Midwest vs. Southern Weddings

August 30, 2019

Midwest vs. Southern Weddings

 

Differences I’ve Noticed In Wedding Etiquette

Nashville, Tennessee

Musa and I recently relocated from Columbus, Ohio to Nashville, Tenessee to be closer to family and to seek some warmer weather! Along with the move came relocating my business. Not only was it a learning curve setting up a business in an entirely different state but the wedding industry is so different from the Midwest weddings I was used to booking. I wanted to share with you some differences I’ve noticed between Midwest and Southern weddings!

Wedding Vendors & Industry at Large – Coming from Columbus, Ohio, we had a fantastic, tight-knit industry community. It truly was a rare gem and an amazing place to start a photography business. In the South, I’ve noticed that vendors (especially venues and wedding planners) tend to have their preferred vendor list and do not like to deviate from that list. While I completely understand the benefits of a preferred vendors list, relocating to the South can present a challenge to get your name out there!

Wedding Planners – Wedding planners are a big deal down in the South. While they still are in the Midwest, brides would typically only hire a planner for more luxurious venues. Here in the South, wedding planners are hired for almost every wedding. This changed the game for me, a photographer, for a few reasons. Normally, I would be the second vendor booked (first the venue than the photographer) but now I am the third vendor booked. I also do not have a lot of influence over the timeline or my recommended packages for couples. The last difference is wedding planners in the South tend to have a preferred vendors list. It is very hard to book a couple if the planner is not familiar with you. There are pros and cons to all of these differences. Mainly it’s just a readjustment and change in business strategy so I can best serve my couples.

Client Meetings – In the Midwest, brides were very big on in-person client consultations. I’ve noticed in the South, brides prefer a virtual meeting or no meeting at all.

Church Ceremony Restrictions – One of the amazing aspects of living in the South is the history. There are so many gorgeous historic estates, parks, and churches. One church restriction I’ve come across is that they do not allow photographers inside the church for the ceremony. If there is a balcony, you can shoot the entire ceremony from up there but if there isn’t sometimes the ceremony just doesn’t get photographed.

Photo Preferences – In the Midwest, brides loved artistic, out-of-the-box styled photos. Here in the South brides tend to prefer traditional posed photos for family portraits as well as bride and groom portraits. This helps get them back to the reception to celebrate faster!

Rehearsal Dinners – This is a Southern must and it is like a mini-wedding in itself. Rehearsal dinners are a huge deal in the South. Some differences are all of the toasts are done at the rehearsal dinner so come the wedding day, the reception is for dancing and celebrating the evening!

Lighting – For higher-end venues in the South, light stands are not allowed. On camera flash is the only thing you can use during the reception.

These are just some fun differences I’ve noticed between Midwest and Southern weddings! At the end of the day, both traditions make the wedding industry-unique and provide an incredible experience for the brides and grooms!

August 30, 2019

 

Differences I’ve Noticed In Wedding Etiquette

Nashville, Tennessee

Musa and I recently relocated from Columbus, Ohio to Nashville, Tenessee to be closer to family and to seek some warmer weather! Along with the move came relocating my business. Not only was it a learning curve setting up a business in an entirely different state but the wedding industry is so different from the Midwest weddings I was used to booking. I wanted to share with you some differences I’ve noticed between Midwest and Southern weddings!

Wedding Vendors & Industry at Large – Coming from Columbus, Ohio, we had a fantastic, tight-knit industry community. It truly was a rare gem and an amazing place to start a photography business. In the South, I’ve noticed that vendors (especially venues and wedding planners) tend to have their preferred vendor list and do not like to deviate from that list. While I completely understand the benefits of a preferred vendors list, relocating to the South can present a challenge to get your name out there!

Wedding Planners – Wedding planners are a big deal down in the South. While they still are in the Midwest, brides would typically only hire a planner for more luxurious venues. Here in the South, wedding planners are hired for almost every wedding. This changed the game for me, a photographer, for a few reasons. Normally, I would be the second vendor booked (first the venue than the photographer) but now I am the third vendor booked. I also do not have a lot of influence over the timeline or my recommended packages for couples. The last difference is wedding planners in the South tend to have a preferred vendors list. It is very hard to book a couple if the planner is not familiar with you. There are pros and cons to all of these differences. Mainly it’s just a readjustment and change in business strategy so I can best serve my couples.

Client Meetings – In the Midwest, brides were very big on in-person client consultations. I’ve noticed in the South, brides prefer a virtual meeting or no meeting at all.

Church Ceremony Restrictions – One of the amazing aspects of living in the South is the history. There are so many gorgeous historic estates, parks, and churches. One church restriction I’ve come across is that they do not allow photographers inside the church for the ceremony. If there is a balcony, you can shoot the entire ceremony from up there but if there isn’t sometimes the ceremony just doesn’t get photographed.

Photo Preferences – In the Midwest, brides loved artistic, out-of-the-box styled photos. Here in the South brides tend to prefer traditional posed photos for family portraits as well as bride and groom portraits. This helps get them back to the reception to celebrate faster!

Rehearsal Dinners – This is a Southern must and it is like a mini-wedding in itself. Rehearsal dinners are a huge deal in the South. Some differences are all of the toasts are done at the rehearsal dinner so come the wedding day, the reception is for dancing and celebrating the evening!

Lighting – For higher-end venues in the South, light stands are not allowed. On camera flash is the only thing you can use during the reception.

These are just some fun differences I’ve noticed between Midwest and Southern weddings! At the end of the day, both traditions make the wedding industry-unique and provide an incredible experience for the brides and grooms!

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