Santa collaborated with some nice guys and put quite a few engagement rings in Christmas stockings this past holiday season. We usually spend a good part of January on the phone with prospective brides and grooms talking about wedding photography. Planning a wedding can look like an overwhelming challenge when you start looking at your budget and where and how to economize to have the wedding you've always dreamed of. I wanted to take a few minutes to discuss the importance of photography in your wedding budget plans. Twenty plus years ago when I first got seriously involved in wedding photography there was a saying all of us photographers were told to spread. It was, "from the moment your wedding day is over, the only things that INCREASE in value are your wedding rings, your photographs, and your love for each other." It sounds a little corny these days to put it in those terms but I think there is still quite a lot of truth in that statement. I think brides and grooms are often put into the position of thinking that because Uncle Charlie, their friend Sally, or whoever (add your own name) has a pretty good camera and takes pretty good snaps of the kids or of the soccer game or the family cat that they can certainly take photos for a wedding. After all, doesn't everyone know what a wedding is and what photographs should be taken? It's certainly true that today's digital cameras have come a long way and can produce really good results in the hands of competent pro-amateurs. As someone who has photographed over 1,000 weddings, I can tell you that there is more to it than having a good camera. There is even more to it than having a good eye or a bit of talent. I read an excellent blog posting from a photographer friend of mine who had discovered an article on the importance of wedding photography. I wanted to share the article for everyone who is in the midst of wedding planning because I know how important these photographs are. You don't get a second chance if something goes wrong. You have to be aware of what's going to happen when, where to be to capture the special moments, and how to deliver the best possible product to the couple who has trusted you with one of the most important days of their lives. I hope you read and digest this if you are considering whether or not an advanced amateur may do a "good enough" job for YOUR wedding. If the differences in the photographs that are discussed in this article AREN'T important to you, then you probably will be happy with "good enough" and can put your budget towards some other element of your wedding that is. I don't mean to sound like I'm preaching but I take my responsibility as a wedding photographer seriously and want all of you who are planning a wedding to get what you want.