Wedding Photographer

How To Find the Perfect Wedding Photographer

Are you getting married in the coming year? Finding the right wedding photographer for the big day is a must.

We don’t have to tell you how much you’ve got to do to prepare for your wedding day, but you’d be remiss not to book your photographer far in advance. There are over 250,000 photography businesses in the country, most of which will happily do weddings.

With so many photographers out there, how on earth are you supposed to pick one for your wedding? That’s what we’re here to discuss in this post. Keep reading, and we’ll give you the complete guide on choosing a wedding photographer who’ll perfectly capture your wedding and give you something to remember for years to come.

Come Up With a Budget

Before you actually start your search for the perfect wedding photographer, you need to know how much you can spend. It helps to do a bit of research beforehand to find out how much people typically pay for wedding photography.

The difference between photographers and other wedding vendors is the price range. You can get an inexperienced photographer that wants to build a portfolio for free or a seasoned photographer that charges normal rates. Which you choose depends on how professional you want your pictures to be.

Have An Idea of Your Style

Every couple dreams of how their big day will look, and you want that to come across with the photos. If you’ve got any thoughts on the poses, setting, or look of the photos, make sure you can explain this to a photographer.

You should also make sure you’re both on the same page with what you want. A good photographer should be able to achieve whatever look you’re going for, but they aren’t mind readers, so you need to act as the de facto director.

When you’re ready, start your search by heading to Google and looking for photographers near you. This should give you a wide range of photographers in your area to start with.

If you’re in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, you may want to consult a wedding planner to help you find a great photographer. At Total Events DFW, we work with a wide variety of wedding vendors, including photographers and entertainers, so we can give you the best in the area.

Check Past Client Reviews

Whether you’re hiring a wedding planner or going it alone, it’s going to make your life easier to look at past client reviews. Testimonials and reviews tell you so much about the quality of a photographer and what it’s like to work with them.

This is important information before you hire someone. No one can tell you more about a photographer than a couple who has already worked with them, so read through the reviews and choose a few of the top-rated photographers to contact first.

Look At Their Portfolio

You’ll also be able to glean a lot of insight through a photographer’s portfolio. If you’ve got an eye for photography, you can narrow down your selection of photographers by comparing their portfolios to the style that you and your spouse-to-be came up with together.

If you can’t find a portfolio on their website – or they don’t have a website – don’t be afraid to ask them for samples. You can’t be expected to make this important decision without seeing samples of their work first.

Consider Lighting

Presumably, you’ve already booked your venue by the time you’re looking for a photographer. As you may or may not know, lighting is one of the most crucial aspects of photography, so this needs to be discussed with prospective photographers.

For instance, if you have access to an outdoor backdrop, taking advantage of daylight will be important. In terms of indoor shots, it’s good to know if they’ll be using flash or bringing their own lighting setup to the venue. This is one of those practical things that gets overlooked when you’re overwhelmed by the wedding planning process.

Do They Do Video

More and more couples want a wedding video in addition to their wedding photographs. If you can find a photographer that can do both, you’ll save yourself time and money.

It’s important to discuss their wedding photo/video packages. You don’t want to miscommunicate and not get video services when you think you are getting them. The photographer may need to bring extra equipment to accommodate your video requests, which may cost more money.

Find Out Rates

Since you spent some time coming up with a budget earlier on, the next thing you should do after you’ve narrowed the search down is asking about rates. Pick the photographer with the best-looking portfolio that also fits within your budget.

Photograph Rights

Another overlooked thing that your photographer should bring up is the rights to the pictures. Many couples just assume that with the photography fee, they obtain the rights to the photos, but this isn’t usually the case.

It’s good to tackle the legal stuff before hiring someone. Photographers will want to hold on to their rights simply to use the photos in their portfolio moving forward. This will never stop you or your family members from using them however they want.

Editing Timeline

The last thing you’ll want to think about is how long it will take to get the photos and videos back after the wedding. It’s important to get this information before hiring someone so that you aren’t strung along after the wedding day.

Of course, the photographer will need time to pare down and edit the photos for you. That said, it shouldn’t take more than a few weeks to get them back in your possession.

Find Your Dream Wedding Photographer in Dallas/Fort Worth

If you follow this guide, you’ll be able to find a great wedding photographer 100% of the time. There’s no denying that doing all of this due diligence can be time-consuming, but it’s also worth it to have great photos of your big day.

