Wedding photographers – love them or hate them, you have to have them. The sky is the limit on how much you can spend and I was terrified of spending thousands of dollars.
Of course, if beautiful wedding photos are one of your top priorities, go crazy and splurge on someone with a good reputation who will make you look stunning. However, if you are more inclined to save some money I suggest seeking out a photographer who is starting out in the business who would be happy to give you a discount in return for more wedding experience.
We chose our friends Kristy and Ben from K&B photography to shoot our wedding. They did a fantastic job and worked for over 10 hours to shoot our ceremony, reception and formal photos. They hardly stopped and worked like troopers in the humidity!
At our first meeting I learned that it is common to have an engagement shoot before your wedding. Although we were initially quite hesitant to agree to an engagement shoot, after much persuasion we took the opportunity to use the shoot as a ‘trial’ before the wedding day.
Our engagement photos make me cringe however, it was a good rehearsal before the main event. We were able to find a nice location near our wedding venue for photos and were also able to tell Kristy and Ben what we liked and didn’t like. As a result I knew what to expect on our wedding day and I wasn’t so nervous.
I had my hair and make up trial done the same day as the engagement shoot so I had some idea of what I would look like as well. I ended up going to a local hairdresser which was really convenient on the day – everyone met in the morning at the hair salon and we got our hair done together with four hairdressers. It saved a lot of time compared to stories I have heard about hair and make up starting at 6am at someone’s house and everyone waiting around all morning for their turn.
Hair and makeup
A friend of ours did our makeup and did an amazing job. My bridesmaids and I brought along makeup that we wanted to wear and Sarah applied it – which meant we felt comfortable on the day with products we were used to wearing.
My biggest advice regarding wedding photos is to communicate what you want with your photographer. Don’t feel pressured into doing stupid poses or any of the standard ‘getting ready’ photographs if you really don’t want them. Don’t let your photo shoot run too long – I would recommend no longer than 90 minutes tops, including travel from the ceremony and to the reception. I have been at weddings where the photos run for 2 hours (or longer) and it sucks waiting around for the bride and groom.
I also found having a long photo shoot after all the excitement of getting married was a huge drag. After the first few photos I was totally over it and felt like I was missing all the fun with my friends at the venue!
Can we drink champagne now?
I could tell our bridal party were also keen to wrap it up quick and get on with the reception. However, if you love getting photographed and have spent thousands of dollars on your dress, hair and makeup, then please take your time and enjoy looking fabulous.
My one regret is that I wished I had asked for more professional photos with our family and friends at the reception. We have so many photos of us as a couple (which are fantastic) and our bridal party, but a lot of our reception photos are of people on the dance floor and giving speeches.
Fortunately everyone was taking photos so I have more photos than I need! After the wedding we made a Dropbox folder and asked everyone to upload their photos to share. Once we received our professional photos we uploaded them to Dropbox as well. For our parents and grandparents, we gave them photo books from Snapfish, which was far easier than explaining how to get a Dropbox account.