Picking Your Photographer and Videographer
Do you remember watching your parents get married? A quaint slightly dated video perhaps, shaky around the edges, and grainy? Or flicking through a wedding album full of close up shots of the bride and groom, printed photos probably lovingly arranged by someone’s mother, slightly yellowing at the sides by now?
Those memories are some of the most precious you can pass on to your children, to the generations to come, to a future version of yourself, a long time from now, when your memories have started to fade.
I think one can argue quite strongly that there is nothing more important on your wedding day, than how you preserve it for the years to come.
I’m all for living in the moment and not experiencing life from the other side of a camera lens, but there is something special about your wedding day that sets it apart from every other day of your life, and something about the gravity and sacredness of the day, that demands to be documented, preserved, and properly.
I really, really felt before getting married that the photographer and videographers I picked were one of the most important decisions I would make about our big day, if not the most important decision (they’re right up there with venue pretty much).
Think about it…
The doors will close, the chairs will be stacked, the cake will be eaten, the speeches will be forgotten, the pomp, ceremony, the smiles and tears, will pass and fade. Nothing remains of a day that you dream about your whole life, except the moments you capture. A wedding is far too precious, too special, too meaningful, not to capture in a way that is fitting and worthy of its place in the story of your life.
I came across both my photographer and my videographers by a kind twist of fate. Honestly, the options are startling, mind boggling, and can make you want to give up before you even start! I get it. I was there.
Let me tell you how I found my videographers, who I have to say, created the wedding video of my dreams. The kind of video I couldn’t have dreamt up myself and would never have imagined had I not seen the kind of work they do.
It was a lucky, lucky twist of fate that I ever came across them at all. I don’t need to tell you who Samantha Maria is, apart from pointing out that she’s one of my all time favorite voices on the Internet. And her baby is. so. adorable. I. have. no. words. Anyway!
Sammi got married in the summer of 2017, a year before our wedding, and she shared her absolutely stunning wedding trailer video a couple of months or so after she got married. I clicked on it totally unsuspectingly. I wasn’t at the point where I was actively looking for people for our own wedding, but I was at the point before you start planning a wedding where you’re just starting to get curious.
And plus, I’m a totally typical female who loves wedding videos. Hello.
I was expecting something lovely of course, but more or less the same as everything I came across- a little over the top, a little cliche, beautiful, but also very ‘hey look at us, we just got married and we’re amazing!’. And boy was I wrong!
Samantha used a company called Papertwin Weddings, a company I had never heard of or come across before, but at the time I didn’t know that- all I knew was that I was instantly and completely transported into a video that looked like a cross between Downtown Abbey and a beautiful ethereal movie with a lovely, slow motion glaze over the dancing, the kisses, the key moments- it was… let’s just say it gave me a lot of goosebumps. All the goosebumps.
I pretty much knew in that first viewing that this would be the company I turned to, but it would be a few months before I actually made the decision properly, after watching endless videos, sending around endless links to friends and family for opinions, and then finally, listening to my gut after all. But more on that in a bit.
How I stumbled across my photographer for the day, Alex Beckett, was even more random and unexpected. I had arrived in London to start booking venues, and other essentials, about 9 months before the wedding day, and i was admittedly starting to get a bit stressed about the fact that I didn’t have any idea who I wanted as a photographer.
That can be seriously worrying for a bride to be with the knowledge of bookings and timelines breathing down your neck.
I was super fortunate that my sister in law casually flicked through Facebook the day after I flew into London and said, ‘a friend of mine just posted these photos from her wedding, would you like to see her photographer.’ The rest was history. I took one look at the photos on Alex’s Facebook page and I had another Papertwin moment; this was my photographer. Now I just needed to cross my fingers and toes and see if he was free on the 16th of June.
I was lucky. My first choices were free, kind, and booked me in right away. So I may not have a wealth of knowledge on the ups and downs of booking your dream team, but I did gather a bit of advice along the way. And this is what I learnt…
Watch Everything You Can- Look At As Many Photos As You Can
You need to give time to this decision, lots of time.
Everything decision in a wedding is time consuming, but this is one of the most in a sense, because there are endless, and I mean endless, photographer and videographers out there, and you never know where or when you might miss a gem.
Many photographers and videographers are willing and happy to travel to cover a wedding, so don’t limit your search to your immediate area if you feel you can stretch your budge to accommodate the extra cost of bringing someone in (and don’t get scared off that idea before doing the research, you’ll be surprised at how low the costs of travel sometimes can be compared to what you think they will be).
