Top 10 Questions to Ask Before Hire A Wedding Photographer

Wedding PhotographerAs crazy as it may sound, hiring a wedding photographer in Lebanon could be singlehandedly either the worst or the best decision you make on your entire wedding day. Your photographer literally has the task of not only retelling your wedding day in photos but he or she also has the task of capturing the memories you are hoping you can remember for a lifetime and it’s not an easy job. While there are many photographers throughout the world, not every photographer will be able to tell the story of your wedding the way you would like that is why it is important you ask these 10 questions before hiring a wedding photographer:

Do You Have Experience in Wedding Photography?

While this question may seem like a no brainer you will be surprised to know that not many people even think to ask every photographer if they actually have experience in wedding photography. While experience in weddings isn’t a requirement for all weddings if you don’t want to have to tell your photographer which pictures to capture you may want to hire someone who’s a bit more versed in the industry.

Do You Mind Being Firm With Guests?

During the age of social media, taking photos at a wedding can be extremely challenging. As a photographer at a wedding, it’s important that your photographer is okay and willing to be firm with guests to make sure your guest aren’t blocking your photographer’s view of the wedding. While being firm is not an excuse for your photographer to be rude it is imperative that they be okay with asking the guest to move out of the way or perhaps to put their phones down during the ceremony.

How Much Do You Charge?

Everyone knows that asking about wedding photography rates is the elephant in the room but when you’re planning for a wedding it is a conversation that has to happen. If you’re not careful out could book a photographer you can’t afford and find yourself stressed out on your wedding day because you’re not sure how you can follow it.

How Much Space Do You Need for Equipment?

Many photographers are floaters meaning they go with the flow of the wedding and don’t need much room to take photos; however, there is some photographer who may want to also capture video and also have space where they can edit on the spot. Find out from your photographer ahead of time how much space he or she will need so that you can adequately prepare for whatever it is they need.

Do You Shoot Video and Film?

Anytime you can kill two birds with one stone you are guaranteed to save money. Find out from your photographer if they are able to shoot film and video at the same time. If so this could eliminate the need for you to hire a videographer.

What is Included in Your Package?

While we discussed above how important pricing is, it’s also important to know what’s included in your packages. Don’t just assume that whatever your photographer charges hourly will automatically include everything that you want.

Do You Have Backup Assistance if You Get Sick?

Things happen and we are all prone to getting sick right? It’s important that your photographer has a backup plan in case they get sick so that it doesn’t send you into a frantic search for a photographer on the day of your wedding. If your photographer doesn’t have back up perhaps it would be worth your time to hire your own plan b just in case plan a doesn’t work out.

When Will Our Photos Be Ready?

In the age of social media, many brides and grooms will want to show pictures to their friends and families almost immediately. Finding out from your photographer when your photos will be ready may literally be the one thing that sets all photographers from the rest.

Have You Ever Shot at My Venue Before?

While not a requirement, many brides like to have the satisfaction in knowing that their photographer has experience taking photos at the venue their wedding is being held at. Having a photographer who has shot at your venue before will give you the sense of security that your photographer know-how to get the job done.

Do You Have A List Of Photos You Take?

While this may seem like a very small question, it’s a question you should discuss beforehand. If your photographer is working from a list you will want to make sure the photos that you want taken are included.

Top 10 Popular Festivals in Beirut

beirut festivalsWhile everyone may not be party animals every single day of their lives, lots of people simply enjoy a great time every once and awhile right? Traveling to Beirut is no different. In recent years Beirut has become the home to some of the top festivals in the world and it brings in thousands of visitors each and every year. These festivals range from a variety of cultures and each one offers something different for its audience. Below are just a few of the top festivals held in Beirut.

Art in Office

The American University of Beirut is known for playing a pivotal role in Beirut’s promotion of contemporary art. Generally held in the summer time, art in office is an art festival that showcases the art collection that is found throughout the campus of AUB. It includes exhibits of all types.

Afkart

Each year Afkart is held and is designed to give the artist the opportunity to showcase their work to a sophisticated and larger audience. The first inception of this annual event was in 2002 and has since seen a steady increase in attendees. The event now boasts of attendance levels of over 10,000 visitors.

Fete de La Musique

If you are looking for an opportunity to see great French artists live in concert this is the festival for you. It is sponsored by the French Institute from Beirut and best of all it has a free access policy so all are welcome to attend.

Beiteddine Festival

Known as one of the greatest festivals in the Middle East, this music festival garners an attendance of over 50,000 spectators.

Byblos International Festival

This festival is by far considered to be one of the biggest festivals in Lebanon. This festival is said to be organized in the first Phoenician city which makes this concert somewhat part of history not only for its huge attendees and line ups but because of its locations.

Ehdeniyat International Festival

This first festival first took place in 2004 and has now been pegged as the ‘experience that never ends’. One of the things that continue to lure many into this beautiful festival is its unique location.

Troubled Symphonies

If you are a film junkie you will be excited to attend this unique festival which offers a series of four movies every month. This event is perfect if you are looking to enjoy an outdoor movie night during the Lebanese summer.

