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Wedding planners and bloggers share their tips on how to avoid a bungling videographer or photographer.

Do the research

"Doing your background search in the beginning saves you a lot of hassle. Choose two or three and interview each one to see if you mesh. Talk to other brides, get reviews and ask for recent references. Look at their blogs for their most recent work," says Melissa Lui, an Edmonton-based blogger with TheWeddingObsession.com.

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Read the fine print

"Make your expectations clear in the contract," said Ms. Lui. "Make sure it's in writing."

Make it a team effort

"If you have a bad videographer, they can often get in the way of or have issues with the photographer. They can be quite intrusive with tripods and lights everywhere. Some videographers have photographers on staff or vice versa - you can get a package. You should pick two that have worked together," says Lisa Hanslip, owner of The Wedding Planner Inc., in Calgary.

It's your party

"If they're not open to hearing your ideas and your preferences, that's a big red flag," says Courtney Starheim, a Vancouver wedding blogger. She suggests "being vocal" throughout the day.

Don't mix business with pleasure

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"If you hire somebody you want as your guest, it's very tricky to navigate those waters if there's a problem. If somebody volunteers to do it, you get what you get," says Ms. Hanslip.

A destination wedding is a crapshoot

"A lot of resorts, their only requirement for the photographer is that he own a camera," Ms. Hanslip says. "I've heard of them not showing up or showing up drunk." Her suggestion? Bring your own photographer.

And if it all goes downhill?

"Suing is obviously one road. Another avenue is to get your photos restaged and redone, although you can't capture the same moments," says Julianne Craig, owner of A Modern Proposal Event Planning in Edmonton.

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