After picking out our venue, next on our hit list was securing the photographer. Now this was an instance where being a Belle definitely had its advantages. I didn't have to spend countless hours combing through dozens of portfolios because I was already familiar with a good number of shutterbugs in the area. And Nicole Peterson, with her own Girl Photography, was one photog on the top of my list.
From "knowing" her (in a purely virtual sense up to this point) through her blog posts and tweets*, I got a sense of her talent but also an idea of her personality. "I like her and she takes good pictures" - that was my very in depth analysis of Nicole before actually meeting her face to face.
*I would actually make this recommendation to any newly engaged bride-to-be who is researching potential vendors: subscribe to their blog feeds, like their Facebook pages, and follow them on Twitter. You'll get to see more than just the vendor's work; you'll start to know more about them on a personal level and will probably feel 100% more comfortable working with that vendor come your wedding day.