As wedding season approaches, KYW Newsradio’s Michelle Durham spoke to local experts to get advice for couples who just got engaged. She asked questions about catering, wedding trends, lighting, photography and flowers, and they had some words of wisdom to share.


Faith West, Owner
Faith West Photography
2020 Locust Street
Philadelphia, PA

Faith West has been a wedding photographer for 15 years, but she will never say she’s seen it all!

West says, “Even before you choose your photographer, you should sit down with your parents and in-laws to hash out what style of photography you feel comfortable with. Often, parents pay for the photography and prefer traditional, posed shots over the candid styles today’s brides and grooms prefer. If you can find a photographer that is skilled at both, that may be a way to bridge that divide.”

West also advises that you choose a photographer who you are comfortable with, and whose style you are comfortable with, since you are probably going to spend more time with your photographer then anyone else on your wedding day.

Furthermore, give your photographer a list of people not to miss. And not just immediate family, but college friends, high school friends, extended family and people you work with.

“There are some people who just hang back at a wedding and don’t make themselves known to the photographer, and one of the big reasons you hire this photographer is that you want a record of the people who were at the event,” West cautions.

Make sure to ask your photographer who keeps the copyrights, too. Some professionals keep them, and you have to return to them for pictures, while others give you the digital images with no restrictions.

A realistic budget on the lower end? Around $2,000. High-end budgets, on the other hand, can run from $5,000 to $10,000.

Before meeting with and selecting a photographer, West advises that you decide whether or not you, the bride and groom, plan to see each other before the ceremony.

“One of the big issues right now is whether the bride and groom will see each other before the ceremony. The number of couples that do see each other is higher than in previous years–for our clientele, it runs around 50%. The advantage of seeing each other before the ceremony is that you get all of your obligations for posed pictures finished before the ceremony, so once it’s over, you can really enjoy your reception. Other people are emotionally invested in not seeing each other before. We totally understand that. But what it does require of them is to allow some flexibility in being available to the photographer after the ceremony to take the required pictures,” she says.

West also says that you need to figure out whether you want black and white photographs or color pictures. She says that when she started fifteen years ago, all black-and-white images or half black-and-white, half color was the trend. Now, with digital images (whose strength is color saturation and richness), the trend has shifted back towards color.

By Michelle Durham, KYW Newsradio

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