So you've scouted the perfect wedding photos online, found who took them and want to book them on the spot? Stop right there! Before you sign on the dotted line, there are a few things you need to find out first.

A photographer's website will always showcase their dazzling best bits and, yes, that cake shot may be pretty, but do they have the skill and stamina to nail those beautiful pictures from your ceremony all the way through to the crucial final dance shots?

2. Will you be able to meet us at the venue for a recce before the wedding day?

This is a perfect opportunity to scout out locations for those key shots and check that you are all on the same page. Perhaps that unexpected blossom tree would make a lovely backdrop for your group shots? Plus, this is also a good time to come up with a wet-weather plan (just in case).

3. Are you able to cover all the preparation shots?

If you want pictures of you putting on your dress while your groom is five miles down the road enjoying a pre-wedding pint with his best man, then you're going to need two photographers. Some do work in pairs, but others will require an additional fee to find a second shooter.

4. Will you be able to edit our pictures and design a wedding album for us if we want one?

If you don't want your disc of images to sit gathering dust in a drawer, then it's essential that you check this one. Not all photographers enjoy this part of the process and some will hand over a gallery of images before swiftly moving on to their next wedding. Others have established relationships with album suppliers and will always offer this service as part of their wedding package.

5. What if you're ill on the day and unable to make it?

A photographer should have a contract stating that if they can't attend the wedding, they will offer a refund. They should be insured for this, too. Well-prepared shooters will also have a trusted network of stand-ins with a similar style, and be willing to try and find a replacement if needed urgently.

6. Are you a fan of flash, or is natural light more your bag?

Photographers working their magic with natural light is the latest trend, and Pinterest is glowing with the results. But if you're having a winter wedding or an evening ceremony, it's vital that you see examples of 'after dark' shots, when flash is a must.

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