Fifty years after your special day, there's probably very little you're going to remember about your wedding that wasn't captured by a photographer or videographer — unless, in your old age, you turn out to have a freakishly amazing memory. That's why the person you choose to document your day is so important. We've compiled a list of questions you'll want to ask as you audition your creative team from the people who know the best — the people peering through the viewfinder. Yes, it's that important.
1. Tell me how you envision me being one of your brides. "I love that question because it would force me to give a unique answer. It will tell the bride if I had done my research and listened to anything she has told me during her consultation. It would also let me know the bride is serious about finding a good match and not just comparing packages." (Robert Christopher, Robert Christopher Photography, www.robert-christopher.com)
2. Are you available on my date? "That's usually the only question they ask." (Drew Carlisle, Carlisle Wedding Videography, www.drewcarlisle.com)
3. Why are you a wedding photographer/videographer? "This question beats to the heart of the matter and ultimately determines if the couple and photographer are a good match. The question 'why' is a good determiner of who a person is and their motivation for their work." (Megan Gielow, Lime Green Photography, www.limegreenphotography.com)
4. Can we hang out first? "Find your perfect match for you and your fiancé. Meet everyone, go out for drinks, do whatever it takes to really get to know your photographer. It makes me feel like I've done my job as a photographer when I get emails and letters saying how excited everyone was to have me there and that half the people thought I was part of the family." (Alex Gibbs, Alex Gibbs Photography, www.alexgibbsphotos.com)
5. Are you well-equipped to work in low-light conditions? "This is something I almost never get asked, but it is so important. Nearly anyone could take a passable photograph when the sun is up, but what about when the glow of the candles is all you've got? You better know your photographer has the right stuff to make your party photograph well, even if lighting conditions suck." (Jessica Horton, JJ Horton Photography, www.jjhortonphotography.com)
6. What will be your attire at our wedding? "Anyone having a nontraditional wedding will want a photographer who can not only generate nontraditional ideas, but can also go with the funky flow of the actual wedding. If the answer to that question is something standard and conventional and doesn't match your motif, then maybe that person won't think outside the box enough to capture your day in the way that you want. The right photographer should be both creative enough and thoughtful enough to not only capture your theme but also fit into it." (Toreka James, Soul Art Photography, www.SoulArtPhoto.com)
7. What style of photography can I expect on my wedding day? "Some couples prefer a photojournalistic approach, where the photographer is skilled at capturing the decisive moments with little to no interruption in the flow of the day. Other brides prefer a photographer who takes charge and controls every moment of the day in order to make stunning images like those seen in glamour magazines. Make sure you know what to expect." (James Nix, James Nix Wedding Photography, www.nixweddings.com)