Choosing your wedding photographer

Twice in the past two days, I’ve heard of brides who have been let down by ‘friends’ shooting their wedding. With one, the friend had their camera stolen the day before the wedding, so they couldn’t capture the day, and with another, it was a male friend of the groom who seemed to only capture the more attractive female wedding guests and virtually none of the couple. If there is an up-side in these stories, it’s that a friend of the latter couple who is planning her own wedding is choosing a professional photographer very carefully so this doesn’t happen to her.
Yes, I have a vested interest in having couples book a professional, preferably qualified, photographer for their wedding, but it worries me that sometimes so little thought has gone into photographs which will capture the couple’s very closest friends and family – as well as what the rest of the budget is spent on.