As most brides know, planning a wedding is hard work! From choosing a reception site to choosing centerpieces, many decisions need to be made. One of the most important decisions is choosing your wedding photographer. Unfortunately, your BBB receives complaints each year from brides who are unhappy with their photos, or who never receive their photos at all. Your BBB offers the following tips to avoid heartbreak when hiring a wedding photographer:
- Do your research. Research the photographer with the BBB by visiting www.bbb.org. Also research the photographer on other wedding sites to see what other couples are saying.
- Schedule Interviews. Interview at least two or three photographers to see what kind of work they do and their pricing.
- Ask if the rights to the pictures are included in the price. We now live in an age where most picture are digital. Be sure to ask your photographer if you have the rights to the pictures after the wedding day. (This means you will be able to print them at your leisure to make scrapbooks, etc.) Some photographers charge an extra fee for the rights.
- Who will be photographing your wedding? It’s important to ask if the photographer will personally photograph your wedding. Some photographers book multiple weddings and let their assistants or other colleagues help them. Also ask who will be photographing the wedding if an emergency should arise and the photographer cannot attend.
- Ask for references. It’s important to talk to previous clients. They will be able to tell you more about the quality of the pictures, and what their experience was.
- What is the payment schedule? Be sure to ask the photographer if a deposit is required, and how much they need prior to the wedding.
- Rules and Regulations. Make sure your photographer is familiar with the photo policy at your venue and church. Some places have specific rules.
- What’s included in the package? Most photographers have packages for clients to choose from. If you don’t like what is in the package, ask if you can add certain services or make your own package.
- Travel Fees. Some photographers charge a travel fee if your wedding is outside their service area – be sure to ask.
- Is an assistant included? Some photographers include an assistant in their price, others charge extra.
- How many hours will they shoot? Some photographers will take pictures all day; others will only shoot for a certain timeframe and charge extra if you go over. Be sure to ask ahead of time.
- Know how long it will take to get your pictures. After your big day, it’s normal to be anxious for your pictures to arrive. Make sure you talk to your photographer beforehand so you know how long the pictures will take.
- Refund policy. Make sure to ask what the refund policy is should your wedding be cancelled.
- Get a written contract. Be sure to get everything in writing.
For more wedding tips visit www.bbb.org.