creative st louis engagement photographer

Quick Tips for Beginning Your Wedding Planning by Michael Henson

How do I start!?!?

That's possibly the most common question in the entire wedding industry. It seems simple, but it's overwhelming once you start looking at all the moving pieces you must put together. To shed a little bit of light on the question, I asked a couple local St. Louis wedding professionals to weigh in with their experience and expertise.

Some quick tips from Inspired Design Wedding Events, a 14 year veteran in the industry, include:

  1. Budget // How much do you want to spend? Who is contributing?
  2. Goals // What are your goals for the event? If it's just to "get hitched" you could do that at a courthouse! What do you want to get out of the event itself? Photos, memories, time with family? 
  3. Important Elements // What is most important to each member in the couple? Don't just assume that you both care about the same things!

I also had a couple questions that I sent over to VSM Event Creations and Vanessa gave me some great feedback as well. Budget topped the list and she mentioned some incredible resources for those struggling with budgeting - The Knot & WeddingWire are great starting sources. In addition, she mentioned:

  1. Venue // The next step when getting into the "nitty-gritty" is to look at your ceremony and reception venues and get them booked. She suggests making a list of the top 3 places you'd like to check out and to start communicating with them as soon as possible.
  2. Wedding Planner // Hiring a wedding planner is an investment in your sanity. They can certainly help in choosing high quality vendors and really help out with the tiny details that make your wedding everything you want it to be!

Hopefully, this is beneficial and gives you a bit of direction as you start planning your St. Louis wedding! If you have other topics you'd like to chat about, shoot me a message or drop me a comment. Also, check out our bridal resource group on Facebook and join up!

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Jon & Erin | St. Louis Engagement Photographer by Michael Henson

From a photographer's perspective, it wasn't a great day for photos, but part of being a photographer is taking the uncooperative days that Mother Nature throws over top of your schedule and make them work. I've discussed this a bit in previous posts, but Erin & Jon's session provided some fun challenges - wind and blinding sunlight. In addition, my schedule provided us some hoops that we had to jump through in order to get our session in, but Erin & Jon were incredible. They were understanding and accommodating, and I am VERY grateful!

What about the session?

Well, we battled crazy gusts of wind that threatened to carry various gear away on a regular basis, worked around the sun's blinding rays, and we even had to overcome my tumbling over my camera bag to land flat on my back! (Try recovering from that!!)

From old industrial buildings in downtown St. Charles, MO, to the always amazing Moonshine Blues Bar in the basement at Hendricks BBQ, and our final destination for sunset shots at Creve Coeur Lake, we had a great time! We talked dogs and TV shows, complained about the wind, enjoyed the day and I even got to hear an acoustic attempt at metal and a duet (however short lived) of Banana Pancakes before Erin stopped singing!

It was great fun, these are two very cool people, and I'm honored to have had the opportunity to capture these moments! Congrats on the engagement, Erin & Jon! Looking forward to your big day!

~Michael

When should I book my wedding photographer? by Michael Henson

A great question and something everything bride needs to think about as she makes plans for her big day. Understandably, the madness and chaos, the nerves and the excitement surrounding an accepted proposal can the coolest of cucumbers break into a cold sweat. Eventually, things will calm down and the all-important “list” will result in clear direction and understanding of the tasks facing you.

In the initial stages of your planning, there are two components you want to consider.

  • Your Venue
  • Your Photographer

Each of these are subject to scheduling constraints that are difficult to work around, and if they are booked before you are able to book them, you miss out. Seeing as how I’m a photographer, that’s what I’m going to focus on here…If you are looking for information on booking a venue, I would browse through some tips over on The Knot. However, the generally accepted booking time is nine to twelve months in advance.

So, consider exactly what you are looking for in your photographer

  • Find a photographer whose style you like. 
  • Schedule some time to get together and chat about your vision for your wedding day, your dreams, and what you would like to end up with once the wedding day is past and the honeymoon is over.
  • Make sure that you like the photographer and that they are someone you are comfortable with as you’ll be spending a lot of time with them both before, during, and after the wedding.
  • Once you determine that you like their style, are comfortable with them, and that they offer the services you are looking for, BOOK 'EM DAN-O!

(Side note - Photographers work with other wedding vendors all the time and might be able to point you in the direction of a phenomenal venue, planner, florist, baker, etc. Let them be your ally!)

Finally, please, please, please, ensure you end up with tangible, physical products from your photographer. Trust me, the memories will fade and if you simply walked away with a CD or USB drive that hold your images, you’ve missed out and may end up losing treasured memories! CD's get lost or scratched. USB drives stop working, disappear, or break. Large prints on your wall are beautiful reminders of your day.

Your wedding album is your very first family heirloom and provides laughs, tears of joy, nostalgia, and refreshed memories every single time you open it. Don’t miss out on that!

Make the investment and book your photographer today!

If you have any questions, experiences, or thoughts, please don't hesitate to leave them in the comments!

And, if you would like to schedule a time to meet with me and chat about capturing your big day, shoot me a message! I'd love to grab a cuppa coffee and get to know you!