Couples in the Dallas-Fort Worth area can look no further than Total Events DFW to find high-quality photographers and videographers. To start planning your wedding, contact us, and we’ll tell you how we can help.

texas wedding

How to Plan the Perfect Texas Wedding

Every year, around 30,000 couples choose to celebrate their nuptials in the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington area. That’s thanks to abundant sunshine, unique wedding venues, and exciting places for wedding guests to make a weekend of any wedding.

If you’re considering a Texas wedding for your special day, there are a few ways you can make the most of it. Keep reading for everything you need to know about planning your big day. 

When Is a Good Time for a Texas Wedding?

Texas is a diverse state with eight different climatic regions, and average temperatures can vary by as much as 20° when comparing the north to the south. 

Dallas-Fort Worth is in the humid subtropical climate zone, which experiences high rainfall when compared to the rest of the state.

The spring and early fall are rainy seasons throughout Texas, and the summers are usually dry and hot. The fall months of October and November are the most popular months for weddings in Texas. 

Book Your Big Day Early

If you want to take advantage of the fantastic fall weather in the Lone Star state, you’ll need to book as soon as possible. During peak wedding season, wedding venues fill up quickly with happy couples, and wedding planners are at their busiest.

Dallas and Fort Worth boast numerous chic city venues, as well as laid-back outdoor spaces and intimate chapels. For your reception, you can choose between rooftops, spacious mansion lawns, and Art Deco halls.

It’s best to book your venue, vendors, and Dallas wedding planner at least a year in advance to make sure you get the wedding you envision.

Remember, this time of year is close to the festive season and coincides with football season, too. Make sure you send out a save the date as soon as possible to avoid your guests making prior vacation or sporting arrangements. 

If you’re going to invite guests from out-of-state, be sure to book provisionally book accommodation for them when you book your venue. 

Hire a Wedding Planner

It’s vital to work with a Texas wedding planner whether you’ve chosen Dallas for your destination wedding or if you live in the area.

A wedding planner helps you include all the finer details in your plans and can negotiate the best prices on everything you need for a successful event.

Working with a wedding planner doesn’t mean you’re stuck with a cookie-cutter wedding. They’ll happily help you create a unique wedding according to your preferences and budget.

Hiring a wedding planner takes most of the stress out of planning a wedding, allowing you to focus on the important things.

Wedding planner cost considerations pale in comparison to the money you’ll spend if you only remember to arrange some aspects of your wedding at the last minute.

Add Texas Flair to Your Dallas Wedding

Texas is a fun, friendly place, so embrace this in your wedding planning. There are several ways to tip your hat to awesome Texas style to create an unforgettable, enigmatic occasion.

Embrace the iconic fashions of Texas by incorporating special-occasion cowboy hats and boots into your outfits, your wedding theme, or gifts.

Other awesome Texas-style welcome gifts include:

  • Topo Chico mineral water
  • Mini bottles of barbecue sauce
  • Texan treats, like Fritos and Snickers bars

When it comes to wedding food, you can’t beat BBQ or Tex-Mex to capture the true flavors of Texas. Pecan pie is an obvious choice for dessert, or you can provide a fire pit for marshmallow roasting or s’mores. 

If you prefer a more formal approach, your wedding planner will advise you on caterers who can craft a menu of seasonal local favorites. 

Some state-specialty cocktails and drinks include:

  • Frozen margaritas
  • Ranch water 
  • Shiner Bock and Lone Star beers 

When choosing your flowers, stick to local varieties that thrive in the Dallas area. Some traditional wedding flowers will droop in the Texas heat. 

Your wedding planner can refer you to a florist that will help you create an impactful display for your event.

Practical Aspects of a Texas Wedding

There are a few less exciting things you’ll need to deal with when planning a Texas wedding. These are:

Filing for a Wedding License

When you receive your wedding license, you must wait three days before you get married, and you have 90 days to tie the knot. If you’re recently divorced, you must wait at least thirty days after finalizing your divorce before you can wed again.

If you miss your ninety-day deadline, you’ll need to file for a new license. 

You and your partner must file for your marriage license in person at the County Clerk’s office. You must bring identity documents, like a passport, visa, birth certificate, or driver’s license to prove you’re over 18.

A marriage license currently costs $75 in Dallas-Fort Worth for residents. If you live in another state, you’ll need to pay an additional $100.

Weather Considerations

It’s important to plan for a range of weather conditions when you get married in Dallas. Fall days are warm and pleasant, but the evenings can get chilly.

Providing fans, heating lamps, or shawls for your wedding guests is a nice touch to ensure their comfort whatever the weather brings. A good supply of bottled water is another nice touch.

Cold days are a rarity in Dallas. So, avoid heavy fabrics when planning your wedding outfits and advise your guests to do the same. 