Baalbek International Festival

Often referred to as the ‘oldest cultural event in the Middle East’ this event stretches back to more than half a century. This event brings several world-renowned artist to one location for a cultural experience you are guaranteed to never forget.

Tyre Festival

The Tyre international festival actually occurs right outside of Beirut; however, it takes pride in offering the best of local and international art culture. It also takes pride in the positive role the festival plays throughout the community.

Other Local Festivals

From year to year, Beirut continues to bring in some of the best festivals from across the globe and if you are planning to visit soon check the Beirut calendar, who knows what festival may come to town next.

The Average Cost of Weddings in Beirut

wedding costBelieve it or not, wedding prices included photography pricing are continuing to rise higher and higher as each year goes by despite the culture in which you live in. While many wedding planners have often sympathized with brides and grooms and acknowledge they understand just how expensive weddings are it has not caused any wedding planner to lower their costs. In fact, as wedding venue prices have increased so have the cost for a wedding planner. Despite this increase in prices, brides and grooms are not slowing down their marriage rates and are absolutely not slowing down their spending on their wedding days. In fact, many couples have taken out huge loans just to host huge wedding festivities that perhaps they cannot even afford but feel they need.

Throughout the world, the wedding industry is one of the most lucrative service providers. The profits are extremely high and in the last 5 years, over 20 wedding planning companies have been formed in Beirut.

During a recent survey that was conducted by Information International, it was estimated that weddings in Beirut cost approximately $15,000 United States dollars for the average couple. If you’re not from Lebanon you may want to be careful before beginning to plan your wedding in this area because it is not your average place to simply say your I Dos. In fact, celebrating a wedding in Beirut is a 4-5 day festivity that involves parties. Like many Lebanese weddings, a wife’s body being waxed and it also includes a group of people waiting outside your room to receive proof that you and your mate have consummated your union.

While your wedding day should be a day you never forget and full of love and celebration it’s also important to know that it is not a requirement to spend a ton of money on a wedding. Having a wedding planner does help eliminate stress but you don’t have to hire a wedding planner. In fact, you don’t even have to have your wedding at an expensive venue. Ultimately how much money you spend on your wedding solely lies in your hand. While the average couple does spend over 15,000.00 on weddings in Beirut don’t let that number corner you into a wedding you cannot afford.

Whether you recognize it or not, there are always cheaper options when getting married and many things that brides and grooms hire others to do can easily be done themselves. As oppose to ditching out tons of money to a local photographer, consider asking a friend. Need flowers? Get a group of your friend’s together and take a trip to a flower garden and pick your own. When planning a wedding specifically a wedding on a strict budget, get creative and all your resources together. No couple should ever have to incur huge amounts of debts simply to get married in front of friends and families.

Beirut weddings can be expensive, if you’re not interested in a wedding on a budget, consider saving years in advance. You’ll be so glad you did.

Top 10 Amazing Places Must Visit in Beirut

In it’s earliest days, Beirut, the capital of Lebanon was once one of the top tourist attractions in the region. For many individuals who aspired to travel to Beirut, it was often known as the Paris of the East. Some of the region’s finest and site residents could often be found traveling to the area just to have the opportunity to embrace such a beautiful country.

It does not matter what you’re looking for in a tourism location, Beirut literally has something to offer everyone who visits from the youngest to the oldest. Below are 10 of the most amazing places to visit in Beirut.

Corniche

Anyone you ever meet on a visit to Beirut will tell you that you must go on a stroll along the Corniche. This beautiful landmark by the sea is a place that many people visit in order to get a true glimpse of Beirut life. There you are destined to meet fishermen and coffee sellers.

Dar Bistro & Books

Are you in the mood for Lebanon food? When in Beirut, you have no choice but to indulge in food at one of Beirut’s most amazing Lebanese restaurants. Dar Bistro & Books is a classic and is guaranteed to satisfy your taste buds.

Beirut Old City Walk

If you’re interested in being able to embrace the city of Beirut through the eyes of one of Beirut’s locals then perhaps you should consider a guided tour on the Beirut Old City Walk. There are so many hidden stories lurking in the walks of this landmark that is sure to take your trip through Beirut to another level.

B108

When traveling everyone loves a good party. It can’t be explained but there is definitely something exhilarating about partying in a foreign country. B108 is a legendary club in Beirut that is home to the “underground” club. The party literally begins with a DJ running his set early in the morning and when night time arrives the roof of the club opens up to reveal the stars and city lights.
Baalbeck International Festival

If you are traveling to Beirut in the Summer time then you are going to want to check out the Baalbecek International Festival. This exciting festival brings monuments to life with a variety of plays and concerts.

Beirut Souks

Despite the somewhat struggling economy of Beirut, there are still amazing options for shopping in Beirut. Hermès, Louboutin, and Vuitton are just a few of the shopping options available when you go visit the Beirut Souks.

American University of Beirut

Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy a tour on one of the most pristine college campuses in Beirut. This well-renowned institute will give you a front row seat into what the city of Beirut was like prior to the Civil War.

Tourist Landmark of the Resistance

Located on the scenic route of Mleeta, the Tourist Landmark of the Resistance. It has often been referred to as the Hezbollah’s Disneyland. It is definitely a major attraction for those looking to explore a museum.

