-your-own-wedding-day-itinerary Thu, 01 Oct 2020 12:28:48 GMT
How to invite only adults to your wedding https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2020/10/how-to-invite-only-adults-to-your-wedding Happy Beginnings & Engagements.

 

A blog series to help every couple on their adventure to marriage.

Cheer to YouCheer to YouWine Burbon Ice and some sexy glassware!

How to invite only adults to your wedding.

 

More often I hear couples say they aren't sure if they will have children at their wedding. To have children at a wedding or not, is a different post. This post is how to have an adult only wedding. Or, how to invite only adults to your wedding.

 

More than likely, you feel that your wedding should be an adult only celebration. Nothing wrong with that. Not having to worry about family and friends leaving early or getting distracted is nice. If you are having a wet wedding, an open bar, then you are being a responsible adult. You have come here because you need to know how to request adults only to your wedding.

 

First off, you will get some back lash from parents about why their kids should be an exception. Don't get angry. Expect it. Be prepared for it. Don't come up with excuses. Be straight forward with them.

 

Let's rewind. Before you get into one-on-one conversations, how do you tell everyone. There are two ways. One, is to write a custom invitation with a little poem and a line says "adults only", or "leave the kids at home to sleep". The second option is to include a mini card, 3" x 5", that includes extra details. This keeps your invitation still perfect, romantic, stunning, and easy to print. Sometimes writing a poem is hard and you won't like what you write.

 

Tip: You can always let guests know: instead of giving a gift, pay for a sitter to celebrate your big day.

 

Did you send your invitation? Or at least have them printed. Be prepared for the phone calls and texts. There are times parents are EXCITED that they get a night away from kids. But other parents don't want to find a sitter and will put up a little battle. They think their children should be an exception to your request.

Stand your ground!

Have written down, your feelings and exactly what you are going to tell them. Then when texting or talking, keep repeating that exact word for word reason. Don't get mad or mean. They will get a little annoyed that you aren't giving in. That's okay. Keep repeating what you wrote.

 

Example: We love your kid(s), and we know you want to help us have the perfect wedding. All of the other parents are getting sitters, and we want to make sure you have plenty of time to find one too.

 

"Our kid are so well be haved." or "we won't be staying long."

 

"We totally get it, and we know you want to help us have our perfect wedding. All the other parents are getting sitters, and we want to make sure you have plenty of time to find one too."

 

"We are having trouble finding a sitter" or "we just don't like anyone watching our children that late."

 

"We totally get it, and we know you want to help us have our perfect wedding. All the other parents are getting sitters, and we want to make sure you have plenty of time to find one too."

 

If the parent(s) still isn't getting the hint after 3 times of repeating exactly what you said, oh boy. You can say something like this:

 

"You know we would love to have you at our wedding, but we completely understand if you are unable to attend. Your children are extremly important and we love that about you."

Feel free to Share, Set As, Tag, or even Pin, but please do not edit or print without Explicit Permission. Crystal Horton Photography 2017

No joke it works. I had to use this!

 

Personal Experience: You don't want to make waves in the water. No body wants to. But it can happen. I had to tell one of my friends that if they showed up to my wedding with their children, they will be turned away. I have multiple parents who are paying for sitters and it is rude if I allow your children and not theirs.

 

 

Why did I have an adult only wedding?

I attended a child free wedding, that wasn't so child free. When the reception had arrived, there were three children sitting at one of the tables. The bride was running around in a panic requesting the caterer, to find some kid food to serve.

This may not seem like a big deal, but how these kids appeared at the wedding is the issue. The bride and groom, moved in together pre-marriage. The parents of the kids, did not agree with this life style. Nothing wrong with that. The issue arises because the parents rsvp-ed as not attending. Those parents had a date night in their calendar. Instead of paying a sitter, they sent the kids to the wedding. That is where it is a problem to me.

This kind of action is rude and disrespectful. The bride and groom were blind sided. The bride very upset. The couple didn't care. They never apologized.

 

- - - - - - - - - -   ~  - - - - - - - - - -

If you are serious about the quality of your wedding photographs, send me your questions, or date. I only accept 30 weddings each year.
 

What makes me a different kind of wedding photographer? Let me share the intimate details of how losing my job in the middle of planning my wedding, defined me as a photographer. Focused on not just stunning images, but the experience of a lifetime for you.
 