Saying ”I Do” in Dallas

Dallas abounds with wonderful opportunities to create the wedding or your dreams. The city is home to both world-class venues and low-key hideaways perfect for an intimate ceremony.

The best way to discover your perfect venue, menu, and entertainment, is by working with an accomplished Dallas wedding planner.  

Get in touch right away to arrange the Texas wedding of your dreams. 

wedding guide

Wedding Guide: 6 Wedding Planning Mistakes to Avoid

If you haven’t noticed, 2022 was the year of the wedding. Thanks, in large part, to pandemic-related delays, 2022 witnessed a record-breaking 2.6 billion weddingsat least. If you’re riding the tail-end of this wave and planning a wedding in the coming years, you’ve probably got a lot on your plate. Making the choice to get married can lead to big emotions and big transitions, and wedding planning only adds to the chaos of it all. Fortunately, we’ve got a quick wedding guide that will spare you some of the common trials and tribulations couples face while preparing for their big day.

Read on for six wedding planning mistakes that we see all too often and how to avoid them.

1. Planning Before Budgeting

Your beloved has proposed and you’ve already got some serious ideas about what your wedding will look like. You’re calling venues, you’re setting up tastings, you’re hiring a DJ, and you haven’t actually talked to your partner (or anyone else helping with the bill) about a budget.

Remember that weddings aren’t cheap (averaging at about $28,000) and unless money is no object, you’ll have to think long and hard about how much you can spend on your vendors, your dress, your decor, and more. 

Come to an agreement with anyone who is chipping in on how much you can spend on your wedding before you get into the nitty-gritty. Then, don’t shy away from asking for estimates and doing your research before signing any contracts.

2. Not Communicating About Wedding Wants and Needs

There are two people getting married on your big day, and while one partner may take the reigns when it comes to wedding planning, the other shouldn’t feel excluded. 

Throughout the wedding planning process, check in with your partner to talk about what you both want and need at your wedding. Even if your partner is taking a hands-off approach, they may feel strongly about hiring a band over a DJ or having a buffet over a served meal. 

If your expectations start to clash, compromise. Maybe you get the DJ and he gets the buffet. As long as you talk it out and your wedding is representative of your individual ideas and desires, you’ll be in good shape.

3. Putting Off Big Ticket Items

Don’t set your heart on a wedding date and then spend the next four months planning decor without locking down your vendors. Not only will vendors take up a huge chunk of your budget but they’re also quick to book up, especially if you’re getting married in a popular wedding season like spring or fall. 

As soon as you can, secure your:

  • venue
  • DJ or band
  • caterer
  • photographer
  • wedding planner
  • transportation
  • florist

You should also start looking for your wedding gown sooner rather than later. Most brides need to have their wedding gowns altered, and it can take months from the time you pick your dress to the time it’s walking-down-the-aisle-ready. 

4. Letting Too Many Cooks Into the Kitchen

Your friend from high school has a friend who has a coworker who knows the perfect florist that you should use. Your parents have a ton of suggestions for the wedding playlist and don’t seem to care that you already have your favorite songs in mind. Sound familiar?

Trust us when we tell you that a lot of people will have thoughts and opinions about your wedding. A lot of people will offer to help. This can seem great at first, but you should try to limit how many minds and hands you bring on to your wedding planning team.

If you find yourself on the receiving end of unwanted ideas or favors, it’s okay to politely decline. Your wedding isn’t meant to make every single guest the happiest person in the room. The only thing that matters is that you and your future spouse are the happiest people in the room.

5. Not Prioritizing Wellness 

While weddings are fun and memorable affairs, wedding planning can make you want to pull your hair out. Yes, there are fun moments, like dress shopping or creating a Pinterest board with your best friend. However, there are a lot of moving parts that can become overwhelming after the first few months.

Don’t let wedding planning overtake your life. If it’s starting to, schedule it into your day alongside other activities, like spending time with your fiancé or heading to a yoga class. 

Remember, there may be a few little hiccups, but they aren’t going to ruin your wedding. You shouldn’t let your wedding ruin your mental and emotional health, either. 

6. Not Hiring a Wedding Planner

If you’re working with a tight budget, it might seem logical to skip the wedding planner. After all, you can handle all of this yourself, right?

The truth is that hiring a wedding planner doesn’t just make it easier to survive wedding planning. It’s actually a smart financial move.

Experienced wedding planners know the vendors in your city. They know how much your ideas will actually cost, and they may even be able to pull a few strings and drop the price on some of your out-of-budget desires. No matter what, a wedding planner will keep you within your budget while downgrading your stress levels, and nothing could be better than that. 

