Wedding Day Checklist: Choosing a Wedding Photographer

Birchwoods Banquet FacilityThere are lots of decisions that need to be made by couples who've decided to tie the knot. Choosing a wedding photographer may not be the biggest decision an engaged couple makes, but it's not far from the top of the list.

There are very few perfect wedding photographers, so don't try to find one. Instead, focus your attention on the wedding photographer that's perfect for you and your fiancé.

The first thing to determine is style. What are you looking for? The primary styles of wedding photography are traditional, contemporary, documentary and artistic. You need to decide if you want to go for a traditional approach with mostly poised images or something different, like more documentary-style candid shots. This is an important decision. Different wedding photographers have different strengths.

How much of your photographer do you want? Decide if you want ceremony and after-ceremony pictures or if you want your whole day chronicled, from morning preps to the last dance of the reception. Some complete packages will also include photos from the wedding rehearsal dinner.

Decide on your budget. The wedding photographer generally takes up about 12% of the wedding budget. Budget is probably the most important part of planning a wedding. Don't pay for what you don't think you need.

Do you want more than an album? Photographers will offer packages that include all types of pictures, from wallet photos to mug wrappings. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and some people think having a calendar filled with their wedding photos is terrific. The question is, what's important to you and your fiancé.