We know a lot of photographer types, and one offered to do our wedding photos as a gift. We recently got all the photos back and, unfortunately, I'm a little disappointed.

Being philosophical, I guess the photos don't change the happy memories of what was really the most amazing day of my life… but for the benefit of those of you who are still planning your weddings, here are some tips/things I'd do differently, knowing what I know now:


1. Discuss in detail exactly the kind of photos you want.
For me this would have been some atmospheric shots, and all the important moments — first dance, me walking in with my dad, my husband looking nervous before-hand. And I would have discussed exactly how long photography would go on.

2. Have a list of people you DEFINITELY wanted photos of.
The list will help you not to forget who to call and also can help to create order.

3. Have a person assigned to locate and gather people for photos.
We ended up chasing people around and we'd find one person and then they'd wander off whilst we were finding others… and in the end we just gave up! This shouldn't be a job for the couple or the photographer.

4. Know that photo sessions can take a long time.
We only scheduled an hour for the "official group" photos which wasn't enough when you're chasing around to find people and they keep wandering off… and you're trying to mingle and have a drink, etc. But incorporating tip #3 would have been quite helpful time-wise.

5. PAY SOMEONE.
Favours or "gifts" from friends are great, but if you pay a photographer, then you know you're going to get a certain level of service. If I was to do it again I would have re-budgeted and found some money to pay for photographs.