I actually went to a website called Fearless Photographers which is where photographers from all over the world submit their portfolios, win awards etc. You can put a tender request out so all the best photographers out there can tell you if they are available for your wedding/location/budget.
Through this we got our photographer, super excited and def within our budget. Plus he ranks in the top photographers globally and within the top 5 in the UK.
When I was looking for mine, I went to lots of wedding fayres to meet them because how they were as a person was very important to me. I also asked recently married friends for their recommendations and just went from there really. Having someone who had a paid-for award wasn't something that I was really into (and not now that I'm a photographer too) but each to their own
Congratulations on your engagement!! We are a photographer duo, based in London, and we would love to shoot your wedding. I know it's an absolute minefield trying to look for one, there's so many out there! We shoot documentary style, and have a very fun and relaxed feel to our work.
We can tailor a package to suit most budgets, and travel all over the UK (and abroad)!
Wedding blogs! I spent ages browsing and looking at photos from other people's weddings, and when I saw some I liked, I made a note of the photographer. Seeing their work tells you so much more than meeting them in person or friends' recommendations, because everyone's taste is different.