Before I started my business, I had so many questions. I wanted to know how I could become a helpful wedding coordinator. I wanted to have an idea of the kind of wedding lady I needed to be for my brides. So I went to the pros. Enter Amanda Hedgepeth. Amanda gave me honest, helpful, and encouraging advice about starting a business. Naturally, when I wanted to write this series, Amanda was on my list! I adore her! She is a breath of fresh air and I love, love, LOVE the joyful spirit with which she runs her business.
I hope you enjoy all she has to share!
Hey there! My name is Amanda Hedgepeth and I'm a wedding and couples photographer in the Outer Banks of North Carolina! I specialize in head over heels cheerful couples with incredible hearts and stories. I'm also a wife, mother of two little seastars, an industry encourager, community lover, and believer in breathing in as much salt air from the sea as possible!
As a wedding photographer, why should your couples hire a wedding weekend coordinator?
I think it's best described using the example of one of my earliest weddings. The bride was getting ready and the stress was mounting. By the minute, it seemed to get bigger and bigger and worse and worse. The mother of the bride was feeling it, everyone in the room was feeling it, including me - but I never let that show. Next, I was expected to kind of run the show when it came to the timeline...but how am I to be expected to truly focus on shooting all of the bride getting ready moments?! This commonly falls back on the photographer and it's never something I enjoyably take on! But on that note...the moments that, in my experience, are usually VERY intimate and emotionally evoking, a woman finally climbing into that dress that she dreamt of her whole life...it was just a disappointingly stressed moment for everyone in the room, including her. She never smiled. Can you even take that in? A bride didn't smile getting into her dress, and she LOVED that man! The simple fact that so much had been laid on her that day as far as timeline, details, coordination and responsibility, quite literally sucked the joy from these potentially perfect moments. She didn't deserve that. The investment for peace of mind is PRICELESS and you can't get those moments back! I absolutely feel the biggest sense of relief at weddings that include wedding and event coordinators.
What is the most important thing a wedding coordinator can do for the photographer?
The most important thing that a coordinator can do for a photographer, hands down, is communicate with them ahead of time regarding two main factors. TIMING that directly relates to lighting and designated portrait time. This will vary from professional to professional, but for me, it's KEY to know when the ceremony is slated to begin, when we'll be doing portraits, etc. For instance, if you schedule a sunset ceremony and you hired a natural light photographer, unless you do a First Look, you will completely lose out on the primary reason you invested in that artist.
Comparing the weddings you've shot, what are the main differences between weddings with a coordinator and weddings without?
The main difference is the energy coming from the bride and her family and bridesmaids! I'll be honest, some people are just really crazy talented with their own wedding schedules and they do fine! But for the most part, weddings without coordinators tend to have at least one major or minor meltdown and a lot of uptight energy, especially before all of the moments she should be soaking in and enjoying!
Amanda! Thank you!!!!! I hope to never stop learning from you. xoxo!! Everyone, you should pop on over to read Amanda's sunny, happy, and super friendly blog! She talks about EVERYTHING from industry to motherhood! :)
Brides, women who know brides, women who may become brides someday, if you didn't catch the entire series, you can catch up HERE.