How Do I Choose?

by Christina Kiffney

As a professional photographer, I get to hear everyone's stories, and usually the stories they tell are about what went wrong. Generally, couples want their wedding planning to be simple and within budget but get overwhelmed with advice and become concerned about making the wrong choices -- and end up with a story to tell. So here are my tips for choosing among the myriad of options of wedding vendors.

1. Set your priorities. You and your fiance are unique and that's wonderful. Allow your wedding to reflect your individuality, and allocate your time and budget according to what is most important to you. Book the highest priority services first so when the budget gets tight you won't have to compromise on the services that are most important to you.

2. Feel comfortable with your vendors. I know every photographer has a different opinion about the right way to photograph a wedding -- and they're all correct. The point is to find the right one for you. Choose vendors you feel comfortable with in terms of style, personality, professionalism, quality and customer service, because you'll be trusting them to perform at the right time and in the right way for your wedding.

3. Accept help. When friends and family offer to help, give them a project. They could narrow down options for you, or add a personal touch to your wedding decorations. Not only does it make them feel involved, but you might be amazed at how creative your Aunt Margie can be with place cards!

4. Breathe. If you're going crazy, stop and take a breath. You need to enjoy yourselves too. Don't forget -- it will all be okay. I promise!

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