If I could go back in time there are some things I would ask my own wedding photographer prior to booking. At that time I was mostly just concerned with her portfolio and if she was available or not. Don’t get me wrong, we LOVED our wedding photographer but knowing what I know now, I would have changed some things.
I cannot stress how important this is! You should ask this to every wedding photographer you interview. This day can’t be redone and losing files could mean that you lose those memories forever. You can reduce the chance of this happening by working with a professional but even some professionals don’t have the right processes in place. At the very least your wedding photographer should back up to a cloud, a hard-drive on site, and a hard-drive off-site. The more backups that exist in different places, the better off you’ll be.
The number one reason why clients are disappointed in their wedding photography is because expectations weren’t set at the very beginning. It’s important to know when you can expect to see your images and to know how they’ll be delivered. If you know it’s going to take 6 months to see them, you won’t spend your time wondering if something is wrong, or if your photographer forgot about you, etc. It will give you peace of mind to know upfront how long the process will take. Additionally, knowing how they will be delivered to you is also important. If you’re waiting on a link in your email to an online gallery but receive a hard-drive in the mail, it could lead to some confusion. So ask your wedding photographer upfront, what you should expect.
About half of the venues I work at require that photographers have insurance and you should too. This reduces liability if anything happens. For example, if one of your guests knocks over a light stand on the dancefloor or a lens goes missing. I’ve heard stories of photographers adding that charge to a bride’s wedding balance. So I’d strongly advise that you only work with photographers who are insured.