Photos by Lauren Baker Photography
From far away, many wedding celebrations may look the same, but when you zoom-in on the people involved and the story that’s being written in front of your eyes—each ceremony is as unique as the people taking part in it.
Accommodating that uniqueness requires a certain expertise and an unattainable Zen. Add COVID, and you’ve got yourself a season. The past 14 months have thrown a curveball that has targeted some industries harder than others. Weddings, for all intents and purposes, were banned for the majority of 2020, with celebrations still hindered by capacity caps and food restrictions as we cruise through 2021.
To get a better idea of the current commitment climate, I spoke with local photographer Lauren Baker, and events planner Dana Allison:
What is your process for event preparation? From initial consult, to day of the event?
DA: During the [planning] process, I always make sure to not only encourage my clients to make sure the day is a reflection of themselves, but also to do what they can to ensure a wonderful guest experience. I work with clients on finding the right venue and vendors that fit their style, budget and values, create a look that makes sense for them, and plan out all of the logistics of the day. My clients get to focus on what is important to them during the planning and on the day of the wedding…
LB: I’m there to guide and prepare my couples to have a day that is truly about them. I provide planning and preparation tips that relieve the couple’s stress and anxiety leading up to the wedding so that they can feel confident and relaxed on their wedding day—so that they can actually enjoy their wedding day. I strive to get to know my clients on a friend level so they not only feel comfortable around me, but also trust and know that I have their best intentions at heart.
My couples and I take engagement photos together leading up to their wedding, too. Taking engagement photos together provides my couples with essential posing practice and confidence in front of the camera and it helps me plan for how I’ll photograph them on their wedding day. I also create my couple’s wedding day photography timeline and family photo shot list for them so that my couples don’t have to spend the time or effort creating either. After their wedding, in addition to editing their digital images, I design their wedding album for them and design wall art for their homes.
What trends in wedding Planning/photography are you seeing in last few years?
DA: Many couples are wanting to celebrate their love with smaller guest counts, to have those VIPs present with them, and to give them the VIP treatment: Good food, open bars, and a personalized experience.
LB: I’m seeing the use of bolder, brighter colors in weddings and I’m all for that! I’m also seeing an increase of intimate (or “micro”) weddings with more luxury design elements incorporated into them.
How has COVID impacted your business?
DA: COVID has affected my business like so many others: postponements, cancellations, people being nervous to book. However, in some ways it has been good, as I think planners have really had the chance to shine and show our value. For weddings, couples are embracing smaller guest counts, finding creative ways to serve food, and having different entertainment that isn’t dancing. People are finding ways to make them work.
LB: Weddings are more intimate events now than they were over a year ago, though they’re no less meaningful. With fewer guests, couples are able to interact with each person in attendance; speaking with each guest is rare with large weddings.
What are your tips for getting the through the wedding day as stress-free as possible?
DA: First, at the very least, hire a professional wedding manager. They will be the one to take charge so you can step back and let go. Second, have a realistic timeline for how long things will take to happen, which your wedding manager can help you with along with photography and catering. Finally, keep in mind the things that are important: the two of you getting married, and celebrating your love with family and friends. The rest are just details.
What are your tips for getting the best wedding photos possible?
LB: Communication and good lighting are the keys to great photos. For example, if you want light and bright wedding reception photos, you’re going to want to book a venue with lots of windows and light walls. For great wedding portraits, trust and be open with your photographer. Communicate with them if you have any sensitivities (i.e. a favorite side, if you don’t like your arms, etc). Knowing information like that will allow your photographer to be exceptionally mindful while they’re taking your photo. Also, trust your photographer when he/she/they make suggestions – it’s usually given with the intention of getting a great photograph.
How do people get a hold of you?