Weddings are often the first major investment a new couple will make. Time and time again, people approach me after their wedding with stories of memories lost. You know the ones...
"We hired a photographer who really didn't know how to shoot a wedding."
"Our friend had a nice camera and offered to shoot it for practice."
"It has been a year now and we still haven't seen our photos."
"We got what we paid for...wish we knew then what we know now."
I know these regrets all too well because my wife and I made some of our own wedding mistakes! If we could go back to our younger selves and tell them to make better choices, here is what we would say...
10 years later, photography is the only thing that doesn't fade away: Grandparents have passed, friends have moved on, decorations were lost in the move, the food is forgotten, the church no longer exists, but the images of our day have the power to bring everything right back! We don't mean to say this as self-serving wedding professionals, but as a once young bride and groom who genuinely wish we had made photography the very highest priority. This is a truth other vendors will never tell you...do everything you can to get the best memories you can possibly afford, even if it means sacrificing in some less important areas.
Look at the portfolio: Not all photographers are created equal. A good shot of their kid and a pretty picture of a flower or waterfall landscape doesn't prove someone is capable of creating beautiful, emotional art under pressure. Your photographer's wedding portfolio is the only evidence they can achieve your vision for the day.
Digital is not the real thing: As embarrassing as it is to say now, my wife and I once said, "the digitals are all we need." Ten years later we finally got around to printing them. Like us, everyone genuinely intends to print things later for their home, but almost no one ever does. (Think about it, when was the last time you got around to printing photos?) Photographers who really care about their work have access to beautiful art and album products drug store kiosks will never match. We didn't want to spring for the album then, but today we would gladly pay 5 times more.
Future-you wants you to know that if you don’t understand now, you will regret not making these important choices. One day your four year old daughter may say the very same words mine said to me..."Daddy, was mommy a princess in her wedding dress?? Can I see!!"