5 Ps You Should Look for in a Wedding Photographer

Dear Brides-to-Be,

I recently met 3 new brides who complained about the photographers who took their engagement photos. I clenched my heart because for me it wasn’t just 3 brides. It was 3 brides’ three days that were suppose to be cherished for lifetime yet the couple’s were left with bitter memories.

It has been long I shared tips about how to ‘Choose The Wedding Photographer‘ but I felt the dire need of writing this post to make it easier for the couples to find the wedding photographer who is best fit for them.

5_P_You_Should_Look_For_Wedding_Photographer

  1. Personality – I deliberately put personality before portfolio because regardless of how amazing the portfolio of a photographer is, if they are not a problem-solver and not mentally-present, it should ring sirens for a chaos. Choose someone who can calm the storm, makes you feel comfortable, & provides you an experience along with great photos & service.
  2. Portfolio – the entire quality of a photographer’s work is what you should look for. People share highly curated images on Instagram but the albums are not even half as good as those images. Ask the photographer to show you a complete wedding instead of their Instagram photos.
  3. Professionalism – communication, explanation of the packages, contracts, handling things & situations, treating the family members and other wedding vendors, sense of dressing are just few things a wedding photographer needs to be great at.
  4. Punctuality – Oh-Em-Gee! I can’t emphasize enough on this. Would you really want to hire someone who doesn’t reply back to your emails/texts/DMs? Brides, its not only the wedding day, do keenly consider how fast the photographer will deliver the photos/videos/albums of your wedding.
  5. Public Relations (PR) – this goes for both – a photographer’s public relations with other wedding vendors as well as past clients. If a photographer is recommended by their past clients and/or other wedding vendors because of their personality, portfolio, professionalism, punctuality, and customer service – you need to hire them asap before someone does!

I hope you find the best photographer who provides you an experience along with beautiful photos & memories that you cherish for a lifetime.

Oh and in case you want to get in touch with me, fill out the contact form.
I Promise You to be the best wedding vendor you’ll hire for your wedding day 🙂

Your UnOfficial Bridesmaid,
~ Rima

Palazzo Versace Wedding – Sultan & Wedad

Her nose crinkled every time she laughed.
As soon as he entered the bridal suite, it was as if nothing else existed except both of them. He stood close to her, whispering in her ear, making her laugh out loud. And her nose, it crinkled throughout the night – making her look even more beautiful.

I stood there and thought to myself….so this is what love does to people?!? It makes them shine like stars. They looked absolutely perfect together & complimented each other in the best way possible. Like summer & ice-cream. Like shell & pearl. Like smile & a dimple. Like Sultan & Wedad ❤

Venue: Palazzo Versace, Dubai 🏰
Decorator: Tibru Weddings ✨
Planner: One n Only Weddings 🎩
Makeup: Joy💄
Hair: Matilda 👑
Invitations: Modern Printing Press 💌
Dress: Custom made 👗
Bouquet: Bliss Flowers 💐
DJ: Kadooj 🎧
Photography: Rima Hassan Photography 🎥

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Dearest Wedad & Sultan,

Thank you from the bottom of my ❤ for being so incredibly warm, welcoming, & for trusting me to document your big day with all its glory. Your beautiful union as well as the loud-&-proud love reminds me why I love my job so much. I pray to Allah that you both brighten each other’s day – everyday – for the rest of your lives. Cheers to joy, health, making memories, and eternal love…

Much love & appreciation,
~ Rima

Al Jawaher, Sharjah Wedding – Amal & Ali

His presence was making her stronger.
She was smiling a lot. Glowing. Believing in herself.
Blooming more than flowers do in spring. Shining more than the sun after the rain.
Ready to live out loud. Faster than the heartbeat. Ahead of dreams.

Venue: Al Jawaher Reception, Sharjah 🏰
Decorator: Dream Wedding Services ✨
Makeup: Hind 💄
Dress: Pronovias 👗
Shoes: SJP 👠
DJ: Shooj 🎧
Photography & Video: Rima Hassan Photography 🎥

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Dear Amal & Ali,

Thank you for being wonderful, humble, welcoming, and for having my team & I to document & share the joys of your beautiful wedding day. I pray to the Almighty that He blesses you with the best because you both deserve nothing less. May you both reach the highest of success, love, happiness, and compassion & stay as humble and adorable as you both are, ameen.

Much appreciation,
~ Rima

Wedding Albums – Your Legacy is Worth it

Dear Brides-to-be,

Every now and then I’ll have a bride requesting that she does not require an album and only wants photography done. I clench my heart and always wonder why? I suppose the main reason is to cut down the collection’s price.

If you ever happen to find yourself pondering upon the idea of whether to get an album for your big day or not, then continue reading.

