The Big Picture

Have mementoes you can treasure forever by picking the perfect photographer

After all of the planning, the excitement, the ceremony and the celebrations, every couple wants to be able to cherish the memories of their special day, so choosing the right photographer to capture these is just as important as finding the right dress or the ideal location.

Once you have set the date for your nuptials, start looking for your photographer straight away – especially if you are getting married on a popular day – as the best ones are usually booked up well in advance.

When looking for a photographer you’ll need to decide if there is a particular style of photography you prefer, such as formal group shots or more of a reportage style where the photographer mixes in amongst the guests taking unobtrusive shots. Of course you can always take up the option of asking them to do a mixture of the two.

Check out the different packages that are available from photographers. You can expect to pay from £1,500 for quality work and around 500 photos. Ask if there are added costs for extra prints or supplying copies on CD.

Arrange to meet a selection of photographers before making your final decision as it’s important that you are comfortable with the person who will be covering your big day and that they understand and are able to deliver what you want.

Ask to see a selection of pictures from previous weddings they have photographed to give you an idea of their style and whether it is what you are looking for.

Once you have picked your photographer, talk through with them the key shots you want – you could even provide them with a list of who you want in which shot when it comes to group photos.

To help organise the guests for group shots you can always appoint one or two of your guests to shepherd people in the right direction and make sure everyone is where they are supposed to be when they are needed.

Group photographs can take a long time, so if the pictures are being taken outside the venue of your reception why not consider having some refreshments or entertainment – such as a magician – to keep the guests occupied.

If your photographer provides a CD of their pictures this is a great way for helping friends and family choose which ones they would like copies of and can be handed around for people to look at at their leisure.

Alternatively, some wedding photographers will have a website where you are given a password for you and your guests to use so they can view the pictures online and make their selection.

And remember you don’t have to leave all the photography to the professionals. Guests can often provide the most fun and unusual pictures to remember your big day, so why not put a disposable camera on every table and let your guests capture the occasion in their own special way.

A CUT ABOVE

Although you can’t frame them and put them on the wall, videos are still a great way to capture the whole day and offer the opportunity for you to relive the occasion over and over again.

The walk down the aisle, the speeches, the dancing – having a videographer gives you the opportunity to keep those moments for you to recapture on your anniversary, for friends or family who couldn’t make it to the celebration, or to share with future generations.

As with a photographer, make sure you are comfortable with your videographer and that they know what is important for you to capture and just how much of the day’s events you expect them to cover.

Video and photobooths are also a popular way to record the day, with guests enabled to leave their messages to you in a more relaxed and informal way, and some companies provide screens so those messages or photos can be viewed as you celebrate.

Main Photo by Darryl Curcher