Wedding and Event Photography

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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

What’s the best way to set up a consultation or an appointment with a wedding officiant during the COVID-19 pandemic?

The safest way to conduct a consultation during COVID-19 is virtually. Ask wedding officiants near you if they can have a phone call or a virtual appointment over video chat. If they can, make sure to ask them any questions you have about upcoming work. Discuss what precautions, if any, they have in place to ensure safety. You might consider asking if they accept digital payments or if they can complete the work remotely, without any in-person contact. 

Are there ways to be safe if I hire a photographer when social distancing?

If you decide to hire a photographer, see if the photographer can take photos outdoors or in a large space so all involved parties can maintain the recommended distance between themselves. You should also sanitize surfaces, avoid handshakes, don’t make any other physical contact and use digital platforms to complete payments. Speak with a local photographer in your area to put a strategy in place.

What’s the best way to set up a consultation or an appointment with a photographer during the COVID-19 pandemic?

The best way to set up an appointment or a consultation with a photographer near you during the COVID-19 pandemic is by conducting an online search. Start by scheduling a call with the photographer. If possible, it may be better to use a video call service so that the photographer can get an idea of the site location. Take this opportunity to discuss safety measures you can take during this time, as well as whether it’s safe to complete the project now or simply postpone it.

What is a mariachi band?

Mariachi bands are rooted in Mexican culture. Traditional mariachi bands consisted of two or more members playing stringed instruments, wearing regional costumes adapted from the charro (Mexican horseman or cowboy). Modern mariachi bands, which are likely what you’re looking for when searching for a mariachi band for hire, feature at least four members who play stringed instruments (violin, vihuela, bass guitar called guitarron) and one or more trumpets. The costumes have remained the same, but now trumpets are synonymous with mariachi music. Mariachi bands for hire often play a wide range of music, including styles originating from Mexico and adopted from elsewhere. These include jarabes, waltzes, serenades, corridos (Mexican ballads), ranchera, cumbia, and more. Mariachi bands for hire bring a festive and soulful element to a party, birthday, wedding, corporate affair, fundraiser or community event. UNESCO has inscribed mariachi music on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Can I use digital payments to pay for wedding and event photography services?

As digital forms of payment and money transfer are becoming more popular, wedding and event photographers are likely to use digital services. These include PayPal, Zelle, Google Pay, Venmo, Square Cash and more. As you search online for local wedding and event photographers, ask them if they accept digital payments and, if so, which ones you can use. And make sure to have a strategy in place for safe social distancing.

How do you choose a wedding videographer?

A wedding videographer will create a lifetime memory for you from edited video footage of your wedding day, ceremony and reception. Choosing a wedding videographer starts with looking online at portfolios of their past work. There’s no need to talk to anyone unless you love what you see. Next, make sure they have good reviews and past client experience; don’t be shy about asking for references if there aren’t any posted online. When you find someone who has a style you love, ask if they are available on your wedding day. If so, it’s time to talk pricing. Be clear about your maximum budget, and ask what kind of packages they offer. Pricing will depend on the number of crew needed for filming, the hours they are required to be onsite, post-production editing, and the length of the final product. Talk with several wedding videographers to get a feel for what prices are like in your region. Nationally, the average cost for wedding videography ranges between $990 and $1,260 per event. Once you agree on a product and have a plan, get everything in a written and signed contract. Clearly state the details of what is expected for your wedding day and from the final product. Be prepared to pay a deposit to reserve their services for the day, then pay the remainder upon receiving the video.

Does a photographer need to enter my home?

There are many situations in which a photographer does not need to enter your home. It’s not uncommon for people to prefer to have their pictures taken outdoors. If you're hiring a photographer, maintain safe distances, avoid being in the same room, sanitize all involved surfaces and conduct payment using digital platforms. You can discuss strategies as you complete your search for local photographers.

What is a videographer and what do they do?

A videographer professionally films weddings and other events and edits the footage to create film keepsakes or marketing materials for their clients. Wedding videographers record all the key elements of your wedding day, ceremony and reception, and then edit the hours of film during post-production to make a wedding video, social media highlight reels, and any other film features you choose. Wedding videography captures, in live action, your vows, the cake-cutting, the first dance, reception toasts, the decor, the guests and all the details of your day. Many wedding videographers also interview guests (based on an interview list provided by the couple) and incorporate the recorded responses into the wedding video. Event videography typically costs less than wedding videography, as events are shorter with less detail. The national average cost for event videography is $500-$760, while the national average cost for wedding videography is $990-$1,260. A videographer usually does not need to be licensed, but it is important to confirm they have insurance and good standing in the business community, as well as good client reviews. A great majority of the work happens during post-production. The pros watch and blend together the hours of footage they took (sometimes from multiple cameras) to capture the story of your wedding day or event.

How much does a wedding planner cost per hour?

On average, wedding planners charge $80 for their services. However, rates can range from roughly $50 per hour to $100 per hour, or even more than $300 per hour.

To find out how much it will cost to hire a wedding planner, request cost estimates from a few in your area. Also, keep in mind that some wedding planners may have flat fees instead of hourly rates.

Do wedding officiants offer remote or virtual services?