You know 30 weddings a year is not many. But, that is because I give more than digital downloads. I deliver an unforgettable experience. Pick the perfect wedding photography package and experience from one of my specially designed packages. 

 

_______

Crystal Horton Photography

1729 Red Clover Dr., Lebanon, Ohio 45036 

937-550-3133

Crystal.Horton@CrystalHortonPhotography.com

Captivating Wedding Photography in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Ohio Tristate

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contact@crystalhortonphotography.com (Crystal Horton Photography) adult only cincinnati dayton how to invitation invite no children ohio photographer professional romantic session timeless wedding https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2020/10/how-to-invite-only-adults-to-your-wedding Thu, 01 Oct 2020 12:23:04 GMT
Captivating Wedding Photography of Sarah and Jon Grice https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2020/9/captivating-wedding-photography-of-sarah-and-jon-grice REAL CAPTIVATING OHIO WEDDINGS AND THE PHOTOGRAPHY.

Relive a Wedding and be Inspired for your Ohio Wedding.


The Wedding of Sarah Tomashot & Jon Grice.

     

A Wedding will go on Among Covid-19

Weddings are joyous. They fill anyone who is present with hope for the future. This year, more than any, has proven tough. Witnessing two wonderful, amazing, people joining their lives together is a blessing. Through all the tough times, and all the hardships in our way, happiness prevails. It is hope that constantly brings us to wake the next morning. Of course, waking next to the person you love the most makes it an even better day!

A bride in a white dress, at the church, getting a first look with her father before the wedding ceremony            

Sarah & Jon Grice celebrated their wedding during the Covid-19 Pandemic. They knew there would be challenges, and there would be mountains to climb. But they knew no matter the situation brewing around them, their love is stronger. It’s the challenges in life that open the door to weakness. But it’s our support system, and our personal strength that gets us through these times.

Moment before CeremonyMoment before CeremonyBride wearing birdcage and pearls, bowing head, waiting for wedding ceremony to begin

Their wedding, once elaborate, was now simple. It was small, but that didn’t stop the excitement and celebration.

 

They were still able to have their wedding at the Kumler Chapel, in Oxford, Ohio. Family was as close as they could be with open hearts and tear filled smiles.

              

Once the wedding precession made their way down the aisle, the groom got his first glance at his soon to be wife. Water filled his eyes, and his heart, without questions, stopped for a moment. He knew right then, the outside world didn’t matter.

        

Vows exchanged. Rings given. And soon the family was smiling and still enjoying the celebration.

     

     

There was even enough space to do a wonderful group shot of the family units together, but still separate!

Kumler Church, oxford ohio       Bridal portrait outdoor with brich church wallBridal portrait outdoor with brich church wallBride in white lace gown, holding her boquet of roses and eucalyptus, standing at a brick corner of a church            Pause for a kiss in the sunPause for a kiss in the sunafter a wedding, bride and groom kiss on a pathway with sunlight surrounding them   

Their reception dinner may not have been the one they envisioned. But, the food was decadent, mouthwatering, and flavorful. Steinkeller in Oxford, Ohio, helped to make the best out of the new requirements for the 2020 Covid-19 hurdle.

     

The food, devoured, and the beers, enjoyed, it was time to head to the backyard for a few more key wedding moments.

wedding Bands at the receptionwedding Bands at the receptiona bridal ring set sits gently upon a grooms wedding band, with candles flickering in the background at a wedding reception          Sweet Wedding Cake to cutSweet Wedding Cake to cutengraved cutting knife sits infront of a soft white buttercream cake decorated with three delicate flowers

Wedding details such as the Marquise engagement ring set sparkles with candles. The large, bridal bouquet, of Roses and eucalyptus and lambs ears was exceptionally captivating. And, the small tea light candles dancing around the delicate blue bouquets set the scene.

Most Grand Enterance for Bride and GroomMost Grand Enterance for Bride and GroomNewly wed bride and groom enter a backyard reception with string lights hung above them, and small firewords shooting up from the ground

Under a string of lights, the grand entrance brought sparks to the guests. Sparklers and fireworks always make for stunning, added bit of fun!

