Barrington’s White House has the privilege of working with gifted, trustworthy vendor partners to help give each of our couples their dream wedding day. Our new blog series, Vendor Spotlight with BWH, will feature a few preferred vendors each month to highlight what services they provide and how they can make your wedding all you want, even during COVID-19 restrictions.
Finding the right photographer to capture your special day is one of the most important decisions a couple makes while planning a wedding. We ‘sat down’ (on Zoom) with one of our preferred photographers, Lisa Kathan Photography, to ask all the questions you’ve been wondering – please enjoy.
What is Lisa Kathan Photography and what services do you provide couples?
LK: I am a wedding photographer for tiny, micro, and intimate weddings. That has been my business model since 2016, so couples who were planning small weddings were my clients even before COVID-19!
I have lots of experience and understanding about what makes a tiny wedding unique from a more traditionally-sized wedding, and what the photography needs are for those planning a smaller affair.
How has your business model had to change during COVID-19?
LK: In the past, I had pre-wedding consults in-person with couples if we could swing it, but of course, now we’re only meeting on Zoom. It actually saves a lot of time for couples, so they seem to prefer it.
COVID-related safety is definitely part of the discussion I’m having with couples before they decide to book me. Keeping myself, family, clients, and other vendors safe – as well as following state and local mandates – is pretty important to me. I want to be sure we’re all on the same page as to how we can work together to keep everyone as safe as we can on the wedding day.
What new products or services are you offering to your clients and the community during this time?
LK: It’s not really new for me, but I always walk alongside my clients through the entire process of their wedding. It’s one of the reasons couples hire me over other photographers because they’re planning a small wedding and they love that extra level of service.
But walking alongside my couples took on a whole new meaning in 2020! I cried every single time a couple had to change their plans. Even couples who are planning tiny weddings have so many hopes and dreams wrapped into that day, so to be told it’s not going to happen the way you planned was shattering for them. So this year I spent a lot more time just talking with my couples, listening to them, and when the time was right, offering insight and suggestions around their new plans. I think my couples and I felt pretty bonded this year because it was like we went through a war together and survived. Every single couple has been so grateful they didn’t throw in the towel and cancel. They loved how wonderfully perfect their day was, even if it didn’t look like their original plan.
Serving the wedding community is a huge part of my business! I create content for CHI thee WED, the largest wedding blog serving the Chicagoland area. I spent a lot of my down-time this summer writing content that focuses on tiny weddings, elopements, and generally how to be married during a pandemic. We love giving couples help and inspiration for their weddings, and couples have been needing that now more than ever!
What would you like readers to know about your offerings?
LK: Something I do that’s different from a lot of vendors is ALL my pricing is built to serve the couple planning a small wedding. If you have 25 guests on the day, and you’re just having a dinner party after the ceremony, you probably don’t need 8 hours of photography. Unfortunately, some vendors have been slow to adapt.
I work closely with couples to develop a timeline for their day that suits their photography needs. I am not a low-priced photographer by any means, but if you only need five hours of photography to capture everything important to you, it doesn’t make sense to pay for ten.
What do you want to say to couples that have had to reimagine their weddings? What are you offering to help with potential smaller weddings that will happen in the last half of the year?
LK: First, I am so sorry! But you are definitely not alone in this. There are lots of vendors in the Chicago area who will sympathize and understand that the wedding you are planning now may not be the wedding you originally planned in your heart. Find them and spend what you need to hire them, because they will be invaluable tools to you in both navigating the craziness around COVID-19 mandates, but will also be a shoulder to lean on when you need it. These are the vendors that deserve to stay in business, so invest in them.
And please. Follow the state and local mandates and hire vendors who will do the same. Unfortunately, there are vendors who are willingly breaking mandates and encouraging large events. But trust me, creating a super-spreader event is not what want to do to your guests. It’s not a very thoughtful parting gift for attending your wedding!
As for me, I’m very fortunate to be so busy this fall and early next year, because couples planning their tiny weddings are coming to me! Many couples that are reaching out to me right now got engaged in 2020 and are planning their wedding for the first time. They’re fully focused on having a tiny wedding, and never gave a bigger wedding a second thought, so it’s fun seeing all the beautifully creative ways couples are coming up with for their tiny weddings in 2021.
The best part about planning a tiny wedding is you can take your budget and do so much more with it! You can get married in a unique venue (like Barrington’s White House!), serve your guests the BEST food, hire live musicians, ask an event stylist to make your tables look amazing, and even have a videographer create a wedding film of your day. Many couples are taking the “tiny wedding trend” and using it as a great opportunity to spend their budget creating an incredible, memorable experience for those closest to them,.
How can readers best get in touch with you?
LK: I post regularly on Instagram at @lisakathancreative, and couples can see some of my most current work on my feed. They can also check out my website at www.lisakathan.com and get in touch with me there!
Barrington’s White House is a unique, historic venue located in the heart of downtown Barrington at 145 West Main Street. This meticulously restored 1898 mansion hosts cultural and community events, and is also available for rental for weddings, corporate meetings, non-profit fundraisers and family celebrations. Visit the web site or call 224-512-4292 for your private tour.