After reading Carla’s post  about the consideration a couple should give before “Accepting Friendly Wedding Services,” I began to recall all the couples, who came to our studio with post wedding horror stories or unfinished albums and videos.

Rather than going over the many experiences, couples have told us about, I will list the top 10 items, which many of the couples had in common in each of their experiences.

REASON #10 – No Album

When you are using a friend for your wedding photography or video, who is not affiliated with a studio or is new to the field of wedding photography, you may not have the option of having an album created. An album, is a way to take the best of your wedding day memories and preserve them in a timeless work of art. Without an album, your wedding photographs may wind up in a box, in a closet, never seeing the light of day. I guess that is another way to preserve your memories. You can also make an album on your own, as long as your too doo list is not already a mile long.


REASON #9 – No Post Production

So your friend captured your entire wedding on video. Now what? Did you get it as RAW Unedited Footage on DVD, or is it still sitting on your friends’ hard drive. Either way you do not have the chance to enjoy it. With a production studio, you have the chance to have a beautifully edited video, often suited to your specific vision. Just a word of advice, the RAW Unedited Footage, will have everything, including the effects of a 5 hour open bar, something to consider, when you want to watch your wedding video with grandma and the kids.

REASON #8 – Missing Pictures

When working a with a friend, who may be a novice to wedding photographer or video, you often do not take the time to go through  the wedding day planning, as you would with a studio or season professional. The result is missing photographs and/or video footage.  With most studio and season professionals, you will fill out a form to ensure you get the images you want on your wedding day.


REASON #7 – People Missing In Family Pictures

Just about every wedding has a formal photo session as part of their wedding day. These photos are usually taken at a special location, selected by the couple and will include the bridal party and family member. You may think that your family friend, knows everyone in your family, but what about your fiancés brother, who you never met. A season professional will make sure to have a list of all the people being photographed, avoiding this problem.

REASON #6 – Pictures Out Of Focus

This one is simple. If you do not have a professional, who understands how a wedding day works, you will get out of focus pictures. Our studio has come across, many photographers who have great studio experience, but a wedding is not in a studio, and in some cases, you only have seconds to capture that special moment. The purchase of a great new professional camera does not make someone a season pro. It’s the years of experience that ensures couples their photographs will be vivid and clear.

REASON #5 – Shaky Video Footage

Video is another area, which couple say they can get from a friend, and that is okay, if they are a professional. If they are not, your end product will can be shaky footage. No amount of post production can fix shaky footage. This is probably one of the greatest differences between a friend and a pro.

REASON #4 – Never Received My Video

Is your friend a true friend, or is your friend a friend of a friend. Your top concern should be to make sure you get your video footage, otherwise, you have no options.

REASON #3 – Never Received My Pictures

Referring to reason #4. You don’t want your wedding pictures, sitting on an SD card or someone’s hard drive. A studio or season pro will take specific steps to ensure not only the safety of your images, but their prompt and speedy delivery. Friends move and argue not the best person to be holdingon to your wedding photos.

REASON #2 – Your Friend Is Not A Professional

There is a clear difference between a professional and a novice. Someone who has studio photography experience or shoots television commercials, is still not a wedding professional, who understands the nuances of a wedding day. From dealing with changing light, to changing personality, from indulgence of the open bar, to the different personality of family members, a seasoned professional will be able to handle it all while capturing your wedding day and not being a thorn in your side.

REASON #1 – You Get What You Pay For, Or Not  

Your friend, who is a photographer and your cousin the videographer, have offered their services to you for free, maybe even as a wedding gift, but before making that big decision, consider how hard someone will work when it’s for nothing. Consider how quickly someone is motivated to do something for nothing.  Think about how much that motivation is reduced, when your friend is also a guest at your wedding and wants to take advantage of the open bar and have fun. Do not leave your wedding day memories to chance. There is something out there for every budget and a paid professional will give you peace of mind on your wedding day, which is critical to you enjoying your own wedding and great wedding photos.

If you have some experiences you would like to share, please post them in the comments below.