Your wedding photographer is an important part of your big day. Your wedding photographer will be a big part of your budget—10-15%, usually—but you’re also trusting them with capturing the memories of your wedding day. That’s a huge responsibility, so you need to make sure you have the right photographer in your corner. I have been asked numerous different questions over the years and this list should help answer some questions you may have.

What is your style of photography?

Most photographers use a blend of different styles of photography but this might mean something different to each person. Ask a photographer to walk you through their work to help illuminate a description.

Have you photographed at my venue before?

If a photographer is familiar with a venue, they may be able to suggest shots you hadn't previously thought of. They may also know things like the best angle to shoot the head table from. However, don't discount your photographer just because they've never been to your venue, photographers know what to do in each lighting situation and can adapt quickly if needed.

How long have you been photographing weddings?

Get a sense of your photographer’s experience and workload. You only have one chance to get amazing wedding photos, so you'll want to hire someone who knows how to get those shots under pressure

Will you be the one to photograph my wedding?

Don't assume the person you meet with will be taking your photos. Ask who will be showing up to take the photos and if it is somebody else, you'll want to meet with them (and see their photos) in order to make an informed decision.

Do you have a written contract?

If you think you’re ready to move forward with a photographer, ask to see his or her contract, read it carefully, and follow up with any additional questions you may have.

What is included in your packages?

When comparing fees, check whether prints, albums and proofs, as well as extra coverage such as engagement shoots, are covered.

What if you get sick or an emergency comes up and you can’t photograph my wedding?

A photographer who works alone should have a good back-up plan in case of emergency, one that makes you feel comfortable and secure.

How long before I receive proofs?

Find out how long it will take for your photographer to send you your images. About three to four weeks is pretty standard. Also, find out how you will receive the images.

Will you follow a shot list?

Most photographers will prefer a shot list of some sorts to make sure you get the specific pics you want. But don't overwhelm them with hundreds of requests—if you hire an experienced wedding photographer, you're hiring them for their eye as well as their experience, so let them do their job.

What are the restrictions for sharing photos online?

If you're addicted to Facebook and Instagram, not being allowed to share some of your wedding photos online may be torture—better to know about this ahead of time.