I love hearing from my Belle Brides and it feels like I am sharing in a long lost friends wedding planning journey. After you have chosen which country to get married in, the next two most exciting things are choosing your wedding venue and then your photographer.
Belle Bride Green Loving Girl aka Fiona has already ticked wedding venue off her list, but today she shares with us her story of finding a wedding photographer.
Fiona: “So far, I think we are doing fairly well in our wedding planning… I have found, and paid for, my dress, as well as my bridesmaids dresses. We have decided on which country to get married in. Checked that we can legally get married there. And we have booked our wedding venue! And the wedding is still 15 months away (or 468 days… apparently… not that I’m counting or anything!).
While looking for our venue, we happen to have come across the work of a photographer, Anne-Claire Brun. I found Anne-Claire’s blog when I was searching for photos of the venue online. One difficulty we have found with searching for venues in France is that either their marketing is amazing and they have fantastic websites, which always meant that their prices were way over budget for us. Or they had very basic websites, if any at all, therefore making it difficult to see what the venue actually looked like. To give you an idea, here is the website for our venue. See what I mean?
French Wedding Style – Photography © Anne-Claire Brun
Once we had an inkling that the Couvent des Carmes would be our first choice, I tried researching online to see if I could find any photos of weddings that took place there, to get an idea of how it could/would look on the day. And so I found a link to these photos
Looking through these photos, we didn’t just fall in love with the venue all over again, but we knew that we wanted Anne-Claire to be our photographer. I therefore researched Anne-Claire and had a proper look at her blog and website. I soon realised she was now living in the States… Ah. Being of a somewhat stubborn nature, I nevertheless felt optimistic and contacted her for additional info. She replied to my email promptly, giving me all the information required which Barry and I read through carefully, and also checked out loads more of her photos online. There was no doubt, we wanted her for our wedding.
On top of that, she was regularily in France for the summer wedding season, and was willing to photograph our wedding. We also did not have to pay for any travel costs which was a bonus. But it does sound very la-de-da saying “yes our photographer is flying in from the States daaaahling!”
Her prices were perhaps slightly more expensive than we would have liked. But really, when comparing prices, there is one thing for sure: wedding photos are expensive. However it is one of the most important things for us as we will be able to keep them forever as memories of our wonderful wedding. So we always knew it would be one of the most expensive thing in our budget. Having said that, we do get a fair amount for our money, so we’re happy with that.
Following our initial emails, we arranged to chat over Skype to “meet”. Anne-Claire was very friendly but also very professional and clearly knew her stuff! We had a very pleasant chat, and confirmed that we would let her know asap about her decision.
The main stress came from waiting to be sure that the venue was booked before booking Anne-Claire. And this was stressful as we really wanted her and no other photographer. I think Barry became more stressed about it than I was! Anne-Claire had sent us a copy of the contract prior to signing which was very useful as we were able to read through it in the meantime.
Then, as soon as my dad confirmed that he had booked the wedding on our behalf (they needed cheques for the deposit so my parents were helpful and provided this on our behalf as we do not have a French bank account), and after I checked with my dad about ten dozen times that the venue was definitely booked, we signed the contract and officially booked Anne-Claire.
I now feel a lot more relaxed into this wedding planning. Next step I guess is starting to think about food, and possibly what theme we would like for the wedding. Oh and finding a DJ/band/something… As well as invites, and what information we need to gather for our guests. What is Barry going to wear? Do we want any readings? And what will the kids wear?…. Just a few things really ;)”