I’m not going to lie: I’m obsessed with back up plans. I spend hours agonizing over what to do in every conceivable scenario like a conspiracy theorist preparing for armageddon. Here are some ways I prepare for your wedding and some questions you should have for your vendors regarding your big day!
Let’s start with the obvious: Back up equipment. For me specifically as a photographer, I’ve got two of everything and so does my second photographer. We arrive in two separate vehicles and each have the itinerary, contact information and shot list for the day. That way if I’m extremely sick, get in a car accident, or one of my cameras malfunctions, we’re prepared.
Questions to ask vendors:
- Do you work as a team? If not, do you have someone on call?
- Do you have back up equipment, kits, rentals, vehicles?
- Who do I contact if you or a delivery do not arrive or are late?
The second biggest scenario I plan for is inclement weather. I was soaked no less than four times last year and carry large golf umbrellas in the back of my car for every wedding. Not every weekend is a balmy 72 degrees with beautiful sun. Rain, wind and extremely high summer temps can ruin an event if you don’t plan ahead. It’s a good idea to have a back up location for outdoor ceremonies and receptions as well as multiple locations inside and out for portraits. Not only that, but make sure you actually like those locations and they are suitable for the size of your wedding. I can’t tell you how many times 200 people have been squeezed into a foyer for the ceremony or all the portraits had to be taken in front of hideous wallpaper.
Questions to ask vendors:
- Do you have a plan for inclement weather?
- Are tents, extra rooms or enclosures available and may we view them on site?
- Is there a place to store umbrellas, coats and boots?
- Do you provide air conditioning or heat lamps?
- Where may we take portraits indoors?
Post-production is where my business really swings into gear. I’ve got thousands of images to sort through and process. I treat these files like precious cargo and never let them out of my sight. I immediately back up every image onto my computer, an external hard drive and in the cloud. It may seem like over kill, but there are no do-overs when shooting a wedding! I always make sure I have at least one off-site storage solution to counteract theft or any kind of natural disaster.
Questions to ask photographers:
- Do you have back up equipment?
- What happens if you are sick on our wedding day?
- Who do I contact if you are late or do not arrive?
- How do you store images after the wedding?
Hopefully none of these scenarios will occur on your big day, but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared. Happy wedding planning!