Crystal Horton Photography: Blog https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog en-us (C) Crystal Horton Photography contact@crystalhortonphotography.com (Crystal Horton Photography) Thu, 14 Jun 2018 15:13:00 GMT Thu, 14 Jun 2018 15:13:00 GMT https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/img/s/v-5/u294437747-o49524240-50.jpg Crystal Horton Photography: Blog https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog 120 80 4 Tips for Choosing your Wedding Professional https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2018/7/how-to-choose-a-wedding-professional Crystal Horton Photography

4 Tips for choosing your Wedding Professional

What makes a professional a professional?

Plus access to FREE Questionnaires.

 

This article is about how not to be scammed by what I call faux-fessionals. No bride wants to be scammed by someone who is just in it for the money. You want to have your entire wedding process and wedding day to go off as perfectly as a cheesy Disney movie. You want to have that 4+ year professional, with over 100 reviews and over 200 weddings under their belt, but are you sure your money is being spent well, and on the right person for your wedding day. I’m here to help you filter out the faux-fessionals with the true professionals. I am a professional wedding photographer, and I work with all types of vendors and many other professionals. The best part is, I absolutely have no reason to misguided you, so I can guarantee this will be the most helpful information that you can ever imagine having on your side.

It should be noted early on that a true wedding professional can come from all sorts of backgrounds. It could be someone fresh out of college, or someone who has been photographing for fun and decided to take it to the next level. However, being the devils advocate here for you, it should also be noted that to be sure that you get a truly honest professional who is working for you and to give you the best possible results will typically have skin in the game and will be very upfront and honest about what they offer, and will hide nothing from you. Do you really want to find a 'good deal' to turn around and have blurry images, or a dj that comes in with an ipod and has speakers that sounds worse than a car radio? Of course not. So it comes down to you, the bride, holding the power and asking the right question(s). That really is all it takes. And don’t be discouraged if you sit down with 5 photographers, 4 wedding venues, 3 DJs, 4 wedding planners, and 6 caterers. It will all be worth it in the end. I mean, that’s why we start planning a wedding a year in advanced right? So, soak up, or print off, what I have to say, and remember to trust your gut, if something is too good, it probably is, or if something feels just not quite right, it most likely isn't.

 

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

Don't you remember the saying, don't believe everything you read on the internet? (If not, then I'm really starting to show my age.) Of course not everyone but for a very large portions of, say for example, facebook business pages. Just because someone has a great profile doesn't mean that what you see there is exactly what you are signing up for. Do your homework. I won't say names, but there is a DJ who gets alot of business from facebook and he is a registered sex offender (in regards to children) There is nothing I can do, except for tell brides to do your home work. Research people. He has a simple nice looking facebook and books plenty of weddings with attending children. but of course has nothing about it anywhere.

My 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.

  1. A true 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?"

Ask your professional this same question!!!

 

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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) choose a wedding professional cincinnati photography dayton photographer franklin photographer hiring a professional wedding how to professional photographer questions for a wedding professional traditional unique what to ask a https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2018/7/how-to-choose-a-wedding-professional Mon, 02 Jul 2018 14:30:00 GMT
Questions to ask a Wedding DJ https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2018/6/questions-to-ask-a-weddin-dj How to choose a wedding professional

Questions to ask a Wedding DJ?

 

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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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) choose a wedding professional cincinnati photography cincinnati wedding photography dayton photographer dayton photography franklin photographer franklin wedding photographer hiring a professional wedding how to professional photographer questions for a wedding professional traditional unique wedding wedding dj what to ask a https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2018/6/questions-to-ask-a-weddin-dj Thu, 28 Jun 2018 14:30:00 GMT
Questions to ask a Wedding Planner https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2018/6/questions-to-ask-a-weddin-planner Crystal Horton Photography

How to choose a wedding professional

Questions to ask a Wedding Planner?

 

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.)

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

 

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) choose a wedding professional cincinnati photography cincinnati wedding photography dayton photographer dayton photography dayton wedding photography franklin photographer franklin wedding photographer hiring a professional wedding how to professional photographer questions for a wedding professional unique wedding wedding planner what to ask a https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2018/6/questions-to-ask-a-weddin-planner Mon, 25 Jun 2018 14:30:00 GMT
Questions to ask a Wedding Caterer https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2018/6/questions-to-ask-a-wedding-caterer Crystal Horton Photography

How to choose a wedding professional

Questions to ask a Wedding Caterer?

 

Feel free to print this page and take it to your interview with your Wedding Caterer. I hope that this will help you pick the best most professional wedding caterer 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. 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.)

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

 

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

SaveSave
SaveSaveSaveSave

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contact@crystalhortonphotography.com (Crystal Horton Photography) caterer choose a wedding professional cincinnati photography cincinnati wedding photography dayton photographer dayton photography dayton wedding photography franklin photographer franklin wedding photographer hiring a professional wedding how to questions for a wedding professional traditional unique wedding wedding caterer what to ask a https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2018/6/questions-to-ask-a-wedding-caterer Thu, 21 Jun 2018 14:15:00 GMT
5 Tricks for Budgeting my Wedding https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2018/6/5-tricks-for-budgeting-my-wedding How to have a Smooth Wedding Day Series

5 Tricks for Budgeting My Wedding

WooHoo! You’re engaged. You honestly don’t think you could be any more excited then what you already are. You are on one of life’s biggest roller coasters and boy is it a ride!

To do a wedding in a way that some people say “is correct”, you need to make sure that you have a good handle on your wedding finances. 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 a wedding.

All over the internet, news, books, and even formal studies and surveys, you will read that “finances are one of the leading cause of divorce.”

Don’t start your marriage off on the wrong foot.

I have here 5 tips for budgeting your wedding. These will help you not only get some really good habits going but also give your new chapter in life a boost in the right direction. These tips summed up are:

  • Actual wedding Costs
  • To get a wedding loan or not
  • Tracking & Organizing
  • Time versus Money
  • Need versus Want

 

Actual Wedding Costs

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

So, if knowledge really is the best power to have, then here you go! The knowledge of what different aspects of a wedding can costs you will help you know where you want to splurge and where you may want to reconsider purchasing.

Please note, that these are not exact numbers. Different cities, seasons, guests count, and ultimate your decisions will result in different pricing points.

