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What really matters on your wedding day.

The famous American advertising executive, Leo Burnett, once said that “if you can’t turn yourself into your customer, you probably shouldn’t be in the add-writing business at all.” This is something I couldn’t agree with more and a slogan I’ve adopted (and adjusted) for my own photography business where I wholeheartedly believe that “If it doesn’t sound down right amazing & fabulous to me as a bride, then I probably shouldn’t offer it to my clients.”

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Before I broke up with my day job to pursue a creative lifestyle as a wedding photographer & entrepreneur I was a gloriously-in-love bride to be.

I had one teeny tiny problem though…

Both of our families live quite far away in rather remote areas of our South Africa and a good half of the bridal party was scattered across 3 other continents. It was official. I had a planning problem.

So I did what all slightly stressed brides would do – I hired Preston Bailey to plan my dream wedding, asked Jamie Oliver to blow my guests’ culinary socks off and winked at my hypnotized fiancé  while he agreed to  an outrageous wedding budget to spend {our} trillions of dollars on everything {my} little heart desired.

Yeah right! If you’re still reading this, you’ll know that it’s all puffs & pastries. No, on the contrary… All of us go through wedding challenges and {for most of us} this is our first and only time we’ll ever get to plan a wedding. So it’s easy for an event of this magnitude to run away with us.

But I found it calming and relaxing to set a mental reminder that in the end of the day we are here to celebrate love, we are not here to plan and execute a perfect event. If by the end the day you are married to the one you love, then everything went perfectly.

Now having said all that’s holy above, I still had high expectations of the person responsible for my precious memories. After all, the plan is that they last me a life time right?

Like you, I was super excited to marry the man of my dreams and wanted the pretty wedding. More importantly, I was looking for the ideal wedding photographer. Someone I could relate to, get excited with. Someone I could trust and call a friend but also someone whose services would deliver value for money.

My hope was that he/she would be able to tell my story in a unique and authentic way because I wanted our photographs to be a true reflection of who we were. It would be nice if she could provide the kitchen sink but if I needed to save money elsewhere it was important to book the best photographer I could afford.

As for the wedding day, I needed to know that my wedding photographer was going to have a firm grip on the timeline. She was going to navigate two crazy families and cope under pressure so it was of paramount importance that her customer service was impeccable. She needed to be firm but kind at all times. I needed her to be my personal advisor, planner, photographer, friend and “darling for you, I will pull a rabbit out of a hat” kind of girl.

In the end these qualities became the cornerstone of my wedding photography business and why quite a few of my brides turned into really good friends.

Take it from someone who has photographed a wedding or two: The most expensive weddings are seldom the most beautiful weddings. The spontaneity and love you have for each other, multiplied by the joy of your family and friends, is what make for a memorable celebration.

So erase all expectation, breath and just enjoy your wedding day.

WELCOME TO THE BLOG

Hello there beautiful, I'm Leanne Steyn-Begley.

I'm a fashion designer turned photographer, irrevocably in love with macarons, creating content, and think champagne is always a good idea. I'm a mom to a tiny boy-human, make an Instagram worthy gluten-free breakfast, and wish it could be summer all year round.

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