Some people think photography is the most important part of the wedding day. The pictures and videos that capture the exact moment you say "I do," exchange your first kiss, and begin your first dance are going to be displayed all over the walls of your home, social media and will definitely be the most visible memories you'll always have of the first most important day of your life. So yes, choosing a good photographer is very important.
But even the best photographers don't read minds so it's important to communicate with them your expectations of the services they're going to provide at your wedding. Don't assume anything because every couple has different priorities.
If you don't tell your photographer what you want to see in your wedding pictures and you end up disappointed with the results, it's your own darned fault. Here's what you should tell them:
1. Communicate your anticipated and chosen timeline. Do you want pre-wedding pictures of you as a couple? What about a trendy first-look photo? Do you want shots of everybody getting ready and the chaos of the actual wedding setup? Every photography contract has a limited number of hours attached. Plan ahead and spend them wisely.
2. Make sure your photographer is aware of the dress code for the evening. Even though they're behind the lens for the formal shots, the photographers and videographers will turn up in the background of everybody else's personal photos.
3. Do you not want pictures of some specific things? Would you prefer not to have a camera in the room when you're dressing? You have to make it clear from the beginning what don't want in your photo album, too.
4. If you would prefer that terribly inebriated friends and family not be photographed making fools of themselves, let your photographer and videographer know. Some vendors think these are "priceless" silly moments, but others of us know we'd rather not see our parents in that condition, especially captured in our "forever" memories from our weddings.
5. Give your photographer a "shot list" of important pictures that wouldn't be the usual for every bride and groom. If you want, for example, a picture of everybody who went to your high school or the whole crew from your sorority, you should give the photographers a list so they aren't forgotten once the party gets started.
Owner of Weddings in Vieques, a destination-wedding planning company off the coast of Puerto Rico, Sandy Malone has helped countless couples plan their big day since 2007.