The biggest factor to these costs is how long you are engaged before you say, “I Do”. The longer your engagement the easier it will be to pay for your dream wedding

 

Estimated Wedding Item Costs for 2017

  • Wedding Bands/Rings $200-$3,000
  • Venue/Reception $3,000-$15,000
    • Table Settings
    • Facility Only
    • 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
  • Stationary $200-$800
    • Postage
    • Programs
    • Save the Date
    • Invitations
    • Thank you cards
  • 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-$5,000
    • 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-$2,000
  • Up-lighting $300-$800
  • Videographer $600-$2,000
  • Ordained $100-$300
  • Wedding Planner $600-$5,000
  • Transportation $700-$3,000
  • Monetary tips for all professional $50-$100/professional

After seeing this list you may choose to opt out of some things, or even more popular among brides, forget to budget some things. Surprisingly brides seem to forget about Rehearsal Dinner, Tipping their professionals, and one of the wedding stationaries.

 

To Get a Loan or Not

Yup! Surprisingly enough many couples are focused on shorter engagements which means less time to save and pay for your wedding. Their solution is to apply for a small loan and pay for it over time and budget the new single bill into their monthly finances. 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
  • Ultimately starting your marriage in debt
  • Possibility of high interest rate depending on the office
  • Wedding may cost more than the loan amount
  • Possible frustrations 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
  • Potentially 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 late fees or missed payments with multiple vendors
  • Zero risk of a vendor skipping your wedding for lack of payment
  • Less Stress when tracking and organizing and budgeting
  • Simply write a check, get a receipt, and done

 

Tracking and Organizing

This personally, is one of the best tips that is out there for handling your wedding budget. Simply tracking and organizing your budget. Being aware of what you have and what you need to do is a simple way of being accountable for your wedding and ultimately a responsible adult.

Some of the most attractive ways to track and organize your wedding are as follows:

  • Paper, Small Pocket Planner
    • If you’re good with digital, use it
    • If you need to physically write dates/plans/information do it.
      • (science proves over and over writing is the best form of remembering!)
  • Wedding Email
    • Sign up for a free google or yahoo email.
    • This avoids WEDDING SPAM in your regular email.
    • Keeps your wedding organization and communications with vendors all in one location
  • Wedding Binder
    • Contracts are your number one best friend with wedding professionals.
    • No contract and no receipts, no proof of purchase or accountability.
  • Accordion File
    • Totally old school, but if you don’t like a binder, this is your next best thing.
  • Highlighter
    • Make it easy for you or your s.o. to scan your contracts and documents.
  • Free Checking Account
    • Keep your wedding budget completely separate.
    • You are less likely to spend the money in this account if you know you need to pay for your photographer or your dress.
    • This is also key if you get a loan for your wedding. Don’t accidentally spend your wedding money on a shopping trip to the mall.
  • Attend Bridal Expos
    • Not just to find wedding pros, but to get pricing, and ideas for your own wedding.
  • Blogs/Magazines/Bridal Classes
    • Study up and make sure you learn tips and tricks that other brides discovered
    • Learning from other’s mistakes is a great way to decide what to do or not to do.
  • Wedding boxes
    • A box for decorations
    • A box for gifts and stationary

 

 Time versus Money

This can also be read as DIY or Buy. I know I have some avid creative minds skimming and reading this, but let me be clear. DIY can be just as expensive as buying it out right.

Remember you make a mistake it costs you money. And if you save money, but you have to create it from scratch, you now are spending (or wasting) your own precious time on something that is already done and ready to go.

Take a moment and look up “pinterest fails”. It’s funny, but on a serious note, it’s so bad!

Another big blog I follow is “ Cake Wrecks” which has a plethora of wedding cakes that were promised as stunning spectacles but became a floppy, melted, mess.

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

 

DIY Pro

  • DIY saves money if you can do it right the first time
  • Less financial stress
  • Great ladies and wine night ideas (warning Wine might make things sloppy)
  • Great bachelorette party idea.
  • Everyone can feel they participated some how.
  • You feel special because it is your own unique design
  • Nothing beast hard labor and elbow grease
  • Already in front of the TV, Multitask and create your wedding stuff

 

DIY Con

  • Mess ups and errors can cost you more out of pocket
  • Over do it. (Some people go overboard and a wedding becomes gaudy)
  • Wasting precious valuable time forcing something that won’t work
  • Feel more drained and frustrated about your own wedding
  • Quality tends to suffer when doing something DIY
  • Lack of experience when creating or designing something
  • Extra money for crafting supplies (ex: glue, tape, pens, scissors, ect.)
  • Left over supplies you didn’t and will never use
  • Gamble on someone’s kindness to help and get sloppy results.
  • Throw away all your hard work in the end

 

Buying New Cons

  • You are automatically paying the “retail” cost of items
  • Buyer’s remorse if you find it cheaper, or something you like more
  • Stress of staying in or under your wedding budget
  • Stress of keeping boxes/containers for resale after the wedding

 

Buying New Pros

  • Quality will be noticed in your photographs after the wedding
  • Once you buy it, your done looking, check it off the list
  • Any damaged or imperfect items can be returned/exchanged
  • No one has ever used the item you are using for your wedding
  • You can resell the item as a new or gently used item to make some money back
  • No stress of not having a decoration or detail, you just buy it
  • Saves yourself time and you can do other things for your wedding
  • No worries about the results being wrong, you buy what you see
  • No damaged fingernails, blisters, burns, or cuts on your hands
  • Can find great seasonal sales and discounts

 

 Need versus Want

This is one of most difficult things you will do for your wedding but it is 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
  • Location

 

Types of things as a wedding Want:

  • Popcorn Machine
  • Candy Table
  • Alcohol
  • Elaborate Decorations
  • Bird/Butterfly Release

 

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, “Will my wedding still have meaning and be beautiful without this?”

 

 

I thoroughly love giving tips and advice to brides and grooms who are wanting to work smarter and not harder. My own wedding was a massive eye opener and I wish I could go back and redo so many aspects of it, but I will always be happy with the decisions I made because I made them and my wedding was still beautiful in it's own way.

And ultimately, I am the one who is looking back every anniversary at my wedding album and seeing my professional photographer's photographs of the details and the emotions they captured from that day!

 

Feel free to get my information directly to you when you sign up for my 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 now!

 

 

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!

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contact@crystalhortonphotography.com (Crystal Horton Photography) budget budgeting cost finance how to keeping track organizing paying for a wedding tips tricks wedding https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2018/6/5-tricks-for-budgeting-my-wedding Tue, 12 Jun 2018 13:54:48 GMT
Questions to ask a Wedding Venue https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2018/6/questions-to-ask-a-wedding-venue Crystal Horton Photography

How to choose a wedding professional

Questions to ask a Wedding Venue?

