Make sure you see a portfolio of at least one entire wedding from start to finish. Otherwise it’s easy for photographers to take a selection of their best shots from several different weddings and convince you they’re extremely talented when perhaps they’re not… Decide what sort of pictures you want ‐ some photographers specialise in reportage (casual, natural shots) while others specialise in more formal, traditional, posed pictures. Not only will choosing a photographer take some time, you should also set aside a fair sum of money.
The cheapest photographer I found quoted £500 for 24 photographs in an album and from £5 for extra prints. Many photographers charged from £700‐£1,500 and most seemed to get booked a year in advance.
We left Dorset and returned to London, relieved of a couple of duties (plus a couple of hundred pounds for deposits) and attended one of our friend’s weddings the following week and both agreed it was going to be a hard act to follow. The invites consisted of a picture of the couple wearing an Elvis and bunny‐girl outfit, the song sang by the congregation was ‘Love and Marriage’ and the couple left in a LA‐style cab. Get the picture?
Fiancés, I suspect, rarely visit florists except on Valentine’s Day or after a domestic. Don’t expect this to change when you’re getting married. To be fair, I’ve rarely visited one either, except on Mother’s Day. And nowadays, thanks to the Internet, my yearly visit is unnecessary.
So it was really quite remarkable that Kella, a florist who had been recommended to me, actually managed to make me excited about flowers. (This really is quite a feat considering that I recently mistook heather for lavender and the only plant that survives in my flat is a plastic one).
I visited her at her home ‐ a gorgeous cottage in the Dorset countryside ‐ and listened to her advice as she walked around snipping flowers from here and there, giving me ideas about which type went well together and seeing what sort of combination matched my character and caught my imagination.
She came up with some fantastic suggestions for my desire to be “traditional with a touch of quirkiness” and is going to design a few table decorations, photograph them and pop them in the post to find out what I think.
Interestingly she pointed out that some of the flower arrangements in the magazines are totally inappropriate. She also pointed out that it would be impossible for me to have tulips given that I’m getting married in August when they’re out of season!
Kella warned me to take time choosing the size and height of table decorations. Make sure they are tall enough so that people can see underneath them, but small enough so that they don’t tip over…
Over an hour later I emerged with a whole new view of flowers and spouted my newly gained knowledge to my mother (who I think was quite impressed) and my fiancé (who couldn’t have cared less). If Kella can work her magic on Jamie she is talented indeed!
Whilst I had been unsuccessful in getting Jamie to participate in choosing the flowers, he was keen to decide on the photographer. We searched the Internet, phoned a couple of photographers and, after finding out they were free on the necessary day (out of 15 I phoned over half were booked), we made an appointment to see their portfolios.
In the end we decided to book a lively chap who takes all his pictures in digital, I had been nervous about the quality of digital, but having studied three entire weddings that he had photographed I was thoroughly convinced. When choosing a photographer, a word of warning.