Wedding Photography Budget

January 11, 2022

Why is it so expensive?

If you are wedding planning, odds are the first thing you noticed is how pricey the whole damn thing is . And the one thing I hope reassures you in these costs is that you are hiring a group of different professionals to bring your vision of your day to life. And each professional you hire has many costs that they are adding up to stay up on their game to work for you.

This journal post is all about the pieces of the WRP Wedding Package and then my (sometimes unpopular) opinion about the wedding trends that we get the privilege to photograph.

The Engagement Session

Engagement sessions are a big thing. On a professional side, I love them because I get to meet my wedding couple and get them in front of the camera, show them that yeah it is a little awkward but it really isn't that bad. You can also use your engagement photos for your save the dates and for some decor throughout your wedding space.

Unpopular opinion, you don't NEED an engagement session. If you and your partner don't enjoy getting their photos taken, if it is just out of the realm of your personality - I get it. If it adds stress or makes you anxious, nix it. If you aren't doing the save the dates (which, another unpopular opinion - unless its a destination wedding that people need to book flights + rooms for, they aren't reallllyyy necessary either just one of those check list things on Pinterest), and you don't see yourselves ever doing anything more with the photos than sharing them on social media and your on a budget, do without them. We can meet for a cup of a coffee or tour your venue together before the wedding date instead.

Before the Ceremony

I swear, by the end of this journal entry - the Pinterest people may hate me haha! You see on Pinterest and the 'gram, the photos of the bridal party in their matching floral robes, jumping on the bed or throwing up some confetti before they get into their gowns; the guys are playing cards or shooting pool, having a few beers. They make for some super fun photos and are more casual and a great way to lead into the wedding day. It is a wonderful way to start the day.

After the Getting Ready photos, we would get you all dressed and get portraits of each side of the wedding couple all done up for that day. We could do the First Look here if that is something you are interested in. If you guys want to see each other before the ceremony, we would do that now and then do your newlywed portraits. This all could take an hour to up to 90 minutes before we need to get everyone tucked away before the ceremony and it is something to think about when you are choosing how many hours of photography coverage you guys need.

If the pre-ceremony, getting ready photos don't fit with your personalities or if you need to trim down some things to get the budget right, you are not alone here and this is a good and easy way to knock down an hour or two off of your day-of-coverage. And there's no shame in it!

After the Ceremony

Traditionally, there is a cocktail hour after the ceremony and during this time we would do portraits with the wedding couple and their families. We would also do the full wedding party portraits here too and then if you did not do a First Look and newlywed portraits before the ceremony, we would do those portraits here too. This takes about 45 minutes to an hour. If you don't want to spend this time in front of the camera and you want to be enjoying the hour with your family members and your wedding party, I will happily be a fly on the wall and go forward with a more documentary approach that I love. I do suggest putting more time in before the ceremony to get those portraits taken then. There are so many ways to that we can make this time fit with what YOU want and still get you photos that truly represent who you are individually and as a couple.

Reception and Wedding Traditions

There are so many traditions in weddings that couples just assume that they HAVE to do. Well, ya don't. I am a firm believer in keeping the traditions you love but not being stuck in traditions just for tradition's sake. If you think that introductions into the reception aren't your thing, skip them all together or maybe just have the whole wedding party walk out together as "The ___ Wedding Party". A First Dance with the newlwed couple, the parents' dances and the toasts all make for beautiful photographs that bring out genuine emotion, which I love! But again, if they aren't fitting with your life and your personalities - work around them. We can easily get those natural feelings and reactions in photographs throughout the reception. Cake cutting is the same way, if you are not big dessert people - skip the cake cutting. Just have a dessert table for your guest or ask your venue if they can do something different that better suits your tastes.

Also, for most weddings in my experience, after a certain point in the reception things all tend to be the same from my vantage point. The dancing only translates so much on camera. If you want to remember every detail of your wedding, I am here for it! and will happily document all the way to the very end. If you want to get up to the big elements of speeches, toasts, cake and maybe one or two songs on dance floor - I am here for that, too!

So how much photography coverage do you need?

This is the golden question. And it is hard to know right off the bat because when you book your photographer, you are usually around a year out from your wedding date and you don't have the timeline down yet. So how will you know what you need? Well, with WRP packages you can always add an hour of coverage but you can't take it back down. You can do that up to a week prior of the wedding date.

The point is, your wedding does not have to be cookie cutter. You can make it unapologetically unique to you and your person, what a better way to start your marriage then completely on YOUR terms.

What if you are on a budget?

If you are on a tight budget and things seem out of reach, there are definitely ways we can narrow things down to essentials for your photography package. We just need to figure out what is most important to you both and go from there!