Big Budget Item: Hiring a Wedding Photographer
I know of a couple who never received their wedding photos. Imagine your wedding day has arrived. Pictures are being taken by the photographer, documenting your special day from beginning to end. You drove to several locations to capture those special moments together and returned to your guests to dance the night away. Several weeks later, you cannot get in contact with or reach your photographer. When you finally do, he sends you about ten photos in an envelope. The horror!
I would encourage you to do thorough research on your potential wedding photographers. Look at their online portfolios and Facebook pages. Contact them to setup an initial meeting before committing to hiring. It is guaranteed that you will spend a chunk of your budget on photography, so choose wisely who you hire. Ensure that your photographer is available on your day. Review their packages and openly welcome their suggestions regarding rehearsals, locations, lighting, setting, props, and more.
When reviewing their packages, you may not require all of the services being offered or provided. Some photographers may even include and encourage you to book an engagement shoot in order to prepare you for the big day, by getting you comfortable with poses and taking direction. Do consider and decide if this option is necessary and fits within your budget. Do ask about making adjustments and negotiate till you have a package that meet your specific needs.
You can also opt for hiring an up-and-coming photographer - someone who maybe a close friend, coworker, neighbour or family member looking for a break. When you think about it, a professional photographer did not start off being professional. Everyone starts somewhere and someone like you took a chance with them. Newer photographers should be more inexpensive and flexible, but do be sure to vet their work.
Here's a great tip: At the wedding don't forget to assign the task to the Master of Ceremonies of kindly asking your guests to be mindful of the hired photographer and not impede their job in anyway.