I have been to more than the average amount of weddings in my lifetime. I used to be a wedding photographer and one of the things I really liked about my job is that I got to build a more personal relationship with my clients than many other service providers. I usually ended up spending more time with them than the other wedding vendors, which made who I was a selling point for me. I had a client that I am still friends with now 16 years later.
When clients would ask me questions about photography that they obviously had read in some "what to ask your photographer" type article I would ask them three things; do you like my work, am I in your price range, and do you like me, because I am going to be spending a lot of time with you on one of the most important days of your life.
Once they decided to hire me, we would end up talking about weddings, vendors, costs, etc. because I actually really do love weddings. One of the most common questions people would ask is how much they should pay for certain things or where the majority of their budget should go. I always told them the same thing. Put the majority of your money toward the things that are most important to you. If you always wanted a designer dress that would knock people's socks off when you walk into the room then spend money on that. If the party is the most important to you then spend on food and drink. The point is you know what it is, and it is different for everyone.
People underestimate the stress and time required to pull off an event of this magnitude logistically and emotionally. If it is in your budget, having a wedding planner or day of consultant can take a lot off your plate. Talking to people about a timeline in regard to what photos we were going to take and when I got a lot of "oh I didn't even think about when we were going to do all of this," I could tell brides were relieved about knowing when things were going to happen.
So set a budget, aim high for the things that will create the most memorable and enjoyable moments for you, and most of all enjoy yourselves, its your day!
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