Everybody from wedding planners to your newly married best friend will tell you the same thing: Hire a great wedding photographer! And they’re 1,000% right.
More than your wedding dress, decor, and some might even say your wedding venue, an amazing wedding photographer can transform the dullest gathering into a storybook wedding. Trust us…we’ve seen first-hand the magic a wedding photographer can do! But, what if you can’t afford the best wedding photographer in your area? Considering how much wedding photographers cost…most of us can’t. But you can save money on a great wedding photographer using these budget-friendly tips below.
Negotiate, Always Negotiate
Even if you’re meeting with a top photographer, it doesn’t mean they don’t want to provide the most competitive rates for their customers. They’ll be more willing to negotiate if you’re booking off-season, or a day other than Saturday. Also, always mention who referred you as it may score you a discount (something we talk about, below).
We also suggest meeting with multiple photographers so you can compare the packages and the costs. With the photographer we chose, our engagement session, album and several prints were included in our package, which was not offered by every photographer we met with. The bottom line is: You’ll never know what you might be able to get if you don’t ask!
Plan Your Schedule Wisely
If your package includes eight hours of photography and video, you’ll likely incur extra charges should you choose to have both until the end of the wedding. We preferred more time with the photographer while getting ready, so we opted to have the photographer and videographer leave after the cake cutting. Though we may have missed a few great moments in the last hour of the wedding, we saved on the extra $500 per hour/per person overtime charge.
Skip the Photographer’s Wedding album
While having your wedding photographer put together an album for you is great if you have the budget, it’s not 100% necessary. Yes, they have a great eye and can select the best photos…but so can you! There are so many great online wedding album companies out there that will save you hundreds of dollars if you go with one of them instead. And, considering you know which wedding photos you love the most, you can have full control over the flow of the album, and you can easily create copies for your family members and friends as well.
Ask About Photographers in Training
While this isn’t technically a way to save money, it’s a way to get a little more for your dollar. Many photographers have assistants that are in training, so by asking your photographer if they can bring one of them along, you can get some more great moments captured. It’s two photographers for the price of one!
The Referral Factor
Many photographers offer referral programs, which means you can get a discount by referring engaged friends to their service via social media or the old-fashioned way…in person! Some studios will offer credits that can be used to purchase wedding albums, photos or additional services in the future. Plus, it’s a great way to assure your friends end up with wedding photos as awesome as yours.