Oh hey there, pretty lady! Today, I'm going to give you three practical tips to help you save money and cut costs when booking your wedding photography without having to compromise on quality images!
So you've got a figure in your head for what you can spend on wedding photography, and as much as you'd like to spend more, you simply do not have the money. You're flipping through some of your favourite photogs and their starting packages go waaaay above what you can afford. You start looking at less expensive options and your heart sinks: uh-oh. The images don't capture the emotion or feeling that touches your heart, the subjects are not posed in a flattering way, and, all-in-all, it's got you freaking out that your wedding photos are going to end up looking like your mum's 1980's prom pictures.
You might feel that because you've got limited funds to plan your wedding, you're going to have to compromise on how classy or stylish your wedding looks and feels. But girl, I'm here to reassure you that this is not the case! I'm a firm believer that a budget wedding does not equate to a "cheap" wedding, so you should not feel that your bank account can entirely dictate the quality and value of your day. The primary "downside" to having a small budget and a big vision is simply that you are going to have to get a little more creative and a little more organised, which is why I'm here to help you get your ducks in a row! So when it comes to finding a wedding photographer who can provide quality images within your budget, I'm going to give you three tips that might help. But first, it is worth understanding what it is you're paying for when you invest in ANY photographer, so you might want to quickly pop on over to parts one and two of the blog series where I actually break down that investment for you.
Okay, now that we understand exactly what it is we are paying for, we can work out where you can actually trim expenses in the wedding package that you book:
ONE: Pass on the second shooter
As nice as it is to have a second photographer there to capture additional photos of the groom getting ready or the guests' reactions, it can add an additional expense to your wedding package, anywhere from £100 upwards. However, you can pass on the second shooter without missing out on the chance to have images of both the bride and groom getting ready. How? Schedule your day, write the schedule down, share that schedule with EVERYONE who is involved in the wedding, and stick to that schedule! By doing this, you can leave a scheduled gap of 30 minutes where, for instance, you are simply waiting around in your hair curlers, so your photographer can hop on over to the groomsmen and get photos of them putting their ties on, polishing their shoes, etc. If you know when you're going to be waiting around and the groom knows that he needs to be getting ready at that time, then your photographer can actually cover a bit of both sides without losing their mind by trying to be in two places at once. (EXTRA TIP: It's also worth looking for photographers who are a husband and wife team because there is a chance that they charge a similar rate for their package as a single photographer would, but you automatically are getting a second shooter for the price of one).
Two: Reduce the hours of coverage
Although many photographers offer "all day coverage," it might be worth asking what their hourly rate is to see if you can reduce the number of hours that you need them there. Again, having a tight schedule for your wedding day can help with this: if you have everything promptly planned to fit within an 8-hour margin of time when the average time for a full wedding day is between 10-12 hours, then perhaps you can see if the photographer you want offers a custom package where you choose a reduced number of hours that they are covering. Not all photographers offer this kind of bespoke customisation for their packages, but many do, so it's worth asking! Reducing the number of hours that you need them for is a great way to cut costs without trying to devalue what their time and skill is worth. (EXTRA TIP: Make sure to communicate clearly with the photographer about what time you need them to arrive, but also be clear in understanding what time they would then be scheduled to leave. This information should all be written in your contract with them. If you end up needing them to stay for additional hours, then be clear on what their hourly rate is and what extra fees you might have to pay).
Three: keep an eye out for new photogs
Now let me just clarify: a new photographer does not necessarily mean an amateur photographer. Someone might know perfectly well how to operate a camera, utilise lighting, and pose people, but they are new to the wedding business, and as such, their hourly rate is lower. It is natural for a photographer's hourly rate and packages to increase as their experience increases, so photographers who have maybe only shot one or two weddings might charge less for their time simply because they know that the value of their time increases with the amount of wedding experience they have under their belt. And, accordingly, you might be able to snag yourself a great up-and-coming wedding photographer in the lovely, tiny glimpse of time before they put their prices up. A great way to look out for new wedding photographers is by searching using key hashtags on Instagram to see what comes up. It might take a bit of time, but just like searching through a cluttered antique store, you can find some real gems in the chaos! (EXTRA TIP: It's still really important that you don't try to take advantage of someone's pricing simply because they don't have an extensive portfolio. If they are already charging a lower rate than what you've found elsewhere, then don't try to haggle them down lower. And make sure that despite their newness to the business, they still provide you with a professional contract that makes all of the terms for the exchange clear and secure. If a new photographer does not have a contract yet, then ask for one or have one drawn up yourself for the two of you to go through).
Alright, gorgeous! If you have found this post helpful, then you might want to subscribe to my newsletter for more helpful tips to plan your wedding. And don't forget to share my blog with any other stressed-out-brides-to-be! ;)