1. Start Your Search Early!
Good wedding photographers will book up 1-2 years out, sometimes more. As soon as your know your wedding date, you should start looking at photographers and start narrowing it down to a few that you like. Contact them and set up a meeting. Once you find one you like, book them! Do not wait! I have had couples wait and then someone else booked their wedding date the next day. You do not want this to happen to you!
2. Consider Their Personality
Your wedding photographer will be with you throughout your whole wedding day. You will want to make sure that they will be someone you will enjoy having around you and someone who's personality works well with yours. Don't be afraid to turn down a photographer just because you don't feel comfortable with them, not everyone's personality will work for you.
3. Don't Be Afraid To Look At Photographers Outside Of Your Area
Most wedding photographers will (and love to) travel! If you are not finding a photographer that you love in your area, don't be afraid to look at photographers in different towns/states. Some will even give you a break on destination wedding prices if they want to photograph a wedding in your state!
4. Don't Feel Pressured To Use Your Venue's Recommended Photographer
If your venue gives you a list of recommended photographers, do not feel pressured into booking one of those photographers if you are not loving their style. The photographers that the venue's recommend are all photographers who have worked at the venue before and ones that the venue loves working with. That does not mean that other photographers are not allowed/would not photograph the venue well. Do look at the preferred vendor lists though, you may just find someone you do love! :)
5. Trust Your Gut
Do you feel like something is off? Do you automatically think that they are your perfect photographer? Trust what you are thinking and try not to overanalyze your decision. If you think someone isn't a good fit, keep looking. If you think someone is perfect, then go ahead and book!
Bonus: Let The Photographers Know Your Decision Either Way
Once you decide who your perfect photographer is and you book their services, reach out to the other photographers you contacted and let them know you decided to move in another direction. Don't worry about hurting their feelings, we all know that we are not a great fit for everyone! Notifying us will let us mark you off of our lists so we don't keep checking in with you to see if you need more information or to inform you that someone else is inquiring about your wedding date. Also, this goes in both directions, if your photographer books someone for a date that you inquried they should let you know so you can keep up your photographer search. If a photographer does contact you saying that they are booked on your wedding day, don't be afraid to ask for recommendations! They will know of other photographers who are in a similar style and price point that you may love!
Monday Wedding Madness is a blog series that occurs every Monday and answers the questions you have about wedding photography. Have a question you would like to have answered or something that you wish you would have known before your wedding or are you a wedding professional who would like to contribute? Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.