If you haven’t done so already, you soon will be sitting down with your fiance to discuss your wedding budget. You will list everything you can think of from the venue and the dress to the food and the music. You will most likely list these items according to price as well as importance. While I agree that EVERY detail is important in your wedding, I believe it is MORE important to capture the details of your wedding day. The #1 regret I hear from currently married couples is that they did not invest enough into their wedding photography, and I PROMISE this isn’t because I am a wedding photographer. It happens all too often that a couple looks back at their wedding budget decisions and wish they had allotted more money toward high-quality photos.
1. Memories Fade….Pictures Don’t
You will work tirelessly at planning your picture-perfect day. You may even sit down at the kitchen table at 1:00 AM to tie ribbons onto the 150+ party favors, cut the perfect sized confetti, or designing your program. The decision process regarding food, bridal party attire, and flowers will definitely add some stress. But your day will come. It will come faster than you think, and it will pass faster than you can imagine. So fast that you won’t remember much about how the favors were perfectly lined up, how proud and beautiful your mom looked in her sequined dress, or how the confetti fell perfectly around the two of you as you said your goodbyes to your guests.
After the food has been eaten, the tuxes taken back to the store, and flowers have wilted, all you are left with are your memories. Memories that are scattered in result of a busy and exhilarating day full of emotion.
A high-quality wedding photographer will help you beautifully capture these details and moments to cherish forever. Over time, our memories fade…especially scattered memories. A proven photographer will photograph details and events that took place that you weren’t even aware, or can no longer can remember. These treasures are truly priceless.
2. A Wedding Photographer IS Your Planner and Coordinator
Experienced wedding photographers have attended hundreds of weddings and have opinions, views, ideas and timelines that they know work or don’t work. A seasoned photographer will make it mandatory that you have a final meeting the week of the wedding to discuss and plan the final wedding day timeline and agenda. They need to know where everyone will be, where they will be, and when events will take place. In order to utilize each minute given to provide the most beautiful wedding photos, the photographer will help coordinate and organize your day.
Leading and directing a bridal party of 18 or a family of 60 takes proven skill and experience. It takes a person who can issue orders while still being friendly, humorous and patient. If your photographer cannot do this, important photos will be missed…guaranteed.
3. You Get What You Pay For
Along with most everything else in our world, the size of your investment reflects the quality you receive. With so many photographers to choose from, it’s easy to be attracted to the lower priced photographer. You have to keep in mind that you get what you pay for.
When referring to base wedding photography packages (not off-season or additional discounts), if you’re looking to spend:
- Less than $1,000, you can expect your photographer to be running their business part-time and have less than a year of wedding experience. Their gear most likely is not top-of-the-line, and there’s a great chance that they will not have back-up gear in case of failure. IF product is included in their package, it will only be the disc of images. The quality of images reflect their confidence, knowledge and experience toward photography. Their retouching and editing skills (if any) are typically not top-notch.
- Less than $2,000, you can expect your photographer to be fairly new to shooting weddings full-time OR offer condensed coverage on your day. Product is minimal and the engagement session will not be included. They will achieve a good number of great shots, but may disappoint in the overall number of quality images. They’re not one of the best (demanded) photographers in your area, so may not have a ton of knowledge or hold relationships with your other vendors or venue, which comes invaluable when it comes to communication and flow of your day.
- $2,500 or more you’re dealing with the experienced professionals. Wedding photography is their full-time job and their livelihood. This means that they live and breathe wedding photography. They go the extra mile to make sure you are more than satisfied with every aspect of their service and product. Most of these photographers provide the engagement session, 8 hours of coverage or more as well as retouched images for both. They are using top-of-the-line gear, bring top-of-the line back-up equipment, and know how to use it all with expertise. Their editing skills are impressive, their creativity is admirable, and their professionalism is unmatched. You will be amazed at the number of superb images that will be delivered, and surprised at the shots they captured that you were unaware of. The photographer will be popular within your community and will hold great relationships with your vendors and venue.
My goal with this information is to convince you that wedding photography is important; important enough to be at the top of your wedding budget. If you need to cut expenses, don’t cut them from your wedding photography. It’s a tried and true fact that you will regret it. Find the photographer that you love and find a way to make them yours. They will help you beautifully capture your day exactly how you want it.