FAQ Friday: Is a Wedding Photographer Really Necessary?

Q: Wow, wedding photographers are expensive! Is it possible to get away with not hiring one for our wedding and using less expensive and less professional solutions instead?A: Obviously I *am* a wedding photographer, so my opinion is hardly going to be unbiased, but because I work within the wedding industry I'm sure I end up in a lot more conversations about wedding photography than the average person does, and many people in these conversations like to tell me about an experience they had with a wedding photographer, or wedding photography in general.Unfortunately, the experience that many of these people describe is about how they regretted not hiring a professional for their own wedding, or how important they think professional photography is at a wedding. The reasons always vary---a family member passed away unexpectedly shortly after the event, the amateur/student they hired took terrible photos, or the "new-to-the-industry professional" they hired for a deep discount never delivered the pictures, etc.Ultimately, the presence of a photographer at your wedding is no more of a "need" than taking your money and investing it in a mutual fund. In both cases, you expect your decision will pay off in the future and that photo album from your wedding will grow more and more valuable to you over time, just like any other investment. A great example of this is asking a friend what the first thing is that he or she would save if their house caught on fire, besides people and pets. The answer is usually "photo albums" (or perhaps in this day and age, "hard drives")!Think carefully about it. Sometimes the amount you pay now is trivial compared to what you would be willing to pay later on to "undo" your decision!