Beer City Brides #1
We recently held our first Beer City Brides event, along with the help from our good friend Adrian Etheridge from Adrian Etheridge Photography! It turned out exactly as we had envisioned. It was an intimate setting for brides and couples to come and have their wedding questions answered by wedding pros all the while hanging out and grabbing some free brews from our friends at Highland Brewing Company!
Our event was inspired by a similar event in Knoxville, but we decided with our unique location and Asheville having the distinction of Beer City, let’s come up with something fun and make it our own! Voila! Beer City Brides! For our first event we focused on what we knew, wedding photography! Jenny, Adrian, and I presented on all things wedding photography related from what to specifically go over with your photographer during consultations, current trends, things to be careful of, contracts, pricing, you name it! We also opened up for Q&A at the end. The main motivation behind this event was to educate. As professionals in a very saturated market, we get to see firsthand some of the misinformation that gets put out into the public as well some of the consumer nightmares that people have regarding their experience with a wedding photographer. These kind of previously mentioned incidents don’t help any of us and can ultimately be damaging to an industry where we are trying to build relationships and gain a client trust to have the ultimate front row seat into their relationships and their lives. Our main goals were to be informative and transparent in order to better equip those couples who are currently searching for a wedding photographer to make the best decision possible for their wedding day! You would think it would be easy enough. Look at their work (check), see if their available (check), see if they have a package or collection to meet your needs in terms of budget (check). These are what we call the big 3. These are typically the first 3 three things (in no particular order) that most couples are going to look at and we definitely encourage that, but there is always more to the story, and sometimes the information that you may not be aware of are where the typical stories of frustration come from either before, during or after the wedding day. Think things like the following:
Do we get all of the raw photos?
Are you available by phone or text leading up to the wedding if I have questions or need help with something?
Do we have access to digital downloads?
Do our digitals have watermarks?
Do we have printing rights outside of ordering from you?
What happens if you get severely ill before our wedding day?
Do you have insurance? (liability and equipment)
Do you bring back up equipment?
…I love the work on your website but are you comfortable shooting indoors or low light?
What happens if we cancel our wedding?
Do you charge sales tax?
Do you edit in other styles?
Can I send you a pinterest board?
Is it cool if my uncle brings all of his camera equipment to the wedding and follows you around?
I could go on, but you’d probably get bored! A few of the things that we’re constantly told during our consultations with clients and potential clients is - “Oh wow, I didn’t know that,” or “Wow, I guess we really never considered that,” and “That is such a good idea, thank you for letting us know about that!”
We personally try to cover every conceivable thing we can during our meetings with couples and though most have the same basic questions we find much of what we go over which can really help tie the wedding day together, they’ve never thought about, or even heard of in some cases. It’s just one of the ways we try to put our clients at ease and let them know, their wedding day is something very important to us. Where potential problems and frustrations can arise is when you’ve met with someone who hasn’t covered a lot of these details or worse, has never experienced certain situations like them and you as a consumer never knew to ask because, sometimes we just assume that ‘oh this is how I thought it was?’ (happens to all of us at one point or another). So, if we can educate couples on these little things, whether they hired us or not, whether they hired Adrian or not, it ultimately helps our industry as a whole by having better informed couples who know what to look for. When consumers of a product or service know what they are looking for, they are more likely to find it. When they find it they are more likely to have a good experience, and at the end of the day the couple is happy and the professional is happy. When there is a hitch in this process due to lack of communication or just lack of knowing, then you sometimes find yourself at a point of frustration and that doesn’t help anyone.
During Beer City Brides we were able to cover all of these things in depth and the feedback afterwards was awesome! Many of the couples and brides who approached us after the presentation expressed their gratitude and talked to us even further about ideas, and things they were not considering. In addition to having our presentation for photography, we also had 8 other wedding pros present representing their specialty and available for our brides and couples to ask questions and get informed!
Our ultimate vision for Beer City Brides in the future is to continue having a limited number of admissions so we can keep that intimate feeling and connection between the wedding vendors and those present. Each time we would like to rotate the featured presentation so that a few local professionals can present on their area of expertise, like Wedding Music or Wedding Florals to help better educate couples as they plan for their big day!
In conclusion, we want to give our sincere thanks to all of the brides and couples who came to our first BCB! In addition we want to thank all of our friends and local wedding pros for participating and helping us to get the word out about this unique event! Stay tuned for Beer City Brides #2 and remember, knowledge is power so don’t be afraid to reach out and ask questions!
A special thanks to all of our sponsor and participating vendors and to our teammate Regina Myrick (Photo Cred!) for capturing the event!
Joe, Jenny, & Adrian