Friday, October 24, 2014

[How to] CMW - How to avoid feeling overwhelmed during your wedding planning!

Wedding planning can be such a HUGE deal for brides (and couples, or whoever is doing more of the planning), especially the kinds of wedding I'm involved in (destination weddings, in Thailand) where there can be even more to think about than a regular wedding close to home.

You see, being a young wedding photographer living and working in Thailand, I luckily get to discuss these sorts of things with my brides and industry peers and I've come to realise that wedding planning can actually get really overwhelming, really easily if you're not careful and don't know where to look.   Of course overwhelmed means stressed and stress CAN mean no fun and everyone wants to be the fun, happy and carefree bride!  If you're well organised, can narrow it down, and know what you want your big day to be, I'm sure your wedding day will end up oozing the very air that you dream it will have!

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So, your man just popped the question which opens up a whole new set of questions you both need to think about to actually plan the big day, and you might be wondering... where to start?

This is my guide to avoid becoming overwhelmed while planning your wedding...

The first thing you will need to think about is where you want to have your wedding (keep in mind I'm not talking about the venue here yet, just the general area... if you already know the venue, great! ).
**For destination brides, if you are unfamiliar with the location you will need to research the weather patterns there as the date you have been thinking about might fall in monsoon (wet season) in that place.

Once you know where, you need to think about how many of your friends and family you will invite! Exciting? Yes, but easily overwhelming as well! First, talk about the differences the size of your guest list will have on your day with your partner.. there are pros and cons to both, try to figure out which you would both prefer and work from there. Once you have a basic number/size in your head... THEN start listing people to invite.
**For destination brides, you will need to get this done ASAP as you also need to account for your guests requesting time off from their work, and also have time spare for them to save up for the trip as friends and family almost always want to make a holiday out of your wedding as well... the perfect excuse to start planning a tropical getaway a year ahead? A wedding, of course.

Now, this comes after you've determined the location and number of guests... do you think you'll need to enlist the help of a wedding planner? If you are thinking about having lots of details, consider having a wedding planner, their job is not only to help make everything come together leading up to the wedding day, but also to coordinate on the day and ensure everything is in the right place at the right time. Most wedding industry professionals will email each other prior to your wedding day to introduce themselves (if they haven't worked together before) and ensure they are all on the same page anyway, wedding planners will also help the flow of communication between all vendors prior to and on the day.
**For destination brides, consider whether your wedding will be held in an English-speaking country, if not then having a wedding planner will definitely help make some of your planning steps a lot easier, being based in the country where you are planning your wedding, they might even be able to put you into contact with some great vendors which you can't find by yourself.

To ensure your wedding day runs smoothly, I feel it's really important to choose vendors you like. Remember that on your wedding day, you work with a lot of people who provide you with a service.. photography, videography, transportation, delicious meals, flower arrangements, etc. It's important to think properly about those people and if you can imagine just loving spending your wedding day with them, then they are probably the perfect fit for you! Surrounding yourself with people you get along with and enjoy their company will help make your day that little bit more enjoyable. Think about which vendors you will spend the most time with overall as well as on your big day, this means including email and any other form of communication leading up to your day.
**For destination brides again, depending on your country having the same base-language that you and your partner speak, think about choosing vendors that can speak your language and the language most commonly spoken in that country (if possible) to ensure clarity in communication between them and other vendors as well! ... For example, I speak Thai and English!

I'd say, this is the KEY to your day being awesome... DO, or plan small details as early as possible.. If you remember to simplify as much as possible, wherever possible you're going to save yourself some trouble.. for want of a better word.
IF things start to get complicated, out of hand, or you find yourself scrambling, trying to organise more things that you have time to handle in the time that you have,  think about finding trusted friends (or family) that you would feel happy to delegate certain tasks to help you do! As long as you are excited about your big day, there will be someone else just as excited to help you make it easier on you, knowing there is a lot for you to plan.

There can be so many different wedding ideas, styles, and themes out there that you can just get lost in it all. Wedding blogs and magazines have trends, just like fashion does.. they come and go, some you'll love, some you won't, but the most important thing to consider, when it's all said and done and especially when you have so many options to choose from, so many directions to go, is to decide.  Go on, just make a choice. Stick with what pulls at your heartstrings and don't waver from it. It will be easier that way (and a lot less overwhelming) as well as a lot more meaningful, when you decide on something that is you.

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Here are some extra tips for you to ensure your day is fun filled (and worry free)...

LIST 3 major GOALS that you want your day to accomplish... 

...think about this.. these can be the 'feel' your want to surround your day, think of 3 compliments you would LOVE nothing more than to hear your friends and family to say about your day..

LIST 3 details about your day that you DEFINITELY wouldn't want to go without... 

...think about what is really the most important to you...that way, keeping things this simple might help you worry less if anything else -other than your 'can't do without' details- goes astray, you needn't worry!]


Monday, October 20, 2014

[CMW] My passion...

When I was 15 or 16 or so, I picked up an SLR camera for the first time. It was my sisters'.