If You Liked This Wedding Guide, You’ll Love What’s Next

Planning a wedding is no small feat, and there are a ton of wedding mistakes that couples seem to make year after year. With this wedding guide, you can beat the learning curve and stay on the right track.

The truth is, we can offer you more than this wedding guide. Total Events is one of the top event planning companies in the Dallas Fort Worth area, and our wedding planners go above and beyond to create the perfect day for their happy couples. Contact us to see what we can do for you!

wedding planning advice

Expert Wedding Planning Advice to Ensure Your Dallas Wedding Is Perfect

In 2021, there were more than 154,988 weddings in Texas, making it second on the list of states regarding the number of weddings occurring. With that being said, the planning process can become frustrating and overwhelming for everyone involved. Your big day is approaching, and the last thing you should be doing is wondering if there’s something that you’ve missed while planning it. We’ve created a guide to the most helpful wedding planning advice to ensure your big day goes off without a hitch.

Get ready to learn how to plan a wedding by scrolling below.

Make Decisions Based on What’s Important to You

When you’re acting as your wedding planner, it’s not uncommon for you to make sacrifices, especially if it means saving a dollar here and there. However, you shouldn’t do this because you risk having a wedding that you’re not absolutely proud of.

During the planning phase, ensure you make decisions based on what you deem necessary to you. If having your nieces and nephews in your wedding is essential, do what it takes to make it happen.

If you want to get married in the same place where your loved one proposed, do it. Don’t let the idea of saving money or not inconveniencing others force you to push the things that are important to you at the bottom of your wedding planning list.

Have a Budget in Mind

It’s easy to begin planning your wedding and get carried away with all the bells and whistles. However, the issue with this is that the numbers begin to add up before you know it, and you’ll wonder if you have enough money to cover other wedding expenses.

To avoid this issue, decide on a wedding budget with your partner before you begin to plan your wedding. This will make it easier when you do things like speaking to vendors about what you dream of on your big day.

For example, when you’re deciding on the food to serve, you can make your budget clear and select food items and a serving style that will fall within the budget you’ve set for your wedding. When you’re considering the budget to set for your wedding, don’t forget to include your honeymoon.

This will be the first trip you take as a married couple; therefore, you’ll want to be able to have the honeymoon you’ve always wanted to kick off your new life together.

Take Your Time

Wedding planning isn’t about hurrying to make all the decisions at once, mainly because there are different seasons, which means the pricing of certain items change. When planning your wedding, take your time and weigh all the options before making your final decision.

Do what you can to educate yourself about the ins and outs of wedding planning before moving forward. By taking time to educate yourself, you can rest assured that your big day will turn out the way you intend it to.

Provide Honest Opinions

When you’re dealing with a Dallas wedding planner, one thing they will want from you is your honest opinion. Stop worrying about hurting people’s feelings and keep your focus on the vision you have for your wedding.

If you’re presented with something you don’t like, you can speak openly and honestly while being respectful to the people you’re talking to. For example, if you wanted orchids for your wedding, but the vendor responsible for your flower arrangements presents you with lilies, don’t say anything.

Let them know that while the lilies are beautiful, you wanted orchids. If that’s not possible, discuss some of your secondary options or other flowers in-season, versus saying nothing and being upset with the flowers chosen for your wedding day.

Be clear about your expectations upfront, and ensure you continue to make them clear if things aren’t going the way you’ve asked for them.

Follow Your Gut

Most of the time, when something seems too good to be true, it probably is. When planning your wedding, it’s essential that if something feels off to you, listen to that feeling because it’s happening for a reason.

Of course, remember that sometimes you overthink what’s happening because you want everything to run perfectly. But, the bottom line is that no matter what happens, don’t settle for anything.

This is your moment to have everything you want on your big day; therefore, you must ensure everyone you deal with has your best interests at heart. If they’re trying to sell you on something you’re not comfortable with, understand you have the right to say no.

If it continues, you can decide to work with someone else that will help you bring your vision to life. This goes back to ensuring the things that are important to you are accomplished ahead of your big day.

Wedding Planning Advice From the Pros

When you’re seeking wedding planning advice, there are some tips you can remember as you move forward. Always follow your gut when it comes to making decisions, and don’t forget to decide on a budget before you start signing contracts and booking vendors.

Are you ready to plan a wedding to remember? Let us help make wedding planning easier; stop what you’re doing and contact Total Events DFW and let us fill you in on the services we offer that can make all your wedding dreams come true.

