If you don’t have any wedding photos, did your wedding even happen?! In these days filled with seemingly endless snapshots to scroll through on social media, photos of your wedding are extremely important. That doesn’t mean, however, that you need to break the bank to get super gorgeous wedding photos! Your wedding photographer should be just a fraction of your overall wedding day budget, not the most expensive thing on the list!
On average, a wedding photographer will cost around 10-12% of your total wedding budget. (With most packages starting in the $2-3,000 range.) After nailing down a date and venue, most couples hire their wedding photographer next -- think 11 months to a year prior to the actual day. There’s also quite a few factors to keep in mind -- wedding location, the season, size of the wedding, etc. -- as they all can affect the price of your wedding photography.
It’s a great idea to meet with your potential photographer (preferably in person, but video chat works too!) to make sure the that the three of you get along well and to discuss what you want your wedding photos to look like. Do you want more traditional, posed photos? Or would a storytelling, photojournalistic style of wedding photography be more up your alley? Picking a photographer who’s done work you love is a great way to make sure you have similar styles! Go into the meeting with some visuals of styles/shots you're into. That Pinterest board you've been cultivating for years now can finally be put to work! Pins and saved snapshots on Insta that match your aesthetic are super helpful at this stage and can let the photog know what you're after.
Before hiring your wedding photographer, ask them for everything that’s included in the total cost. (And don't forget about gratuity!) Be sure to compare and contrast what’s offered in each package as wedding photographers vary -- some may include a complimentary photo album, while others may not. Some photographers even offer a complimentary engagement shoot or photos of your rehearsal dinner for a small fee.
You’ve definitely seen photos of the bride and her bridesmaids prepping for the big day, but do you want pics of your groom and his groomsmen in the same fashion? Multiple angles and detail shots are typically the job of a second shooter, an additional cost most photographers have added into their packages. If the package prices seem daunting at first, ask them if they offer an 'a la carte' list so you can build your own.
As always, it helps to do thorough research. Don’t be afraid to ask hard questions when meeting with a potential wedding photographer. If there’s ever a time to be specific with your wants and needs, it’s now! Find a wedding photographer you trust, and you’ll have one less thing on your mind during the big day. Your wedding photographer will get the shots you want, and you can bask in the bridal bliss of your wedding day to the fullest.