All I remember is that it felt good, and I felt passionate about taking photographs. At the time I wasn't any good, of course but I remember this one time when we were out at a party with my dad and a family friend who was into photography gave me some of the first tips which really helped me... "Put your camera into 'M' (or Manual Mode) and don't turn it back"... and I'm so grateful for that because ever since I've had my cameras in 'M' it has pushed me to learn more about photography and improve on my mistakes a lot in the early stages.

I had always wanted to go into photography at university and study it, but I changed my mind at the last minute and went with hospitality management as I thought it would be too hard to turn my then hobby into a career. After finishing my first year in uni, I decided to continue working in hotels as I was happier working at that time. I then went on a trip to Thailand with my friend and her family, and toward the end of their stay,  I stayed on in Maenam at one of my old neighbours' house on Koh Samui. 

...Which is when I met Nek!...

He was doing a dive masters course with my neighbour and we got to hang out, we fell in love and I went back to Australia with the intention to resign from my job and move over to Koh Samui in the next months. I had always known I would move back to Thailand one day, so meeting Nek helped make the move come sooner that I had expected! 

Once I moved to Koh Samui I got some jobs in hotels, only they weren't making me that happy..  Nek could see that and pushed me to try and do something with my photography, as I was always talking about it! So I ended up taking the leap! I had saved up enough money from working in the hotels by then, so I handed in my resignation with my 3 months notice and started making business plans. 

I love photography because I love think that I can eternalise memories with it. 

Memories fade...  and there are so many good moments in life we shouldn't take for granted, especially those spent with our loved ones... 

I love to get to know my couples well because I like to get a feel for their personalities, and to try and capture that in it's most natural state, is awesome, I think. If I can capture some photographs of the two of you that just warm your heart and make you feel something, then as far as I'm concerned I've done what I set out to do! 

I can't even describe how happy I've been since I started my business. Wedding and couples' love story photography is perfect for me as I love meeting new people and making friends, and I love helping others, and I feel like my photography is something my clients can treasure for years to come, to look back on a happy memory of them just being themselves, together.

Much LOVE and hugs on this lovely Monday! C x


Sunday, October 19, 2014

[CMW] Hi everyone, I'm Cherry... your wedding or love story photographer in Thailand!

Good afternoon... I decided to join a blogging challenge called the Feel Good Blogging Challenge which will require me to write a post each day for the next 7 days! How exciting!

In this first post I'll be introducing... me! So, here we go!

Hi, I'm Cherry as you might already know :) I'm a photographer based in Thailand on the gorgeous island of Koh Samui (although right now I'm on holiday visiting my family in Australia!), however I LOVE to travel and love it when clients book a destination wedding or love story session anywhere else in Thailand! I live with my boyfriend, Nek (who is in Australia with me right now) and between us both, we own 3 businesses, so it can get a little busy at times ;) I have loved photography since I was young and I wouldn't be happier doing anything else for a living! Wedding days are so much fun and I love spending the time to get to know my clients leading up to their big day so that by the time their wedding day does come around, we're great friends already! 

I started blogging a few months before I had started up my business to get a feel for writing, which is probably about 2 years ago now! I'll let you in on a secret, and that is that I actually used to dislike blogs and was kind of scared to start my own, as I thought they were all just to talk, talk and talk about yourself for others to read... however as soon as I started reading some of the other blogs out there I realised that most blog posts are actually quite informative in which ever topic the writer is writing about, and of course, that blogs are great marketing tools (apparently google loves blog posts!) as well. So I knew having a blog would be a great way to put my work out there for my future clients to see and also for them to get to know me a little as sometimes I mix in some personal blog posts as well about my daily life in Thailand. 

Lately, I've just been very proud of how my business has improved in 2014... I have reached most of the mid year goals I had for the end of this year already AND Nek and I have been able to take all this time off to finally come and visit my family in Australia, which is a HUGE step for us last year it was still unclear about when we would be able to visit! 

When you read this blog, whether you're a future / past client, my family or friends or you've just found this by accident, I hope you can really feel how much I love my job in meeting and getting my clients and also just the aspect of being a photographer, I mean this has been my dream job since I was 16, and I'm actually living it! And I also hope (that if you are thinking about becoming a client and choosing me as you photographer in Thailand) that my personality shines though, just enough for you to gauge whether you like me or not, because there is nothing more awesome than working with a photographer who you like and want to be friends with, trust me :) 

Now, we've only been here in Australia for four days so far, but here are some photos from our trip so far... we've brought our GoPro with us which is handy to have while travelling! 

We arrived in the Gold Coast from BKK and had to stay overnight there to wait for next days' flight to Cairns, so we did what tourists do and visited Surfers' Paradise Beach... :) 

Nek just had to document me getting on the plane..

My Dad and I reunited after nearly 2 years!
<3 <3 <3

My dad is a bit of a paparazzi himself, when asked to take 1 photo, we'll get the camera back with 10 new ones! 

Three of the people I love most in the world! My dad, step mum Rob and Nek!  :) <3 <3 

Amanda, Michael (one of my first ever couples I photographed! You can see their session here..) and their gorgeous new little addition to their family,  and Nek and I caught up yesterday in Cairns... so wonderful to get to catch up with my clients and now friends after so long!!

The view from Dad's balcony... gorgeous! This place totally suits him :) 

Happy beautiful SUNDAY from sunny Cairns to YOU! x