I recently got married, and new what I wanted in a photography. Cost was a big concern, so I spent some time on Craigslist reviewing the websites of the various "pros" that posted there. Most were below the quality that I expected - often times it was someone with an entry level dslr, a couple mid range lenses, and stock website, and only two or three wedding examples to show off. I finally found a photographer that I liked. They charged $1500 for engagement photos and 8 hours of prep and during wedding shots, plus post processing, and N free prints. They also gave my all digital negatives, which was awesome.
I went with them, and was extremely disappointed in nearly every shot we received. They lacked an overall knowledge of exposure, and even a good sense of composition. We had several shots where the hill edge of our rolling vineyards cut straight through my bride's head. This is a big no-no, and one he should have caught through the viewfinder.
I am now convinced the pictures on his website were stock photos that he purchased, rather than shots he actually took himself.
So in when it comes down to it, and you need to shell out quite a bit of money for a photographer, what are some tips to choose the right one?