Number 1: You are planning your wedding and you have a budget where it be $20,000 or $500,000 I suggest a good wedding planner who can help you with your budget, decor, vendors or just a day of coordinator who will will help you with your rehearsal dinner and decorate your venue and reception area and more!
Number 2: You have booked your venue and coordinator but you want to look at wedding photographers that are not on the referral list because maybe you want a film (medium format) photographer or a digital photographer or a hybrid photographer ( a photographer that shoots both film and digital) or maybe you just want someone with a different style. Where do you go??? There are a few places you can start. Wedding blogs are a great place because they feature many wedding photographers and other vendors. I do suggest that you look at the featured wedding photographers or featured weddings. You can try family and friends who have had great experiances with there wedding photographer. You can also search Pintrest or the Web.
Number 3: You have seen many wedding photographers sites by now and you are ready to pick 1,3, 6 or 12 if you would like to interview. Hopefully by now you know if they are in your budget. If they are not maybe you can try adding them to your Bridal wish list much like a registry where your family and friends can add $50, $100 or $1000 dollars as a gift to you and your fiance…who needs another blender when you can have great wedding photography! Experianced and creative wedding photographers start around $2000 for 4 to 6 hrs and go up from there depending upon where you live or demand. Can you get a good photographer for less I would say yes but not much less.
Number 4: Meeting with the photographers should go smoothly and the photographer may or may not be the type to show you everything he or she had done along with albums etc. Some show more work than others but do not let that steer you away from hiring someone. I suggest when you meet with the photographers you ask questions. The wedding photographer will be interested on making your day memorable so he or she will want to know about you and your fiance and the wedding details. So you have met with 3 wedding photographers who do amazing work with fabulous reviews and they are all in your budget who do you choose? Answer go with the photographer that you connect with and make you feel secure and comfortable.
Number 5: It is the day of your e-session, you your fiance and photographer are having so much fun on…engagement session can be 1 hr long to 2 or more if no one is watching the time. Your photographer has taken so many images. Well this is not the case on your wedding day. You will be glad to have taken a little more time at your e-session because on your wedding day it is fast pace and you will be lucky of you have 45 mins but most of the time you have 30 mins. If you run late then 15 or 10 mins. I would not consider 10 mins enough time but a skilled photographer can create great images in this time if need be.
Number 6: It is your wedding day when should you put on your wedding gown 2 hrs prior to ceremony is my answer to brides because your guest may be arriving 15 mins to a 1/2 hour earlier. And if you are getting married at the venue and getting ready at the venue you do not want anyone to see the bride right? It also will take you 20 to 30 mins to get into your gown, shoes jewelry etc…at this time the photographer may or may not be staging some of this. You now are ready to go outside for bridal portraits, bridemaids portraits, mom and dad sister etc. Better to get this done now you may only have 1 hr most likely after the ceremony for family portraits and bride and groom portraits. Now you are all done and there may be 30 mins left for you to touch up and relax before you have to go again. It is a bit easier for the groom as it is ok for your guests to see him.
Number 7: First look will this give me more time? Yes if you schedule additional time. Should I do a first look? I will let you both decide
Number 8: Family portraits need to be very organized the photographer. The photographer will ask you to create a shot list. This list is usually immediate family, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, step siblings, step parents. Brothers and sisters that are married and have children are also immediate family members. There may be a special friend or aunt you want a portrait with but keep in mind you only have 40 to 45 mins left. Pictures of all your wedding party groomsmen and bridesmaids some include flowergirl and ring bearer some brides and groom do not.
Number 9: Time for the bride and groom pictures but I only have 15 mins. everything ran late because this ____ happened and now I am only going to have limited bride and groom pictures. Not so. There will be a time at the reception that the bride and groom can sneak out for another 15 mins lets say when the guests are dancing. Night shots can be beautiful.
Number 10: At the reception a photographer can set up a picture area this is not a booth it is just a quiet area where the guests can have there pictures taken with there families. Not all photographers do this so if you are interested in a portrait area ask your photographer if he or she will provide this on your wedding day. A 3rd photographer or skilled assistant may be necessary. The get away car, sparklers may be your ending to a perfect wedding day. May your day be picture perfect…cheers!