Apart from your new spouse and your memories, photos are the main memento of your day. They also make lovely thank-yous for your families, attendants and helpers.
Start early - good wedding photographers are in great demand.
Firstly, think about the style of pictures you want. Do you want colour? Black and white? Traditional? A photo essay of the day? Zany? Romantic? Do you want a behind-the-scenes look? Do you want to see lots of details (e.g., close ups of your flowers, embroidery on your gown, faces)? Will your album tell a story?
Being aware of your style will help you find the right photographer.
The best way to find a good photographer is by personal recommendation. Failing that, shop around your local studios until you find a style that you like. Alternatively contact the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photographers for photographers in your area.
Once you've got a short list, you can compare service and price. Ask to see all the photos taken at a recent wedding. This will give you a feel for how they tell a story, and help you see if the work is consistently good over the whole occasion. Ask for references from recent weddings. Make sure you like this person and feel comfortable and relaxed with them.
Once you've decided, get all the arrangements in writing, make sure you know about all the costs, e.g. charges for proofs, extra copies of photos, GST, etc.
Have a chat with your photographer to discuss his/her role and the type of wedding you are having.
Discuss your must-have shots, and listen to the expert's suggestions. Some photographers will be happy to work from a list, others will find referring to a list distracts them from the shots they want to get. If they want, give them a copy of the list you've agreed on so no-one gets left out in the excitement. It's a good idea to have a mixture of formal posed and informal candid pictures.
Good photographers will want to check out the venues you have chosen to select the best spots, and to check whether flash photography is allowed in the ceremony venue.
Don't forget your back-ups! If you're planning on photos outside - make sure you've got an alternative in case of bad weather. Make sure the photographer has a plan in case they are ill.
Most photographers start at the bride's home about one hour before the ceremony, then on to the church for the groom, ceremony and family shots. Then s/he accompanies the bridal party to a pre-arranged location, followed by photos at the reception (it is customary to include them in your catering).
Consider having the "location" shots before the ceremony. This way you look your freshest in the photos, don't keep your guests waiting, and won't miss too much of your reception party.
Put a small one-use camera on each reception table for your guests to snap a few candid pics - that way you won't miss a moment of the fun.
- Carry make-up for touch ups.
- Before the photographs, check for lipstick residue from the numerous kisses you receive.
- Beware of tyre black and grease on cars.
- If the bride's dress is long, lift it at all times when walking outside to keep the hem clean. Watch where you are walking!