Advice from a Wisconsin wedding photographer
Hi! I’m Adam Shea. Since 2007, I’ve had the pleasure to photograph weddings in Wisconsin around the Green Bay, De Pere, Appleton, Neenah/Menasha, Oshkosh, Fond du Lac, Manitowoc, Madison and Milwaukee areas. Since then, I’ve been able to collect information you might find useful.
A lot of advice exists on what you should do when you’re planning a wedding. But what advice exists about what not to do? When you’re outlining your wedding day, follow this advice on what you should avoid so that everything runs as smoothly as possible.
Not setting a wedding budget
When you get engaged, it can be tempting to start the wedding planning process right away. Before you start reserving vendors, sit down and pre-plan your budget. When you start booking venues and vendors before establishing your budget, you’re bound to overspend.
My personal philosophy is to never spend more than I have. I try to avoid taking out loans at all costs. This of course, is usually unavoidable when it comes to things such as mortgages, cars or big-ticket items.
If you feel you want to take out a loan to help pay for your wedding, you do have a few options. Instead of swiping your credit card and hoping for the best, use a low-interest personal loan to control your budget.
Be sure to take out your loan for only the amount you know you and your partner can afford. That way, you won’t overspend and end up with a wedding that puts you into debt before you can even say “I do”.
Not planning for the unexpected
While you may hope that your wedding day will end up exactly how you planned, it’s unrealistic to think that it will go without a few small glitches. Make a plan so that your world isn’t turned upside down if something unexpected happens.
It’s a good idea to:
Coordinate with your venue that there is an option for if the weather goes haywire.
Designate a point person who can handle any mishaps the day of so that you aren’t strapped with this responsibility when you just want to have fun.
Stay calm. Your wedding day is about starting the rest of your life with the person you love. Don’t get distracted if someone is wearing the wrong corsage or you forget your wedding invite for a photo. Little details are trivial when compared to the importance of the day.
Cutting corners on a photographer
A common mistake couples make when getting married is underestimating the importance of photography. Your wedding day goes by in the blink of an eye. One thing to remember is that your wedding photos and videos are the only thing you’ll have to relive your day.
If you are able, save enough to invest in a professional wedding photographer to help ensure that you are satisfied with the outcome. To be considered a professional, it takes a deep knowledge of light, creativity, clear communication and technical expertise. And most importantly, a sharp set of eyes that pays attention to small details.
If you know someone that takes wonderful photos and will give you a great deal, great! If not, do a little homework and get someone that has experience. Generally speaking, your wedding day is not the time to ask an inexperienced family member with a decent camera to take pictures. And hope they turn out okay.
Looking back, you’ll be glad you hired a professional to lead the way and provide you with a lifetime of memories.
Leaving your guests less-than-informed
The last thing you want when you get married is for your guests to be blowing up your phone because they’re confused or lost. Don’t make the mistake of thinking your guests will be able to figure it out on their own.
If anything, over-inform your family and friends on the details of your wedding weekend. Be clear on every aspect of your day, including where to be and when, directions on how to get to your venue, and accommodations in the area.
Inviting too many people
While it can be hard to cut down your wedding guest list, you don’t want to send out more invites to more people you can actually afford to have at your wedding. A big fault in wedding planning is expecting that a good chunk of your wedding list will RSVP “No”.
If you expect your guest list to get down to a specific ratio, you could end up in big trouble when everyone can make it. Instead, make an “A List” and a “B List”.
In your first round of wedding invites, only invite your “A List” people that you cannot imagine your wedding without. Once you get back a list of RSVPs, you can invite some of your “B List” people to fill in the empty spots.
Need a wedding photography package? I’ve got you covered.
I’ve been photographing weddings since 2007 and am always happy to help couples looking for a photographer. Click here to learn more about my services.
The most popular package, called the Complete Package includes everything you need for your big day. Copyright permissions to the photos, an online gallery, coverage of all the main events and a build-your-own photo book album. It even includes $100 in discounted prints.
I’m always happy to provide advice to couples looking to plan their wedding. Feel free to contact me any time.
Adam is a wedding photographer based out of Neenah, Wisconsin that travels across the state of Wisconsin and abroad for destination weddings. He focuses on rich, vibrant photos which tell the story of his clients' wedding days.
When not photographing weddings, Adam also photographs engagements, corporate events, families, high school seniors, boudoir portraits, and professional headshots. Adam experiments with time-lapse astrophotography and loves to create short films as well. His main subjects are his two dynamic daughters at home.
Adam loves to roast coffee, fish and is active in the political scene. He strives for equality, fairness and compassion amongst all members of society.
Adam Shea started Adam Shea Photography in 2007 and his goal has remained simple: create timeless, beautiful images for couples. He focus on capturing real moments that are crisp, vibrant and beautiful.