Hey, hi, hello!
Part 3 of wedding planning tips during lockdown is here. A little while ago, I wrote a blog post discussing how to postpone, and what that could mean if your vendors aren’t all available on the same day. Just scrolling through my timeline and my Insta feed, I know that so many brides and grooms have been scrambling to book new vendors because of COVID-19 related uncertainty, so I figured it would be a good idea to talk about how to do it— the right way.
What should you look for when you hire a vendor? What should you expect from them? Why is it important that your stylist and your videographer and your florist and your photographer all have an amazing working relationship? Well, here you have it!
One of the awesome (okay, I’m biased) things that Brey Photo provides to all my brides & grooms is a complete list of preferred vendors. I only recommend vendors that I would hire for my own wedding. I recommend vendors that are honest, easy going, and who treat their clients like I treat my clients— as if we are best friends.
I harp on this so much, but it is too important not to: you have to hire vendors and artists that love you. As much as you may love them, if your artist doesn’t have you and what you love in the forefront of their mind, then they are not serving you as best they can. How can someone prep you for your big day or document your day in a way that captures who you really are… if we’re just looking for what we want to add to our portfolios?
For Brey Photo, I always strive to put the human being before the photo op. Absolutely, I love to create beautiful shots— but not if it comes at the expense of my clients’ comfort or stress levels. I approach a wedding day with absolutely no expectations except the ones I have already set with my clients via a bridal consult or discussion. It is their day. I’m just along for the ride, and there to help wherever necessary. I am constantly looking for a way to create something marvelous with what I have— I am not about stressing my brides or grooms to create the “perfect”image. Having vendors that not only put you first but work well together can make a dramatically awesome impact on your day.
One of the most important people you will hire on your wedding day is your stylist. You might think there is no real relationship between your stylist and your photographer, but let me tell you, there absolutely is!
Your stylist should know what looks best at every angle and your stylist should be able to prepare you for the challenges you might face during the day (wind, rain, taking your cathedral length veil out, dancing, sweating, battling humidity). It’s up to your stylist to keep you looking fresh for photos for the next 8-12 hours— and it’s up to your photographer and stylist as a team, to make sure that (s)he has enough time to fulfill the vision you have, and that those getting ready shots are killer. Styling is the foundation for bomb photos and photos are kinda the point of incredible styling— it is really hard to have one without the other.
One of my absolute favorite stylists to work with is my girl Amber at Manetamed Bridal.
Amber is a kickass entrepreneur, a dog and cat mom to Crumpy and Ernie, an unofficial bombshell Free People model, and basically the 1970s, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Beyonce if those things were all embodied in a single person. She is by far one of the best stylists— and, while we’re at it, she’s one of the best all around human beings— that I have ever worked alongside. Plus, her in-home salon, built by her dad, is a nice place to chill with a glass of wine while you’re getting your hair done.
Manetamed is full service— during the week, Amber’s got you covered with the cut and color. “I recommend the cut and color about four weeks before the wedding. I feel like that’s wen crunch time begins and you have to worry about so many other details, so get your hair in order before all of that!”
When it comes time for your big day, she specializes in bridal updos, including those pretty whimsical boho masterpieces with the little cute flowers…. ugh, SWOON. “Lush” is basically the best word I have to describe her work and what she can do with some curls.
A lot of us creative folk are doing our best to keep our businesses afloat but also learn new things during this time, so that we can come out of this with fresh ideas and inspiration instead of just frazzled hair and bags under our eyes. It’s been hard on us, with roughly 30-50% of all of our weddings being postponed (think what you would do if suddenly 50% of your yearly income wasn’t coming in…ooof!), but Amber has been able to reschedule most of her current brides and is still booking for the fall and winter season!
Even though she’s been cooped up during the lockdown, her roommates Allie & Ricky, have let Amber get a little wild with the color and styling experiments, so she’ll be on fire and ready to roll once we’re all able to work again. “Ricky even lets me put wigs on him to practice updos. He’s the quarantine MVP.” Poor Ricky. I guess you can expect some firey inspiration when Amber gets back to work.
Amber says that one of the biggest mistakes she sees brides make when they book a stylist is booking one who doesn’t specialize in the style they want. “It doesn’t end up the way they envisioned. Make sure you hire someone who‘s passionate about the look you are going for!” I think this is pretty solid advice that can be applied across the board— get a trial done with every vendor! Taste test, go into the floral shop, book that engagement session, do the hair and make up trial (or better yet, do all those at once when you book a bridal session with me!) You get one shot at your best day ever. Make it count.
Amber also wants you to ask questions. The most important one for her? “‘Do you have a service minimum?’ Make sure you tell your stylist how many bridesmaids you have and ask if they have a minimum!” Not all stylists require a minimum, but those that do often bring in assistants which can speed up the bridal party prep process. Knowing details about your stylist’s workflow helps you create a timeline with Brey Photo that’s most accurate.
Next week (or maybe this week, if I get my butt in gear), I’ll be highlighting another one of my favorites, Lovely Productions, on the dos and don’ts for videography. Leave your thoughts, questions, snarky comments and suggestions below for me if this was helpful! Amber & I would love to answer them 🙂