There is no second take on your wedding day and in order to have the memory from your special day last for a lifetime, it takes more than just a body holding a camera and pushing button. Unless you are going for an extremely unconventional style and look. You want to ensure that you receive a certain quality and that certain moments will be captured without doubt. This includes the exchange of the rings and of course the first kiss as husband and wife. Sure, uncle Joe might have attended many weddings before yours but a professional wedding photographer has the experience and eye for detail that is necessary to capture these images. This is the photographers profession.
There is a variety of professional photographers to chose from, with different styles, packages and pricing.
Be sure to research the photographers portfolio and see if you like the style of the photographer. The angles the images are taken in, the quality of the photographs and the overall feel. Like many artists, photographers come with their own flavors and not everyone shares the same taste.
The Packages and Pricing or a menu "a la carte"
Don't be fooled, just because you hired the photographer does NOT mean that you own all the pictures from your wedding. And if this comes as a surprise, this article will help you understand and prepare. I found it so very well written and informative, that I am sharing this link rather than to explain it in my own words. Many photographers offer packages, these packages come with certain features and are mainly a deal in regards to "a la carte" orders. It is almost comparable as going to a fast food restaurant, where you can get a meal bundle that includes fries and a drink with your burger or you order from the menu where you pay for each additional item, in the end the choice is up to you. When you are working with a budget, there are many options. Estimated and based on the 2013 average wedding spending, the costs that you need to calculate for just hiring a service professional are between $1,000 for a wedding on a budget up $3,000 for the average wedding, and $5,000+ for a couture wedding, make sure you inquire with the professional what is included and what not. Also make sure to be honest with the photographer about your budget, if you feel uncomfortable spending a certain amount or if the pricing proposed by the professional is beyond your budget. Ask them what they can do for the budget you have available, you will be surprised, if your personalities click or if your wedding is something out of the ordinary, they might be willing to work with you.
Every photographer should have a website or a blog, where their work is viewable. If they can not provide you with a portfolio, you might want to step away from considering them. Also make sure to ask if the photographer will be the one who is documenting your wedding, depending on the size of the company.
Speaking for myself, as soon as I am in touch with the couples, I suggest a meeting to find out if we click. Just because I work within your budget doesn't mean we are a match. I want to make sure that we are comfortable with each other, this will reflect in your photographs. My intention is to bring out the best in you, your spouse and your wedding party. In the first meeting I take notes of your wishes and concerns, I collect as much information as possible to either offer you a package or helping to create a package for your desired needs. Depending how far along you are with your planning I also suggest an engagement session. Please follow this link to find out more. I have also written in a prior post about engagement sessions. I find it valuable time spent which will make you feel even more comfortable and prepared on your wedding day. I put together a proposal and based on that proposal, we establish a written agreement. I also inquire a provided shotlist from my couples that states which shots the couple really wants. For example, family members, certain couple shots, the bride with her mother, groom and groomsmen, etc...
And there are many more additional services available, keep in mind that you can inquire about video production as well.