 

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 ro 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.)

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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) choose a wedding professional cincinnati photography cincinnati wedding photography dayton photographer dayton photography dayton wedding photography franklin photographer hiring a professional wedding how to professional photographer questions for a questions for a wedding professional unique unique wedding wedding wedding venue what to ask a https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2018/6/questions-to-ask-a-wedding-venue Mon, 11 Jun 2018 14:15:00 GMT
Gatherings on the Green Event Venue https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2018/6/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 Weddings 2017 The first thing that caught my eye as I was pulling into the drive was that this venue has plenty of space. The building itself sits back from the road and is not super difficult to find. You could practically have any size celebration with the abundance of outdoor, and of course indoor, space. The land and buildings, which previously held a small golf club, contain so many options for a soon-to-be bride and groom. Imagine seeing simple lanterns lining the drive, or even elegant tree lights looped around as if it were the main streets at Christmas in New York. It would give a sort of “umf” that a bride might be wanting. You know, getting that little bit of a glittery, elegant, classical, swaray sort of feel.

Making my way into the venue, which holds about 250 guests; my breath vanished when my eye caught sight of the chandelier that hangs from the rafters. Spanning approximately five feet in diameter, the chandelier is definitely a staple of this venue. I personally thought to myself; ‘How beautiful would it be to have a Bride & Groom seated just under it, to watch and dine with their guests in celebration of their Love?’ The owners Kim Oswald & Lee Markley knew the moment they saw the chandelier, it just had to be hung in their venue for all of their brides to enjoy. The chandelier is complimented by dark wood rafters and two textures on the walls. Two thirds of the wall, from the ground up, is a metal Silver texture, and the final third, reaching to the ceiling, is a beautiful white wash, oak wood texture, that has slight hint of grey blended into it.

The second beautiful and majestic piece of the venue that caught my eye was the very tremendous, handmade, wooden, sliding door at the back of the room. Weddings 2017 This door has so many different sizes of wood and is splashed with colors in red and brown hues. Again I could just see how beautifully contrasted a bride would be standing next to this. Now not to give any less attention, to the right of the chandelier, is another sliding wooden door, but this door has a teal peeling paint texture, and it hangs from a beautifully rustic upper hinge. This door leads to a side room that has windows covering every wall surface. This room would fit perfectly for a buffet style dinner.

Weddings 2017 Before I took a stroll outside, I visited the Bridal Suite, and of course the restrooms. Starting with the restrooms, they were simple, quaint, private areas that of course carry the details throughout. The owner’s creatively used rustic fencing as stall doors. Then across the hall is the bridal suite. It was decorated with a French divider and an old style makeup vanity. Both hit my mind as beautiful bridal props. It too had delicately placed details. There is even burgundy settee type of sofa that would make a stunning prop for a Bride and her Maids.

(While I unfortunately missed the opportunity, due to the weather, to capture images of the outdoor areas of this venue let me explain these for a moment.)

First off, let me say there is so much space! There are two main, outdoor areas, that can be utilized on the day of your wedding. The first is a very tall, very large pavilion, which is almost touching the indoor portion of the venue. This could easily be used as extra seating or an outdoor dance floor. I could just imagine seeing a DJ placed to one corner, and long, dramatic, organza, beautifully draped and pinned back to each column.

Weddings 2017 By far, my second favorite area of this venue though, is the other outdoor area that both owners Kim & Lee set up as the most dreamy and romantic wedding ceremony location. This spot, which was once a golfing green, sits just behind the parking lot, off to the North. The owners erected a solid, voluminous, massive pergola to one side of the green. The rest of the space would be filled with either chairs and colorful sashes, or solid wood pews lightly decorated with flowers and ribbon. The pergola it’s self would give almost a bohemian beach vibe if it too had slick organza hanging in the breeze, dancing to the songs of the wind. To top this all off, just behind the pergola, adding to the extravagant feel of this ceremonial location, is a beautiful lake. Even though it was cold out, I could just see how the light reflecting from the water would make any bride feel as though they were living a dream.

Weddings 2017 The venue, which sits on a previously used, small golf course is the perfect canvas and can go in any direction as far as how a bride might design it. Lee Markley and Kim Oswald wanted to create a venue that could be both rustic and glitzy chic. They wanted to be able to cater to the design flavors of all brides who give it a visit. Now between you and me, not only is this an amazing location and beautifully designed venue but the owners have been collecting popular props and items for a bride to use. I don’t know about any other wedding professional, but I would highly recommend this location to any bride who is looking for something new, something fresh, and something that has a plethora of options to make her wildest dreams come true. These two women want a bride to feel as though her wedding was not only special to who she is and what she wanted but to have her feel that she is breaking away from the typical wedding industry ‘barn’ or ‘hotel’ wedding. Any bride would be lucky to have this location as their venue. After you add in the hard work and ideas from the owners, plus an outgoing wedding coordinator, and an artsy photographer, any wedding day would be one for the books.

Weddings 2017 With more elbow grease to come, and the muscular work from their husbands, these two women, Lee Markley & Kim Oswald, will have, in my own opinion, one of the most elegant and Chic venues that a bride could dream about!

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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) area ceremony dayton gatherings on the green lake reception venue wedding https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2018/6/gatherings-on-the-green-event-venue Thu, 07 Jun 2018 14:30:00 GMT
Wedding Budget & Finance & Cost, Oh My! https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2018/6/Wedding-Budget-and-Finance-and-Cost-Oh-My How to have a Smooth Wedding Day Series

Wedding Budget & Finance & Cost, Oh My!

If you have been married before, the cost of a wedding will be no surprise to you, you just need to accommodate for economic inflation. However, if this is your first wedding, as with most couples, then you are about to have a giant shell shock at how much a wedding will cost you or your family.

According to online statistics by Statista.com

The overall cost of a wedding including the cost of the rings is an average of $33,391 in 2017. Remember if this seems surprising, this number is bracketing Hollywood weddings and courthouse weddings all in the same equation.

And this number shouldn’t scare you, it should be more of an eye opener to give you a good estimate of what you want and or what you can expect for your dream wedding.

Before we get into individual items and what they may cost you, let me touch base on why having a wedding budget is not only a smart financial move, but is also beneficial to you emotionally. (I even talked about my own experience in my direct email some of you are signed up for HERE.)

