So you're planning your wedding photography and are ready to hire your photographer. Where to begin? Many brides are comfortable with such wedding planning priorities as the reception site and catering selection, but may not be as familiar with the process of hiring the right wedding photographer. Photography is one of the most important aspects of your day. Be sure to ask these important questions before signing on the dotted line:

Who will be taking the pictures? Make sure that the photographer whose portfolio you review will be the actual person who takes the pictures at your wedding. The person whose name is on the contract should be the same person you met with. Some contracts claim the studio's right to send any staff photographer to your wedding. Do not sign if you do not agree with this policy.

What is the photographer's primary style? Make sure your photographer knows exactly what you want. Do you want mostly journalistic style or formal poses? Some photographers are better at one or the other, so make sure you know his or her strengths and background to ensure you get the wedding photos you want.

Do you shoot mostly in color or black and white or both? While some images call for color, other moments are best captured in black and white. Your photographer should have experience with both and be able to customize to meet your needs.

How many rolls do you shoot? Obviously more rolls of film means more wedding photos to choose from, but remember that more rolls usually cost more money. Make sure you review this with your photographer so that he or she has an idea of your expectations.

Are you familiar with the location? Your photographer should be familiar with the ceremony and reception site so that he or she can quickly and efficiently capture the best shots.

What are your references? Call each reference and ask whether or not the person was satisfied with the overall experience and received the desired photos.

For more tips on planning your wedding day photography, visit's complete wedding photography planning guide.