           

The first dance is a moment to always watch and never miss.

Sweet Wedding Cake to cutSweet Wedding Cake to cutengraved cutting knife sits infront of a soft white buttercream cake decorated with three delicate flowers         

If you’re missing wedding cake, eat a cupcake. And, take a moment to remember, the couple always enjoys a sweet kiss after cutting their cake!

Before getting the final dances and toasts a special photo is always welcomed. A photo with the new family. Yes their little dogg-o is in a tie!

        

              

Celebrating love doesn’t have to be a big showcase of light camera action. A wedding doesn’t need hundreds of guests to make it memorable or fun. The person you are choosing to spend you life with, is the only one that matters!

 

Congratulations to Sarah and Jon Grice. I hope the rest of this year gives you blessings and hope. Kiss each other every morning and remember to hold each other when times are bad and good!

sweet embrace of marriagesweet embrace of marriagea Bride and Groom gently hold each other in the center of Oxford University walkway   

 

- - - - - - - - - -   ~  - - - - - - - - - -

If you are serious about the quality of your wedding photographs, send me your questions, or date. I only accept 30 weddings each year.
 

What makes me a different kind of wedding photographer? Let me share the intimate details of how losing my job in the middle of planning my wedding, defined me as a photographer. Focused on not just stunning images, but the experience of a lifetime for you.
 

You know 30 weddings a year is not many. But, that is because I give more than digital downloads. I deliver an unforgettable experience. Pick the perfect wedding photography package and experience from one of my specially designed packages. 

 

_______

Crystal Horton Photography

1729 Red Clover Dr., Lebanon, Ohio 45036 

937-550-3133

Crystal.Horton@CrystalHortonPhotography.com

Captivating Wedding Photography in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Ohio Tristate

 

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contact@crystalhortonphotography.com (Crystal Horton Photography) backyard captivating wedding photography church corona corona virus covid-19 dayton fireworks july kumler lights oh ohio outdoor oxford photographer photography professional sparkler steinkeller string summer tristate wedding https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2020/9/captivating-wedding-photography-of-sarah-and-jon-grice Sun, 20 Sep 2020 19:57:27 GMT
How to Choose a Wedding Professional by Asking Only 4 Questions https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2020/2/how-to-choose-a-wedding-professional-by-asking-only-4-questions Happy Beginnings & Engagements.

 

A blog series to help every couple on their adventure to marriage.


4 Questions to find a professional not a faux-fessional.

 

    

 

Even if Budget is a factor.

 

As a bride you have a lot on your plate. You have your every day life. You have your work life. To top all that off, you have a wedding to plan.

 

You may not have an issue with your wedding budget. You may have a very slim and tight budget. Either option, you believe you deserve a great quality. You don't want to hire a vendor and have them deliver false promises. You are more than their pay check. You are a person and you have wedding memories.

 

Most of the brides that I see online today ask the simple questions, "How do I know who to choose for my wedding day?" If you haven't thought about a wedding planner, you might want to reconsider, but that is for another post.

 

If you are new to the engagement world, I am here with 4 Questions on how to choose a wedding professional. You can ask any vendor for your wedding these.

 

As I said at the start, you might have a tight budget, you might have a more relaxed budget. So first is to decide what that number is. Then you need to divide that into a few categories. Bride, Groom, Getting Ready, Ceremony, and Reception. Those categories have subcategories. Things like caterer, venue, church, photographer, and so on.

 

Knowing these numbers helps filter which vendors you can or can't meet with. Find out their starting price and then set up appointments if they are in your price range.

 

 

The Harsh Truth.

 

I'm sorry to be the one to tell you this but, anyone can call themselves a professional. There is no website, committee, school, or leader that hands out certificates for actual "professionals". Most websites and companies are out for money. So any non-professional can pay, and look like a professional.

 

Example: You can have a brand new DJ, calling them selves an experienced professional. For all you know they have only done 3 weddings, have several booked, and have DJ-ed a few birthday parties.

 

Are you asking, "How can you tell the difference between professional and a faux-fessional?"

 

It comes down to these 4 important questions. These will expose the "claimed professionals". Remember your wedding is about quality not quantity. Getting a "sale" or "special price" may be hiding some scary truths.

 

 

4 Questions to ask any wedding vendor/venue.

 

 

Can we set up a time to meet in person?