 

 

Why a Budget is Healthy & Smart

 

  • Empowers you to know what is considered good quality versus cheap
  • Keeps you mindful of what you can afford
  • Assists with deciding which aspects of your event are most important
  • Prepares you for any unexpected life, or wedding, hiccups (unemployment/dropped vendors)
  • Elevates stress that would normally come with sticker shock
  • Prepares you for interviewing professional vendors and venues
  • But Most of all…..

It prevents you and your future husband or wife from getting into a very large, heated, and unwanted, argument or debate about what you want, don’t want, or where your money is being spent.

 

What the Cost of a Wedding looks like.

 

I know this is not for every single person because we are all different and we all value things differently. Someone may value a Beanie Baby while someone else will value a stamp. These numbers are simply to give you an idea and help you get a base of where you should aim 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 have the top notch quality in. If you haven't follow this link to make that now, or this link to get the entire Smooth Wedding Day Series to your email.

If you were unsure, most people go for the Reception location, Photographer, or Honeymoon.

 

TIP & TRICK: Time Vs Money. If you are wanting to save some extra cash or you are a hand on crafty person, don’t forget that where you are not spending money, you will have to spend your own time. Everything in regards to a wedding budget is time versus money. And if you choose to save a few hundred dollars on say your outdoor venue, you might not realize they don’t have heat/ac units or running water. Wouldn’t that be fun?!

 

The Average Budgets List

I’m going to continue to reference the chart found on Statista.com’s link above. These numbers are simply averages. No one is telling you, you have to spend this must on a dress or flowers. It’s all dependent on what you feel is most important to you and to see in your everlasting wedding photographs.

  • Venue/Reception average $15,163
  • Engagement Ring $5,764
  • Live Reception band $4,019
    • Reception DJ $1,231
  • Photographer $2,630
    • Videographer $1,912
  • Live Flowers $2,379
  • Ceremony Location $2,311
  • Wedding Planner $1,988
  • Wedding Gown $1,509
  • Rehearsal Dinner $1,285
  • Wedding Cake $540
  • Invitations $408
  • Favors $252
  • Catering (Per Person) $70

 

What is my Budget?

This is hard for anyone to really say what you can or can’t afford. Thankfully there are some factors that can help you decide what you can easily afford, comfortably afford, or penny pinching afford.

  • Length of Engagement
  • Monthly Income (per person vs couple)
  • Expected Monthly Bills
  • Number of Guests

 

An Actual Bride!

To give you an idea of what to expect, I’m going to use one of my very best girl friends who is getting 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. Their wedding is in October, so they still have a few months to go. She does have a slight advantage because she knows what to expect from a wedding

Here is what she had to say: “We 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 priority expense, so we have quality, timeless, memories. If catering wasn't included, we would have picked that as our second priority expense for the guests (experience).” 

  • 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

That total brought them to a monthly budget of: $1,250

Now that number looks a little more comfortable. Having 12 months to plan means 12 months to budget means a nicer quality and better memories for you to look back upon.

 

TIP & TRICK: If you 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+ months.

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

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

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

 

 

To Sum it Up

Remember this is a very special moment in your life that you will be sharing for a lifetime with your soon to be husband or wife. Don’t feel like you must break the bank, but to be frank and honest, nothing can beat a good quality anything, especially when it comes to your wedding and it’s photographic memories!

 

I absolutely have a passion for photography, but when I’m not editing photograph, or capturing a wedding, I’m doing research and interviewing actual brides and professionals to give you the best possible knowledge to make you feel the most power when it comes to your wedding.

Feel free to get my information directly to you when you sign up for my 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 now!

 

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

 

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) budget budgeting cost cost of wedding finance how to keeping track paying for a wedding time vs. money tips https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2018/6/Wedding-Budget-and-Finance-and-Cost-Oh-My Tue, 05 Jun 2018 14:11:22 GMT
The Windamere Event Venue_Review & Story https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2018/6/the-windamere-event-venue_review-story Crystal Horton Photography

The Windamere Event Venue

The Story of a Hidden Gem

Today I want to take a moment of your time and share a hidden diamond in the rough that appeared out of what seems like a dream. As most of my readers know, I am always on the lookout for great finds, and this one, this one right here hits the nail so perfectly on the head, it’s like hearing angels sing the most beautiful chord, and all we have even done is looked into the glass doors. This find is like going into your basement opening a box that you never unpacked from your last move and finding a bottle of amazing red wine that you completely forgot about. I don’t know if I can express the emotions any more than I already am. So without teasing you any more I want to share with you this find because if you are looking for the most perfect venue for your wedding, birthday, or company celebration, then you have found it right here and I promise you won’t need to look any further.

The Windamere Event Venue & Art Gallery located in Middletown Ohio, is the spot to visit. This beautifully designed building has battled the sands of time and is not simply on its first rebirth, but on its second even possibly it’s third. This building, this piece of land, this mark on history is not giving up so easily. I want to give you the cliff notes on the history, as well as tell you about the amazing owner Mica, and of course share with you some of the most amazing photographs and features I was able to capture for you. I have built my business on honesty, and my posts are no different. My honesty here is true to how I feel. I consider myself a great wedding photographer. I feel that I have a great photographers eye, but no matter how good of a photographer you are, no matter how perfectly composed an image is, the photographs captured of the Windamere itself cannot compare to the feeling this building gives you when you walk in the front door.

For the quick history lesson on the Windamere’s past, we are going to go back in time. Really far back. Are we going a few years ago? Nope go further. What about 100 years in the past, is that far enough? Nope. (queue lights on a blank piece of land) The Windamere is taking us all the way back to the 1800’s when the land that the Windamere now resides on was simply a log cabin. In 1847, the log cabin became a general store. The general store, being so close to the water, soon had farmers asking the owners to hold their spare money and precious personal items due to the owners having an amazingly strong safe. The owners saw this opportunity and eventually the general store was turned into a bank in 1889. Through thick and thin this land proceeded to be profitable. It wasn’t until 1929 when the building that we now see standing was constructed. From 1971-2001, the company known as Bank One bought the business and continued to run as a functional bank. However what seemed to be a great run, was turning into the last inning because in 2001 Chase Bank bought the company and shut the doors for good. They felt that in this new day and age, this building, also being classified as a historical site, was unfit to be used as a bank. The upgrades that would be needed to keep it as a functional bank would be too exhausting in a financial aspect. This is the building that would see the end. 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. (fade to black).

