For most couples photography at their wedding, and often at the reception as well, will be left in the hands of a professional wedding photographer. This is seen by many as a sensible course of action as wedding photograph albums are an important record of this very special event and items that most families will come to treasure as family heirlooms in the years ahead. More importantly, a wedding is very much a "one-off" event and you can't simply re-run it if the photographs don't come up to scratch.
But hiring a professional wedding photographer can be a very expensive business and it is certainly worth considering whether or not this is really necessary.
Portrait photography is certainly a skill that needs to be learnt and anybody who has tried to take their own portrait photographs at home will know that it's not easy to get even half-way decent results. So, if you are considering having a series of portrait shots taken then you're almost certainly better off hiring a professional to do this for you. But, when it comes to family group photographs outside the church, or to taking photographs at the reception, then this is a different matter.
The days of having to get out your light meter and set the focal length and shutter speed of your camera are long gone and modern cameras will take care of just about everything for you. That's not to say that even with a good modern camera you can't still take some pretty awful photographs but it's certainly a lot harder to do so than it used to be – modern cameras are very forgiving.
So, if you have a close friend or family member who is a keen amateur photographer then why not think about asking him to photograph your wedding for you? Of course, you will still need to sit down with him and think carefully about the photographs that you want to take and you might also need to think about just how you are going to get everybody together for the photographs as this can present its own special problems when the photographer is somebody they all know. Nevertheless this is certainly not an insurmountable problem and can usually be overcome with a little forethought and without too much difficulty.
If this idea still makes you nervous then you can of course compromise and hire a professional photographer to take the photographs at the church and use a friend to photograph the reception.
With a good modern camera and a keen amateur photographer there is no reason at all why you shouldn't be able to get an excellent set of photographs that would grace even the best of wedding photograph albums.