2 words: Shop around!
We got lucky that a cousin of mine is a seriously amazing artist (in all senses of the word). She was always creative and built on that in art school discovering new artistic outlets. We saw her true wedding potential when she did her sister's engagement shots and then their wedding.
By choosing someone that is working on building their portfolio we scored. She gets practice, she gets professional practice and pictures to add to her portfolio. We get someone we know already takes beautiful pictures, someone who is really willing to work with us to get the shots we want too, and we get a seriously discounted rate.