5 Steps for Choosing the Right Wedding Photographer for You

Choosing the right photographer for your wedding is one of the MOST important decisions you will make while planning your wedding. After the food has been eaten, the venue admired, the music shut off and your guests have left, what do you have left? Your photos. A beautiful, heirloom, album sitting on your coffee table for you and your family and friends to admire, that perfectly captures your gorgeous day. A large portrait of you and your new husband hanging in your living room that greets you every day, as you walk in. Photos have the ability to make you relive moments in time, and on a day like your wedding, it is especially important to choose the right photographer for you. You don't want to look back on your only images and realize you've missed your once-in-a-lifetime shots. So here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a photographer:

1) Their Style. Yes, they take beautiful images, but are they the type of images that you want representing your wedding? For example, you might really love candid moments, and want to capture as many of those as possible. Make sure the photographer you chooses has a more photojournalist style of shooting. Maybe you LOVE black and white images, or light and airy. Just make sure whoever you choose matches your style.

2) Their personality. Do you like the person you are entrusting with your precious memories? This might sound silly, but it is so important to like your photographer. Not only will this help your day go more smoothly, but it will allow for better photos.

3) Do they offer engagement shoots? A lot of photographers will include a complimentary engagement session with their wedding packages. If they don't, that's okay, but ask about booking an engagement session with them, as well. This is important for so many reasons. It allows you and the photographer to meet, get comfortable with one another, and allows you to feel comfortable while being in front of their camera. It serves as a nice 'ice-breaker' before your big day and is so worth it!

4) Are they a true professional? So many people have nice cameras these days and can take a half-way decent photo, but that doesn't make them a professional. Are they insured? Do they have contracts? Many times (not all), you will find your more 'budget friendly' photographers aren't insured. While you might think this doesn't matter, if something were to happen on your wedding day and they broke something, got injured, or God forbid, didn't show up, it would most certainly matter. I have heard horror stories from some brides.

5) Investment. This one is last for a reason. Yes, of course, you are going to have a budget, but it should not be the main driving force in choosing your photographer. In so many cases, you get what you pay for, and photography is definitely one of them. You should allot a good amount of your wedding budget to your photography budget.

The only thing you will have left to look back on is your photographs, so don't take your decision lightly.