One theme that re-occurs throughout the wedding planning process is that vendors book up quickly. It is not an exaggeration to say that you should begin the selection process for some vendors at least a year in advance. We’ve touched on two of those so far: venue and music. If you are looking at high-quality, popular locations and entertainment – you can rest assured that so are other brides-to-be.
Thinking through how you are going to capture the moment on your special day- specifically selecting photographers – is a critical step. I would put this at the top of the list as soon as you get engaged.
Selecting a photographer is a very subjective process. For Chris and I it was important to have professional photographers present at our wedding. We know there will be lots of user-generated content created that evening (we are even specifying the hashtag – #stephandchris – and Twitter Handles that we’d like people to use on table tents at the reception). But your guests are there to have fun – not document your entire day. That’s what professionals are for.
It’s best if you feel a personal connection to the photographer (or photographers). Often times weddings are shot by two people. It’s important you connect as individuals. These folks are going to be with you the entire time.
- Interview multiple photographers to get a sense of their quality of work and more importantly – their personality compatibility and shooting style. Are they “in-your-face-types” or more of objective photo journalists? Ask them how they would describe their interactions with the bride and groom, family and guests.
- Make sure you own the rights to all photography created during that day. You should receive print outs as well as a digital file containing all the shots.
- Ask yourself how you want to document these digital files post-wedding. Will you make your album online? Does your photographer offer a service that designs and prints albums? Do you want large print wall hangings made? How many pictures do you think you will frame? Are you going to upload your pictures to Facebook and Flickr?
- Together with your photographers, you need to lay out a strategy for the day. That begins with a creating a schedule. Will they be there while you are getting ready? Where will you go in between the church and the reception (if you are getting married in a different place than your reception). Are there any “must have shots?” What type of photos do you want with which family members? With the wedding party? It’s great to get suggestions – they are professionals after all. But you need to prioritize what is important to you.
- Look at the packages they have available: Most wedding photographers have a range of price points available. The number of hours as well as design and production services are usually detailed. Once again, you need to work within the budget you have available.
- Do you want to capture the day via video as well? Does your photographer work with a certain videographer regularly? Do you want to offer your guests flip cams instead?
When it came to photographers, Chris and I also wanted to find a Red Bank based solution. We are lucky to live an area that has a lot of successful, talented photo professionals. When we met Laura Vitucci of Laura Vittuci Photography – we found what we were looking for. Laura’s keen eye and ability to connect with those around her really made a difference to us. Her wedding portfolio was impressive. We also loved the photo albums she designs and produces after the wedding. We’re going to have one for our coffee table of course, but they also make great gifts for parents (Shhhhh… don’t tell them). Here are some of her shots that we really loved. Don’t worry – this blog and Facebook will have tons of photos of oue big day – so stay tuned!