Last year we attended The Wedding Festivals for the first time and it was such a wonderful experience for us personally and professionally that we knew we had to go back this year! In fact, 2015 going into 2016 we were still in the transition process from Tampa to Asheville and weren’t quite sure what to expect in terms of turn out and if we would be received well by those in the market for wedding photography. Boy are we glad we decided to attend the Wedding Festivals in 2016 as we connected with so many couples and were blessed to book 20 weddings as a direct result of showcasing our business at the Asheville Wedding Festivals and Greenville Wedding Festivals! After that experience we learned a lot, not only about the festival itself and how everything flowed but we were also inspired by many of the pros and booths around us which gave us ideas for this year that we implemented into our 2017 set up!
One thing we really felt could’ve helped us from last year to this year was larger prints to catch prospective couples’ attention (in a good way!). Of course we are photojournalists at heart but one of our favorite photos from this past year ended up being one of our biggest conversation starters. Bert and Julie’s re-creation of some famous Bonnie and Clyde photos for their wedding! There were beautiful images of couples embracing their love everywhere throughout the expo, but none quite as unique and fun as Bert and Julie's :) (NOTE: no grooms were harmed during the making of this photo)
We also decided to drop a table from last year’s set up and add the chair, shelves, and photos albums to give it more of an inviting home feel. The lack of an extra table made more room for brides and grooms alike to come in and check out some of our wedding albums in addition to getting to connect with us for the first time which for anyone who knows us and our style, this is definitely one of the most important things when it comes to working with a wedding photographer. Connections=comfort on camera! Speaking of brides and grooms, between Greenville and Asheville, there were over 1000 brides! With such a large crowd, we were grateful to have our friends/teammates Cynthia, Hannah, Bryan & Jenny there helping us because everything was moving fast and there’s no way Jenny and I would’ve been able to keep up by ourselves!
We also had the opportunity to present at the Wedding Festivals this year along with many other professionals in the industry! This was great because it allowed us to get in front of a large crowd of potential brides and grooms and give them some great information to help them on their search for a wedding photographer! Of course initially it was supposed to be Jenny and I presenting, but she later informed me that she “signed me up,” (thanks babe!). Other than a little sweat and nerves, I made it through without dying (still getting used to the public speaking thing!).
After it was all said and done this year, we were blessed to come into contact with some amazing brides and couples that we will be working with in the future! We were also fortunate in that we only broke one vase (and by we, I mean me), we networked with some awesome vendors, and as with any experience, we learned some valuable lessons for next year!
Lastly, just one more special thanks to Cynthia, Hannah, Bryan, Jenny, and the entire Wedding Festivals crew for helping to make our experience amazing! All of you played a huge role in making our participation in the Wedding Festivals a success and we are forever grateful for your continued support!
-Jenny & Joe