After the first few weeks of engaged euphoria mellow out, and you stop staring at your ring instead of the road while driving, it's time to focus on the task at hand. There are a zillion and one details to iron out, and as a first-time bride, you probably have no clue where to begin.
While thrilling and romantic, the quest for an all-star cast of wedding vendors quickly proves to be dizzying and daunting. A simple Google search for ‘’Baltimore Wedding Photographer,’’ for instance, will yield dozens of results. Once you have devoted a good two hours sorting through portfolios of photographers who in no way possess the aesthetic that you and your fiancé are looking for, the easiest thing to do is close your laptop and head to the nearest bar in frustration. Once a good, old-fashioned vodka buzz has reduced your urge to hand all of your wedding guests a disposable camera and tell them to have at it, you can return to your mission.
It's time to explore your other resources. If you can dig deep into your heart and find the patience to tolerate the ''this is who I used and you should, too'' from every wifed-up friend/co-worker/wedding band-wielding person in line next to you at Starbucks, word of mouth can be an invaluable tool.
My first potential photographer meeting was with an eminent and well-regarded local studio that shall remain nameless. After flipping through at least a half-dozen albums, I was very impressed by the work. The photographer on the other hand, had the personality and bedside manner of soggy cardboard. Every question and even compliment was met with head shakes and nods. I realize that I have the ability to talk the paint off of a wall while others pride themselves on brevity, but a few words here and there would have been greatly appreciated. Turns out, an arsenal of flawless wedding portraits isn’t a strong enough selling point when you are going to have someone in your face for 8-plus hours on the big day.
The search continued. My mom, who deserves an award for still answering my neurosis-filled phone calls, was a given a lead on a fantastic, young photographer recently used by two newlywed co-workers. Following my initial phone consultation with Maria Linz, I hung up feeling like I could have chatted with her for hours. Our face-to-face meeting at her home office later that week further solidified my hunch that we would get along like two long-lost friends. Armed with ice-cold bottles of Blue Moon and Yuengling, we would talk business for five minutes and then digress into who-knows-what for 20. Yes, her work is fantastic and completely up to par with some of the more tenured wedding photographers in the area, but our instant connection is what ultimately won me over. Had I relied solely on my go-to search engine as the end-all-be-all of options, I would have never found my perfect wedding photographer.
Don't be shy. Know someone who was recently married or even been in a wedding? Chances are they will jump at the opportunity to share some helpful tips with a curious bride-to-be. Whether it be a band, bakery, florist or photographer, there is a probably wealth of fresh talent in your area. Just get in line at Starbucks and get the questions started.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun