Wedding photography is such a critical job. You only get one chance to "nail" the moment. It's understandable that all couples want the best images to remember their special day. However, in order to save money, couples may choose a "budget" wedding photographer. Be aware, however, that this option frequently results in higher long-term costs along with a greater headache.

  • A inexpensive photographer may not have the same amount of expertise as a professional, which means they may miss critical moments or struggle with lighting, posing, or any number of skills a seasoned pro has, it will end up affecting the overall quality of your images. It is not unheard of new camera owners subsidizing the cost of their latest gadget by offering low cost photos. This often leads to the "practice" happening on one of the most important days of a couples life. It is a recipe for disaster.

  • Professional equipment is essential: Professional photographers have invested in high-quality equipment, but a low-budget photographer may not. Weddings especially require a vast array of lenses, flashes, stands, cards, batteries. Lower-end consumer grade cameras can lead to grainy or blurry images, as well as equipment failure on your wedding day.

Bride and Groom on a mountain top in Tennessee.

Let's try a scenario.

There you are sitting in the getting ready chair, your hair looking the best you have seen in years. The makeup artist adding her finishing touches to your face and you are glowing. The photographer leans along beside you, lift up their camera and nothing happens.

You don't immediately notice because you are so relaxed from the last hour of pampering. As you look up through your your fresh mascara, you see the photographer with a nervous look on their face.

"Why are they furiously pushing buttons on their camera?" you think to yourself.

Out comes the battery, then back in.

Minutes pass, then a relived look washes over the photographers face. They start snapping photos again.

Do you feel confident in their ability to capture your wedding day?

A professional photographer, as their camera fails, quietly reaches into their bag at their side and pull out a second camera. They know that things happen. They have meticulous prepared for the situation, so when it does, they are unfazed. This is the meaning of being a professional. Gear fails just as rain falls.

Groom hugging his mother before he marries.

  • Backup plans are critical: Professional photographers always have backup plans in place to ensure that they are ready for any snags, such as extra camera equipment and memory cards. The majority of professional wedding photographer will not purchase a camera unless it has built in memory card redundancy. A less expensive photographer may lack these safeguards, putting you at danger of having images that may not come out as anticipated or lost altogether.

  • Editing is also important: A professional photographer will first shoot with the highest image quality their camera can, known as RAW images. These raw images are not photos like what you will be delivered, these "images" are the raw sensor data in 1's and 0's. It takes time and knowledge to correctly edit and enhance your images, whereas a less expensive photographer may lack the necessary tools, skills, or experience. This might result in images with poor color correction and exposure leading to funky looking skin tones, blown out highlights, and incorrect white balance.

  • Insurance is required: A professional photographer will have liability insurance, along with equipment insurance to protect themselves, the venue and their clients in the event of an accident or equipment damage. Cheaper photographers may not have this coverage, leaving you liable for any damages.

In the end you must ask yourself, can you loose these images?

While choosing a cheap wedding photographer may appear to be a affordable idea at first, it frequently leads to additional hassles and money in the long run. Your wedding day is a once-in-a-lifetime occasion, so choosing the best photographer to capture those memories is critical. Don't take any chances with a bottom of the barrel photographer who might ruin your day. Invest in a professional who will provide you with gorgeous, high-quality photographs that you will cherish for the rest of your life.

Bride and Groom walk through the smoke of their sparkler exit.