In 2016 our friends’ engagement made me want to write this post. I could not attend their wedding, but I helped them out with tips and personal advice, both good and bad. I believe in learning from others’ mistakes. For a couple of days, we discussed how they saw their wedding and how to properly organize everything to make it as stress-free as possible. The main concerns were choosing wedding professionals from a large assortment in the industry, how to make the right choice, and who will suit the couple. In the following post, I will discuss the questions mentioned above and give answers that I have come up with. All of the information that is in this post is a combination of my opinion and my personal experience in the wedding industry.
What should you pay attention to when choosing wedding professionals, what questions should you and most importantly what questions you have to ask? I hope that after reading this post you will be inspired to embark on fun adventures!
WEDDING STATISTICS IN THE UNITED STATES
✖ 2.3 million couples wed every year in the US. That breaks down to nearly 6,200 weddings a day
✖ the average age of a bride in the US is 25.3
✖ average age of a groom is 26.9
✖ average number of guests invited to a wedding is 178
✖ one-third of those getting married each year have been married before
A friendly and coherent team is the key to any great business. Sometimes I think that it’s best not to have a wedding planner at all, than to have ones that I sometimes have to work with. But in most cases wedding planners do their job and their help in wedding prep and on the wedding day is priceless. A well planned wedding day is an important part that will determine how comfortable you and your guests will be during the event. You will not be in a rush, but at the same time will get to do everything you wanted. A wedding day should go by seamlessly and without rush. Quite often I have to say “no” to my couples and this happens during the same time of prep. No, things should be done differently! No, don’t set aside 15 minutes for photos. No! No! No! I can guarantee you 100% that that time will not be enough for all your photo wants and needs and we will need more time. I am aware that many couples like to save on the time and thus on the money, but this doesn’t work out well in the end. With the “time saving” you also get additional stress and a headache, instead of a memorable and lovely time. A lot of couple choose 6 hours and all of their ideas get completed. But when some choose 12 hours, we don’t get even half of the list done. That’s why the opinion of a professional and their experience in the field will help make you day more comfortable and enjoyable. You don’t get married once every month, but we see weddings all the time. The past year we had 30 weddings and trust us when we say we have experience, so relax and trust.
THE MONEY BEHIND THE MARRIAGE
✖ $72 billion per year is spent on weddings
✖ the average wedding budget is $20,000
✖ $1,016 is the average cost of wedding rings for the bride and groom
traditionally, the father of the bride would pay for everything. Today, however, the bride and groom themselves pay for the wedding about 30 percent of the time; the bride's parents pay about 17 percent of the time. As for the rest of the time, costs are covered by different sources -- the bride and groom and one or both sets of parents, according to surveys by Bride's magazine.
✖ $19 billion per year is spent on wedding gift registries
✖ $8 billion per year is spent on honeymoons
✖ the average honeymoon budget is $3,657
✖ over 91 percent of all to-be-weds register for gifts. The couple receives gifts from an average of 200 guests
✖ most wedding guests spend between $70 and $100 on a gift
I know that many of my couples are busy with work and like to spent their free time with family and friends and planning a wedding isn’t an easy task. That’s why I created a wedding planning service for couples who live outside of NYC, but want to get married in this magical city. One Wedding House is a team of specialists ranging from wedding planners and videographers to florists and photographers, and everyone in between base in New York. We offer the whole spectrum of services.
TIMING OF WEDDINGS
June is the most popular month for weddings, then August, followed by September and October
here's a monthly breakdown:
Some say that photographers and videographers don’t like each other because they interfere during a shoot and have to “split” the couple in order to capture that they have to. This is sometimes true, however I want to assure you that a professional will never get in the way. The photographer has to walk a lot and everywhere, just like the videographer. But the videographer has more flexibility, because he/she can set up cameras from different angles and shoot from a long focus. This is done so that during the editing process, the clips with the photographer in it can be cut out and any other unwanted footage can be taken out.
