For Soon-to-be-wed couples everywhere looking to save money in your wedding budget, this posting is for you.
Being a recent bride, I know the pressure of a tight wedding budget. Being in the wedding industry, I also know the pressure and the heavy prices you will face for pretty much every detail of your wedding day. Your cake, your dress, your venue - even down to stamps for the invitations and response cards, everything adds up! I can't tell you how overwhelmed I was. I was managing my full time small business - employee of one [me] - planning our wedding while sticking to a tight budget and balancing the "help" and opinions that family offered around every corner. It wore me down!
Being a photographer, yes, I am partial to setting aside a larger portion of the wedding budget for a good photographer who will provide quality images that you will love every time you look at them. Wedding memories are important.
Why are photographs important?
Because, aside from your wedding dress and accessories which will be put in a box or hang in your closet, your wedding photographs will be the only tangible memories you have left from your wedding day.
You only have your venue and your decorations for the day. Your DJ and or band will be there and gone once their time is up and, in time, your gorgeous arrangements will die. For a short while after your wedding the time you spent with your guests, the smell of the bouquets and the warm atmosphere will be fresh in your memory. However, as time passes, we all forget. Wedding photographs preserve your precious moments.
Recently "Good Morning America" aired a story featuring the budgeting process and money-saving decisions of their soon-to-be-married reporter and her wedding planner. Some of the money-saving tasks were valuable, however, their BIG recommendation for saving money was to hire a High School student to photograph the wedding. Now, I've met a few talented young photographers, but overall this idea terrifies me.
No, I do not shudder thinking there is one less client out there for the rest of us. No, my shuddering is not even because I know hiring an amateur to handle a wedding dilutes and weakens the quality and integrity the photography industry provides to the public - though this knowledge is disturbing in itself.
I shudder knowing that your one wedding day is in the hands of someone who doesn't understand the process of a wedding day.
I shudder knowing you are trusting a High School kid to know how to plan their time to capture precisely what you want without disrupting the flow of your important day or miss any of the pertinent moments.
I shudder knowing that the amateur doesn't have backup equipment or the Know-How when something goes wrong.
I shudder that the amateur does not have experience in all lighting situations nor the equipment to adapt to these situations.
I shudder knowing that you are asking someone on prayer-and-whim timing to capture the pinnacle of each moment flawlessly. Moments that cannot be replicated.
Not to mention, does this person have the time to edit your photos? Do you really want to wait 6 months until school is over to receive your photos? Will you even get your photos?
I implore to you Brides and Grooms who read this posting, please, PLEASE do not slight your wedding memories. Invest in a professional. Invest in someone you can trust, who has experience and will provide the time, equipment and professionalism you deserve.
You've poured time, money, dreams and maybe even tears into deciding every detail of your wedding. You've taste-tested dozens of cakes and caterers; you've looked at flower arrangement after flower arrangement to find the perfect bouquets and boutonnieres; and, if you are anything like the average american Bride, you spent at least 176 hours finding your wedding dress. We haven't even touched the table arrangements, invitations, bulletins, drapery, bridal party wear or favors! Each element of your wedding is important.
Wouldn't it be nice for each of your wedding details to be pristinely preserved? You will spend your day living in the moment. Your wedding photographs will keep your day alive for a lifetime. Trust a professional.