Know what you should be paying
While every wedding service will advertise as being “priceless”, don’t be a pushover and research exactly what you should be paying. Get multiple quotes and negotiate. The average hourly rate of a wedding photography is around $50 an hour (editor note: including time spent behind the scenes, not just shooting photos!) but this obviously varies depending on skillset, equipment and props provided by various wedding photographers. Go via portfolio not pizazz. There are a lot of budding photographers who will provide a great price for a chance to expand their portfolio. Research is your best budgeting tool here; find a photographer whose style you really love. If you’re really set on someone expensive then add wedding photography to your gift registry.
Only use a professional when they’re needed
Ask yourself, what do you really want captured? Try to imagine exactly what moment you want framed and put on a wall and that should help you determine what part means most to you. Let’s face it; the bridal party looks the best at the start of the day. If you’re paying a photographer by the hour then capitalize on this; have your photo shoot immediately after the ceremony and don’t delay. If all you want is one great shot of the first kiss then only hire the photographer for the ceremony and if you’re going to have them at the reception then just book them for the first couple of hours, before your Aunt Rita whips out her dance moves after too many glasses of champagne.
Just because you’re only using a professional for some of the day, doesn’t mean the rest of the event won’t be captured! Professional photography is usually less important once the ceremony is over so get creative with how you capture the rest of the event. Rent a couple of Polaroid cameras and let the flower girls run wild with them for the night for some hilariously candid snaps. Set up a photo booth for fun guest-snaps or set up a video camera on a tripod in the corner to capture the speeches and bridal waltz. If you have a friend who has an SLR then this is the part of the wedding to trust them with photography, not the really important bits, which should always be left to a professional.
Don’t get swept up in the hype and feel as though you have to get a hardcopy of every special moment! This is where couples often spend the most money! Instead opt for the electronic version. This is a far better investment, even if you end up getting a few select photos printed. Professional photographers have huge overheads and you’re better off taking the electronic version somewhere that specializes in printing, to cut costs.
Editor’s note: Keep in mind these are good tips for saving money on the wedding day but that a photographer also has a lot of work to do behind the scenes! Make sure to keep that in mind as well.
Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored post.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”