When you spend all day living and breathing weddings, you’d think making decisions for your own wedding would be easy. Or not, because sometimes having so many ideas and so much choice is tricky – something many brides battle with. Here, our Deputy Editor Becci opens up about how she chose her wedding photographer to help you make your decision too!
How we chose our wedding photography budget
“Deciding what is most important to you for your wedding day is difficult, but it is necessary. You only have one budget, so you might prefer to allocate more of it to certain areas, depending on your priorities.
Before we booked our venue, Ben and I decided to each choose three things that were most important to us. The venue came out top as we felt this would have the biggest influence on our day. Next up was the food (there’s nothing worse than disappointing food!). Ben also chose entertainment, whether that turns out to be a band or DJ.
For me, it was the photographer. Having lovely photographs to treasure our wedding day is important to me. Having made these elements our priorities, they’ll eat up the largest chunk of our budget, but we’re happy with that – these are the things we don’t want to scrimp on.
With that in mind, as soon as we had booked our venue and had a date, I started looking at wedding photographers. Just like with your venue itself, there is only one photographer behind the lens, so if they are booked on your wedding date you will have to turn to your second choice. Want to know how we made the decision on our wedding venue? You’ll find all the details and insider advice here.
Where to find ideas for different wedding photographers
We narrowed down our search to three photographers: Dan Sakal, Liberty Pearl Photography – you will have seen both of their work in Wedding Ideas – and Pip & Simon, who our venue recommended.
Most venues provide a list of suppliers (including photographers) that they have worked with before. This can be useful because they will know the venue already (and the best photo spots) and have practised timings. The real couples we feature often say that they got their inspiration and found their suppliers from other featured weddings in Wedding Ideas too.
Reportage style photographs are what we are after, but we do also want a few staged group shots. It’s important that we have a photograph with all of our guests and family who shared the day with us. For this reason, we chose Amber from Liberty Pearl Photography. She offers a fantastic mixture of photographs – and she was free on our date, so it was perfect!
You can read about how we chose our wedding date here.
What if your photographer is new to the venue?
Having spoken before about real weddings and photoshoots that have been featured in Wedding Ideas, Amber randomly liked a picture on my personal Instagram account when we were driving back from Tunnels Beaches, bringing her photography to the front of my mind – I think it was fate playing its part. And, although Amber lives in the same county, she has never photographed a wedding at Tunnels Beaches, but has wanted to for quite some time.
Luckily for both of us, within our package we have a site visit with Amber, so that we can put a plan together for the day (including a plan for rain!), and she can check out the best places for our couple portraits. Initially, I had a niggling worry that we should use one of the venue’s recommended suppliers, but I decided that choosing a photographer who hadn’t photographed the venue before would mean we get unique pictures. It will be new and exciting to all of us, plus we have our site visit to prepare with.
How we chose the right photography package for us
There were a selection of packages to choose from with Liberty Pearl Photography, plus the option to create bespoke package too. We decided on a mixture, choosing a package and then adding extras, like an extra two hours shooting and a vintage pop up photobooth.
We would like photographs of both of us getting ready in the morning, the reception details before the guests go in, Ben waiting at the altar, my father and I walking down the aisle, couple portraits and reportage photographs of guests mingling, so we also added on a second shooter for half of the day.
Booking was super simple and Amber guided us through everything. We now just need to complete a few forms about our day. These help Amber know what we want and details about some of our other suppliers for Amber’s reference. Oh, and there’s our engagement shoot to come too – exciting!”
Is booking your wedding photographer next on your wedmin list? Then you’ll love love these six tips to choose the best wedding photographer for you. This guide to wedding photography styles might come in handy, too.