A wedding planner is a bride’s most trusted source when it comes to making the major decisions for the wedding day. For photographers, the wedding planner referral not only helps to generate leads and to facilitate bookings, but it also makes the entire process of creating happy clients easier.
Becoming a recommended vendor in the wedding industry takes more than just being a good photographer. In fact, even the best photographers can hurt their business with the wrong attitude and approach to the wedding day.
We reached out to 8 established wedding planners here in SoCal to find out what they look for when they decide whether or not to recommend certain photographers to clients. While each response is unique, here are some of the most common overlapping thoughts:
- Following the timeline
- Sharing images in a timely manner
- Being a team player on the day of the wedding
- Having good communication throughout the whole process
Their full answers are listed below:
“We love photographers who respond quickly to our emails and are flexible on the event day, just like us. They have a creative eye and are easy to work with. We love it when they are reliable and on time, and our favorites make sure we get a link to the gallery too.”
“I love working with photographers who are willing to be a team player. The most difficult part of the wedding day is dealing with timing. I always make it a point to send my photographer a “show flow” or timeline well before an event. I greatly appreciate it when a photographer will take the time to jump on a call or meet with me so we can go over the show flow together, hour by hour to make sure we have all the timing perfect and we don’t miss a single important shot. I truly believe in front-loading as much of the work as possible so when the big day arrives, everything goes smoothly and everyone wins!”
Maria Lackey – Website
- Be on time.
- Dress professionally.
- Go with the flow, things happen. Don’t be the cause of our timeline running behind.
- Please don’t disappear with our couples “for five minutes” which turns into thirty.
- Answer your cell on the wedding day (or have your assistant answer it for you).
- Be a team player, especially with the planner, videographer, and catering staff.
“I love photographers who communicate clearly with me. I always send out the timeline beforehand and I love it when photographers let me know if there is a timing issue for them. If I know before the day-of, I can fix it and we can make adjustments as needed. I’m also quick to recommend photographers who keep things on schedule and who manage large families/bridal parties well.”
“We treat every wedding like it is a dear friend’s wedding day because that is how we come to think about our clients. We like to recommend photographers who approach their business and clients with the same philosophy. Our favorite photographers help our couples feel comfortable and relaxed in front of the camera, collaborate and communicate with us in a timely manner to create and honor a timeline that works for the venue and vendor team, respect our couples vision while providing expert advice and recommendations, and share galleries of creative and beautiful images with our clients within a timely matter. Our absolute favorite photographers also send us their galleries, as well, so that we can post images and tag the vendor team!”
“Acknowledge and respect the timeline! I’ve had some photographers flat out refuse to have me send it to them! Respect the rest of the team that has been working on this event (myself, DJ, catering, etc). Have a “we got each other’s backs” mentality. If a photographer is honest with me when they need something, I help them. I’ll get them food for when it’s convenient for them and make sure they are taken care of. Please show the same courtesy (for example – don’t be hard to find, let us know if you’re stepping away, let the client know that if they want these extra shots, we have to push the timeline as a team, not just “the planner says we’re out of time- sorry”. Also, we like to take pics WITH our fellow vendors, during set-up, and behind the scenes. Sharing those candids is awesome in creating those relationships.”
“If you need to adjust the timeline. Communicate that with the planner and not the couple. Couples will agree and forget to communicate that to the planner. Then the timeline gets all screwed up and we’re not on the same page. Stepping on a planner’s territory with a timeline like that will cause a bad first impression. We love suggestions and happy to make adjustments as the goal is to make the day perfect for our couples. You may not know why we had to move cake cutting up even though it doesn’t make sense to you. There may be a lot of backend talks that you were not part of. We’d be happy to clear any confusion to show flow. Engagement photos are always forgotten! I personally LOVE receiving engagement photos. I want to be able to hype up the wedding with my audience. So please send them to the planner so they can share with all the vendors to help hype the event and please don’t forget to credit everyone. It’s a team effort to make this day flawless and everyone deserves to be credited.”
“Have fun, enjoy oneself & be a pleasure to be around. People (and that includes the vendors) want to enjoy themselves at work. Our energy will rub off on wedding & guests, so let’s make it awesome together!”