The photographer who documents your wedding day is special. A wedding photographer is always on the alert to capture those precious moments between the bride and groom. The detailed photos, from the moment the bride puts on her dress to the finale as the bride and groom dash away, are all recorded by the photographer. A special thank-you gift signifies your appreciation for all of her hard work.

The All-Purpose Gift

The one-size-fits-all, all-purpose gift is still cash. While the photographer may be an independent contractor, event planner Mindy Weiss recommends a $100 tip for photographers who charge a flat fee and no overtime was involved during the wedding and reception. If the photographer is an employee of a larger company, an appropriate tip is between $40 and $65, at the time of publication.

A Token of Appreciation

A gift card for a restaurant shows your appreciation to the photographer, who spent hours photographing the wedding and reception. The photographer may not have taken time to eat or rest, so a quiet meal at a nearby restaurant allows for much needed down time after the job is complete. If the card is for a national chain, the photographer may save it to use after a long day at the computer editing your wedding photos.

Something Personal

If you know the photographer personally or through a friend, a gift basket filled with favorite snacks or scented candles, lotions and body wash may be a welcome treat after a long day. A thank-you note tucked into the basket amid the carefully selected items ensures that the photographer knows how much you appreciate all of his hard work while recording your wedding.

Pay It Forward

Perhaps the best thank-you gift for an independent contractor is to give business cards and a recommendation to your newly engaged friends and family. A mention on your personal blog or website, including the photographer's business name and web address, and a good report on Yelp or other ratings website helps the photographer continue to build her business.