Published by Sam, Editor - October 13, 2014

We have featured lot’s of articles about tips and advice on our blog when it comes for looking for your perfect wedding photographer, we also showcase lots of real weddings, however today we have the tale of a wedding supplier who didn’t hire a professional wedding photographer, hates her wedding photos and tells you why you should hire a professional.

We chatted to Lynne a wedding supplier who owns and runs Medici Macarons, and find out about how she planned her wedding day and split up her budget.

Why this Bride Regrets NOT Hiring a Professional Wedding Photographer

So firstly Lynne, how did you meet and how did you get in engaged?

We met through a friend. Ian was training to be a social worker and called round to my friend’s one night when I was there to borrow some books for his course. It was love at first sight.

‘I regret not Hiring a Professional Wedding Photographer’

How did you go about planning your big day?

We decided we wanted to marry on the first anniversary of us starting to go out with one another. We knew from the start that we wanted a quiet wedding – just our closest friends and family. Unfortunately I fell ill and we had to cancel the wedding. In some ways that was a good thing. Our small intimate wedding had grown in to something we didn’t want due to parental pressure. We finally got married 3 years after we met and we were able to plan the wedding we wanted. We chose the date nearest to the anniversary of us meeting. We booked the registry office first – and we were able to request to be married by a family friend that made the wedding ceremony extra special. We then started to look for places to have a meal for after the ceremony when Ian’s sister offered her house. We booked a local caterer to provide a buffet style meal with lots of our favourite foods. Ian’s Mum had been a wedding cake maker in her youth and she offered to make us a 3 tier cake.

Family offer in good faith, but what I have realised is that wedding photography is more than having a good camera.

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How did you go about splitting up your budget?

We wanted to keep costs low – we didn’t have much spare cash and the money we did have we both felt we would prefer to spend on the honeymoon. We didn’t have a specific budget – we bought what we liked but we ended up spending about spent equal amounts on the dress, suit, and food. At the last minute I decided to have flowers for myself, my matron of honour and 2 bridesmaids. They cost more than my dress!

At the time what was the reasoning for leaving out hiring a professional wedding photographer?

Because we were having a quiet wedding we thought that a wedding photographer wasn’t really necessary – that somehow it was extravagant for a small wedding . We also thought it would be an added expense and that the money could be put towards other costs and our honeymoon. And then when my brother (who was a keen amateur photographer) offered to take photographs the thought of having a professional photographer never entered our minds again.

  • Blurred Wedding Photo

    Blurred Wedding Photo

  • Terrible Wedding Photo

    Terrible Wedding Photo

At what point did you regret not having a wedding photographer and how did it come about?

I was disappointed as soon as I saw the photo’s after our wedding. There were so few photos that I felt I could put in a picture frame – many were blurred – or people had their heads cut off – the lighting was all wrong! Since I have become a wedding supplier I have been following the wedding blogs and every day I see the most wonderful wedding photos and I so wish that we had employed a wedding photographer to capture our special day.

What advice would you give to others thinking of using a friend or family member to capture their day?

DON’T! Friends and family offer in good faith but what I have realised is that wedding photography is more than having a decent camera and an ability to take a good shot. It’s about having an eye to capture those special moments, to tell the story of your day – as well as all the technical expertise.

What Issues did you have with your photos?

  • Out of focus
  • Over exposed – washed out photos
  • The posed shots often have distractions in the background – like a garage nearly coming out of my head (as seen above).
  • I realise now that even with reportage type wedding photographs you have to have an eye for the shot. My brothers more ‘candid’ shots have all got people pulling funny faces or people half off the photo. They don’t look ‘natural’, they just look bad!
  • There are no lovely creative shots that you see so often now – the one’s that make you go ‘wow’.

What tips would you give to couples planning their big day and deciding how to spend their budget?

Your photo’s last a lifetime – they will bring you endless pleasure over the years to come, long after the food is consumed, the drink has been drunk and the flowers faded. It is totally worth budgeting for a photographer – if money is tight I would definitely skim money from other areas to ensure you can have one. Hire the best wedding photographer you can afford.

If there is one thing I regret about my wedding day, it is not having had a professional photographer – please don’t make the same mistake, if that wasn’t enough check out this article on 5 Reasons Why you Should Hire a Professional Wedding Photographer.

Your Thoughts - 13 Comments

  1. Great article and nice to read it from a non-photographers perspective. Listen to Lynne people, she’s totally right!!

  2. I am biased but it’s true. So sad to hear stories like this…

  3. Excellent article. I’m also biased but there are too many stories like this one.

  4. Sorry to hear your regrets Lynne, maybe you’ll can re-new your vows one day and have a fab photographer to capture the moments this time.
    A lot of photographers offer gift vouchers (and if not, just ask if they would be up for offering that service)… A great present if you have guests who ask to see your gift list. Would beat another new toaster or some crystal glasses that you leave in the cupboard for ‘special occassions’!!
    Happy planning everyone x

  5. You can’t stress it enough but not hiring a professional means you might end up with no great memories from your wedding day. But in some ways it’s like insurance – you don’t realise you need it until after the event!

  6. Emily says:
    Posted December 23, 2014 at 3:37 PM | Permalink

    I couldn’t agree with you more and unfortunely I have learnt this lesson the hard way! My Mother asked a family friend to shoot my wedding and that was it we never considered looking elsewhere, it was only until I submitted my wedding photographs to a bride blog that I noticed all the errors in my photographs. People had their eyes closed, they weren’t looking at the camera, there was mess in the backgrounds, the lighting was awful! Devasted would describe how I felt, I blame myself constantly and am doing everything I can to resolve the issue, I’ve had all my photographs edited by a photoshop proffessional which has cost a fortune. We are also going back to the venue with a proffessional photographer to get some shots for our 1st year anniversary, by the time I’ve paid for all this I could of had a proffessional photographer for the day! Very sad.

  7. A photographer doesn’t want to hear “We’ve decided to let my brother take the pictures” for a couple of reasons. One is that I want the booking! It’s what I do and I’ve worked hard to get here. The other is that I know that when that couple get their pictures back (and they’re, erm…. not what they expected) there’s nothing in the universe that I can do to fix it. I can’t make their pictures better by saying “I told you so”.

    Some people might just get away with it, and that’s great, but those stories are a little harder to come by.

  8. The sad thing is that many people don’t realise this until its too late.

  9. It’s sad that so many couples still opt out of hiring a professional photographer for their wedding day. Who cares about what you ate, drank or the kinds of decorations you had on your wedding day if you don’t even have decent shots after all is said and done.

  10. I could not agree with this article more….thanks Lynne for sharing your thoughts. Definitely worth the read!

    Carrie Lynn
    ~Master Wedding Photography (TM)~

  11. Too many articles around as well on wedding blogs and in magazines suggesting that wedding photography is outdated and an unnecessary expense. So wrong as wedding photography is getting better and more creative all the time and its a very special moment documented forever. I’m biased as well ;o)

  12. Totally agree with this article. The photography is all you are left with after the wedding.

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