I want to introduce you to Mica who is a beautiful, strong, intelligent woman, and has always had a yearning for more from life. When you see her for the first time you automatically are drawn to her almost like seeing a warm campfire on a cool fall evening. You want to know what she knows, you want to hear what knowledge she has to share and what ideas she has stirring in her creative mind. While she mastered the art of marketing, she saw, through working for other people, so many ways to have a better business. After feeling the hard times of companies mismanaging the marketing departments, she dove head first into the wedding world. Again she was trying to share her knowledge with the owners of the wedding company she worked for, but they just wouldn’t listen. So before getting herself into any other moments of frustration she went on the hunt. Of course she would. What else would a strong intelligent woman do in her case.

While on this hunt, Mica spotted it; the most perfect, everlasting building that withheld the tests of time. Here is the kicker though; the building she originally spotted and fell in love with was not the old historical bank. She worked hard to get this mystery building. But as luck would have it, things were not going to happen as she had originally planned. Little did she know her future was not with this love at first sight, for while she waited to receive the results on her heart’s desire she suddenly saw something else; she saw something better. She was stopped in her tracks by the beautiful, tall, magnificent, elegant, and powerful building down in Middletown, Ohio, which was still lying dormant. Still sleeping away the years and maintaining its beautiful and stunning secrets. She knew deep inside she had to see this building not just from the outside, but from the inside.

When she stepped inside she knew this was it. This was the place that her dreams were taking her. This is the place that life has been pushing and guiding her towards. She gazed upon the details of crown molding, the pure, sturdy, 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. There practically is no ceiling. It is completely open. The best most fascinating part of this entire structure you may have thought to have been on the outside, but from my experience, the jaw dropping and breath taking feature is actually found right inside the front doors, located across the room. There standing like a mountain that can never be moved is the sleek, attractive, thick, formidable, and yet intimidating bank safe, filled with hundreds of safe deposit boxes. It stayed secret and hidden within the four walls of the building for the last 15+ years.

I could continue on with this story conversing with you how Mica put her own elbow grease into keeping the integrity of this building so alive and helping bring it back to life, but in fact I want to end our little chat. I can easily keep talking and telling you all about what this building has to offer you, but if you have made it this far in my post, then you dear reader, need to set up an appointment and see it for yourself. I wish to conclude simply by expressing one last notion. After you have walked into this building, and you have seen the secret stag room, and the beautiful Mr. & Mrs. retreat, you will know the exact same feeling that Moby Dick had the first time he saw the great white whale. Truly today’s architects don’t have the same timeless techniques as they did centuries ago. This building will always be classical, grand, astonishing, alluring, but most of all, it will be everlasting and remain timeless.

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

A special thanks to the Windamere and its owner Mica. You allowed me the privilege of hearing the history of the bank and gave me an insight of what it took to get you where you are today. Your building is nothing sort of being stunning and grand. I am so glad that we were able to meet and that I now have a highly recommended location to share with anyone who might just ask the questions. Congratulations on having a successful opening, and I cannot wait to see the ribbon cutting ceremony, and even the hocus pocus event in the fall! May god bless you and may you have fortune in your corner.

 

 

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

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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) bank center classic event middletown reception the windamere unique venue wedding https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2018/6/the-windamere-event-venue_review-story Mon, 04 Jun 2018 14:15:00 GMT
Trash The Dress_Cincinnati Dayton https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2018/5/trash-the-dress_cincinnati-dayton Trash The Dress

Melanie Brenner's Moment

          When you are younger and you always dream of your amazing wedding day, the dress, the flowers, the family, the laughter, the photographs, the delicious cake, and the amazing happily ever after. Often this is the case, but occasionally happily ever after tries to end a little too soon, and your true path to a fairy tale ending is more of a path in heart ache and pain.

          This was the case for my beautiful bride Melanie. She was the typical day dreaming girl, with her world being shaken in a not so good way, and now, with the help of two of her original brides maids, she shows that she is not letting anything stopping her from getting a true happily ever after.

With colorful powder, and brightly tinted water, this dress and sad occurrence was no match for her unstoppable hopes and stunning smile. Even after a little time, everyone wants to be rid of the past and make something beautiful.

 

You don't have to use your dress to trash a dress, you can get an inexpensive substitute for the symbolism.

Even though this is not something that I wish upon anyone, I hope that if you feel that you would benefit from something like this, you let me know. I would love to help you out and give you the resolve that you need!

Please feel free to see all of the photographs HERE and let me know if there is anything that I would be able to help you with!

 

Proud Wedding Photographer of Cincinnati, Dayton & Franklin Ohio

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contact@crystalhortonphotography.com (Crystal Horton Photography) cincinnati colors dayton dress expert master middle town ohio photographer photography powder professional specialty springboro tasteful trash the dress unique wedding https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2018/5/trash-the-dress_cincinnati-dayton Wed, 30 May 2018 14:15:00 GMT
Premium Wedding Checklist for Every Bride https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2018/5/premium-wedding-checklist-for-every-bride How to have a Smooth Wedding Day Series

Premium Wedding Checklist for Every Bride

Woohoo. You know it is that time when you need to start planning your wedding, and let’s be real it is never too early to start planning. They always say the early bird catches the worm, and no that doesn’t mean you have to get up at 4am.

If you are part of my decadent email series “How to Have a Smooth Wedding Day” then you already know why a checklist is beneficial and which writing of a checklist is the most efficient for weddings. (If you aren’t then maybe you should sign up HERE because I always give extra bling to the email series before every blog.) But for now I get to help you with actually creating a checklist for your wedding.

Premium Wedding Day ChecklistPremium Wedding Day ChecklistA Checklist is one of the first and most important steps in making sure that your wedding day is smooth.

 

Where to Begin

First of all, how far from your wedding are you?

  • 2 Month Engagement…umm; best of luck?
    • This isn’t an ideal situation.
    • You will be quite stressed and pressed for time and money BUT!!
    • You can still benefit because you still need this information.
  • 6 Month Engagement…Not bad
    • It will be a challenge, but I have seen a few spectacular weddings
    • You get just barely enough time to find an okay quality venue, and pros.
  • 12+ Month Engagement…Now We’re talking
    • The average bride gives herself 12 months or more to plan and pay off her entire wedding!
    • Budgeting is a way to work smarter, not harder.
    • It’s a lot harder to find sale items in a few weeks rather than a year.

 

 

Let’s get serious

The very first thing you need to decide is what is most important to you and how soon you want to book that important item.

In the list we are about to make rearrange these items so that your priority vendors/professionals are booked immediately so you don’t miss out on a good quality.

