When You Know, You Know
When Terry and I started planning our wedding, we sat down and prioritized what was most important. High on our list was our photographer and DJ. Our married friends have told us that the wedding day goes by like a blur, so investing in a great wedding photographer is essential to capture those moments you can cherish for a lifetime. And I couldn’t agree more.
I’m a picture kind of girl. I document my entire life with my camera and/or iPhone, so finding the perfect photographer was very important to me. Somebody who could capture every moment and every detail of what is without a doubt, going to be the best day of our lives. Quickly after getting engaged, I started following (and obsessing over) every single wedding blog I could find. While scouring the internet for Maryland based wedding blogs, I stumbled across a blog called Bayside Bride, written by three girls in the Chesapeake Bay/Annapolis area. If you are planning a wedding, or just love weddings in general, be sure to check out their blog!
Bayside Bride’s vendor list was extremely helpful in recommending local vendors in the area. I read through the list, looked at vendor websites, and the emailing and phone calls began. After emailing several photographers (and getting a little sticker shocked at the prices!), I stumbled across one photographer that really stuck out to me: Krista A. Jones Photography. (Krista is the co-founder and editor of Bayside Bride.) What caught my eye immediately about Krista’s work was the clarity of each photo, the attention to detail her photos portrayed, and the beauty of absolutely every moment she captured. Not only that, but I was also pleasantly surprised to see that her prices were reasonable and fell right into my price range! She had a few packages to choose from, as well as an ‘a-la-carte’ list for additional photography services you can purchase separately. I immediately emailed her to set up an appointment to see more of her work. Terry and I met Krista at a cute little coffee shop in Annapolis and almost immediately, I realized that we had found our wedding photographer. Not only is Krista an amazingly talented photographer, she’s an equally talented graphic and web design artist, and just the sweetest, cutest, and nicest person in general. I felt like Terry and I immediately clicked with her, and after looking at a few of her wedding album samples, and stalking her with questions, concerns, wedding planning advice, etc., we left our meeting pretty much ready to sign the contract. Krista was the only wedding photographer that we met with, but as with our wedding venue, we just knew that we had to have her. When you know, you know. Right? We signed the contract and send in the deposit within a couple days of our meeting and I couldn’t be happier with our decision. I absolutely LOVE seeing Krista update her website/blog a couple times and week. Her work is amazing and seeing her photography from recent weddings makes me that much more excited to have her on our wedding “team,” so to speak .
Equally important to us on our “wedding priorities” list is entertainment. When I think back to the numerous weddings that I’ve been to (and it has been a lot!), a few things stick out to me: The food, the atmosphere . . . and the entertainment. My memories of weddings usually consist of the time spent on the dance floor, having a great time with the newlyweds, friends and family. I’ve been to weddings where my feet ache from dancing so much, and on the flip side, I’ve been to weddings where they couldn’t get a single person out on the dance floor. To me, our wedding is not only going to be about marrying my best friend . . . but also about celebrating the best day of my life with family, friends and most importantly, my new husband! A good DJ or band is key, as I know they will set the tone for the entire night.
When deciding between a DJ or a band, our decision was made rather quickly. Although I love wedding bands, and always have so much fun singing and dancing to live music, they can be a bit more pricey. I wanted to be able to hear absolutely every song I wanted to hear at our wedding, without limitation, so we quickly made the decision that a DJ was going to be best for us both financially and for what we wanted as far as music. I again referred to the Bayside Bride vendor guide for the best entertainment options. I emailed several companies for more information, and used WeddingWire.com, before narrowing things down and setting up an appointment with C&J Entertainment, one of the most recommended and trusted full service entertainment agencies in the area. Due to work, Terry wasn’t able to make it to our appointment, so I went alone and had a great meeting with the company owner, Chris Temple. Chris’ big personality is what caught my attention initially, and after a two hour meeting, his expertise, professionalism, and overall knowledge of the wedding entertainment industry confirmed my decision that this was going to be our DJ company. I gave Chris a few of my favorite songs, and the type of music Terry and I like, and almost immediately, he had a playlist pulled up on his computer with exactly the type of music we were looking for. He threw out music ideas for us, gave us the top wedding songs, and showed me how easily it was to select our music through his website. Our meeting was necessarily lengthy, and extremely informative. Chris and I worked our way through the entire timeline of the wedding (obviously a shortened, expedited version of it), and he left me feeling confident about letting his company set the overall tone and guiding us through the entire wedding night. When Terry and I first decided on a DJ, instead of a wedding band, our biggest thing in selecting the right company was being able to choose the songs we want to hear . . . without too much of the typical, hokey-pokey type dance songs. Chris informed me that they have three lists: The Must Play List, The Would Like to Play List, and the Absolutely Do Not Play List. After hearing that, I was sold. C&J Entertainment was the only DJ company we met with, but as with our meeting with Krista, we just knew. I left our meeting with 100% confidence that we had found the perfect entertainment company for our big day!
While we our decisions on a photographer and DJ were easy . . . our caterer? That was another story. Stay tuned for my next blog post where I’ll share my exhausting (but delicious) experience selecting a wedding caterer! - Molly Eagan