Why Toronto photographers LOVE when you hire a wedding planner
Advice from some of the best wedding photographers in Toronto
We had the pleasure of interviewing some of the best wedding photographers in Toronto. We wanted to discover what they liked most about weddings where an experienced wedding planner is involved, and what specific aspects of the event or coordination tend to be improved or more efficient. Here’s what they had to share:
“The effectiveness of a good wedding planner cannot be overstated. Experienced planners understand the flow of a wedding day and schedule everything accordingly. From a photography perspective, this means understanding required timeframes for each stage of the wedding day and allocating sufficient time for photos. Experienced planners accommodate for minor delays that can potentially impact the timeline and ensure that everything runs smoothly. From my own experience, weddings that include a good planner are much less stressful for the couple and for most of the other vendors involved with the wedding. The planner is the captain; the wedding vendors are the team.”
“We love wedding planners. Our brides are always less stressed and are able to be more present during their big day – instead of being preoccupied or worried about a particular aspect or something going wrong. I always find that brides on a budget tend to steer away from hiring planners because they think they can’t afford them but the opposite is true… most wedding planners can save you money and time and practically pay for themselves. Also, the vendors tend to be better informed on the itinerary of the day and any organizational requests.”
“Nothing comes close to a well-organized event, organized by an experienced wedding or event coordinator. It’s all about thinking a few steps ahead. You can never avoid some delays or mistakes during the “Big Day”, but the main goal of an experienced event coordinator’s team is how fast and seamless they can work to solve the problem.”
“Wedding planners, being experienced professionals, are great at keeping on top of the schedule, and ensuring sufficient time is allocated for each item on the itinerary. This is really important as for most couples it is their first wedding, and they may have easily mistakenly underestimated how much time is needed for some events. Once you fall behind the itinerary for one event, the rest of the day could easily turn into playing catch up to the itinerary.“
“Throughout my career as a professional wedding photographer, I have had the privilege of working with wedding planners, and the opportunity to work closely with couples who decide to take the lead in planning their special day. I feel such a relief for the couple when I know they have made the educated decision to hire a professional wedding coordinator to aid them in bringing their style, passion, and creativity to light.
Wedding planners bring a sense of knowledge within the industry that a newly engaged couple are able to thrive on. From hiring vendors that are cost appropriate, or in my case, meshing personalities that will work wonderfully and seamlessly on their big day. I am with this couple usually from morning to night, and it’s refreshing to know that the wedding planner has screened me enough to know that I would be a perfect fit for the couple. To me, the most important of all aspects would be the stress-free environment that wedding planners provide to their clients and vendors.
I love showing up to a couple’s home on their wedding day and having the bride or groom excited for the day to unfold. Too many times brides are scrambling to check last minute details, such as limo pickups, hair and makeup, where the wedding party is, are the flowers correct, and the list goes on. Scheduling is another part of the photography experience. I want to make sure that every single guest the couple wants to have included in their photo memories is accounted for. It is wonderful when I am able to work closely with a planner to develop an integrated schedule, where the couple has fun throughout the day instead of worrying if time frames are met or people are missing from photo opportunities. Wedding coordinators understand the hiccups along the way and seamlessly account for and correct mishaps and errors without alarming the couple.
I also find that professional wedding planners are able to envision the day more clearly. They give such insight to what’s possible depending on location, venue, weather etc. Decor is a huge element of a fabulous wedding. Really understanding and bringing a couple’s vision together from the ceremony to reception is a huge task and I appreciate this during the day of photography. It helps with my creative process and feel for the couple’s overall style. I have been in love with my photography career since the day I completed my first wedding shoot, and I am always pleased when I hear that a professional planner has been brought on to relieve the stress and anxiety the planning process can create for a couple. There are numerous reasons for a couple to hire a wedding planner, but for myself, these would have to be my top few.”
“Almost always, couples are getting married for the first time and it’s very helpful for them to get professional guidance in terms of executing and planning the wedding that they’ve envisioned while staying on budget. On the day itself, an experienced wedding planner is very useful in making sure everything goes according to the timeline and there is enough time allocated for the important parts of the day. The wedding day can be a hectic one and the last thing couples want to do is to stress about the little things. Experienced wedding planners will definitely help on these and more.”
“The most notable benefit to working with a couple that has opted to hire a wedding planner is our ability to very quickly see the big picture of their day. A professional wedding planner creates a very diligent well thought out schedule for the couple that leaves no questions for the photographers and we can effectively take it and run! As a wedding photographer, I’m always considering shots, lights, angles, and the next location to bring our couple to! When there is a ‘flimsy’ plan in place, it forces me into a coordinator role (checking times, considering travel times etc…). Although this isn’t a problem as I am a WPIC certified wedding planner myself I feel that I should be focused on the memories of the customer rather than the flow of the day.