 

Now let’s write!

I am going to have black bullet points which are the key items you should focus on and then I have indented bullet points which are just additional thoughts, notes, and optional to write down.

FINAL NOTE: if you really want to be ambitious, pull up your cell phone calendar and add these things into it directly. It might take a little longer, but it saves you from having to do it later. Just a thought.

 

 

12 Months

  • Choose at least 1 or 2 wedding expos to attend.
    • Get a feel for How Many brides you’re up against when booking pros
  • Choose a wedding date
    • Are there birthdays or other big events that will get in the way?
    • This may change if you want a venue but they are already booked
  • Set a budget for Wedding & Honeymoon
    • We all want a Hollywood wedding but really, we need to have “A” number to start with. Choose 5k, 10k, 13k, 17k, 21k, 28k, 32k; It’s up to you
    • Oh, make sure your S.O. agrees with this number since “what’s yours is mine” starts now.
  • Start writing a general guest list.
    • No need to get addresses at this time, just get a general idea
    • 50 people? 80 people? 120 people? 200 people? 250 people?
    • You need this number for most of your venues like caterer & photographer
  • Prioritize your vendors
    • What is most important?
    • Music? Location? Photographic Memories? Food? Dream Gown? Planner?
    • Pick which ones you want THE MOST and get those booked asap. Typically, Reception Venues and Photographers book the fastest. No joke!

10 Months

  • Pay a Deposit (and get a receipt!!) & get contracts for:
    • Reception Venue (will it hold your guest count?)
    • Ceremony Venue (same location?)
    • Photographer (these usually book up second fastest next to reception venues)
    • Caterer/Food (is this supplied by the venue?)
    • DJ/Musicians
    • Florist
    • Planner (hire them if you love them!)
    • Hair & Makeup Artist
  • Research Wedding Gown styles
    • Schedule at least 1 or 2 fittings for fun or you can wait

8 Months

  • Select Brides Maids and Groomsmen.
  • Go Official Dress Shopping
    • Order your wedding gown
    • You need time for alterations or any shipping issues
  • Get a Gift Registry
  • Put a deposit on remaining vendors/professionals you have left to book
  • Finalize Guest list
    • Get Guest’s addresses
  • Schedule Cake Tastings (BEST PART EVER!!)

7 Months

  • Hire the Cake Baker you like
  • Schedule Bridal Shower(s) Date(s)
  • Take Mom(s) dress shopping for their dresses
  • Make a decision about your centerpieces and decoration
    • Sometimes you can find holiday deals at craft stores!
  • Book your Engagement Photography session if you have one

6 Months

  • Check your Budget.
    • Need More or Spending wisely?
  • Mail Out Save the Dates! (Especially for out of town guests or Destination Weddings!)
  • Schedule Bachelorette/Bachelor Party weekends

5 Months

  • Research, meet, and email Hair & Makeup Artists
  • Start Planning Honeymoon
  • Research Out of Town Guest Accommodations
  • Start a Skin & Hair regiment

4 Months

  • Book Rehearsal Dinner Reservations
    • Book morning after brunch if needed
  • Book Your Makeup & Hair Artist
  • Decide on Wedding Day Transportation
  • Get Wedding Dress Alterations!
  • Book Honeymoon flight/hotel/resort
  • Order Initiations & Thank You Cards
  • Do Maid’s dresses need alterations?
    • Get those in asap!

3 Months

  • Get details about Marriage License
  • Early mail out for Invitations
  • Select Groomsmen Attire
    • Buy/rent this if customized
  • Decide on music for ceremony/reception
    • Deliver music to DJ/Musicians
  • Confirm vendors, vendor’s contracts, and location of wedding!!
    • You NEED to do this incase you need to find a last min replacement.

2 Months

  • Decide on a Thank You favors for guests
  • Mail Invitations Last chance
    • Ask RSVP’s by 30days prior at the lates
  • Design a Wedding Day Itinerary
    • 1min planning, saves 10min in 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
    • Church, Reception, Caterer, Photographer, DJ, Hair & Makeup, Baker, ect
  • Confirm Honeymoon bookings and flights

3-2 Weeks

  • Get Marriage License
  • Create Seating Arrangements
  • Freshen hair if dying and start a skin treatment
    • Also, if you want 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

 

When you sign up for my 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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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) checklist day planning premium wedding checklist preparing smooth smooth wedding day series wedding https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2018/5/premium-wedding-checklist-for-every-bride Tue, 29 May 2018 13:42:53 GMT
Sun Brewed Summer https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2018/5/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/2018/5/sun-brewed-summer Mon, 28 May 2018 14:15:00 GMT
Furminator Review https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2018/5/furminator-review Crystal Horton Photography

Proudly Serving the Cincinnati Dayton Area   *   Located in Franklin, Ohio  

Request A Quote                                       Back Home

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/2018/5/furminator-review Fri, 25 May 2018 14:15:00 GMT
9 Reasons You NEED a Wedding Planner https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2018/5/9-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 absolutely do not need a wedding planner. And anyone who tells you that you NEED one may not be thinking about your best interest.

However, there comes a slight stipulation with my answer. While you don’t NEED a planner, I highly recommend to all of my brides that they get one, or at least look into getting one. While, just like photography there are a plethora of newbie planners, there are some very good ones that know how to work with you from day one, and even know how to portray to your vendors what it is that you expect from them on your wedding day.

A professional planner who has experience will not only listen and apply everything the two of you have discussed when designing your wedding, but they will treat that wedding as if it were their own with the upmost respect and highest level of quality.

Because wedding planners are so crucial when it comes to what they do for you, and why you should consider one, we are going to have to break this up into 2 different segments. This first post is giving you a countdown of 9 reasons why you need a wedding planner. The second post is going to be questions you should ask your potential wedding planner. These are extremely enriching posts that are going to help make sure that your wedding day is as Smooth as it can be.

Why should I pay someone to plan my wedding?

I have had my fair share of weddings. Not only was I a maid 5+ times before actually getting married, but now I work in the world of weddings. Most brides believe it is silly to pay actual money to someone to stand around with a piece of paper and direct people where to go and what to do, because let’s be honest someone could do that for you for free.

However, there is proof in the pudding. Or, I guess I should better say that, experience and professionalism make a huge difference. While yes you could have your Aunt Jane standing around directing vendors and guests, what happens if a vendor decides not to show? Or a Caterer is unable to supply the desired dishes you requested, and paid for? Does your Aunt Jane know how to handle either of those and within a few minutes of getting the news? Maybe, but most likely not. And don’t be blind, these things actually happen all the time!