Reach out to wedding officiants in your area, and ask them if they can offer a remote or virtual ceremony. Some officiants may be willing to meet in person while maintaining 6 feet of distance, while others may prefer to conduct the entire service over the phone or a video call service such as Skype or Zoom.

Familiarize yourself with the social distancing rules in your community, city and state, and move forward only if both you and the officiant are comfortable with the arrangement. 

Reviews for Ashburn wedding services
Jennifer L.
Rev.Diane Hirsch officiated our wedding two weeks ago and I am so glad I came across her page on thumbtack. She met with us prior to the wedding to get a sense of who my husband and I were. She made to sure to prep us accordingly so we felt relaxed and prepared to say our "I do's". She showed up early to the rehearsal and ceremony to make sure all the wedding vendors were ready for us. She was spectacular, we couldnt have asked for a better officant for our wedding. Thank you Diane!!
Weddings by Rev. Diane HirschWeddings by Rev. Diane Hirsch
Grace T.
Make up stayed on for the whole wedding in 90 degree heat outside! Sweating and everything! It was great!
Makeup by Fran LLCMakeup by Fran LLC
Preksha k.
Fran was amazing to work with! She did my wedding/reception makeup and I received so many compliments! Makeup lasted all day. Fran was punctual on both days. She also went out of her way to accommodate me when my wedding time changed couple hours. Would recommend 10/10
Makeup by Fran LLCMakeup by Fran LLC
Tatjana B.
Our wedding was on October 1st and Oscar was a big pic of the puzzle that made the wedding great celebration! 🎉 We hired Oscar based on his thumbtack reviews, and we weren't disappointed. He is awesome! Great choice of music and exactly what we needed to get the party started. Will definitely invite him back – very professional and engaging at the same time. Highly recommend!
Epic Sound EntertainmentEpic Sound Entertainment
Verenice C.
Ana was great! She got the look I was going for and made me feel beautiful on my wedding day. Would definitely recommend to anyone!
Ana Merces Beauty GroupAna Merces Beauty Group
Dale B.
Unlike the standard $2000+ wedding photo offers we received, Metin understood that we were having a small, family wedding with limited needs and a limited budget. He met with us at the venue weeks before the event, then came on time and worked tirelessly for four hours to chronicle every moment of our ceremony and reception. We are very happy with the memories he provided us. Highly recommended.
Picaboost Photography StudiosPicaboost Photography Studios
Carleigh G.
It was great working with PoemsbyTia. She delivered exactly what we wanted for our wedding day and even incorporated a few last minute changes. She was responsive and helpful!
Poemsbytia WeddingsPoemsbytia Weddings
Katy P.
Lorena is AMAZING, she did my mom’s and my makeup for my wedding!!! She is very sweet and understanding. I would recommend her 100% to anyone for any occasion!!!
Wayasea BeautyWayasea Beauty
MEREDITH I.
Larry did our daughters wedding and we couldn’t be happier with him! He was very attentive to the crowd and everyone enjoyed him! We high.y recommend him! Thanks again Larry! You rock! Lol The Allen’s
Larryoke Karaoke & DJ Services LLCLarryoke Karaoke & DJ Services LLC
Lina T.
Jenny is amazing! If I had more events, I would call on her to do my makeup! She was friendly, responsive, and professional during the entire process. I usually do not wear makeup and wanted a natural look. Jenny went beyond! My make-up trial and wedding day makeup was steller and I felt beautiful!!! Jenny highlighted my face in the right places, the makeup felt light and it looked natural. She walked me through the makeup process as she worked on me, made sure I was comfortable and used products that worked with my complexion. She even added little touches of prepping my face with a face mask and provided sample products for my skin before and after the wedding. If you're looking for someone to do your makeup, call on Jenny! (*Photos are from my trial, waiting for my wedding photos from my photographer.)
Choices MUAChoices MUA
Aaliyah C.
I have nothing but positive things to say about working with Carla! From the moment I inquired about her services, we were on the phone chatting about my wedding (30-40 people, outdoor, close friends and family, military couple). I ended the call smiling and feeling instantly connected to her. In planning a wedding in six months, she was such a big help in answering questions and lending herself as a resource to us. She even provided positive support and words of encouragement as the days drove near and my stress grew (lol). I was sooo excited to meet her on the day of the wedding. She was on time, professional, and gave such a wonderful, individualized presentation for my husband and I that had traditional elements, but was still “us.”. I am very appreciative of Carla being a part of our special day and getting to spend time with our friends and family.
Amor CelebrantAmor Celebrant
Colleen F.
Ebony made our last minute wedding reception look GORGEOUS. All of our guests commented on the lovely decor. She was so professional, kind, and responsive. I would use her services a hundred times over. Can’t recommend her enough.
Legacy Delectables LLCLegacy Delectables LLC
Rhea S.
Thanks so much for everything. Ronald was so sweet and so helpful.let use have the ceremony of our dreams and was so great. I'm so glad you spent the time to be apart of our wedding. You made our day so emotional and beautiful.
Bishop Ronald A. FrazierBishop Ronald A. Frazier
Irene M.
