Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I find information on how to get married in New York?
Funny you asked. I actually wrote a very detailed blog post on “how to get married in New York”.
I strongly suggest you check out above mentioned blog post right HERE (in English) or THIS ONE (for German).
Any chance you could recommend an officiant for an on-location ceremony?
Sure can. I’ve worked with some amazing officiants and I’m happy to share their contacts with you. All of them will give you an unforgettable experience on your wedding day but there is one officiant who truly stands out: Jackie Reinking | New York Elopement Officiant. And guess what?! You could even book us as a team for additional fun and savings at Jackie and Sascha | The New York City Elopement Team.
Why do you love shooting elopements so much?
What can I tell you? I’m a sucker for love stories. Elope in New York…there is nothing better. I enjoy the connections I make with my couples. Finding out who they truly are and capturing their unique story is what I love the most about this work. That is probably one of the reasons I’m still in contact with most of my couples and why some of them became amazing friends whom I photographed many times after they got married. With elopements I feel we can make this connection much better because there isn’t a huge wedding in the way! Elopements are intimate and I like that very much. They make for some of the most genuine photographs.
Do you only photograph elopements or do you do ‘regular’ weddings as well?
Of course! Even though most of my shoots are elopements, I have tons of fun covering traditional weddings as well. If you are planning on doing the “full monty” with a wedding party, cutting the cake, tossing the bouquet and some dance floor action, I’m delighted to capture it all. I also know some good moves!
How long before our elopement should we contact you?
Right now is great!
I only take a limited amount of traditional weddings a year, so please contact me as soon as you nail down your date. Elopements are a little more flexible so if you give me about 2-3 months notice chances are that I can get you in. But, hey, if you decided today to elope tomorrow it’s worth giving me a call…maybe I’m available!
Do you have any idea how long the wait will be at the city clerk’s office?
Can you elaborate?
Absolutely! Fridays are always a busy day at the city clerk’s office. The same is true for lunchtime. Turns out, New Yorkers like to get married during their lunch breaks! The best chance to avoid the lines is to get hitched Mondays through Thursdays in the morning or the afternoon. Having said that, you never really know. To be safe, give yourself an hour to get in and out. Unless you picked a special date like Valentines Day or 12.12.12 to get married. It’ll be pandemonium so be prepared to wait.
Small elopement or huge wedding, a bride wants to look good!
Any tip for a talented make-up artist and hair stylist?
I hear ya. It’s a great idea to hire a make-up artist and/or hair stylist to take care of you. Every bride deserves to be pampered as she sips champagne on her big day! Plus, professional make-up and hair will make the photos that much better. I work with the best stylists in the industry and I’m happy to introduce you. I can promise that you will look and feel like a rock-star.
Music is the key to the heart. Is there a chance to have someone serenade us during the ceremony?
I love me some good tunes. I’ve worked with, and can recommend to you singers, songwriters, harpists, violinists, pianist, guitar players and a barbershop quartet. I’m confident we can find the right musician for you.
What about a bouquet?
There are soooo many amazing florists in this city. But, of course, that makes it all the more challenging to find the perfect one! I have a list of the best florists I have worked with and trust. I’d love to send you some names.
We are out-of-towners. Can you please help us find a dreamy ceremony location?
I get this question a lot! I have a long list with amazing ceremony locations that range from ‘unique’ and ‘fun’ to simply ‘romantic’. I’m also always on the hunt for new locations when I’m walking around the city with my family. There are thousands of locations in this amazing city! Together we can narrow it down and find the one spot that is just right for you.
Getting married makes us hungry. Where should we go eat?
Ah, one of my favorite topics. This city is a food-lover’s paradise and you can have a full culinary experience within a few blocks. Tell me what you crave and I’ll recommend some of my favorite restaurants. And if you would like to talk in a little more detail about New York restaurants and their food and cocktails, I will make sure to clear my schedule for you.
We are soooo excited, we hardly can stand it! How long until we can see our photos?
I know, I know. The most amazing day in your life and now you have to wait for the images! I always try to blog some ‘teasers’ shortly after the wedding for the short-term fix. Your entire session will be ready, depending on the season, about 30 business days after your wedding day. Most times you will see them faster than that, though.
Will you be our witness?
Aw, I would be honored to be your witness. Thanks for asking! Just let me know beforehand so I can bring my ID.
Are you, by any chance, insured?
I am. I have business and liability insurance.
Our venue is asking for a ‘certificate of liability insurance’. Huh?
Some venues require some sort of proof from the wedding professionals (photographers, musicians, caterers. florists, etc.) that they are insured in case there is damage. It is not a problem to provide this certificate. Just give me about one week notice so that I can put the information together for you.
Butterfingers over here always breaks our camera. Does that ever happen to you?
Knock on wood…so far it hasn’t happened. But not to worry, I always bring a back up. I travel with additional lenses, camera bodies and other fun tools I use during our time together. So rest assured that your special day is covered.
Really? Sales Tax?