9. You want your family to be present not working

I’m going to get real with you. The reason there are “wedding professionals” is because we understand that, just like a server in a restaurant your experience at your own wedding is the most important thing to us. Family will naturally have the tendency to be controlling and change to what they want or what they think is best, or even worse, they think, why am I working, I want to enjoy this party, and they deviate for your plan and their responsibility.

When you pay a professional, well experienced, planner, you essentially are their boss for the day! You can look at your contract and let them know if they are or are not doing something that is up to your expectation. It is their job to make sure that they do what you need them to do. A family member has no skin in the game.

Also, don’t you want your family to enjoy the celebration that you have been paying for this entire last 12months or so? I mean, I did when I got married. I wanted to see everyone’s smiles and hear all of their laughs and make sure that no one had any reason to despise my free celebration!

8. Back up and experience in the field

Yes, this is a huge big deal for me. Why would someone hire a chef to do a mechanic’s job? Better asked, what happens when that photographer doesn’t show up because their connecting flight was delayed or canceled?

A professional planner first off knows exactly what to do, how to do it, and what you absolutely need to know or not know to keep you stress free on your wedding day. They know that well if the entire box of wine bottles shatters, they will send their assistant to purchase a whole new box immediately. And there is no point in stressing you out.

In addition, let’s say your photographer is a really good friend who moved to California and they gifted a huge discount to photograph your wedding. First off again, I don’t believe in asking family and friends to work when they should be celebrating. But secondly, when that photographer couldn’t get onto their connecting flight for whatever reason, Aunt Jane doesn’t have a binder full of professional photographer, and other vendors, that she can spend 10minutes calling and asking to come work your wedding.

In this example, do you really want to risk getting only a few snap shot camera photos or blurry cell phone images?

7. Honest Unbiased Opinions

Haven’t you ever been in a store, really like a food, or pair of pants, and your family member/friend stats bashing about how terrible that it and how they wouldn’t be caught dead in it? I have. So, I ask you; Why do you want the turning your dream wedding into theirs?

A wedding planner is unbiased. They don’t care what colors you want, what theme you like, or if your wedding cake matches the mood of the celebration. They are there to make sure that you get exactly what you desire and want to see though your wedding album every year on your anniversary. And, I bet they would love a referral from you or a high rated review.

The best part about a planner though is that they will give you an honest opinion. Any good planner will be able to see a wedding and really look at it as a whole, not just piece by piece. They can easily determine if something is going overboard and getting too cluttered or gaudy. But ultimately, they are going to be there to do what you want for your wedding.

6. Keeping your budget in mind

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. Unlike a friend helping you plan your wedding, a wedding planner is there to help you with your budget. They completely understand the balance of money versus time, or quantity versus quality.

If they go over your budget, you wouldn’t be very thrilled. On the other side, if you wanted a high-quality photographer, but they picked out a green hobbyist who photographs flowers for a living you might be very upset.

Remember earlier how I told you the planner has a big binder with lists of professionals. Well guess what they can do for you? They can look at their lists, know which professionals are in your budget or quality range and can recommend you to meet with those selected few. That way you can ultimately decide if someone is too soft, too hard, or just right!

5. Constant Contact (Or almost)

Everyone gets busy, and I mean everyone. It’s a planner’s job to keep up to date with you or at least with the vendors that you are selecting for your wedding. The first several months of wedding planning are quite slow and easy going. There isn’t much talk needed. Typically, you get to interview the other vendors and you get to make the payments or pay your planner to pay the vendors.

Come closer to the wedding, yes there will probably be more communication because not only will you want to make sure that your planner is doing what they need to do, but your planner will be checking in to make sure that you are doing what you need to do. And of course, your nerves are going to start revving up for the big “I Do”.

4. Same Page

Speaking of constant contact and communicating with vendors. Because your planner usually won’t have another job, it is there sole job to keep their bride’s wedding vendors in check. They make sure that the vendors are responsive, and their business is up to par with not only their expectation but yours as well.

There are so many gears turning and moving all at the same time on the day of your wedding. It’s the sole responsibility of a planner to make sure that these gears are turning as smoothly as they possibly can. They let vendors know when to be there and they will keep them on the same page.

It’s not the job of your Uncle Bob or the caterer to make sure that the photographer knows there will be a videographer with 2 camera men running around and giant studio lights on top of their gear.

3. Timelines are the Lifelines at a wedding

While personally I love creating time lines for the wedding day, so that I know when and where I need to be for photographs, it is the job of the planner to make sure that you, your bridal party, your family members, and ultimately the vendors know exactly when and where they need to be.

If your ceremony is at 4:30p but your minister doesn’t know that, they could arrive at 5 and your entire wedding is running behind.

Timelines are especially crucial for a photographer and the hair and makeup artist(s). We need to know how long we have before the ceremony, and of course for a photographer where different key people will be.

A perfect example of this is if the ceremony is at 4:30 and you want photos of the groomsmen getting ready, but they aren’t due to arrive until 4p, that doesn’t leave any time at all to capture a few detail shots. All those beautiful photographs you see on Google Images, and Pinterest are from weddings that had a photographer for a good 8+ hours or had a multiple day wedding.

2. Are we having fun yet?

You should be focused on looking stunning, relaxing and not stressing, as well as, preparing to step into the world of marriage. At your wedding, while you may want to make sure that guests are enjoying themselves, that is not your job. That job comes down to 2 people actually. The second is the DJ to make sure that they are playing the appropriate music to get people up and moving, but ultimately it is another task for the planner.

They wan to make sure that guests know where the guest book is, the card table, and of course where to start gathering before and at the seating of the ceremony. They also will need to help direct your guests to the reception after the ceremony, when you need to be whisked away with the photographer to capture family formals and the fun passionate newly wed photos! (my personal favorites!)

1. Keeping the drama in check

Weather to rubber neck, or to get involved, human nature is to naturally get pulled into drama when we see it. We want to know all the who, what, where, when, why, and how’s that we can so that we can talk about it later.

The biggest help I have seen a planner do is prevent a bride from getting upset because of petty drama by the family or bridal party. You shouldn’t be stressing about why your mother is arguing with your cousin. You should be breathing and thinking of your soon to be husband or wife.

You probably are a little curious why I put this at my number one spot. Well that is because, if a bride is upset or angry, I can’t capture my photographs. If I can’t capture my photographs, I can’t do my job, and you won’t get the beautiful majestic images that you so badly wanted and hired me to capture. As a photographer, I do help filter many of those moments out, by pulling the bride out of the situation, but there are times, and strong personalities where it may not happen.

