How To Hire the Best Photographer for Your Wedding Day
Hey, I'm Chelsea.

I'm a Chicago wedding photographer and videographer who's on a mission to take the stress out of wedding planning, one anecdote, gif, and movie
quote at a time.

Before you hire a wedding photographer, you want to make sure you meet with them. These meetings (known as consultations or discovery calls) are essentially a first date with your potential photographer.

They’re your chance to make sure you book someone who:

  • Has your preferred photography style
  • Is within your budget
  • You can see yourself hanging out with for 8+ hours on your wedding day

But these meetings can be a little daunting. You might find yourself wondering what questions you should be asking or what you need to bring to make the most of your time.

First things first, you should not stress about leading the conversation.

A professional photographer should take the reigns. Typically, they’ll tell you about their approach to weddings and recap their packages/pricing. They’ll also ask you about your wedding day plans and what’s most important to you.

But if you really want to come prepared, here are 4 things you should have on hand when you talk to potential wedding photographers.

1. Your Rough Timeline

Typically, wedding photographers structure their packages by hours of coverage. So when you meet with potential vendors, it’s good to have a rough timeline in mind.

Want some sample timelines to help get you started? Check out my free timeline guide below! ⬇️

Any photographer you meet with should be able to piece together a rough wedding photography timeline if you let them know these 3 things:

  1. Your ceremony start time
  2. If you want to have a first look with your partner
  3. If you’re more excited for photos of your wedding details or the dance floor (or an equal mix of both)

2. Your Vision

Don’t be afraid to speak up about the kinds of photos you’re attracted to! Tell potential photographers the kinds of photos you love.

Are you someone who wants a photographer that’ll create magazine-worthy images?

Or do you prefer someone who is a little more hands-off and documents the genuine moments of the day?

Tell the photographers you meet with. They’ll either show you similar photos from their own portfolio or they’ll give you referrals if that’s not their expertise.

Go ahead and gush about your wedding plans & ideas. If you have a specific theme or vision for your day, tell us all about it. We’ll hype you up, help you brainstorm ideas, and recommend the perfect vendors who can help make your vision come to life. All for free.

Bride and groom during their energetic first dance

3. Your Budget

Different photographers have different approaches to pricing:

  • Some like to create custom packages based off your needs + budget
  • Others have pre-determined packages they’ll send over in a pricing guide.

Either way, before you meet with a photographer, know your budget and if you’ve got any wiggle room.

Ask yourselves: “if a perfect photography package is $100 over our budget, are we okay with that? What about $500? Where do we draw the line?”

^^ Make sure you both are on the same page before you get on a call.

Be transparent with vendors about your budget. It’ll help us tailor a package to your needs or it’ll help us refer you to other photographers within your price range.

4. Your Burning Questions

Come to meetings with a list of questions written out. It prevents that pesky “I know I was going to ask something else but I forgot” feeling.

Not sure what to ask? Check out my list of 11 questions to ask before you hire a wedding photographer (and why you should ask them).


Pro Tip: Only ask the questions you actually care about. Couples will ask a question that they found on The Knot, Brides, or Style Me Pretty. But immediately after asking, they’ll pause and admit “I don’t know why we asked that question… we don’t care about that at all”.

If you care about what I’ll wear to your wedding, go ahead and ask. But if you don’t? Go ahead and skip it. It’ll make the consultation more enjoyable and you’ll get way more out of it.


It’s as easy as that! If you talk to potential vendors with these 4 things in mind, I promise you will hire the perfect photographer for your wedding day.

Before you go, click here + grab my latest freebie, “How to Create Your Wedding Timeline” … use these sample timelines and tips to craft your perfect wedding day timeline (fun photo ops + all 🍾).

A wedding photography and videography studio for personality-packed couples who want to remember the way they tore it up on the dance floor just as much as the way it felt to say “I do”.