Selecting a wedding photographer is one of the most important decisions you have to make as you complete the preparations for your wedding. This is because it is the role of the wedding photographer to capture the joy and excitement of the day. Once the cake has been eaten, the guests have gone home and the honeymoon is over it is the album of wedding photographs that will always be there to help the happy memories come flooding back.

One problem is there are so many wedding photographers to choose from. All offer a slightly different service and most charge quite different prices too. To try and help you make the right choice for your big day I have put together a selection of tips to point you in the right direction.

1. Insist on meeting the photographer who will be photographing your wedding. Some companies will send a salesman or senior photographer. When making an appointment double check and make sure you will be meeting the photographer who is going to shoot your wedding. After all what will happen if you find out on the day that you don't like him or her!

2. Ask to see complete wedding albums. If someone has been photographing weddings for even a year or two the chances are that they can scrape together enough shots to produce a good portfolio. Insist on seeing complete albums from recent weddings.

3. Find out exactly what is included in the price. If they tell you that you will get a particular album make sure they show you the album itself. Do not let them show you the best album they have and tell you your one will be similar. Make sure you are satisfied with the one you will be given.

4. Make sure the price they quote includes everything. You do not want to find out later that prints costs more money, you have to pay travel expenses, VAT or other taxes were not included, a CD of images costs more or even that you have to pay the postage. Get a full quotation in writing.

5. Check that they can shoot the style of wedding photographs you want. If you would like a modern reportage style, do not take it for granted that the photographer can do this just because they take good traditional style shots and vice versa.

6. If you have ideas of your own then discuss them with the photographer well ahead of committing yourself to them. This helps you to avoid disappointment later. A good photographer will always be able to incorporate your own ideas into the day.

7. Ask for referrals and check them out. A photographer with a string of happy clients will be only too happy to let other people confirm their abilities.

8. Discuss the back up equipment they use. For example if they do not carry a spare camera and the one they are using breaks down then there will be no pictures!

9. Check to see if they have covered a wedding at the venue before. If they have not, find out if they will visit the venue beforehand. If they do then this should get them a tick in the box as being someone prepared to go the extra mile.

10. Make time to see more than one photographer. Choosing the right wedding photographer is one of the most important decisions you make. Choose the wrong one and you cannot rerun the day and try again!