 

Let me ask you again; Do you NEED a wedding planner?

Ultimately it is your decision, and you are the only one who can pick the planner that will fit your needs. Just make sure that you in fact do your research and that you know who you are getting. Sometimes we want to save a few dollars and pick someone who is easier on our budget, but there is something to be said when you have a professional with high experience and great quality.

Remember this is your wedding day. You need to decide how much stress you want to deal with or how much you want to be able to sit back and relax and let someone else run the day exactly how you want it run.

 

I think I definitely NEED a wedding planner… Now what?

No worries. I have that part covered for you! Our next post is all about questions to ask a professional wedding planner. And guess what, If you are on our Smooth Wedding Day Series, you will get an easy pdf print out of all of these questions so that you can take them with your when you talk with the different planners.

You can even take this to your venue if your venue has a wedding coordinator to be able to judge if the coordinator is experienced enough, or simply working for the venue.

 

 

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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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!

 

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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/2018/5/9-reasons-you-need-a-wedding-planner Fri, 18 May 2018 14:11:10 GMT
How to Design Your Own Wedding Day Itinerary https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2018/5/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".

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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) agenda create design download how to schedule smooth wedding day smooth wedding day series time wedding day itinerary https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2018/5/how-to-design-your-own-wedding-day-itinerary Thu, 17 May 2018 19:18:49 GMT
Why You Need a Wedding Day Itinerary https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2018/5/why-you-need-a-wedding-day-itinerary How to have a Smooth Wedding Day Series

Why You Need a Wedding Day Itinerary

Are we at the brink of wedding season yet? Spring & Fall are the typical peek seasons for weddings, but don’t be fooled, it can always shift, and it does. Maybe Summer and Winter will be the best time to get married next year. No matter when the bug bites you, you need to know how to make sure your wedding day is smooth as a crystal ball. The one crucial thing that all of my brides, and even myself as a professional photographer enjoys having is a Wedding Day Itinerary.

Did you just groan? I think I heard it, or maybe that is just my stomach since I’m writing this and it’s almost lunch. Either way, surprisingly most people hate creating a daily routine, but enjoy when they have one to follow. When it comes to your wedding day this can be seen as one of the make it or break it items that always seems to get overlooked.

A Day of Agenda helps in more ways than you can even images.

  • It helps people know when and where to be.
  • It gives you a huge sigh of relief to know if you have a quick 5 minutes to enjoy another mimosa.
  • It allows for any family members, who may be very eccentric or opinionated to quickly be put in their place
  • Which ultimately gives you a ginormous exhaling breath.

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

Let’s put that into perspective.

If your wedding is expected to last 5 hours and you have no plans for set up, vendor arrivals, guest arrivals, family arrivals, bridal party to-do’s, and I mean you don’t even have a general outline of what you would expect, everything is going to run behind; and yes, I have seen that first hand.

 

What the bold print above is trying to say,

is that because your brain is thinking about how amazing your hair and makeup looks, it will ultimately struggle to get from point A to point B.

  • Your brain will have to stop thinking about your hair
  • Comprehend the unexpected question
  • Think of all the options
  • Make a decision about which option you prefer
  • And as long as you don’t have any questions to the question, your brain will then relay your final decision.

You will take an average of 10 minuets to get through what seems like should be a very simple question and answer.

When you have a wedding day schedule, this process is simplified for your blissfully happy mind.

 

Same scenario

You are admiring your hair and makeup, someone asks when the groomsmen are arriving. You can immediately respond with either,

"Check the schedule", or "at x time". Done. Millisecond and you continue to feel like the stunning princess you always dreamed of.

 

A Moment To Breath

Another extreme perk that I personally love as being a employee of weddings, is when a bride is able to enjoy a moment to breath and relish in her memories that are being created before her eyes. When you have a Wedding Day Itinerary, if something finishes ahead of schedule, you have the grace of sitting back and spending quality time laughing and really taking in the moments. As a photographer I love this, and these are surprisingly the photographs that most brides want. I simply ask a bride to look out the window and snap a photograph, or she will naturally be laughing with her maids, and I get to document her full enjoyment.

 

A Push Over Bride

Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I have ever heard a bride say, “I’m okay with being a push over.”, Or “My maids and Family can do whatever they want on my wedding day.”

Would you be okay with the groomsmen arriving when ever they wanted? Probably not because if they had it their way, they would arrive 10min before the ceremony. Boy, wouldn’t you be stressed and pulling out your hair which you just sat in a chair for an hour to perfect.

When you get those one or two loving friends or family members who always assume they know best or they want to take charge because it’s just their personality type, you have your handy-dandy Wedding Itinerary right at your fingertips to stop them in their tracks and bring them back to the day that is supposed to be all about your and your significant other.

There is limited room or hiccups and mishaps, there is no wiggle room for opinionated family and friends and again you ultimately get to enjoy your perfect day that you probably saved up not only money, but time and energy for.

 

How about an actual example?

As a photographer I know that things are never perfect and that my job is to not just know and understand how and when to capture a photograph, but to anticipate and prepare for any and every situation that could arise.

One of my brides refused to create rain plan even after I told her I would do it for her. To her surprise and not mine, it didn’t just rain on her wedding, but poured all over her outdoor ceremony which consisted of bales of hay for guests to sit on. Everyone was rushing around trying to find and create a spot to move the wedding to. I especially remember having to put my camera down for a moment and photograph something else at the hotel because the bride was sitting on the bed sobbing that it was raining.

 

As part of my “How to have a Smooth Wedding Day Series” I hope that you see just how important a simply tiny piece of paper with a schedule on it can be for your wedding and ultimately your peace of mind.

If you believe that with all of your heart and body that something could always go awry or someone could be a little more pushy than you would like to admit, follow the next link which will help you create your own Wedding Day Itinerary. Even if you have a wedding planner, she will not only love how ambitious you are, but she will be able to get a better idea of how you are envisioning your wedding day, not just the pretty centerpieces and flowers.

 

Read how to design your own Wedding Day Itinerary!

 

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.

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

 

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) day itinerary of plan planning schedule smooth wedding day stress free wedding stressful wedding wedding itinerary wedding planning https://www.crystalhortonphotography.com/blog/2018/5/why-you-need-a-wedding-day-itinerary Thu, 17 May 2018 19:18:13 GMT