Documenting the Big Day

Choosing a photographer and videographer to capture your wedding can be an overwhelming task, but by following these simple tips you’ll have nothing but beautiful memories captured forever and a great Big Day.

Videography captures the day in motion while photography creates memories captured forever in still-life. Both work in tandem to make sure you never forget the sights and sounds of the Big Day.

1. Decide on your budget. The first step in the wedding planning process is to decide on a budget.

When deciding on a budget, ensure that you look down the road. After the Big Day is done, the bills paid, and you’ve settled into married life, your photos and video will remain with you. Will you regret skimping on documenting your Big Day in 10, 20, or 50 years?

That said, don’t rule out a photographer or videographer simply on price. Find out all your options before deciding.

2. Consult family, friends, and other wedding vendors for suggestions. Also consult local wedding Web boards for suggestions. Referrals provide important insight into how a photographer interacts and if they might be a good fit.

3. Resist the temptation to hire family and friends. There are two important reason for not using your loving shutter or videobug.

First, if the person is a family member or a close friend, do you want them to spend the day behind the lens and miss celebrating with you?

Second, do they have the experience photographing or videoing a wedding and all the different challenges that come along the way. Interview the person as though they were someone you didn’t know.

  • Will they be prepared with extra equipment?
  • How will the final product be delivered?
  • Will they edit the images or video?
  • Will they know all of the aspects of the Big Day to cover?
  • Have they covered any weddings and know the intricate moments and timing needed to capture each special moment?

4. Decide on a style you like. Photojournalistic or documentary-style photographers and videographers will “document and observe” while a high art photographer or traditional photographer will use more structure when taking your photographs.

5. Do your research. Research potential videographers and photographers online, in magazines, and in wedding guides. Check out their Web sites for samples and prices.

6. Make a list and decide which photographers and videographers you like the work of most then make appointments. It’s important to meet and speak to any potential vendor. Your wedding photographer and videographer will be with you all day and during many intimate moments. It’s important that you’re extremely comfortable with them. Ask for referrals and to see samples of past work.

Heed these six tips and you’ll be able to document your wedding day memories for future generations.

Still want to involve family and friends?
If you decide to use a professional to photograph or video your wedding, there are still many ways your family and friends to document your special day.

  • Have them photograph or video your showers, rehearsal and reheasal dinner.
  • Allow them access to pre-wedding preparations. These fun shots might begin at the hairdresser or following the guys around before the wedding.
  • Instead of putting disposable cameras on the tables, put writeable CDs on the table and ask family and friends to put their digital images on the CD and mail it to you.
  • Ask family and friends to take candid shots of the guests to compliment what your photographer will take.

Above all, make sure they have fun.

By Debra Bell

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