I get it. Weddings are expensive, and the list of things needed seems to go on and on. Caterers, flowers, dress(es), hair, make up, etc. It can be overwhelming. Then there is coming up with a budget and deciding what to skimp on and even skip out on. Unfortunately, portraits seem to be something that ends up on the cutting board a lot.
I get why. After all, it doesn't seem like they are needed for the day of your wedding, and everyone has a cell phone. Still, let me make a list of Why You Should Hire A Wedding Photographer.
1. Your friend with the "nice camera" isn't prepared for all the craziness of the day. Weddings are hard work. There is a LOT that goes into photographing one. Lighting and composition knowledge, and not to mention THOUSANDS (you read that right) of equipment. The average person doesn't have the equipment or know how for that sort of thing. I end up doing quite a few bridal sessions because couples find they have nothing they want to put on the wall from their wedding when they go the friend-with-a-nice-camera route.
2. Sometimes, people don't even bother with finding a friend, relative, or acquaintance with a nice camera. They depend on their guests to take a lot of pictures with their smart phones. There are a few problems with this. One, the picture quality tends to be low, so printing isn't always an option. Two, getting those images can mean chasing down people and that can be difficult. Three, they aren't going to focus on you. Yes, there will be pictures of things happening here and there, but I promise you, most people are going to focus on themselves. There will be pictures of you, just in the background of your cousin's selfie.
3. The most important reason to hire a wedding photographer is that your memories are priceless. On the day of your wedding, portraits may not seem that important. They aren't the location, they aren't the food, they aren't your guests, they aren't the music to your first dance, but they are how you document those moments. They are how you remember your spouse's expression when they see you the first time on your wedding. They remind you of that awesome dance with your dad. They capture that split second where everyone disappears and you and the one you love are lost in your own world of joy.
Portraits may not seem like the most important the day of your wedding, but they are the day after. And the day after that.