5. Don't underestimate the value of photos and video. I always find photography and videography a touchy subject for brides. Of course most brides would love to have the best of both, but are scared away by the hefty price tags associated with them. Truth is, I was too, and since I hadn't properly been exposed to the world of creative photography yet I didn't really realize what the value was. If you don't think photography is important to you, then I challenge you to check out some magnificent photography on Style Me Pretty or another real weddings blog. Most likely you'll be overcome with a wave of emotion when looking at the true artistic nature of the photographs. They truly capture the feeling of the day, and after all of the hours of hard work and all the money spent, why wouldn't you want to capture your wedding in the best light possible? Now take a look at the portfolio of a less experienced photographer, and you will probably notice a significant difference. One is art, one is a picture. Sure, many people can photoshop and edit the photograph to look more professional, but determine the style of photography you want and then go for it. If you are completely satisfied with purely portait style photographs, then you can get away with a less expensive photographer. If all your little heart desires is a wedding album worthy of being published in a magazine, with jaw-dropping artistic shots, awe-inspiring detail shots of the little things that matter to you (like the favors you worked so hard on) then you might want to prepare yourself to re-adjust your budget. The one thing I PROMISE you is that you will regret not spending enough on a photographer, but you won't regret spending more for a true artist (as long as you're not getting ripped off). Another important thing to remember with photography is to make sure you ask your photographer for ALL of your photos on a disc. If they give you the best 300-400 edited on a disc, you will still want the rest that were taken. You never know, there might be some hidden gem in there that you truly fall in love with that your photographer may have passed over. My last and final piece of advice regarding photography is to make sure you scour for photos and poses and scenes that you love online and in magazines, and give those examples to your photographer so that they know exactly what you are looking for. This is one piece of advice that I knew before my wedding, but due to time constaints and stress overload, I completely overlooked (every part of me wishes I had done this).
I promise not to drag on about videography as I did with photography, but wanted to stress the importance of hiring a videographer. Now, you don't need to hire the Spielberg of the video production world to get a worthy product, but do do do actually hire a videographer instead of asking your cousin who has never operated a camera in his life to videotape your wedding with the new camera your mom just bought at Best Buy and only charged for 2 hours (yes, this really happened). Think of the joy your kids and grandkids will have being able to watch young versions of you walking down the aisle, dancing your first dance and cutting the cake. Yes, it's great to have for you, but think of the kids! Not to mention, the day goes by SO FAST and you're sort of in a little stress-induced high that by the end of the night you're not really sure you remember everything. A video capturing all of your hard work, all of the guests feelings and emotions, and that perfect day with your new husband will end up being a pricelesskeepsake. I know this isn't number one on the list, but if you asked me the one thing I could go back and change it would be this. I really really wish I had a great video of my big day.
Bella Tip: Get business cards printed online for next to nothing with your contact info, a photo sharing site and upload instructions. Include them in the envelope with your Thank You cards and hopefully you'll get even more photos from your big day. Even the best photographers can't capture every angle (well, unless you have 20 of them), so you'd be surprised how happy you will be to have your guests photos. My favorite shot from my cake cutting at my wedding is a guest photo because I love the angle they took the photo from!