 

This should be your number one questions right off the bat. When talking to someone in person, you get to read their body languish. You can hear if they are telling you what you want to hear, or what they believe.

 

Asking a questions through text or email is bad. Hear me out. They could easily copy and paste an answer. You wouldn't know if it was their business or if it's from someone else's answers.

 

Would you hire someone if you were sitting at a coffee, and they were reading answers off note cards?

 

And remember, don't be afraid of putting someone on the spot. This is your wedding, this is your money.

 

If you and they aren't able to meet in person, set up a 30min phone call. Again, talking to them live will reveal so much. I am asked so many questions, and I'm not afraid of anything. I welcome the new questions I haven't yet answered for clients.

 

 

 

Are you a registered business or person?

 

What happens if you are not satisfied with the quality or service that you receive, who do you tell? What would you do if you hired a “faux-fessional" who took your money, but didn't show up to the event? Facebook review them? They remove that feature. Complain to other professional? They have other brides to work with. If they are not registered, they are not held responsible for their business.

 

A quality business will protect the company, themselves, and you. Be smart on your choices.

 

If you ask and they say no, Why? Why are they not registered as a professional business? It costs near pennies to become registered. (I think a $25 processing fee depending on state requirements.)

 

Do they respond, "Because I don't need to be registered in this state". Danger. Danger. Red Flag. Run. No matter if you like the quality or price.

 

Perfect example. a best friend choose a photographer, who wasn't registered. She sent a deposit, but did not get a contract or receipt. 3 months before the wedding she wants a meeting with her the planner and the photographer. He tells her that he never agreed to photograph the wedding. He accepted another higher payed event to attend. She was up poop creek.

 

 

Do you have a professional Website, not just Facebook?

 

Did you know social media could freeze all business pages and say we have to pay to be on their network? Not only that but a website can be reported to the BBB. so a company is more apt to being professional. They will work a little harder to hold their reputation.

 

If the pro you like has a website. Go digging. Read everything. Do they have spelling errors? grammatical errors? Is it up to date? Do they have review? are they recent? Do they have updated photos? Do the page look like basic text or is it super nice looking?

 

A business's website is like a store, or a nice outfit. The website should look professional as if meeting them for a coffee.

 

Oregon district coffee press shopOregon district coffee press shop

 

Do you have weddings/brides/and fellow professional to reference your quality?

 

If you do not ask for references, or simply read their reviews, this is your own fault. "faux-fessional" don't typically like review because they don't want any bad ones. No one does, but if there is a bad one, why? how did they fix it? could they fix it or was it out of their control?

 

If you can’t find reviews, ask them where they are? If they say "let me check with them first", great! Respond with "please do, I need to speak with references before making my final decision". Again, don't worry about hurting their feelings. They are running a business. They want your money. You deserve a quality professional who stands behind their company. Again I am proud of every review I have ever received from my brides, grooms, and all their family members.

 

Yes, everyone starts some where. But running a shady business from the start is not beneficial for anyone.

 

How can someone learn if they have never failed, or haven't done their research?

 

I took a risk on my dj who wanted to do weddings but only did the bar scene. He turned out to be amazing and I was a happy bride. Now my photographer, I made sure to hire quality. I eliminated anyone who was under 3 years in business.

 

 

It's Your Wedding

 

The world of wedding professionals is getting cluttered. Faux-fessionals are bad businesses with good equipment.

 

I don't usually say this, but don't be afraid to go a little outside your budget for a quality vendor. Going an extra $300 could be the difference between a true professional, and a wolf. Someone who has the confidence and quality versus inexperience and disrespect.

 

Look past the bells and whistles and fluff. Look deep into their work, and even consider reading their contract in full detail. you might panic that they told you one thing, but the contract says something very different!

 

Best Wishes and happy interview.

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Check out Timeless Wedding Services here

 

Have a quick question: Click Email me HERE! and a new email should pop open.

 

Meet me HERE on my Personal About Page before you actually “meet me” or jump right to setting up a Free Coffee or Consolations Here since I only book 30 Weddings each year.

 

Desire to see why Bride & Groom’s recommend me. See these Reviews!

