Contributed By: Marty Moran, Bello Romance Photography

When seeking out your artistic expression for your wedding, i.e. wedding photography, what is a wrong question to ask?

Answer: How much are you? This question kills the romance. This is the same as saying to your spouse, “what can you offer me that make it palatable to marry you?” Huh? Not the great basis for a relationship.

A better question for a bride to ask herself would be, “Is your wedding worth the investment of great & memorable romantic wedding photography?”

Consider this. You invest your hard earned money to have your event in a venue you will remember. You order the most beautiful floral arrangements so the fragrance permeates the atmosphere. You order a cake from your favorite baker in the design that has captured your heart. THEN, spend little or nothing on someone who has a digital camera who says they can photograph your wedding. In your politeness to Aunt Cindy or Uncle Phil, you let them shoot throughout the day, only to find those tender moments missing from the most romantic day of your life because your family friend was hanging with the family instead of doing what you wanted them to do.

The one thing I hear from many of my brides is that the ONLY thing that will last will be those precious moments captured by a GOOD wedding photographer who knows what he/she is doing.

I have hear the same question over and over again for over 30 years. It would seem that many brides do minimal research except to think that Uncle Kilroy can capture the one day that launches a marriage. Aunt Betsy may own a digital camera, but do you trust your LEGACY to your favorite aunt because she’s taken a few snapshots?

Of course we know the most money spent will be on the food and the venue. You spend the money on your flowers, your food, the grand hall, the officiant, the wedding dress, etc. How many of them will last without an investment? Who will remember the food (except through images)? Who will remember your favorite grandparent (who may passed away after the wedding), because Uncle Kilroy was having a beer instead of capturing his last event with the bride?

Let’s think beyond the moment. Food is eaten. Alcohol is consumed. Your college roomies were drunk. Great party, huh? Well, where’s the one who photographed your dancing in the dark. You’re the one who’s face we can’t see because Uncle Amateur did not use correct lighting to catch the speed of the bouquet or garter toss. Or wasn’t “johnny on the spot” to get that special kiss moment.

What about asking the groom to help in decision making? Team efforts are a good thing. Deciding on what the groom should have a part in is a tough one as well. So what do you want him to help with? Venue? Usually a bride see the artistic side and the dream is mostly hers. Maybe not the groom decision, although his input is valuable. How about photography? Usually the groom is only interested in the bottom line. When it comes to art, he will mostly choose by “how much”. Not a great way to choose art. What about floral? You know he isn’t interested in that. How about the music? Now this is a safe area. He can haggle with the DJ, live band, or whoever. Usually the bride and groom are on a similar page when it comes to music.

Here are some tips for hiring a wedding photographer:

1) Get recommendations and referrals. Our vision at Bello Romance Photography is to “capture romance”.

2) MEET IN PERSON. I can’t emphasize this enough. The chemistry is not understood via email. We will be with you all day on your special day.

3) Understand the packages. Know what you’re getting for your investment. Order an album. Digital media has changed and will continue to change over the next several years. Your CD today may become unreadable in 10 years. And the photographer may have purged his media by then.

4) If you hire a good wedding photographer, your family can come without cameras and enjoy the party.

5) Timing. A good photographer is usually booked 9 months to a year in advance. There are dates they may have available, but mostly they are locked in.