I want you to question yourself – “how would I like to share my wedding day with my grand children?”  If you just answered ‘via Facebook albums or Instagram’ then hold onto the thought…are you 110% sure Facebook will exist in 10, 20, 40+ years? Remember MySpace? Still use it? I didn’t think so….Wedding_Albums_Dubai_Female_Photographer_Rima_Hassan_0003Albums, on the other hand, are timeless. Pricey? May be, but they are absolutely priceless. Regardless of the size of the album, a printed book will never go out of style. No batteries/recharging required, and doesn’t need to keep up with the fast-changing-technology. Trust me! You’ll thank me later…Wedding_Albums_Dubai_Female_Photographer_Rima_Hassan_0006Another good reason to consider is how much you are spending overall on your wedding? The venue – one night rental. The stage – one night rental. The makeup – you will wash it the same night. The dress/bouquet – you won’t use again. Jewelry & shoes – yes, they are reusable but how much can you use them? Photography + video – the only things you get to keep. Forever. Am I saying the other things are not important, not at alllll!!! You can’t expect great photos if the makeup/venue is not good or your dress/shoes are not the right fit. But again, spend the money wisely.

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The best time to order the albums is with your photography package because as the days, months, years pass by after the wedding, couples care less for the day. If you are on a budget and need to wait to order the albums after the wedding with gift-money, its still perfectly fine. What you do with your images, how you display them, care for them, is just as important as making sure to hire a professional photographer for your wedding day.Wedding_Albums_Dubai_Female_Photographer_Rima_Hassan_0002

I strongly believe that albums are your legacy.
And your legacy is worth it!

My Thankful List – Embracing it All!

It has officially become a yearly ritual.
Like the past 4 years, today marks the birthday of my blog and I can’t wait to celebrate it with this year’s thankful list. It’s always serves as a reminder of the year that has ended and a hope for a better future.

I’m thankful to the Almighty for accepting my prayers regardless of my negligence.
I’m thankful for being alive and making through the roughest patches of life.
I’m thankful for my health – that allows me to eat, pray, work, & travel, alhamdullilah.
I’m thankful for my family – for not reminding me of my mistakes.
I’m thankful for friends – for accepting me with my flaws.
I’m thankful for my clients – they are my cheerleaders & business anchors.
I’m thankful for #loveletters – they validate that I’m doing what I love & doing it right.
I’m thankful for a kick-a** hardworking team – they are best of the best!
I’m thankful for continuous growth – both personal & professional.
I’m thankful for books – my best-friends during long days & sleepless nights.
I’m thankful for online-shopping – it satisfies my addiction of retail-therapy.
I’m thankful for my camera, blog, readers & followers – I ❤ You all!
I’m thankful for Ladies Club membership – it has become my happy place.
I’m thankful for my therapist – regardless of her expensiveness.
I’m thankful for struggles – they strive me to hustle harder.
I’m thankful for warm hugs – they remind me how powerful love is.
I’m thankful for this life. With its good-bad-fugly times.
I’m thankful for embracing it all!

I’m so very thankful for my blog, clients, followers, friends, and family who make me more ME. Who listen to what I have to say and understand things that I don’t say. As Rumi would quote ‘they flame my fire’. I’m grateful for alllllll that I have and even more grateful for all that I’m about to embrace.

Happy Birthday Love.

Thankful List – 2014
Thankful List – 2015 – Bring it On
Thankful List – 2016 – Dreaming Big
Thankful List – 2017 – Continuing to Learn

Al Twaar, Dubai Wedding – Fatima & Mohammad

Their smiles seemed wider & brighter.
I remembered how shy and quite they were on the engagement day. However, on the day of their wedding, they seemed at ease, expressed their joy upon seeing each other, and more frank. As if the words became books, the rivers merged into oceans, the buds bloomed into flowers, and them – their liking of each other turned into complete love.

Venue: Al Twaar Wedding Hall, Dubai 🏰
Decorator: Wish Events ✨
Makeup: Nada💄
Dress: Hazar Couture👗
Bouquet: Aster Flowers 💐
Shoes: Louboutin 👠
Photography: Rima Hassan Photography 🎥

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Dearest Fatima & Mohammad,

Thank you (yet again) for trusting me to photograph both your engagement & wedding. I took great pleasure in watching your love and documenting the beginning of your journey. May the Almighty showers you with more happiness, love, and joy more than you can imagine. I wish you the best on this wonderful journey, as you both build your new lives together.

Love,
~ Rima

Grand Hyatt, Dubai Wedding – Fatima & Omar

She looked angelic.
In her exquisite white bridal gown, which was more sparkly than the sky full of innumerable stars. Her smiles like magic. Her eyes like heavens.
He, on the other hand, was beaming. His eyes reflected her beauty; and promises of a lifetime. To know that she’s his. Forever!

Venue: Grand Hyatt, Dubai 🏰
Decorator: Eissa Hakim ✨
Makeup: Rafia💄
Dress: Ezra Couture 👗
Shoes: Jimmy Choo 👠
Photography & Video: Rima Hassan Photography 🎥

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Dearest Fatima & Omar,

Thank you for the being as wonderful as you both are ❤ My team and I had so much fun & we laughed so much during photographing and videographing your wedding day that our stomachs hurt. May the Almighty continues to shower you both with eternal love and endless joy; the same way you both bring joy to the world.