 

Proud Wedding Photographer of Cincinnati, Dayton & Franklin Ohio

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contact@crystalhortonphotography.com (Crystal Horton Photography) 4 questions a ask faux-fessional professional questions to wedding wedding professional https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2020/2/how-to-choose-a-wedding-professional-by-asking-only-4-questions Tue, 25 Feb 2020 17:46:02 GMT
How long is a Wedding Reception? https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2020/2/how-long-is-a-wedding-reception How Long Should my Wedding Reception Be?

Your wedding plans coming together? You don't know how long to plan a reception. You have met with a few vendors. Have they asked you how long do you want your reception? You may not have met with any reception vendors yet. But, you know that you will need that number.

 

How many hours is a wedding reception?

Short and simple; anywhere from 3 - 5 hours. But!!! Don't go booking your reception for that number. You need to calculate more than only your party. Remember you need set up, and tear down. Those numbers vary on who is doing that task, and how much decor you have.

 

Is that too long, or not long enough?

Break it down for a simple look:

 

40 minuets for photographs

- Guests eat Hour 'dourves

- Guests get drinks

- Guests get warm/cool

- Family & Bridal Party photographs

 

15 minuets for grand entrance and

 

1 hour for dinner

- some times you can crunch your own dinner in 30 minuets

- you can start thanking guests for coming

 

15 minuets for toasts & speeches

- Maid of Honor, Best Man, Parents

 

20 minuets for first dances

- Couple, Father(s)-Daughter(s), Mother(s)-Son(s)

- About 5 minuets per dance

 

10 minuets for Garter & Bouquet tosses

 

10 minuets for couple shoe game (or other party dances)

 

10 minuets for cake cutting/ enjoying a piece

 

10 minuets for guests to get a piece

 

1 - 2 hour for extra dancing

 

Total hours for the reception celebration example is 4 - 5 hours.

Including set up and tear down, that is 6 - 7 hours needed to rent a reception location.

 

This is no exaggeration in this quick list.

As a photographer I find this to be quite accurate.

I have had first hand experience that you can crunch this in less time. Trust me. You won't have time to breath if you go any shorter.

 

Hope this helped. I know every wedding is different. Yours could be longer or shorter. This is a great way to compare and see how many hours you need your reception venue.

 

My Own Experience:

I was a dumb dumb. I booked the wedding reception hall and included the outdoor ceremony time. I didn't think about tear down time. When the party was over, my husband and I were ready to leave. Well, since I didn't schedule right, we had to stay and clean up. That was a big bite in the butt. We had a 6am flight, and we didn't finish cleaning till 11pm, and we were an hour drive from our home.

It was terrible! We thankfully slept the entire flight

 

- - - - - - - - - -   ~  - - - - - - - - - -

 

Check out the Timeless Wedding Services here

 

Quick question? Click Email me HERE! and a new email should pop open.

 

Visit the About Page HERE before you actually “meet me” or be one of my LIMITED 30 weddings a year by setting up a Free Coffee or Consolations Here (seriously, I only book 30!)

 

Not sure? See why Bride & Groom’s recommend me. See these Reviews!

 

 

Highly Sought Wedding Photographer of Cincinnati, Dayton & Franklin Ohio

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contact@crystalhortonphotography.com (Crystal Horton Photography) Cincinnati Dayton hours how long need Ohio Photographer Professional reception rental Romantic Session time Timeless wedding https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2020/2/how-long-is-a-wedding-reception Tue, 25 Feb 2020 17:45:34 GMT
Sun Brewed Summer https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2020/2/sun-brewed-summer Tasty Tips

 

It's the perfect time of year to grill out, have friends and family over, and relax in the summer sun. As hosts, we love to do those little things that make moments and event special and exciting: balloons, ribbon, homemade treats; oh yeah, homemade treats. One of the little treats I love to do is Sun Brewed Summer Tea. I am a tea lover and my husband isn't. That's okay, more for me!

This is super simple and fun to do, especially if you are having a summer wedding, have kids or if you don't have time or the equipment to brew a large batch. If you do decide to do this for a wedding, consider getting a self dispensing jar plus at least 5 extra gallons.

Let's get Brewing.

