Weddings

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Rehearsal dinner

Couples must make a host of important decisions when planning their weddings. Some decisions, such as choosing a venue to host the reception, require more effort and research on the part of couples than others.

One decision that couples must make carefully concerns the photography package they choose for their ceremonies and receptions. Wedding photographers play a big role on a couple's big day, and it's important that men and women about to tie the knot consider a host of factors before choosing the men or women they will ultimately task with visually documenting their wedding days.

• Engagement photoshoot: Couples who want to do an engagement photoshoot may want to negotiate such a shoot into their photography package. Some agencies include engagement shoots in their packages while others do not. If the engagement photoshoot is on your list of needs, then look for an agency that provides such services as part of its packages or agencies willing to include the engagement photoshoot for free or for an added fee.

• Party size: The number of people on the guest list should factor into your choice of wedding photographer. If your guest list is especially large, then you might want to consider hiring two or more photographers to document the day. Many agencies offer separate packages for couples who want one photographer and couples who prefer two or more photographers, so it pays to examine the price differences between such packages to see if more than one photographer can fit into your budget. Couples with relatively small guests lists can typically get by with just a single photographer to document their ceremonies and receptions.

• Travel: When discussing a wedding photography package, ask how much travel is included in the package. This is important for couples whose ceremonies are in a separate location from their receptions. If the distance between the ceremony site and the reception venue is considerable, you may have to pay extra for the photographer to travel between both sites. While a reasonable amount of travel is typically included in a photography package, it's best that you confirm this prior to signing an agreement.

• Videography: Many photography agencies also offer videography services in some of their wedding packages. Videography can be a great way for couples to document their wedding days, and it can be fun for couples to watch their wedding videos with their families down the road.