Much appreciation,
~ Rima

Al Qouz, Dubai Engagement – Kawthar & Ahmed

Everything was picked & put together with keen attention to details.
From her dress, to shoes, to jewelry, to party-favors, the intricacy was praiseworthy. As they both enjoyed their first day of a new journey ‘together’, their families joined in the happiness with lots of dance & love.

Venue: Al Sadiq Center, Al Qouz Dubai 🏰
Decorator: Wedding 4 Life ✨
Makeup: Hamda 💄
Shoes: Vinci Shoes 👠
Bouquet: Moz Flowers 💐
Photography: Rima Hassan Photography 📷

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Dearest Kawthar & Ahmad,

I can’t express how grateful I am for being able to document your first day as officially each other’s. You both are adorable and I had so much fun on your engagement day. Thank you so much for the warmth, the love, and for being absolutely a delight in front of my camera ❤ Can’t wait to see what you both are planning for the wedding day.

Love,
~ Rima

Grand Hyatt, Dubai Wedding

Upon my darling bride’s request, no names are mentioned but following are details of a beautifully decorated wedding my team & I had the pleasure of documenting ❤

Venue: Grand Hyatt, Dubai 🏰
Decorator: Eissa Hakim ✨
Makeup: Faiza 💄
Dress: Martina 👗
Shoes: Menbur 👠
Bouquet: Flowers from John 💐
Photography & Video: Rima Hassan Photography 🎥

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Much appreciation,
~ Rima

Advice for Brides on Budget

Dear Brides,

The first step in planning a wedding day of your dreams is to budget for the wedding. I always tell my brides to budget wisely and spend on things that are more long lasting, create experiences for the couple and the guests, and things that are absolute necessity.

If you are a bride on a budget, here is my advice for how you can avoid (or reduce) some of the costs of your wedding:Advice_for_bride_on_a_budget

  1. The Venue.
    • The venue to host the wedding party marks up to 48-50% of the the entire budget. Instead of looking for a 5* hotel, opt for a wedding hall. It will dramatically save you lots of money. Dubai itself has some amazing new wedding halls that host weddings and provide all the needed services (security, valet parking, bridal-room, etc).
  2. The Dress.
    • If you want to save money on the dress of your dreams, ask the designer if you can rent it instead of buying the dress. If your designer doesn’t rent dresses, buy the dress and you can rent/sell it after the wedding because you will never, ever, wear it again. Ever. Oh but you get to keep & wear the shoes & jewelry again so spend well on it 😉Rotana_Beach_Abu_Dhabi_Female_Photographer_Dubai_Rima_Hassan_bride_dress_Hazar_gown
  3. Catering.
    • My university professor of ‘Consumer Behavior’ course once said “people will forget the details, decorations, and everything else of a party, but they always remember the food!” and I can’t agree with him more. Instead of 10 fancy welcome drinks, 15 types of desserts, 20 types of teas and what not, spend a good amount on the main courses. I mean, not everyone will drink all 10 types of drinks & I’m not suggesting to reduce the cost for this one, but adjust the cost and really spend on things that everyone gets to enjoy such as the main dinner.
  4. Bouquet / Flowers.
    • Brides, please note that I absolutely loveeeee centerpieces with real flowers because they look gorgeous in the photos but if you are on a budget, I highly suggest you choose centerpieces that don’t need too many real flowers.
    • Also, the cost of your bouquet will be reduced if you ask your stage decorator to provide you with a bouquet. First, they know the theme/colors of the wedding & can make you a bouquet accordingly. Second, they get flowers in whole-sellers price and can help you save AED 2,000+ on a bridal bouquet. Third, you don’t have to wait for the bouquet to arrive or pick it up yourself as the decorator will be present at the venue and can deliver the bouquet to your bridal room.Etihad_Tower_Abu-Dhabi_Wedding_Female_Dubai_Photographer_Rima_Hassan_bride_bouquet
  5. Live Band vs. DJ.
    • Live bands are fun. No joke! If they are good, the can really take the party to the next level. Are they cost-friendly comparing to a good DJ? I’m assuming you answered this one yourself already 😀
  6. Wedding Stationary & Party Favors.
    • Personally, I love invitation cards. But lets be real, do you really need thank you cards placed on the dinner plates or fancy tissue boxes? I’ve seen them lying around at the end of the wedding with the couples’ names on it and it breaks my heart. I suggest you pay attention to these little details when budgeting for the wedding.
    • Choose party-favors that remind guests of your wedding day & something that they want to keep and use later on (mirrors, bakhoor, atr or perfume, book-marks, etc).Emirates_Palace_Wedding_Abu_Dhabi_Female_Photographer_Rima_Hassan_giveaways_stage_decoration_party-favors

Brides, if you ever feel stuck while making the budget for the wedding, ask yourself these questions: “will this product/service benefit me or the guests after my wedding? Do I or the guests keep this as memories?” If the answers are NO, chances are you don’t need to spend too much on that product/service.

I really hope this blog post helps you save tons of money that you can use for your honeymoon and/or for your new house. Again, I hope you make budget wisely and spend on things & experiences that you and your wedding guests get to keep & cherish even after the wedding.

Your UnOfficial Bridesmaid,
~ Rima