Post # 1
So we are getting married in August 2015 in Annapolis, MD. So far I have our venue and caterer booked, and have arranged hotel blocks and ordered STD’s. Next on my list is finding a photographer and it is turning out to be so stressful! I guess I underestimated the cost of a photographer.
There is one guy who is available but I’m not completely thrilled with his photos (they are just ok) but he is very reasonably priced- less $1500 for 5-6 hours of service. He also does cheap videopgraphy so we could get photos and video for under $2000. I wanted more of a modern photojournalism approach, but he is more of the old-fashioned posed pictures and the photos aren’t edited that well in my opinion. None of the photos are STUNNING, they are just plain-jane pictures.
All of the other photographers that I have contacted so far are either already booked (which makes me nervous that we are behind in planning!) or cost way more than I planned on spending ($3200-$4000) but I love their pictures. I didn’t really want to spend more than $2000. I feel so overwhelmed!
Some advice is needed- do I go with okay photography and not break the bank or splurge? Is it worth it? I already splurged on catering because that is really important to me but I want to be reasonable… Is $2000 too low of a budget?
Post # 2
If you can afford to spend more, you should splurge a little (within reason) for photos you will love because those are memories that will last a lifetime. I’m not sure what the average cost is in MD, but $5,000 was around the average cost of the three photographers I met with in California. Their packages included 8-10 hours of coverage, an album, an engagement shoot, rights to the photos and various other things. If you are only looking for 5-6 hours of coverage, $3,000 might be reasonable. $4,000 seems expensive.
Post # 3
- Wedding: February 2015 - Casa Feliz
Personally, I think photography is the most important thing to splurge on. We are spending a lotttt more than that on ours. Totally worth it, though. I know without a doubt that I will love my photos and won’t have any regrets!
Post # 4
splurge, for sure! your wedding day is only once in your lifetime…
Post # 5
If you can swing it debt free, definitely splurge. Yes there is sticker shock but honestly 2k is definitely on the low end for wedding photos- you won’t find a seasoned pro much less a real artist for that much. If you want beautiful pics, you have to spend. If you just want cut and dry “plain Jane” pics then of course the cheaper one will do but I’m a sucker for gorgeous photography.
I do not think you will regret paying up for a photographer you love- at the end of the day photos (and a husband) is all you have!
Post # 6
Isabelle663: I was someone who prior to getting married thought spending thousands on a photographer was an incredibly dumb idea. However, after the wedding, those pictures have become invaluable. The morning/day/week after the wedding my memories were vivid but now 3 months later I’m already forgetting a bunch of things and I know that down the road the only way I’ll remember is by looking at my photos. So, I say yes, even though right now it may not seem important, don’t chance losing those memories of the details you spent so long planning.
Post # 7
I’d definitely break the bank for my photos.
It’s one of my non-negotiables for wedding costs. A picture’s are worth a thousand words as they say.
If it’s in your budget, splurge because you will never regret high quality, beautiful photos of your ONE wedding day.
Post # 8
- Wedding: Royal Park Hotel
Since we had a small wedding we didn’t need to cut many corners but I would have if it meant we could get the photog we wanted. We splurged and are so glad we did.
Our photos are absolutely amazing and she was a pleasure to work with. Photos are so important to a lot of couples and if you’re the same way – I would spend the money and go for it. I doubt you will regret it.
Post # 9
I didn’t feel like I was at my wedding until I got my video and photos back. This was the only thing I had to feel connected to the day. I didn’t eat most of the food, drink much of the liquor, go into the photobooth, take from the candy buffet or play games. If I didn’t capture the day well I would feel everything else was a waste, with photos I atleast get to see what all the time and money bought for my guests who enjoyed it. To me these were sooo important and I’m glad we didn’t cheap out.
However we didn’t spend the $7000-$8000 on photo and video like they wanted us to either….
We spent a lot but we didn’t pick the most expensive packages. We got a budget busting photographer but didn’t buy an album – just the rights to the digitals. She only edits a handful but we have the ability to do the editing ourselves (or pay someone later or even go back to her in a year when we are sure it’s worth the money and we have more means to pay). Having well shot and composed shots are what you can’t fudge later when the money is around. We got a videographer with great reviews that would shoot and hand over the raws. We got amazing video but didn’t get the edited video (that’s where the money is in videography). We have 3 years to pay her to edit the clips into video. Or we can pay a student that’s learning or try our own hand at video editing. The important thing to us is we got everything captured in high quality. If we regret not having the pro album, video, editing we still can get that done later!
Post # 10
I’m going through the same process and I’m around the DMV area too. Have you tried George Street Photography? They’re a national agency. Once you’ve established that you’re interested (as in, okay with their prices), you get to choose any photographer that’s available through the agency for your wedding date. Just make sure you have the date and venue down.
Videography & Photography services are about $4,000. 2 Photographers & 1 keepsake album is approximately $2,600 (8 hrs; 6 hrs for 2nd photographer). 1 photographer, no album is about $1,700. Just keep in mind that you may have to pay for travel fees ($275) and lodging for each photographer.
My coworker used the agency and loved her pictures. I know it varies depending on which photographer is available, but I think price-wise, George Street is a good option. I have my consultation with them this upcoming week.
Searching for a photographer has been the most painful process for me so far, even though I’m still in the beginning stages of my wedding planning. I’ve looked at over 200 portfolios online.
Anyways, good luck with your search! I definitely think you can find a good photographer for less than $2,000. It’ll just take more time and research. A wedding isn’t something you should break the bank for. It’s not good to start off a marriage in extreme debt.
Post # 11
- Wedding: September 2015 - Laguna Hills, CA
Isabelle663: Photography is VERY important to me & you won’t regret it when you look back at the memories. Try looking for an up & coming photog that takes excellent photos. You can also suggest that they can use the photos from your wedding in their portfolio or on their blog for a discount. That may help with your budget. 3,000-4,500 is pretty standard for good wedding photographers here in LA.
Post # 12
dojx: Thank you so much for the suggestion! I will look into that. And I agree about not wanting to start marriage off in debt… we wouldn’t be in debt, luckily my parents are helping a good bit, but we are saving for a house and that is more important to us. Ugghh so stressful!
Post # 13
Photos are one of my top 3. I knew the photographer I wanted, and I didn’t know her prices. Fortunately she’s not outrageous, but I probably would’ve shifted my budget to get her anyway.
I figure that’ll be my one window to my day. I want my photos to make me smile.
Post # 14
Photography was one of my biggest priorities. We were on a super tight budget but we put a bit extra in our budget for photos, as we’ll have them forever. I know that I’d be unhappy to have photos I didn’t love.
I’d keep looking and perhaps contact some of the higher priced photographers – perhaps they can work out something for you; for instance, our photographer had a special, unpublished price for smaller weddings with less hours of coverage…
Post # 15
i’d splurge on photography!