How to get the Top Wedding Photographer you want… with the Budget you Have!
You will enjoy your wedding photos long after your wedding day has happened… so it’s important that you hire a professional wedding photographer to tell the story of your wedding day. You can book your dream photographer…and still have enough left in your wedding budget for the rest of your wedding plans… Read on to find out how you can have the wedding photographer you want… with the budget that you have.
1. Have your wedding on any day but Saturday
Let’s face it… there are a limited number of Saturdays in a year… especially if you live where weddings tend to be seasonal! (For example, in Northern Michigan, summer and fall are basically the only time to get married…which makes for even fewer Saturdays!)
Many of your guests will already be traveling… and in this increasingly flexible working world weekends look quite different anyway… so there’s more opportunity to explore wedding dates on less traditional days of the week! This may also naturally cut your guest list… which helps you save big as well. (And if many of your guests can’t make it… you’ll have the beautiful wedding pictures to share.😜)
Plus, you can save more money booking other vendors on non-peak days as well. Some vendors tend to be available…and more willing to work within a budget… so you can have your dream wedding without breaking the bank!
2. Shorten the hours you book your photographer
Trust me… you need your wedding photographer for less time than you think you do!… Many couples come to me ready to book for 8-10 hours… and after we go through the wedding schedule… they find that they usually only need 6-7 hours.
Communicate your must-have wedding photos ahead of time with your wedding photographer… you may find that the shots that are important to you happen in less time than you thought… or you might reallocate your time to include getting ready instead of late night on the dance floor. I always go through a photo list and schedule process with every couple weeks before the wedding so we know ahead of time exactly what is needed.
If you’re looking to save money on your wedding photographer… consider having your photographer leave earlier in the evening. Plan your cake cutting and your first dance before dinner, then your photog can stay for 1 good open dance floor song enough to capture just enough. The later the wedding goes the less likely you’ll be using those photos in your album or printing (how often do you see your best friend from college doing the worm framed on a wall 😂)
And speaking of those late night dance photos… you can leave most of the dance floor photos to your guests anyways (they’ll be wanting to capture the embarrassing moments).
3. Consider an Associate Photographer
My associate photographers are fellow professional photographers… I reach out to them to shoot my weddings when a couple’s budget is a little less than my minimum. It can be a win-win-win for everyone!
You might want an associate photographer if you have..
- Wedding dates where I am unavailable
- Small intimate weddings planned on a peak days
- Champagne taste on a white wine budget (I totally get it!!!)
If you get one of my fantastic associates… I’ll still be there with you from beginning to end. (You can’t get rid of me that easily!) I will…
- Answer all your questions
- Work with you on your specific style
- Create your day of schedule
- Edit every image to make sure they match the style and look we discuss
- Help with all the post-wedding fun stuff like albums and prints
With an associate wedding…you still get the experience of working with me as your wedding photographer… I’m just not there on your actual wedding day.
Those who know my work best have a hard time telling my wedding photos apart from one of my associates’ wedding photos. Our photos… and your whole experience… are intended to be a great match!
BONUS TIP: Reach out to the Wedding Photographer you Dream of!
Even if you think it’s a long shot… you never know!… I love it when couples approach me honestly and explain their situation and their budget… Give me the opportunity to see if we can make it work!
It’s not about wheeling and dealing or the number of hours… it’s about the quality of the photography and the experience with your wedding photographer!
The wedding photographer you want with the budget you have… it’s possible
It’s easier than you think! With a willingness to be flexible with your dates… to communicate honestly with your photographer… and being open to booking an associate wedding photographer… you can most likely find a way to get your gorgeous professional wedding photos!
If you’re interested in starting the process of booking me… or having me build a custom package for you… click here for my questionnaire! (It’s fast and fun!)