Monday, November 25, 2013

San Francisco City Hall Wedding - Lindsey Freitas -Bellalu Photography

Why is San Francisco City Hall so amazing? Perhaps because it's beautiful, it's historic, it's smack in the middle of one of the greatest cities on earth....okay so there are indeed reasons. 

When Jamie and Jameel reached out to me and asked me to be part of their incredibly intimate wedding I was so honored-seriously. Nate and I went to City Hall when we got married-our biggest regret is that we thought it was so tiny a photographer wasn't necessary (WROOONNNGGGG!!!!) I will always regret it. But I chip away at that regret by shooting weddings like these. They are absolutely perfect & sentimental to me.

Jamie is most likely the most gorgeously chill bride-she didn't even bother with a bouquet-didn't want it tying her down. Jameel rolls with it-super handsome in a great suit but still rocking some clean chucks. The wedding was personal and formal with touches of personality (celebratory champagne, bride's hand made dress from her mother). I spent just a couple of hours with them getting the important parts-the ceremony in the rotunda and some great portraits of just the two of them at one of their favorite places in the city-AT&T Park :) 

Enjoy some snap shots & feel the love!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Spotlight on Amy Frugoli-Twitterpated Weddings

For about oh 9 months I've been wanting to start a spotlight series featuring Bay Area wedding vendors. I think to a degree we are all ignorant to so much of the behind the scenes work that goes into creating a kick butt wedding-I know Nate and I had no clue how multifaceted the process is (totally outside of photography which is complicated enough). We've made it a point to familiarize ourselves with the workflows and experiences of all of our fellow wedding vendors which has made us more equipped to successfully jive with the flow of the wedding and better serve our clients.

I think a common misconception is "you charge that much for an 8 hour wedding!?!!?!??" which is SO FAR from reality. I know I speak for many wedding professionals when I say the chunk of time spent on the actual wedding day is probably the smallest amount of time spent working the complete wedding itself. For photographers (and videographers) much of the process doesn't even begin until after our couples have jet-setted to some crazy awesome island and are well into their 5th cocktail.

So to kick off this series I visited one of my all time favorite wedding coordinators Amy Frugoli of Twitterpated Weddings. I caught up with her at her office where she not only runs her wedding design company but also manages an adorable food truck Sugar Tree Sweets and Treats with  co-creator Adrienne San Filippo.

What do you look for in a couple who you might work with? 
Someone realistic, open minded-someone who understands the value of what I (and other vendors) do. I definitely seem to draw couples who are a little quirky and unique. Their style doesn't matter half as much as their attitude. It's a wedding! Have fun! Be flexible! And trust your vendor team. 
What's the best/word part of your job? 
The best part of my job is taking the couples ideas, seeing them clearly in my head (even when they don't) and executing them. I love exceeding what they envisioned. I love the relationships that are built and how they trust me. The worst part is trying to fall asleep the night before-and my sore feet the day after :) 
Did you hire a wedding planner at your wedding? Why or why not ? that actually really fueled my desire to do this. The site coordinator did a good job-the best she could do-but my wedding had so many personal details and so much got missed. I wish I had a coordinator to help me put together a better timeline, to refer better vendors and prioritize where to spend my money based on what was important to us. (um, WHY didn't anyone  tell me I would regret not having a videographer??!!!)  My wedding was fun,  however, there are so many things I look back on and shake my head knowing better of important things got missed, the cake was not the quality or design I REALLY wanted, the dj didn't really pay attention to some of our requests or take the time to really learn who everyone in the bridal party was etc, etc. We looked for inexpensive over quality and I regret those things...a lot!

Wedding planners are expensive-is it really worth it? How much should one expect to spend on a great one? 
Wedding planners have one of the craziest jobs ever. We end up being a huge resource for the couple and besides their parents, quite possibly, no one cares as much about our couples' weddings more than us! We live for weddings!  Once we become involved, we are all in. Phone calls, emails, texts...calming a bride down, helping a groom plan a surprise getaway car, timelines, checklists, dealing with families, etiquette and traditions. Plus working with vendors to make sure they have what THEY need and communicating with them. Rehearsal, set up, wedding day management , clean up, follow up...and that's just if everything goes to plan! If not, problem solving and using our resources. SO many hours, ideas, decisions...we are there through out all of it as a sounding board, support system and a trusted, unbiased confidant. Like I said, some people see our value and get it. Some never will so I never try to convince them.  
If you are paying less than $2000 minimum (for a basic wedding day management package) there is probably a reason. You pay for the experience, training (and past mistakes) that we all have to go through to become seasoned and natural and great at what we do.
What's the biggest financial expectation you help your clients understand?
There is a HUGE difference between cheap vendors and vendors with great value. There is the "wedding you want" and a "price you want to pay" and you have to give in on one side or another to get to that happy place. 
Where do you see yourself in 3-5 years?
Maybe expanding my business. I am hiring someone for the first time since I started my business which is a huge deal for me. The plan is to teach and mentor others so I can have the opportunity to do new things. I really love watching others learn, grow and succeed so continuing to be a resource in the industry is a goal. 
Then again, a reality TV show would be fun too... ;)

Thank you Amy for being a rockstar and letting me stalk you for a day :)

If there's someone you'd like to see spotlighted email!