Getting married is one of the most special and memorable days of your life. It can also be stressful because you have to make so many decisions including choosing the date, deciding who to have in your wedding party, choosing your wedding rings, hiring the right photographer, and selecting your wedding venue. Some people decide to have destination weddings where resorts offer wedding planning services to alleviate some of the stress, and of course to get married in a gorgeous location.

Resort’s Photographer or Independent Destination Wedding Photographer?

Some resorts not only offer you the use of their photographer but require that you use them. For something as important as your wedding pictures, you want to have the flexibility to choose the best professional, so you might want to avoid resorts that require you use their photographer. It might cost you less money using the venue’s photographer, but there are other things to consider besides cost. You will be spending a lot of time with your photographer on your wedding day so it is important that you have a good rapport with them, trust them, and feel comfortable with them. In addition, independent wedding photographers like photography by Ash Carr are not paid by any resort so their allegiance is to you, their customer. One of the most important decisions you will have to make is who will help you capture an everlasting memory of your wedding in photographs. When it comes to capturing intimate and loving moments from your wedding, the connection you feel with your photographer plays an important role. It doesn’t matter where you get married, professional destination wedding photographers will go with you.

Your Budget

Unless you’re independently wealthy, you will have to pay attention to what things cost and your budget. Keep in mind that just because one photographer is more expensive than another, doesn’t necessarily mean that their work is of better quality than one who charges less. In general, though, you can expect to pay more for an experienced photographer with a good reputation. Look at sample work, meet with the photographer (or chat with them online via Skype or WhatsApp), and spend time on their website getting to know their styles before making a selection. You want to make sure the photographer you choose has the right equipment and is calm under pressure. Experienced professionals are used to anticipating the unexpected and have no problem dealing with anything that might be thrown at them on your wedding day. If you have to spend a little less on something else like flowers or decorations, you should definitely consider it. While the flowers die and decorations are thrown out, pictures are lasting. It is all about your priorities.

Plan Ahead

You and your photographer should discuss and plan out ahead of time what parts of your wedding you want to capture in pictures. There are precious and loving moments before the ceremony that many people want to capture. Wedding photographers should have a list of tips to help you brainstorm ideas for those special settings or moments. For example, Ash Carr recommends considering the following:

  • Ensure enough time is allotted throughout the day for relaxed vibes
  • Plan ceremony 2 hours before sunset for great light
  • Get ready in a naturally lit environment with windows
  • Clean up your getting ready area to make sure bags and trash are hidden from view
  • Have extras of any paper suite products or decor on hand if you’d like photographs of invitations, table settings, menus
  • Schedule time for portraits of just the two of you during the last 45 minutes of daylight, right during sunset for the best light
  • Use candles and string lights to add ambient light to dinner settings to ensure great reception candids
  • Scope out your ceremony site a few days prior during your planned time to be sure the light is even. Avoid spots that create backlight, put you in direct sun, or are lit with artificial light if possible
  • Consider seeing each other before the ceremony to allow for time to complete family portraits + wedding party photographs so you don’t spend your whole cocktail hour doing photos

Usually, during the cocktail hour, the wedding party gathers to take posed photos. Do you also want the photographer to take some candid pictures of your guests? How about during the reception? Most people like to have both candid photos of their guests having a great time as well as posed table pictures. What about the rehearsal dinner? Do you want the photographer to come to your rehearsal dinner to take pictures? Keep in mind that this will obviously cost you more money. If one of your friends or family members is a good photographer and you have to keep costs down, consider letting them take the pictures at the rehearsal dinner. Ask your photographer for their professional suggestions. After all, your photographer has the experience of taking pictures of many weddings while you are getting married once.

It takes so much planning for your wedding day and it comes and goes so quickly. This is one of the main reasons the photographer you choose is so important. Make sure you do your research and find the best one to help you capture your best memories. Be sure to start looking for and to book your destination wedding photographer way in advance of your wedding day.