Why you should hire a professional wedding photographer (and videographer!!)

All photos in this post are credited to the lovely Cassie Rosch | Photography, www.cassierosch.com

Ok. I know I am already married, and a large part of me is relieved to be done with all of the planning and decision making that comes along with putting on a wedding. Anyone that has done it knows that it is a LOT of work!! But anyone that knows me knows that I LOVE to talk about wedding things! Let’s be honest. I’ve seen every episode of Say Yes to the Dress (Ok, multiple times on Netflix), I had an account on knot.com when I was in college, and my “vicarious” Pinterest wedding board started collecting ideas long before I was engaged. There are just so many things about weddings that are easy to obsess over. The beautiful lacey dresses, the elegant or quirky centerpieces, the personalized touches that make each day unique. When you combine a day of love with all of your favorite people, booze, fancy food and dance parties, it’s hard to have a bad time. I think I may have missed my calling to work in the wedding industry, what a happy beautiful place to be!

We have been reminiscing about our wedding this week more than usual, due to a couple of super amazing, ridiculous things that we were so blessed with that came out revolving around our day. The first is this:

Our awesome photographer Cassie entered us in a cover competition for Rocky Mountain Bride magazine a couple of months ago, and… we won!! The Wyoming Spring issue is officially out this week, and we are so honored (blown away really), to be a part of it! Check out our feature also inside on page 10. Pretty dang cool.

As if that wasn’t enough excitement for the week, we also got our wedding video, and it is even better than we could have imagined! A video is something that we didn’t plan on doing originally, but I am so, SO glad we made the decision to splurge on it. We were able to work out a custom package with our videographer (and now our friend). So in addition to the feature, we have full footage of the ceremony, toasts, and our first dance, which we worked super hard on. We watched all of these the other night, and both ended up in tears over how awesome everything was.

So I’m here to tell you. If I could give future brides a piece of advice, it would be to hire a professional photographer, and if your budget allows, a videographer. Here are my top four reasons why:

1. You’ve spent hours, days, months (and so much money!) preparing for this one day. Photos and video will let you enjoy all of the things that you didn’t catch on the wedding day.

I had heard several people warn that your wedding day goes by so fast it’s all pretty much a blur. I actually felt like the day was long and I was able to enjoy every moment, but there are still a ton of little details that I didn’t get the chance to take in on the day, since I was, of course, the bride. I even had one friend tell me “Just so you know, you’re not going to have that much fun on your wedding day. You’ll be too busy trying to say hi to everyone there to really enjoy it.” Bullshit, my friend. I had the most fun.

Full disclosure, Jesse was a bit more responsible than I was during the reception, as he made a point to walk around to tables and he says he probably greeted every guest. I was possibly a bit more selfish, and I made sure I did what I wanted to do (and if you can’t do you on your wedding day, when can you?)

Don't mess with me, I'm the bride.
Don’t mess with me, I’m the bride.

I had an agenda to stick to, people. Get pretty, get married, take photos, eat, drink, and DANCE MY BUTT OFF. No time to admire the way the tables looked after they were all set up, or to enjoy the hors d’oeuvres and yard games with our guests.

We spent hours and hours putting together all of the decorations, linens, seating charts, and planning the photos, music, cocktails, and speeches down to the minute. These things all came together perfectly (thank god for my mom and stepmom!), but they were not my focus on the day of the wedding. I did my best to enjoy the girly prep time and mimosas with my bridesmaids, savor the pre-ceremony quiet with my groom, and then to kick back and enjoy the hell out of the party during the reception. The multiple blisters on both of my feet and my hangover the next day proved I was successful. I actually fainted at breakfast the next morning and scared the crap out of my mom. Luckily Jesse was there to catch me (how romantic!), and I think it was just all of the fun (and/or wine and dehydration) hitting me at once; it proved to be too much awesome to handle. It was truly the best day of my life, and the most fun I’ve ever had. Because we made the decision to go pro with photos and video, they were able to capture all of the details for us, and I can now sit back and look at them, cry, and pat myself on the back for as long as I’d like.

 

2. You will likely regret it if you don’t. (and you can’t ever take it back or re-create it!!)

I have heard this from so many people that decided to go with the friend/amatuer photographer, who generously offered to take photos for cheap or for free. We have close friends that have said, the one thing that they wish they had splurged on was a good photographer. Some of them don’t have any wedding photos displayed in their homes, and if they do, they’re not real proud or eager to show them off. This may sound a bit snobbish, but with as many people that talk about it, it has to have some truth. We admittedly increased our overall wedding budget (by about double) throughout our planning, and I don’t regret it one bit. Even if you have a tighter budget to stick to, I think there are much better places to cut costs than on your photos (think: backyard venues, DIY decorations, homemade desserts or potluck dinner, discount dresses). And another great article with actual photos that led to regret if you need further convincing:

http://www.rocknrollbride.com/2012/01/should-i-book-a-professional-wedding-photographer-or-get-a-friend-to-do-it-for-free-a-cautionary-tale/

3. They are professionals for a reason.

They have all of the best technology, they have experience and insurance (at least they should, be sure to ask this question when you are searching!), they understand lighting, composition, all of that important stuff that you and your friends/family members probably do not consider. Did I mention that our videographer had a drone?!? That’s right, we had a robot flying around capturing aerial footage of our day.

Drone shooting wedding footage

4. You will have multiple beautiful images (and footage) that you will want to share, look through/watch over and over, hang on your walls, have printed in books, etc. to be cherished for years and years to come.

We spent quite a bit of time researching photographers. Probably one of the most important things we were looking for was to be sure that we had print rights to all of the final images. I think we spoke with/met with 6 different companies total. None of them were cheap (for our destination wedding in Wyoming all of them would have had to travel), and they ranged from about $2,100 to $3,000 for the engagement and wedding photo packages that we were interested in. Only one of these 6 told us that we would not have rights to the images, an immediate deal-breaker for us. (His basic package for $2,185 included 11 printed photos OR print rights to 12 photos. To purchase all rights was an additional $1,500. Are you f*ing serious right now!?). Luckily, we found Cassie and immediately clicked (over beers, clue #1 that we were going to get along). Her prices were competitive, her style was exactly what we wanted, and we ended up with a few hundred engagement photos and over 600 wedding photos that we can share and print to our heart’s content. They are so beautifully done that they look like art that we want to hang on the wall, put on the coffee table, etc. We obviously thought we had the best wedding ever, but she honestly made it look even better than it probably was. I mean. Look, we’re regular joe schmos, and they put us on a frickin’ magazine!

And as far as the video goes, it captures another dimension that just isn’t quite portrayed in the photos. (Not that our photos and videos compete, they are both incredible and complementary!) But it’s nice to hear the vows and the speeches again, and to see some of the action as it happened that elicits even more memories and emotions from the day. Our video was shared with our venue, and they loved it so much that they are now featuring it on their website, and offered us a credit to come stay with them again (seriously, come ON, it just keeps getting better!!) We’re basically celebrities.

So whether or not you end up gaining any small fame with your photos and videos, I do hope you consider the difference in the results you will get with a professional vs. a friend or family member when capturing your wedding. If you’re like us, you won’t regret spending a little more in this budget category.

And finally, a little plug for the awesome professionals that we found were worth every penny!

Check out Cassie Rosch Photography, she’s stylish, laid-back, and has an eye for kick-ass shots that will make you look so good.

If you’re looking for a fun, friendly, and incredibly talented videographer in the Rocky Mountain region, look no further than Dusty Jenkins. But don’t take my word for it, see what you think:

 

Top 4 Reasons why you should hire a professional wedding photographer

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