Fairytale weddings aren’t just for the movies; they can happen in real life too.

dallas wedding

How to Plan the Perfect Dallas Wedding

Wedding planning starts a year before the wedding, with hundreds of little things to take care of. If you’ve decided to plan your own wedding, you need a plan of action and a budget to cover every detail. Your wedding day is the most important day of your life and should be absolutely magical and happy. But planning an entire wedding can be stressful and overwhelming. Keep reading to learn how to plan your Dallas wedding from scratch and make this day the most memorable day ever.

Make a Wedding Planning Checklist

Wondering how to plan a wedding on your own? Start with a detailed wedding planning checklist. Write down everything you can think of that you’ll need for the wedding.

Then, divide each item into sections and write down how much everything will cost. For example, in the Wedding Cake section, write down the type of cake you want, flavors, colors, budget, and any bakeries you have in mind.

For the music section, write down whether you want a live band or a DJ, the music genre or songs you want at your wedding, as well as the budget you’ll set aside.

Set a Wedding Budget

The most important first step to planning a wedding in Dallas is setting a wedding budget. Knowing exactly how much you’re able to spend will help you plan each aspect of the wedding better. It’ll also keep you from overspending, which can easily happen when you’re surrounded by wedding-related stuff.

Define the Number of Guests

Before you start booking the venue and caterers, you need to define the number of guests you want to invite to your wedding. This is important for your budget but also for the type of venue you’ll choose.

Once you have a number, you can send out the invitation along with an RSVP request. This way, you’ll know exactly who can make it so you have a final number for the wedding.

There’s a huge difference between a 50-guest wedding and a big 500-guest wedding. The size of your guest list will determine all the wedding decisions you make down the road.

Decide on the Location and Venue

The first thing you need to do when starting to plan your wedding is to find the perfect venue. Based on your guest list, you should start looking at venues at least 9 months to a year before the wedding.

Don’t have enough time to visit every venue in person? Then you need to hire a wedding planner in Dallas to organize everything for you. All you’ll have left to do is find the perfect wedding dress and enjoy your perfect wedding day with your loved ones.

Define the Wedding Theme

Now that you booked a venue, it’s time to choose a wedding theme. This will help you coordinate the flowers, colors, and decorations for the wedding.

If you’re not sure what theme to choose, hire professional Texas wedding planners who will help you choose the best theme and decor for your wedding.

Find a Good Caterer

The food at your wedding is essential for keeping your guests happy and energized throughout the entire wedding. If you want your wedding to have a traditional Texan flavor, opt for a mix of classic BBQ meats paired with a plated dinner or a buffet.

Make sure the venue you’ve chosen allows you to bring a caterer because most venues have their own vendors or catering services. Whichever the case, the wedding food is one of the biggest expenses so make sure you book the caterers at least 10 months in advance.

If dealing with caterers isn’t for you, hand everything over to a wedding planner. Just tell them what your preferences are and they’ll do the job seamlessly. The wedding planner cost is worth every penny because it saves you time and unwanted stress.

Choose Your Wedding Cake

Your wedding cake is an essential part of wedding planning. It’s like the centerpiece of the party where you and your spouse will cut it together with your guests gathered around. It’s also the symbol of starting your sweet life together in marriage, so it has to be spectacular.

Research some quality bakeries in your area and ask around to see what prices to expect. Decide on the design and flavor, and book it at least several months in advance.

Choose The Music

Now comes the fun part: the music. If you want a live band for your wedding, you’ll need to book them 5-6 months in advance. Decide on the genre, give them a list of your favorite songs, and talk to them about timelines.

You can also hire a DJ to entertain the guests while the band is taking a break or if you want to do some special dances or have a mini-disco party.

Will you need different music for your ceremony and reception? See if you can hire the same band for both occasions. Otherwise, you should book a different musician for the ceremony and book the band for the reception only.

Find a Wedding Photographer and Videographer

To capture all the magical moments of your Dallas wedding, you need a good wedding photographer and videographer. You should plan to book them right after you book the venue, so at least 8-10 months in advance.

If you want to have photos from the entire day (not just the reception) you may need to hire an additional photographer or book your chosen photographer for a full-day shoot.

Let Us Help You Plan Your Perfect Dallas Wedding

Your wedding is one of the most special days in your life and you want — and deserve — everything to be perfect. From choosing a wedding theme to finding the perfect music, food, flowers, and cake, planning a wedding is exciting but also stressful.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed already and would like to avoid the stress of planning your Dallas wedding, our professional wedding planners are here to help. Contact us at Total Events DFW today to learn more about our services and let’s plan the wedding you’ve always dreamed of.