I noticed that there was a need for a wedding videographer and I decided to create something of my own that included those services. Why? Firstly, there was demand. Secondly, the studios that I worked with in the past did not meet my wants and criteria. What do I mean by that? This doesn’t mean that I didn’t like anyone’s work. There are videographers who are awesome creators and seeing their work inspired me to start something of my own that included this service. Those who made videos at the wedding where I was the photographer created boring and stereotypical wedding videos. And that goes against my ideology. Each couple is unique and everyone has different taste in things, but the thought that all these studios create the same cookie cutter videos would not leave me alone. In this past year we made a huge jump in creating awesome videos and we will continue to innovate and make unforgettable videos for our couples.
WHERE DO WEDDINGS TAKE PLACE?
✖ 80 percent of weddings are performed in churches or synagogues
And now my “favorite” question. What style do you prefer?
You can always check out the photographers’ website and see if you like his/her style or not. If you are unsure of something you can always ask and request something particular. Quite a number of photographers shoot from untraditional angles, don’t take photos of details or take too many detailed shots and not enough of the couple and party. It’s hard for me to say what my style is. I like the fashion style because my couples always look like models. Documentary style because it captures the day and everything that took place, detailed because it’s all in the details and the atmosphere that shines thought and traditional photography is simply timeless. I do what I love and what I think is important to my couples. Often I look at a couple just being themselves, with their own quirks they are unique and I capture that. It’s a simple and enjoyable process for myself and the couple.
✖ 99 percent of newlyweds take a honeymoon
✖ the average couple will spend three times more on their honeymoon than a regular vacation
✖ 40 percent of honeymooners will travel within the United States, about 60 percent will travel to a foreign country
✖ honeymoons usually last 7 to 9 days
✖ the most popular destinations are Las Vegas, Hawaii, the Caribbean, and Jamaica
✖ 35 percent of brides and grooms have a valid passport
Let’s talk about value and cost. After all that’s one of the most important aspects of planning a wedding. Why? Money is hard to earn and its always hard to let it go. But everything has a price. If something is truly valuable and important, the price is not the primary concern. Some are ready to spent $115,000,000 on a painting, but for others it looks like scribbles and should cost more than a dollar. You can not find a good photographer for more than $4,000 for your wedding day. Why? Because any good professional highly values their craft and product. In my field it ranges from $4,000 to $15,000.
Why so expensive? Not all expensive photographers are great and those who take less money for the same job cant be worse than those who start at $4,000. Why? From my personal experience, I can say that the price is made up from personal factors since a photographer has a limited number of weddings they can physically do in a given year. In my case, it's 25-30 weddings. A wedding photographer is a strange creature and their enthusiasm might die a bit as the years go by. The price is created individually, simple speaking the photographer decided how much his work costs. It takes me about 8 hours to choose photos, plus 7-8 more for color correction, plus retouching the images is an additional 6-8 hours. Putting the story together and loading it on to all of the social media platforms is also time consuming. In addition to this e-mailing the couples, meeting with them, forming ideas, figuring out the logistics all takes time. And the most important part, the experience of the person who you will be dealing with. Not the amount of wedding the photographer shot, but their personal factors. How fast do they come up with solutions when those are needed, how they communicate with the couple and party, how they can make reassure the bride that everything is going smoothly, and so on.
OTHER INTERESTING INFO
✖ the top wedding city in the world is Istanbul, Turkey with 166,000 for the year
✖ Las Vegas, Nevada is in second place with 114,000 weddings.
Based on statistics the worst segment of wedding photographers charge from $1,700-3,000 for a full wedding day. Why? This group includes people who are photography hobbyists and don’t dedicate their full energy to this craft. They might also lack experience in the wedding photography business, but shoot everything with the steady “okay” quality and lower price. This makes the quality and the individual attention to the process mediocre if not worse. $1.500 or less are usually newbies and students. They are enthusiastic, but the quality is low.
As you can see I can talk about these topics for days. We still have to discuss a lot before one of your life’s big days. Our goal is to make this day, your best one yet!