2009-07-04 wedding exif

[twitter]It’s wedding season. The planning is getting underway and the costs are starting to skyrocket. From favours, to flowers, to photographers, there are dozens of ways you can blow your budget when organizing a wedding.

When we got married, we did our wedding on the cheap, but it was still spectacular. We got married outside (no venue cost). We did our reception at lunch (no crazy booze costs). We got friends to help us wherever we could.

Photographers for your wedding can run thousands of dollars. And that’s just for the time of the photographer, when it comes to getting the prints, books, images, and disks, the costs will continue to climb.

While some say you should never skimp on hiring a wedding photography, I’ll go the other way – go cheap. There’s nothing wrong with crowdsourcing your wedding photography.

You don’t need hours of posed photos making you look like you’re in a magazine. Its the pictures of the people AT the wedding that are important.  It may be ‘your day’, but after you will want to remember the people who shared that day with you, not constantly staring at glamour shots of yourself.

You Don’t Really Need A Wedding Photographer

That’s the most important thing to know about hiring a wedding photographer – you don’t really need one. You need many.

When we were seeking out our wedding photographer, I was looking to pay someone for their time, but I didn’t want all the throw-ins they use to upsell. I wanted to pay someone for their time, and get a raw disk of images at the end of the day I could print or share on my own.

In the end we found a friend who was a prosumer. She had all the right gear, but had never done weddings before. She was great at taking pictures of babies and families, but had never done the wedding thing. So we got a rookie discount.

We asked a couple of other friends, who were guests at the wedding, to take lots of pictures too. In the end we had 1 official and 2 unofficial shooters at the wedding.  We got all the shots and I printed off a lovely book with iPhoto that we have on our bookshelf and we flip through with the boys.

We printed off a 5×7 that sits in a frame. That’s it. We didn’t need a package of photos like you see with the school pictures. We didn’t need a 4 foot photo of us staring wistfully in the woods to frame above the fireplace. We just needed lots of pics that we could put in a book.  We got that, by crowdsourcing our wedding photography.

Create A Hashtag For Your Wedding

Sure, it sounds a little egocentric, but if you want to collect and gather all the images from your ceremony, quickly searching for #BradTanya2014 on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter makes it easy for you to collect all the images your guests took at the wedding.

Back in the day it was cute to put disposable cameras on each table to get the candid shots of your guests, now with everyone taking pics on a phone, a branded ceremony hashtag will help you find the photos you love. Simply put the hashtag in the invite, on the menu, or at each table and your guests will gladly be your wedding photographer – for free!

In the days after the wedding, flipping through the hundreds of photos of us, my wife and I got bored quickly. We got more joy out of the pictures our friends emailed us after than the fancy portraits of us in different poses. Our friends had taken pictures of each other. We saw the guests having fun in the far corner, saw others laughing as we did our silly quiz on the stage. The pictures from around the room were far more valuable than the artsy shot of my wife’s bridal bouquet, our centerpieces, or the rings gleaming in the sun.

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