I know, I know. New York State requires photographers to collect sales tax on their services and products they offer. It is part of doing business in New York. Here’s an option: If you get married outside of New York and you take me with you, there will be no sales tax, plus we’ll have a fun road trip!
Out of curiosity…where are your clients from?
My lovely clients are from all over the world. Couples come to me from Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France, England, and I’ve worked with clients from Australia, South Africa, South America, and Canada, to name a few. I am blessed with a truly global clientele.
Are you a real New Yorker?
I am! Well, at least I feel like one. Even though I wasn’t born in New York (I’m from Germany), I have been living here for more than 10 years now. I work here, I met my wife here, we had our daughter here (which, by the way, makes my daughter a REAL New Yorker) and I love bagels with cream cheese and Nathan’s hot dogs. I think that qualifies me to call myself a New Yorker.
We are a little lost when it comes to all the papers and licenses we need.
Any chance you can help us with that?
All the paperwork can be overwhelming. I’m happy to help and give advice. I promise, it is not as tricky as you might think it is.
Even though we are foreigners? You still can help?
I’m a “foreigner” myself remember? So yes, I definitely can help. And if I don’t have the answer for you right away I will do the research.
But why Sascha? Why are you so immensely helpful?
Because I like you! And because I know that it’s sometimes helpful to have a person on location who knows his/her way around. I’m not saying I will plan the wedding for you (there are people who can do this much better) but I definitely can help, give tips, and point you in the right direction.
By the way, if you would like to have it all done for you I can recommend a wedding coordinator who specializes in New York weddings. But, to be honest, if you are dedicated and not afraid to make some phone calls I’m certain that, with some guidance from a real New Yorker (me!), you can organize your wedding, especially if it’s an elopement, without professional help.
We LOVE New York.
We really do! But to be honest, we have a different location in mind for our wedding.
Would you travel for us?
Would I? WOULD I?! Listen, you tell me where and when and I’m on my way! Just let me know if I need my Hawaiian shirt, a snow suit or black Tuxedo, ok?!
THE FIRST QUESTIONS
1. Is our wedding date available?
2. How far in advance do we need to book?
3. Are you the photographer who will shoot our wedding? If not, who will?
Ideally, you want to ask your actual photographer these questions.
4. How long have you been shooting weddings? How many have you shot?
5. Have you shot at our venue before? If not, would you do a site visit before the big day?
Doing a site visit prior to your wedding, either on or before the day, is important as it allows the photographer time to scout locations and plan great shots.
6. Can we see a full wedding you’ve shot?
Their online portfolio will only show the best of the best images, so it’s a good idea to look at an entire wedding to accurately judge their work.
7. Can we have a list of references to contact?
8. How would you describe your photography style?
9. What about your working style?
Some photographers like to blend in, while others are more visible, and others even like to choreograph shots.
10. What separates you from all the other photographers?
11. Do you shoot digital, film, or both?
12. What type of equipment do you use? What backup equipment will you have?
13. Do you shoot in color, black and white, or both?
14. Will you follow a “must have” shot list, or do you prefer to have full creative control?
15. What’s your favorite part of the wedding day?
This is a great question to ask to get to know the photographer as a person and see what their personality is like. You’ll be able to see how much they open up and if you mesh well.
THE WEDDING DAY
16. How many pictures will you take?
17. How will you and your team be dressed on the day?
The photographers should be dressed professionally and should be willing to accommodate your wedding style and colors.
18. How many weddings do you photograph in one weekend?
19. Will you have any assistants or additional shooters?
20. How will you coordinate with the videographer?
These two will need to be respectful of each other’s position throughout the day so they don’t interfere with one another. It’s a good idea to hire a photographer and videographer who have a rapport or who have worked together before.
SERVICES AND PRODUCTS
21. What packages do you offer?
22. Do you photograph engagement sessions? Is this included in your packages, or what is the a la carte fee?
23. Are there any hidden fees?
24. Is my venue within your area, or will you charge a travel fee?
25. How many images will we receive? Do we get to select the ones we want?
26. Can we receive all images, and is there a fee for that?
27. How long after the wedding can we expect to receive our images?
28. How will we receive the proofs?
Online, CD, USB, etc.
29. Will the proofs be retouched before we see them?
30. Do you offer retouching or corrective services? What are the fees?
31. What type of albums do you offer? Can we see a sample?
32. What other products do you offer, if any?
33. How do we order photos, albums, or other products?
CONTRACTS, PAYMENT, AND POLICIES
34. Will I receive a written contract?
35. What is the required deposit? When is it due?
36. What forms of payment do you accept?
37. Do you offer a payment plan?
38. What is your refund and cancellation policy?
39. What happens if you’re unavailable on my wedding day?
For example, if your photographer becomes very sick and can’t shoot, do they have someone to take over or will you be left without a photographer?
40. How many hours of coverage will we get?
41. What are your overtime fees?
42. Do you allow others to take photos while you’re shooting?
43. Will you post our images on social media or submit them for publication?
44. Can we post our images on social media or submit them for publication?
45. Do you have liability insurance?