How to Choose Your Wedding Photographer

I was having a conversation with my friend Misty of Misty Saves the Day (yes, she is that awesome!) and we started talking about what we actually remember from our wedding days. Misty and her husband were married 9 years ago and Ryan and I have been married nearly 5 and a half years already. And when I look back and try to remember moments of my wedding day, a lot of them are a blur.

There are a few small moments I remember through my own eyes. Looking in the mirror at myself all dressed as a bride when my hair stylist and good friend said she was surprised at how calm I was. Lifting up the hem of my dress to see that I had broken my flipflops (but thankfully not my ankle) when I rolled my foot during our bridal party portraits. Forgetting that everyone was watching us when we had our first kiss. My dad coming over during the reception to give me the chocolate covered strawberry from his piece of cake and telling him that my stomach was in too much of a flutter for me to eat another bite. My mom saying goodbye to me inside the hotel instead of lining up outside for our bubble exit, because she didn't want to watch us walk away. One of our groomsmen turning around in the car before driving us back to our hotel and telling us that he hoped to find a love like ours.

But you know what I don't remember? The look on Ryan's face when he saw me for the first time. My maid of honor holding my little yellow book and making sure we got all of the family pictures. My brother's awkwardness at being the center of attention while walking my mom down the aisle and the way I had to bribe him to smile for a photo with me. I don't remember the moments during our vows when we both got choked up. I don't remember making our reception entrance, hugging onto Ryan's arm while my grandfather prayed for our meal, or greeting friends and family during the reception. I don't remember how the wind on the boardwalk blew my hair and dress as we walked away and how I had to scoop it up so I didn't trip. 

I don't remember these moments the way that I actually lived them. I only remember them through the eyes of my videographer and photographers. (And some behind the scenes moments from my grandfather's beautifully shaky home video. I love that thing so much!)

The moments I still remember from our wedding day are beautiful. But so many of my wedding day memories, the ones of those most important moments, are based on the photos and the videos that were taken. And talking with Misty, I realized that my choice of wedding photographers was really a choice of how I would remember my wedding day. My photographers' view of my wedding day has replaced my own as my memories faded.

Do you see what a big responsibility that is? When Ryan and I photograph a wedding day, we're doing more than creating a record of an event. More than giving the bride and groom beautiful photos for Facebook. More than even capturing memories for a loved one who couldn't travel to be there that day. Even bigger than allowing them to share these memories one day with their children and grandchildren. We are capturing their love, their wedding day, to preserve it in their own memories.

So many of our wedding day memories have already faded. Forty-four and a half years from now when Ryan and I are celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary, our memories of the wedding day will be completely reliant on our pictures. We won't remember the other little moments, unless we have them written down somewhere to remind us. And we will treasure our wedding photos a thousand times more than we do now.