Barring the costs you will incur for the reception and catering, wedding photography is probably the biggest investment on your Wedding Day. Data on bride and groom expenditures show an average of 12% of the total budget to be used for the wedding photographer. Wedding photography will be one of the only remaining keepsakes from your momentous day other than rings and possibly a wedding dress. Certainly it is a keepsake cherished for generations to come.
Since it is a significant percentage of the wedding budget, you might be considering ways to reduce the cost. You might consider allowing a relative or friend with a nice camera to document your wedding. You might want to reconsider. It may not be your best option for your relationship. Consider that they may not capture crucial moment during the ceremony or reception. How will you feel about that? Are they your guest or are they your photographer? Are they trained sufficiently to capture difficult lighting situations? Can they handle the sheer volume of shots that are taken at a wedding?
Chances are you will deeply regret making the decision let your family or friend photograph your wedding. Nonetheless, there are some things you can do to alleviate the cost of your wedding photography and still employ a professional wedding photographer. The following are five ideas and please feel free to add more in the comments.
Tip#1: Book Your Wedding Professional as Early as Possible
If you recently got engaged and your wedding is two years away, do not wait to book your wedding photographer. You can save money by simply booking with today’s prices and not pay for the future price increase. Most photographers increase their prices year after year to cover costs and inflation. You will also have more time to pay for your wedding photography. We offer our couples a monthly payment plan set up with as little as $100 per month to help you pay the photography fees.
Tip#2: Register Online for Photography Gifts
You can reduce your wedding costs by utilizing the photographer’s online wedding registry. It is customary for engaged couples to register at stores for their wedding gifts. Today, couples are even registering at online registries to make shopping for their guests easier. By utilizing your photographer’s registry, you provide your guests an easy way to shop for something you will truly cherish. It is not uncommon for my wedding clients to save over $1000 by simply using my online photography registry!
Tip#3 Let Your Family and Friends Purchase Their Own Prints and Albums
Many couples feel obligated to buy their friends and family additional prints and albums. You can reduce your costs by letting them browse online proofing gallery and purchase their own photos. Your guests will in fact browse and choose the actual prints they like the best, not the ones you think they will like.
Tip#4 Reduce Wedding Day Coverage or Expenses
You can help reduce your wedding photographer costs by booking fewer hours of coverage. Many couples start out wanting 10 or 12 hours of coverage. While this amount of coverage may be a dream come true, it can be a tremendous investment. Consider to only cover the most significant time periods of your Big Day. Many engaged couples have save 50% on their photography cost with this tip alone. In addition, discuss with your potential wedding photographer or wedding planner ways to reduce cost that might allow you to invest in wedding photography.
Tip#5 Refer, Refer, Refer
You can reduce your wedding costs by referring friends and family to your wedding professionals. Many wedding professionals will reduce your costs when you refer them clients. My photography clients regularly receive $100 to $500 in Print Credits that can be used to purchase professional prints, canvas gallery wraps, or other items.
I hope that these tips have inspired you in ways to save money towards your professional wedding photography. There is nothing better that those wonderful portraits hanging in your home for your enjoyment years to come!
If you are recently engaged and planning a wedding in the Southern California are, please contact us at 949-677-6476 or use our contact page. We love the opportunity to be there capturing your special moments!
Cristina del Toro