I may be slightly biased here, #photographer, but to me picking your photographer is a big one and on the list of top 3 things you need to lock in.  Certainly a date and a venue are equally important.  Each newly engaged couple values different things-an extravagant wedding cake might be at the top of the list or a venue that is all inclusive.  So, it’s important that you and your lovebug have a good one-on-one to chat about what things are the most important to you.

If you’ve followed your photographer on Instagram and like every single on her photos doing a mental checklist of what you want for your wedding, then reaching out to that photographer early on in your wedding planning process is going to be just plain brilliant.  Photographers can get booked over a year in advance!  On a recent wedding survey, the average length of an engagement is 15 months, which means couples are locking in their vendors.

As a photographer planning my own wedding, our photographer and the date were the most important things on our list.  My Dad got very sick a month after William and I were engaged and we knew that if we could help it, we wanted my Dad around to see our day.  Enter complex planning and we were on our way to locking in dates.  To me, a photographer doesn’t just take pictures.  A photographer allows for 15 years to pass and then you get to watch your parents with your 7 year old telling them just how beautiful you were on your wedding day.  They’ll be sitting on the couch going through your wedding album while your mom tells your daughter the jewelry you had on and that you were able to use your grandmother’s handkerchief to dry your eyes at the alter. That photographer is an extension of you on your day and for the rest of your life and lifetimes to come as you’ll be able to look back on those once in a lifetime moments that you’ll cherish forever.