If you want a DJ who will get your party dancing Maurice is your guy!! We hired him for our wedding, from the beginning I knew we were in the right hands with his quick responses and willingness to answer all questions. Maurice was great to work with, all his suggestions were helpful. We had all types of genres within our wedding playlist and nothing was missed. Maurice had us all dancing all of the night. He was in charge of the music for ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception and he created the perfect atmosphere. I cannot recommend Maurice enough! Look no further you’ve found a amazing DJ!
Covenant Child ProductionsCovenant Child Productions
Lina T.
Afra did an amazing job on my hair for my wedding! She listened to what I needed and worked on it until it was the way I wanted. She was responsive and professional from booking to my special day. I highly recommend having Afra work on your hair! :)
MakeupByAafra, LLCMakeupByAafra, LLC
Rhea S.
Thanks so much for everything. Everything looks so beautiful and amazing. Mary was able to work with me when covid hit and was able to change things when everything was decreased for our wedding. So thanks so much your so amazing the flowers were so great.
Fleur-De-LeeFleur-De-Lee
Rhea S.
Thanks so much for everything the cake tastes amazing and look amazing. During these times of covid Audrey was able to work with me and was able to change date. My wedding was drop at the last min to 25 people due to covid and she was able to change and accommodate. Thanks so much for everything
Desserts By AudreyDesserts By Audrey
Rhea S.
Greg was so amazing during covid he was flexible and when I lost my brother he was willing to do the video for my wedding which was so sweet when that wasn't his job. Thanks so much for everything and the music was great so professional. I would so use Greg again for an event.
DJ Greg G (Photo Booth, Sound & Lighting)DJ Greg G (Photo Booth, Sound & Lighting)
Latoya k.
My name is Latoya K. Mrs. Sara did my wedding makeup on Oct 17th, 2019. She did an amazing job. I loved the way she was on time and her work is amazing. I WILL HIRE HER HANDS DOWN IN THE NEAR FUTURE!!! Anyone need their makeup done CALL MRS. SARA!! Mrs.Sara I will be calling you always for my makeup period.
Sara's Makeup Artistry (@saramakeupia)Sara's Makeup Artistry (@saramakeupia)
Evelyn K.
Pastor Dave was wonderful and the perfect fit for our ceremony! He was very attentive to our needs and super fun during the wedding. We absolutely loved him and all our guests too. He made us feel comfortable and gave us a wonderful ceremony that we will remember forever ♥️ We would/will recommend him to every Christian couple! And again, thank you pastor Dave!!
Dave ZuchelliDave Zuchelli
Olivia B.
Mary did an exceptional job on my flowers! I must have changed my mind about ideas 100 times and she worked with me and customized it to exactly how I liked it! She worked with my schedule and delivered the flowers personally to me the day of my wedding and they truly turned out beautiful! She has amazing prices and I would recommend her to anyone!
Fleur-De-LeeFleur-De-Lee
Thumbtack Customer
Slable provided DJ, MC, and uplighting services for our May 2015 wedding. Just as a reference point we are a mid-twenties couple and they did a fantastic job of sticking to our playlists and taking on guest requests. They were professional and easy to work with; they went the extra mile to ensure that all names were prounounced correctly and they made a valiant attempt at keeping the reception timeline on track. We would highly recommend this company to anyone looking for for DJ services!
Pulse EntertainmentPulse Entertainment
Lina T.
Terry was a Rockstar for our wedding ceremony. She had our guests chuckling during the right moments and made my husband and I feel very comfortable. She communicated promptly and was availabe if we had any questions prior to our big day. She's very knowledgeable about the marriage process and offered advice. We had a very simple and general ceremony and we were able to alter it to what we needed. It was perfect, thanks so much Terry!
Terry Blackburn-ParkerTerry Blackburn-Parker
Amal F.
I hired Emily to do makeup and hair for both me and my daughter for my son’s wedding. She did a phenomenal job, listening to what we wanted and giving us both 2 different unique looks to match our dresses and what we wanted. She was on time and brings all of her own equipment. We were worried about wearing masks with full faces of makeup but it lasted the entire day, even with taking masks on and off. Our up-dos and curls lasted even with a really windy, outdoor ceremony. We were thrilled with her work!
HuesGlows&Lipgloss (Hair and makeup) ArtisrtyHuesGlows&Lipgloss (Hair and makeup) Artisrty
Thumbtack Customer
Donnell was amazing! He is very easy to work with! When we met him for the first time he listened to all of our concerns and was able to answer all of our questions. A DJ needed to be booked for my sister's wedding reception ASAP and he was so accommodating and understanding. Not to mention his prices are great! Everyone at the reception loved him! He took requests and was able to get a vibe of the kind of music our guest enjoyed. Certain things had to be changed around in the reception schedule but he went with the flow and everything went smoothly. The guests raved about him and kept coming up to me saying how great of a DJ he was! If you need a DJ for your event with really affordable prices, look no further because he's your guy. I will most definitely be recommending him to all my friends and family and will be hiring him in the future for any events that will need music entertainment! I know I've already said this a million times but thank you Donnell! We truly appreciate you!!!
Chi Dr. ProductionsChi Dr. Productions
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