Why You Should Hire a Professional Wedding Photographer (& Other Vendors!)

sam wildridge of wild ridge photo + film, lead photographer, wainwright, alberta

When you’re budgeting for your wedding, it can be tempting to cut costs – to hire a friend of a friend to photograph your wedding, to book an inexperienced florist whose prices seem too good to be true…. But, there are so many reasons why you should hire a professional wedding photographer, and professional vendors in general! It’ll save you a ton of stress, and I can almost guarantee that you’ll never regret hiring professional vendors – but you might regret not doing so.

Why Hire Professional Wedding Vendors?

Here are just a few reasons why you should hire a professional wedding photographer, and other vendors!

Experience

One of the biggest reasons to hire professional wedding vendors is that they have experience – something that’s absolutely necessary for a wedding day! This is the day you get married, which is a pretty big deal. Experienced wedding vendors will be able to make sure that everything goes smoothly, help you stay relaxed, and do their jobs! Sometimes, inevitably, weddings don’t go exactly according to plan – but if you have a team of professional, experienced vendors, minor hiccups don’t turn into big disasters. 

Along with being able to do their jobs well, experienced wedding vendors will be able to help you feel comfortable on the big day! For example, when you’re looking for a wedding photographer, you definitely want to make sure they have experience – because it will make a huge difference in how you feel being in front of the camera. 

A professional wedding photographer will have the experience necessary to know how to “pose” couples without really posing them – resulting in photos that are much more natural, and photos that you’ll love looking back at years after the day is over. 

Insurance

There’s also some logistical things that come with hiring a professional wedding vendor – and one of these is insurance! Insurance, while you hope you’ll never need it, is important, as it protects both the couple and the vendor in case of any accidental damage or mishaps. In fact, many wedding venues require that vendors have insurance to work there, so this is something you want to check well before the wedding day, and to make sure that all of your vendors are insured!

Contracts

You’ll always sign a contract when you book a vendor – if they’re a professional! Contracts are another important part of the process, as they outline expectations, and protect you, the couple. So many couples have horror stories of hiring a vendor with too-good-to-be-true pricing, and then that vendor didn’t show up, or didn’t deliver what they promised. Without a contract, there isn’t much that you can do about it! Having a contract ensures that your date is reserved, and that your vendor is contractually obligated to deliver what you paid for.

Backup Gear

This is a huge reason why you should hire a professional photographer for your wedding, but it can apply to some other vendors as well. An inexperienced, “cheap” photographer likely won’t have backup gear (because they can’t afford it with the low prices they’re charging!) – and unfortunately, technology isn’t always perfect. There’s nothing more heartbreaking than the thought of losing your wedding photos, and backup gear, both during the wedding and after the day is over, is incredibly important.

A professional wedding photographer should have multiple camera bodies and lenses, so that if something happens to one, it’s not the end of the world. They will also likely be shooting on two memory cards at a time (high end cameras can do this), so if something happens to one card, your photos are safe on the other. Then, once the day is over, a professional photographer should be able to back up your photos in multiple locations – so if one hard drive fails, the photos are safe on another. 

Connection

Just like their photos, or their floral arrangements, or the ceremony script they write, is incredibly important when it comes to choosing your wedding vendors, so is being able to connect with them! Each vendor should be someone you feel comfortable with and whose personality meshes with yours, especially if it’s your photographer, who will be there with you pretty much all day. 

Feeling comfortable with your photographer will help you feel comfortable in front of the camera, and an experienced professional knows how to make that happen! They’ll be able to get to know you to help you feel comfortable and confident in front of the camera.

 Investing in Professional Wedding Vendors

Typically, the biggest reason that couples consider skipping the professional photographer or hiring less experienced vendors is cost – and while budget is definitely a consideration, the truth is that your vendors are definitely worth the investment! There’s a good chance that you’d regret hiring a “cheap” photographer who delivers photos that you don’t love (or worse, doesn’t deliver any photos at all), but you won’t regret having incredible photos that you want to look back on for the rest of your lives, or having gorgeous flowers that look amazing on your day, or having friends tell you for years that the officiant who did your ceremony was hilarious. 

The cost of a wedding vendor depends on what kind of vendor they are (a photographer is usually more expensive than an officiant, for example), and on a few other factors, like your location, and possibly even your wedding date. Before you make a budget for your wedding day, it can be helpful to take some time to research costs of vendors in your area, to give you an idea of what to expect! But, remember, your goal isn’t to find the least expensive wedding vendors – it should be to hire high quality, experienced, professional vendors who work for you and your budget, while realizing that this is an investment in the experience you have on your wedding day.

Ready to Hire a Professional Wedding Photographer?

As a wedding photographer, my job is to tell your story – to document your wedding day authentically, candidly, the way it really happened. Instead of posing and staging you all day, I’ll act more like a fly on the wall, giving you guidance when needed and making sure that you’re able to be yourselves the entire time. Then, when you get your photos back, you’ll see yourselves, and feel all the emotions all over again.

If you’re ready to hire a professional wedding photographer, contact me!

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I'm Sam

The Person Behind The Lens

If you like unconventional, honest, friendly and real photos, I’m your person.

Sam Wildridge is a lifestyle photographer / filmmaker based in Wainwright, Alberta. Sam has been capturing wedding, family + corporate photos for 9 years and defines her style as "organic storytelling".

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