Achrafieh

Beirut has been knowing of its thriving art scene. If you’re looking to catch a quick art house flick, Achrafieh will not disappoint. During any given time you can walk into Achrafieh and catch a screening or an extraordinary cinematic film.

The Sporting Club

If you have more of a high-class taste, perhaps a visit to the Sporting Club may be of benefit to you on your vacation to Beirut. It is a place that has been known to promise Skiing in the morning and sunbathing in the afternoon.

The Cultures of Beirut

beirut cultureOver the last several years Beirut has been known to have gone through many cultural changes. This has been due in part because of Beirut’s longstanding history with a variety of civilizations. In many parts of Beirut culture, there are still roots that primarily come from the ancient people of the city who were considered to be the city’s first settlers.

In fact, in many instances, Roman influence has been found throughout the city.

Despite the Roman influence, Beirut continues to be most commonly known for being the first law school in the world. Anytime you encounter a Lebanese person from Beirut they are guaranteed to boast about this local law school which continues to be a very prominent landmark in their society.

Today in modern day Beirut, it is a city that shows just how diverse the people and religions of Lebanon are. Many of the citizens in Beirut are both Muslim and Christian and in many parts of the cities, you will be surprised to find many churches and mosques literally side by side. Additionally, many churches and mosques are so in sync with one another that if you are standing outside of the church or mosque when their bells ring you will hear both locations ringing bells in unison.

Throughout history, Ottoman Turks have also impacted the region of Beirut but it did not stop the from the French making their impact on the country. Currently, the two most common languages spoken in the country are both French and English and quite a few people also speak Arabic. Because of these many people in Beirut are trilingual(meaning they speak three languages fluently).

Despite its rich culture, over the last several years Beirut has still struggled to reach a higher status within the world. This could be in part due to the fact that the city has been destroyed and then rebuilt at least seven times if not more over the last 5,000 years thanks to wars, earthquakes and a host of other natural disasters.

Many philosophers believe that the reason why Beirut has been able to withstand so many hard situations is because they have a strong will to survive because many other countries have allowed destruction to tear them down. Beirut has amazingly done the complete opposite, they’ve used destruction to keep propelling them forward in amazing ways.
Despite all of the natural disasters that have occurred, the natural beauty of Beirut has continued to bring in thousands of tourists every year. It’s proximity to the Mediterranean Sea and also the Lebanon Mountain’s have made it that much easier for people to be able to enjoy a variety of activities when traveling to Beirut including the beach and even perhaps a random ski trip.

Beirut literally has something for everybody whether you are touring or looking for a place to simply study and expand your horizons. Beirut is sure to give you everything you need and is guaranteed to have you wanting to return for more.

The History of Beirut

beirut historyIf you ask any historian who knows anything vaguely about Beirut you will find that many believe that Beirut’s history began and ended with a bloody civil war. This historic war that occurred along the Green Line with Muslims to the west and Christians to the east.

In fact, the earliest recollection of Beirut Stretches far and wide to as far as the Stone Age. During this time the city was actually two islands located in the delta of the Beirut River. Eventually, the river, however, became one land mass.

According to philosopher’s the name Beirut is actually derived from the Arabic derivative of the words “well” or “spring”. The first known reference of Beirut dates from as far back as the 14th Century BC during the reign of both Canaanite King of Beirut and Amenhotep IV.

As time progressed, specifically during the Phoenician times, Beirut was often overshadowed by Sidon, Tyre, and Byblos; however, once Alexander the Great’s conquest begins in history we begin to see more and more instances of Beirut being mentioned.

Once the 3rd Century AD, arrived, the city had gained much-needed notoriety through its School of Law because it was one of the top Roman centers of the jurisprudence. During modern days this center was the primary location of the Justinian Code, which according to philosophers was where the legal system drew inspiration from. As time progressed Beirut gained more attention as it continued to grow into a trading hub and primary place of learning.

The Downfall of Beirut

In 551, a devastating earthquake combined with a tidal wave practically destroyed the city. The destruction was so dramatic that many of the city’s citizens were killed on impact. In an attempt to save it’s most prized possession, the city quickly evacuated the School of Law and later relocated to Sidon. This heartbreaking tragedy is ultimately what led to the decline of the country that lasted for several centuries.

Over the last several years Beirut has been plagued with tragedy after tragedy. These tragedies in many ways have ultimately been responsible for Beirut’s constant struggle to not only thrive as a city but to gain relevancy throughout the world.

As of recent years, an even more dark shadow has been cast over the city’s history. IN 2006, The offensive Israel-Hezbollah struck the city. Although, there was not much damage done to Beirut’s center the impact was felt in many of the suburbs and the wealthiest people of Beirut had to be evacuated due to substantial damages. For many people living in Beirut, it is often felt that economic upturn is nearly impossible because any time things seem to be moving progressively another “storm” arrives and knocks the people of Beirut off of their feet. In addition to the physical damage, the economic downturn combined with the numerous killings and attacks that have occurred throughout the city have led many to believe that while Beirut’ past is full of heartbreaking tragedies, the worst may still be yet to come.