Another benefit is the communication! I LOVE working with wedding planners to create some awesome concepts for my customers! I will often try to set up a coffee with them prior to the wedding date and throw around ideas and professional considerations! Should we be shooting at a location that I have never been to before, most likely the planner has, and can provide some amazing insight prior to my initial site visit! Plus, talking to a planner about a wedding gives me a third party look into what motivates and drives our customer! The planner spends countless hours with them, and they can give me some tips and insights that the couple may not consider to tell me, but it’s VERY important to them. For example, I worked with a couple in April who loved ‘How I Met Your Mother’ sooooo much! The couple didn’t tell me about it, but their designated wedding planner did. (Seriously, where would that have come out). Because we were doing a Same-Day-Edit video, I decided to take the opening credits from the show and create a customized video with them and their friends! They LOVED it!
Communication is what makes my role as the wedding photographer better, and a good wedding planner is all about communication! Win-Win Team!”
“A wedding planner takes the stress away from the bride. No matter what is happening behind the scenes, the wedding planner is the perfect buffer to ensure nothing detracts from the bride & groom enjoying their wedding. They ensure that the bride and groom can focus on having the best time rather than all the details and logistics required the day of. For us, that ensures amazing photographs as the bride and groom aren’t bombarded by questions from various staff, bridal party members, etc. The wedding planner runs a smooth show so that we can capture awesome photos!”
“When there is an experienced wedding planner involved, a lot of the stress and hustle of the day is alleviated for the bride and the entire wedding party. The planner keeps things organized and makes any last minute changes or arrangements that arise as the day progresses. It’s a really great idea to get a planner involved to keep the day running smoothly and handle any situations that may come up because you never know what can happen!”
“Overall we love to photograph weddings where an experienced wedding planner is involved. When a couple hires a professional and experienced wedding planner, the overall wedding day runs smoother. Wedding planners are excellent at creating an efficient wedding day schedule. They work with us directly to ensure that the bride and groom are able to maximize their photography time, not just during the couple’s photo shoot, but throughout the day as well.
An experienced wedding planner knows that weddings don’t always run exactly on time and that things may come up throughout the day that requires their attention. They are excellent at dealing with such tasks on the wedding day, and keeping the bride and groom relaxed. Whenever a couple hires a wedding planner they are usually able to focus more on the wedding and the joy of getting married. Couples who have wedding planners are generally more calm and this improves the quality of the photographs by allowing us to capture more romantic moments between the new Mr. & Mrs. throughout the day. It’s always great when a couple can enjoy their wedding day instead of having to worry about all the details and the physical set-up of the wedding.”
“I really like to see a wedding planner take responsibilities away from the bride and groom. Giving them less to think about and deal with on the wedding day is key to a good coordinator. Being the point person for the venue and other vendors is so important, as much as possible the coordinator should be making the moment to moment decisions and keeping the small stuff away from the couple.”
“When an experienced wedding planner is involved there is a flow to the day. Time is managed by somebody else and there is a cohesiveness between each vendor as the planner keeps everyone organized and on point. It takes away some responsibility from me and allows me the ability to focus more on creatively capturing the moment as opposed to watching the clock. There is also an ease within each client as they are not stressing about the next task and instead taking the time to really be present and fully experience their day.”
“To give the best possible results, a wedding photographer needs two things: enough time for a photo shoot, and a happy, carefree bride & groom. It really helps when you have a reliable, experienced person who knows your itinerary better than you do, who is constantly checking that everything is going according to the plan, and reminds people to be on time.
There are so many details that it’s so easy to overlook or forget something. But someone who has been there before knows how to prevent it. A good wedding planner can give valuable advice on how to set a timeline for your event so you have enough time for everything, including a photo shoot. When you don’t have to worry about this, you can relax and enjoy the day.
During the photo session, some wedding planners help to arrange guests and family for the formal photos, sometimes they help to adjust the bride’s dress or veil, or the groom’s tie and boutonniere, which allows us to work more quickly and saves precious time.“
“I really enjoy that a heavy burden is lifted from the bride’s shoulders when an experienced wedding planner is involved. If brides knew just how much time, effort, energy, and stress they would save on the big day by having a professional carry that load, more would hire planners. It is amazing to see the difference and contrast between a wedding without a planner – so many last minute details fall to the bride to take care of. With a planner this is not the case and, instead, the bride and the whole wedding party, parents and everyone else is allowed to properly experience the day. They can enjoy it more, experience it more and show more raw emotion, all of these things come out in the photos as well!“