Post # 1
Just got engaged and we’re excited to start planning. We’ve known for a long time that our wedding will be very untraditional – think, courthouse elopement with a backyard bbq to follow. Really trying to do this whole thing on the cheap BUT I have always told Fiance that the only thing I would really consider spending serious money on is, you guessed it, a photographer.
We’ve thrown around the idea of just having family and friends tag team the camera all night but I just feel like that’s the quickest way to miss a lot of moments I’d love to capture. Not to mention the lack of editing. We just had a party last night very similar to the style of celebration we want and even with momma bear going camera crazy as she does, I only made it into a couple of good pictures..and we were partying ALL day, 12 hours. I don’t want to make guests responsible for the kinds of pictures I want and I really really don’t want to be worrying about my mental shot list all night. To me, a photographer feels like the only thing that is absolutely necessary.
Enter Fiance – he’s a frugal man. Very frugal. And he wants to do everything in his power to make me happy, but this one request of mine is a big one monetarily. So I’m coming to you bees to help us figure this one out. Every thread I’ve read about “what’s the most important wedding thing to spend on”, the top answer is hands down – photographer. I’ve shown these threads to Fiance and he is beginning to understand and agree, but the price tag of the one I really want is still weighing a little too heavy on him so we need some perspective. The guy I want has a portfolio exhibiting the exact style I want. I don’t want the cookie cutter poses, there will be no bridal party, I want hip, classy, editorial style shots. His package breakdowns are very straightforward, ranging from 3k – 3600. The package I would want is in the middle. For $3400 we would get two photographers for 10 hours, “full collection of edited images”, and an engagement session. I’ve browsed some other wedding photographer packages in our area and nothing even comes close to this value. FI is completely oblivious to wedding costs and thinks this is A LOT to spend on a service that could be done for less, so I’m wondering if you guys can confirm whether or not this is a good deal? I’m sure we could find a photographer for cheaper but I’ve also heard enough horror stories about friends spending 500-2k on a photographer and being completely disappointed, which means all that money was wasted anyway. If I’m spending that kind of money on pictures, they better be the best pictures of my life, and of course I want the service to match. Is $3400 too much? Just enough? Can I get excellent quality and that same amount of time for less? We live in central Florida if that matters.
Post # 2
Hey! I’m not sure in that area but it seems like 3k is about the norm. I found mine on either the knot or WeddingWire for just a tad over 2k and I love her work. Try looking at newer photographers that still have a portfolio. Just message a bunch of different ones or call and get quotes – I’m sure you’ll find the right one.
Post # 3
$3K was definetly around the norm in my area.
We got an excellent deal on our photographer, who agreed to do our wedding for $1K. He was new to the area but have several years of experience and wanted to build up his local portfolio. And we had a Friday wedding so he gave us a great discount. We got 2 photographers for 6 hours. It definetly wasn’t money wasted as I LOVE our photos. So you can absolutly get a great photographer for less but it takes a lot of research and little bit of luck. I found our photographer using Thumbtack which was pretty great for finding a few of our vendors.
If your Fiance is uncomfortable with the price you might want to discuss areas of the budget where you will cut back in order to afford the photographer – like flowers, the dress, decor, alcohol, ect. I don’t think it’s an unreasonable price to pay but if your Fiance is very frugal I would make sure you show him what you are willing to cut to get the photographer you want.
Post # 4
We paid $3,500 in New England. There are definitely cheaper options, but they’re not as experienced/artistically beautiful photos. Look into local college’s art programs or inexperienced photographers if you want to be sure all moments are captured, but want a financial/quality compromise of some sort.
Post # 5
- Wedding: July 2017 - The Lodge at Little Seneca Creek
I think that’s about the norm, but I found a photographer for $1,500. She was PERFECT for what we wanted. I think if you do more searching (have you tried TheKnot or Wedding Wire?), you might find what you want for less than $3k.
Post # 6
Why do you need 10 hours of photography for a courthouse elopement? Maybe email the photographer your plans and see if they can give you a custom quote. That’s what we did 🙂 we did 4 hours of elopement photography
Post # 7
As a photographer myself 3500 for the day is great. You have no idea how much work a wedding is. The work goes from photograhing every moment and paying a second shooter to days and days in front of a computer editing hundreds of photos. It really is the most important thing to spend your money on. For lower prices you really will get what you paid for which is bad photography (most likely anyways)
Post # 8
- Wedding: September 2017 - Poppy Ridge Golf Course
$3k is the norm here, live in a fairly expensive area, but that doesn’t mean we were willing to pay it. Its most definitely not the most important thing to us, I don’t need hundreds of photos collecting dust. 10-15 I liked would suffice. Found a photographer whose work and style I love that offered small event packages. $1200 for 4 hours. Which works for us since our event is only 5 hours total. Research is key. If you must have this particular photographer then show your Fiance cost comparisons of photographers with similar quality and that might help him understand a little better.
Post # 9
That sounds about average and I’m sure it depends on the location, but I think if you look around you should be able to find a great photographer at a better price. We went with someone who had just a few seasons of wedding photography experience but we loved the work they’d done so far, and I’m so happy we picked them. We paid $1,500 for 6 hours.
Post # 10
I think it’s a good deal, for a good, quality photographer. You get what you pay for..anything less and you’d be gambling with how the photos turned out. Maybe go for the package with less hours?
I chose a good quality photographer, but at her cheapest package at $2800
Post # 11
I want them to shoot us at the courthouse but also follow us to the backyard party. Our family can easily fill 10 hours of partying, it’s pretty standard for us actually.
Post # 12
3k is around the price ranges in my area for a decent photographer.You could do 8 hours, maybe skip out on the partying dancing photos to make it cheaper.
Post # 13
To cut down costs, could you have 1 photographer? And I agree with a PP that 10 hrs is a lot. That’s awesome that your family/friends party for that long (!!) but I’m not sure how many remarkably different shots he will get from the same people partying in the same setting for 6+ hours once the ceremony and meal portion are over.
Post # 14
$2000-$5000 is easily the norm where I live (Philadelphia/NJ). We had a budget of $2000. I got a great photographer for $2000 by just having 5 hours of photography. I’d rather have 5 hours of the critical stuff (ceremony, wedding party, family portraits, bride/groom photoshoot) then have an average photographer do a full 8-10 hours.
Post # 15
I found a photographer on craigslist for our Boston courthouse wedding. He worked for two hours and it cost $200 including editing. We were very happy woth the results.