So, now you've met a wedding photographer and feel you can picture them fitting in seamlessly on your big day. What else? Trust. Do they seem genuine and authentic and as if they will fulfill the grand claims they make? Do you they have a lot of experience and expertise and will the albums and portfolios be there to prove it or are they an amateur who will give you a great deal?
As alluring as it is to spend less money, it's pretty much a guarantee that you will get less value. Consider that the photographer is one of the only vendors you will continue to have contact with after the wedding ceremony day has passed. You want to implicitly trust that they will deliver the images to you in a timely fashion and, more importantly, that you will love them. I know people who have waited YEARS for their photos and photographers who have lost entire weddings and tried to go rogue and shirk the responsibility. One of the best ways to figure this out is through research, by speaking to their previous clients and looking on bridal blogs. Brides like to dish it and you can often find a huge amount of helpful information that way. If they have a sketchy reputation online, it's probably for a reason.
Style. In your mind you want something a little alternative, artistic and candid. A lot of photographers purport to shoot in this fashion, but don't. And there are other photographers who are so militant about the integrity of their work and their candid style that they will outright refuse to take a posed photo of you and your Aunt Betty (true story.) There should always be a happy medium.
Be clear about your expectations, draw on examples of work you love and share it with your photographer. And again, research your photographer. Do they exclusively shoot weddings? Do they work in editorial or on personal projects that also reflect the kind of style you are after? Do you really want candid shots but know that your mom wants formals? Strike a balance and find someone you know can handle all sorts of lighting scenarios and family scenarios, and still produce something amazing.