Wedding budgets can be stretched to the breaking point well before you buy everything you could ever have dreamed of for your special day. One of the more expensive and more expendable costs is a professional wedding photographer. Opting to handle the picture-taking yourself does not mean your only option is out of focus snapshots that do not catch the true beauty of the marriage ceremony and reception. Even without a professional it is possible to create a lovely photo album for you to cherish forever.

Most families and circles of friends have somebody who likes to take pictures even if they are not a professional. In these days of inexpensive digital cameras and camera phones, many people have a lot of practice in taking photographs. Let your family and friends know that you need someone who will dedicate some of their time at your wedding ceremony and reception to take pictures for you. Since you do not want any one person shouldering the whole burden and missing out on some of the party themselves, consider enlisting the help of several friends to take pictures at different times. For example, the one with the best digital camera could snap the portrait shots of bride and groom with their attendants and families after the ceremony.

Just because you are having a friend take pictures at your wedding does not mean that you should leave all the decisions up to them. Meet with the person or persons you choose before this big day and let them know what kind of pictures you are most interested in having. Remember to be respectful of their tastes and their time and do not try to use up their whole day. A simple checklist may help. For example, you want a picture with just the bride and groom, a picture of them with both sets of parents, and a special picture of their first dance together.

Ask the person who will be taking the photographs what they think too. If they have an artistic mind, they may have great ideas about how to set up some of the photographs. Look through wedding magazines or on wedding photographers' websites for ideas about different types of arrangements you could try. Consider the following options to create a plan for your wedding day photography:

1 - Remember to take several pictures outside, most especially in a pretty garden or by a majestic tree. Even if both the ceremony and reception are being held inside, a few outdoor pictures with natural light will make a great addition to your photo album.

2 - Encourage multiple guests to take candid photos at the wedding reception. Do not announce that you are about to take a picture and you will get more natural shots of people laughing, dancing and having a good time.

3 - Consider taking pictures of particular accents at the wedding and not only the people. A close-up shot of the bride's and groom's hands linked together can be very symbolic of their new life. Snap shots of the bridal bouquet resting on the table or the wedding cake with people dancing in the background.

4 - Don't be afraid to get in unusual positions to get the best camera angle. Most amateur photographers take all their pictures standing up and straight on to the object of interest. Kneel down, stand on a chair or crouch near a table to get photographs from a different perspective.

5 - Remember you are not taking school photos and having different backdrops will create additional interest when they are put in the photo album. With all the lovely decorations and the natural interest of the wedding reception venue, there will be many settings that are quite attractive.

While you may instruct a few friends to take the most important shots of the wedding ceremony and reception, it is perfectly acceptable to spread the word among the guests that you would love to have copies of the special pictures they take as they celebrate with you. Most photographs these days are created digitally and can be shared to e-mail with ease.

Professional quality photographs may give the best results when it comes to memorializing your wedding day and reception, but the budget-friendly option of having friends and family take care of the picture-taking for you will still result in beautiful memories to keep forever.

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Mermaid Style Wedding Dresses was inspired by the idea of having one place to guide those of us who need a bit of help in finding resources for our big day. We hope you enjoy and please let us know any suggestions to improve this site.

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