As with any vendor, it is never too early to book their services. This is especially true with a photographer because this is one of the vendors that you use more than just on your big day. You will need a photographer for engagement pictures (if you chose to use pictures in your wedding announcement ad and save the dates) & bridal portraits. The further out you book them, the better for everyone.
Get it in Writing- Once you pick a photographer and are ready to sign the contract, be sure to ask for the contract to list who your actually photographer (s) will be for each of your different sessions (engagement, bridal & wedding day) and an itemized list of services that will be performed and a detailed shot list. Get everything in writing. This just helps to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Bridal Portrait Equipment- For your bridal portraits, be sure to bring a towel and/or a piece of visqueen, tennis shoes and or slippers in case you end up on a squishy surface.
"Point" Person- At the wedding have a "Point" person. Designate a friend or family member at the wedding to assist the photographer (s) in "pointing out" the guests that are on the Shot list.
Photography Rights- Talk to you photographer about securing the rights to your photos that way you will be able add them to your online albums, order keepsakes for guests and share them with friends and family unable to attend the ceremony.
Photo Thank You Cards- Photo thank you cards are among the most popular uses for wedding photos. A lot of brides are creating photo thank you notes from wedding shots. One couple even staged a photo of themselves holding a "thank you" sign to be used in their thank you cards later on.
Seating Chart- If you have one, provide your photographer with a seating chart so that he can more easily identify your guest. If not, be sure to add a slight description to each guest that you add to the Shot list. For example, "Aunt Sue" can be described as Groom's Aunt. Just a hint will give the photographer an idea of the best way to go about locating her if you don't have a designated "Point" person.