Photographs and video are an enduring record of your wedding day, one you will both delight in and share with family and friends for years to come.
For the best results you need a skilled and empathetic professional who can capture those precious and fleeting moments. Although it may be tempting to cut costs this is one aspect of your wedding that shouldn't be skimped on.
Shortlist a number of photographers whose work you like. Most have web sites that you can browse before contacting them for a meeting. Another way of choosing a photographer is to pick a photography style you like and keep clippings from magazines of wedding photos you particularly like to discuss with your shortlisted photographers.
The way you relate to the photographer is just, if not more important, as their technical skill. You need to feel at ease and comfortable with them as people. Technical skill, artistic style and the photographer's ability to work unobtrusively are also things you should check out.
Similarly you should assess the videographer's previous work. Consider colour quality, clarity, audio levels, the flow from one scene to another and the overall story told about each wedding.
Your chosen photographer should work with you before the day to ensure the style and nature of the photographs you want is clearly understood. You might want a mixture of traditional and candid shots or all photojournalistic style. Discuss locations and timing and establish exactly what the fee covers. Generally speaking the longer a photographer is at a wedding the higher the cost. Consider what you'd like captured and make a list of the shots you'd want taking.
Many photographers offer packages based on time which gives flexibility especially if you're on a tight budget. Ask about extra charges such as travel time, editing, extra DVDs, albums, prints and delivery time.
Photographers are booked months in advance so it's a good idea to pin down your preferred venue, celebrant and photographer at the same time.
If you have planned a photo shoot for after the ceremony plan some food, drink or entertainment for your guests as it could be a while before they get dinner.