  • First find a large jar.
    • I cleaned out a super large pickle jar from a surplus store.
  • Fill the Jar with water.
    • You can use tap, filtered, or bottled, and hot or cold.
  • Open at least 10 tea bags for a light flavor tea
    • 20 bags will produce a very VERY strong tea flavor.
  • After all of the tea bags are opened, collect all the tags and tie them into a knot.
  • Place the tea bags into the jar of water and close the jar.
  • CAREFULLY carry the jar outside and place it in the Sun. The sun will do the work.
    • I let mine sit for at least 4 hours FULL sun.
  • Once you are ready remove the tea bags, add a sweetener/flavors you desire and stir.
  • Pour over ice and enjoy!
    • This is where a self dispensing container is helpful. I used a spoon.
  • Many people say they can taste a difference. I personally think there is a slight flavor peak, and let's admit it, it's just fun and nostalgic, and I'm all about nostalgia.

-Cheers-

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contact@crystalhortonphotography.com (Crystal Horton Photography) brew creative drink host old fashion party summer sun brewed tea tea treat unique wedding https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2020/2/sun-brewed-summer Tue, 25 Feb 2020 17:41:35 GMT
Furminator Review https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2020/2/furminator-review Crystal Horton Photography

Proudly Serving the Cincinnati Dayton Area   *   Located in Franklin, Ohio  

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Product Review

The FURminator

"I'll be back" - The FRUminator!

Spring, Summer; No wait. Summer, Winter, Summer. If you live in Ohio, you know exactly what I am talking about. One minute we are enjoying a balmy 75 degrees with some beautiful sun shine and a light breeze, and now this week we are sitting in 50 degrees with icy rain and wind that is going to rip the Goosebumps right off of your arms. This is not what you want at all, but this is definitely not what you want if you are the wonderful parents of a fur baby. Yes the infamous "spring cleaning" typically comes with the removal of our furry children's fur under coat and this up down up down, is making it difficult. So I am here to show you a very amazing tool that I REFUSED to purchase for the longest time. I spent more money in off brands then I did if i would have just purchased this stinking tool right off the bat!

Let me give you a beautiful photo of both of my pets. A Long hair, Main Coon Cat mix, and a short haired black lab mix. So in this house you can't wear either white or black without seeing the results of undying love from the four legged sweet hearts.

 One spring day, I did what I always do and pulled out every single brush from our pet box and proceeded to hold the cat first and then the dog to brush out their under coat. I used a metal comb, a metal brush for course hair, I also had a rubber hand brush, a fine tooth brush and to top off all of the crazy utensils, I had an off brand of the brush I am going to share with you. This is silly I thought to myself, and did some investigating, to only decide that I was going to give in and just get the $50 brush. After finally waiting for shipping, because I found a special, the brush was in.

At first I tried it on the cat, because It was designated for long haired pets. After a few strokes I couldn't believe what I was seeing, chunks, I mean large thick chucks were coming off of him. I questioned if it was hurting because of how much hair was being removed in just one stroke. At first it was new and he wasn't sure about it, but after a few moments, he was in love. He realized that the feeling was pleasant, and was purring....I couldn't believe that he was purring. I am not aggressive with him, so when he is done, I will hold him by the scruff for a few more strokes and let him enjoy his beauty!

My dog is the exact opposite. She sits about 5 feet away, moaning and complaining under her breath till it is her turn, then she is all over, rolling and twisting.

I am always so relieved when I am finished brushing my pets even for a second and get clumps of hair that I don't have to worry about floating all over the house.

A few moments of brushing, means less work for the vacuum, less hairballs, and more love before we leave. Plus the next time we need to brush, it won't be as bad. food for thought: if we lose 100 hairs a day on average, and we brush our hair daily, what about our pets, and they lose hair every time the weather fluctuates.

Finally, I let a very good friend of mine borrow the brush for her Aussie, because she was having the same issue, and the dog wasn't having any other brushes, spending an hour just to get a few small chunks. She sent me a photo and said she is investing. She only spent approximately 20min and was just elated with the results.

The brush is called the FURMINATOR. feel free to add in your photos and your own personal review.

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contact@crystalhortonphotography.com (Crystal Horton Photography) best pet brush can't brush pet fruminator review furminator pet brush pet brush doesn't work pet brush review https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2020/2/furminator-review Tue, 25 Feb 2020 17:41:19 GMT