You can start with major websites like, or by flipping through magazines to see the photographers that real weddings (every wedding has a host of beautiful real wedding profiles), and narrow down your lists from there. Or go on a real YouTube or Instagram binge for great insight on smaller and more niche, but often even better, videography companies. You’ll find some links to great ones at the bottom of this blog post.
Manage Your Budget And Allocate More If You Can
I strongly believe in setting aside more of your budget for your photographer and videographer and whilst that is a luxury for sure, I do think if you can, it’s worth cutting back on some of the more extraneous bits of the wedding, to put more budget towards making your memories truly beautiful and lasting. Places where you can consider cutting the budget back a little without massively impacting the day are the wedding invites and stationary, party favors, bridesmaids and ushers outfits (to be honest even companies like Asos now do some absolutely beautiful and affordable dresses), and hen do’s and bachelor parties.
Get Second Opinions
I’m all for falling in love with a vendor and knowing in your gut that they’re the right one, and following through. Too many choices can lead to a lot of stress. But. You never know how you’ll feel a year from now do you? I think its always wise to get a few second opinions because you never know what insight a friend or family member may have, or what they might pick up on that you haven’t noticed. But. But!
But Listen To Your Heart
At the end of the day, not everyone is going to fall in love with the style and tone of the photographer or videographer that really appeals to you and really calls to the vision you have in your heart about how you want to capture the day.
I definitely wanted the epic, film like, romantic and just slightly dramatic (in a tasteful way) look. And I know, thats not everyones cup of tea. At all. A lot of people prefer something a little less sentimental, something more punchy, vibrant and fast paced. And thats fine, they should do them for their own wedding! Don’t get disheartened because aren’t necessarily thematically on the same page as you, it doesn’t mean they wont love and adore the memories made of your wedding and totally play the video on repeat! It just means its not what they would have gone for personally and thats totally fine.
I definitely had a lot of people say to me that they loved my choices and thought they were incredibly well executed, but that the style for both wasn’t something they would choose. And that didn’t bother me one bit because I knew in my heart that I was picking what I would love and be proud of forever, and you know what, the fact that everyone wouldn’t go for it, just helps you be that one bit more unique!
Have a Chat Before Deciding
I was lucky that both my photographer and videographers were lovely kind chatty friendly people who really felt like actual friends more than people we had hired to help us on the day. You always want to work with people who feel like friends because on the day, what do you want, a total stranger following you around or someone you can have a laugh with and share your anxieties with? Right? I think the answer is obvious!
Most vendors will ask to have a chat about your vision and expectations before hand and definitely definitely make the time for it, in person if you can, because it can really help you get comfortable before the big day and also clear up any potential misunderstandings down the line.
You’ll find that most people working in this field are genuine, warm and kind people who want you to love every minute of their work, or they wouldn’t be doing this job because its highly stressful! Share your vision but try and respect that they’re the experts and everything should go smoothly.
All I can say is, when it came to my choices, I really think I got the kindest people in the field so I couldn’t recommend either more highly!
Leave It Be And Come Back Fresh
If you’ve done all the due diligence, researching yourself silly and are absolutely sure you never want to see another wedding video again…
Then take a break!
I love wedding videos so much, I’ve genuinely probably watched thousands at this point, from all over the world, for every kind of wedding tradition, in every kind of style. I love wedding videos and I definitely watched them well before we started planning our own wedding and fully intended to watch them well after!
But even I got tired of watching wedding video upon video and sifting through endless photographers wedding blog posts, and let me tell you, that when you’ve reached that saturation point its time to step away for awhile. Yes time is of the essence when booking but you need to feel actually engaged and inspired to make the right decision and if you’re just not, then give yourself a good break until you’re well and ready to come back, excited to start watching random people’s wedding speeches again, and don’t feel cross eyed every time you see another couple at sunset shot.
And finally, despite all of that, book early.
I cannot stress this enough.
Photographers and videographers get booked up so fast and the good ones are genuinely in incredibly high demand, without the ability to stretch their resources as far as say, cake vendors can. They’re humans after all, they cant be in multiple places at the same time, and usually only do one wedding a day, for obvious reasons.
I was so, so incredibly lucky to book my dream team only nine months before, but had I waited even another week or two, I would have missed my chance. There were definitely others vying for the same weekend and only the fact that I knew what I wanted and was ready to commit quickly ensured I got who I wanted.
Don’t take that chance. Do your research early. This is one regret you really don’t want to have!
You can already see the beautiful photos Alex Beckett created for us but if you’d like to see our wedding video, it’s linked below.
Happy searching and here’s hoping your wedding memories are as beautiful if not even more beautiful, than your day itself!