(Closed) Photographer vs. EVERYTHING else

posted 9 years ago in Money
Post # 3
3526 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

Okay, I’m extremely biased on this subject because the photographer is something I have been battling about. I would vote for the photographer -provided it won’t give you financial hardship in other areas of the wedding- because a picture IS worth a million words. 60 yrs later you & Fiance can sit on your rocking chairs on your porch showing your AMAZING wedding pics to  your grandkids. 🙂

Post # 4
813 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

If you are already having doubts, I think the smart thing to do would be spend the money on everything else. Although photography is important, its not the be-all-and-end-all in the wedding world. I think you have several options:

-With more research you might be able to find a similar quality photographer for less money.

-If your photog isn’t booked closer to your date, he might be willing to shoot your wedding for less.

-Even if you spend less on a photographer now, you might be able to find a local college student to edit your photographs in Photoshop at a later date, which would be more economical.

I think, overall, you are better off spending the $2500 on everything else, and then if you can save up the additional $2500 you could book the photographer. But the last thing you want is to spend the moola on the photog, and then not be able to afford enough food, or not having a budget for flowers or something else. 

Post # 5
732 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2010 - The Tower Club

Go with your first inclination, hire the good photographer! 🙂 There are several Bees here who have regrets in this area; I’m sure one or more of them will come in to comment & give first person accounts.

I was just reading a couple of bridal magazines and they all say this is one area you should NOT skimp on. What good are flowers, beautiful dress, great location etc., if you do not capture them? We are on a modest budget (no contributions at all), but I am spending well over the typical "10%" figure (and scrimping in other areas) to ensure we have good quality work.

Also, keep in mind that a highly skilled, high-end photographer can make a "budget" wedding look as though it were significantly more expensive. 

The photos are ALL you will have left when the wedding is over, so get the best you can afford. Plus, it will be great for your grandfather to know he paid for such a long-lasting and treasured aspect of your wedding.

Post # 6
596 posts
Busy bee

I think this all comes down to personal priorities.  For me personally, my biggest priority was making sure that my guests had a good time so I willing to spend more on a nice venue with amazing food, alcohol, and a great DJ.  I was tempted to splurge on photography but I knew that it wasn’t something my guests could enjoy on the day of.  But really, this is just my opinion and I am one of the few people I know that doesn’t care that much about photography.  I was okay with my pictures being "good enough" and not "amazing".  

Just a random anecdote…a friend of mine attended a wedding that was rather lackluster, for lack of a better word (I don’t want to be snarky so I won’t elaborate!).  Later on, she saw the professional pictures and was blown away.  She said the pictures didn’t even look like they were from the same wedding!  Everything looked so gorgeous and different in the picture, she could swear that those pictures were from a different wedding.  So it’s true that the photographer can make a bduget wedding look expensive…and unrecognizable. 

Post # 7
297 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

Could you pull a Ms. Joey and post for a photographer from Craigslist? You might be able to find some rising star photographer looking to build his or her portfolio!


Post # 8
2365 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

Can I make a suggestion? If you really want to save money and have amazing high quality edited work, you should inquire at an Art Institution/ College and see if there are any photography students who would like to do your wedding!!

Post # 9
90 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2000

Easy. Splurge on the photographer! Yeah, I’m biased. I spent yesterday evening with a couple from my church who have been married for 58 years. And I was admiring their wedding photos. Do you really think you’ll care about any of the other stuff in even half that amount of time?

The photographer who you love has already "knocked his rate down to $2500" to accomodate your budget. Why would you not take that deal? Why even negotiate if you weren’t ready to buy?

Emilee hit on an important point. The difference between photographers is not the albums they use or number of proofs they offer or whether they give files or not. The difference is in what and how they see and how that translates in to your wedding images. The guest may have thought that wedding was lackluster but that point of view is not any truer than the point of view the photographer had. It is our job, if we’re any good and care about our clients, to show the love and beauty in every wedding no matter if it’s at the VFW hall with paper tableclothes or at the Four Seasons.


Post # 10
1423 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

Yeah… if you’re already having doubts, you may want to hold off on the photographer.  If you’re like me, it will keep you up at night knowing you spent the money on one thing, when you could have paid for the other stuff.  Again, I’m probably in the minority when I don’t think that wedding photography is the most important thing, but there really are a lot of talented people out there at a bunch of different price points. 

Post # 11
456 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

Just gonna chime in and say I agree with not getting the pricey photographer. I honestly believe you can get amazing pictures for a better price than that. I love what Miss Joey did with using Craigslist. But I think I’m voting that way mostly because I’d be absolutely sick if I spent my entire wedding budget on one thing. Heck, I’d be sick just spending $2500 on one thing, whether I had more to spend on other things or not. And don’t get caught up in this one thing, only to find that when you’ve settled the photography issue and moved on, you really regret not having any money to be able to do the other things that you realize are also very important to you.

But that being said, it sounds like this really is important to you. If you’re sure that this photographer really is worth that kind of money, and you REALLY want them, maybe you should go for it. Talk to your FH, and if he agrees, maybe it’s the right choice for you.

Maybe you could put a poll on this, to see if you get some clarity on what everyone else would do?

Good luck!

Post # 12
754 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2008

Photography was my splurge, so I say go for it!

Post # 13
1276 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

I think it kind of comes down to your financial situation overall.  Without your grandfather’s contribution, what is your budget?  And can you afford everything else without it?  If yes, then I say go for the photographer and view it as an amazingly generous gift from your grandfather.

I guess the way I see it (mostly b/c my grandmother has always emphasized it this way), especially when grandparents give gifts they do so b/c they really want you to have something you otherwise couldn’t.  If you can’t afford anything else w/o his contribution, then paying for the wedding itself is the surprise gift.  If you can and would without it, then paying for the photographer you otherwise couldn’t afford is his contribution.  I’m projecting here, but I know my grandmother always wants to know what I bought with the money she gives me…she doesn’t want me to stick it into a bank account somewhere.  How wonderful would it be for him to know that his gift bought you the one thing you really couldn’t afford or justify without it?

If you wouldn’t be going into debt for anything else, though, I’d say splurge on the photographer.  I’m biased b/c it’s a passion of mine…but I also think it’s true.  As many people have said, a good photographer isn’t someone who can edit mediocre pictures and balance colors in PS…it’s someone who captures a moment/scene and overall frames the shot and uses the lighting to tell a story.  That is worth a lot to me, and it really depends on how much it’s worth to you (I can also see it not being worth as much to someone else).

Post # 14
3 posts

After all the celebration (and drama), all you’ve got together with the sweet memories are your photos and video. Enjoy!


Post # 15
487 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2009 - Byodo-In Temple, Luau Reception

I have heard from many friends that their biggest (and usually only) regret during wedding planning was not spluring and hiring a wonderful photographer. They never say that they wish they got those pretty gold chairs, or wish that they got better centerpeices. It’s always they wish they had better wedding photos. I say splurge on the photography!

Post # 16
14183 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

I spent more on my photographer (definitely our splurge….I ended up skimping on lots of other things just to cover her fees), and after we got our engagement photos back, my Fiance is so glad we went with her. He was skeptical about the money ("how can a photographer want so much money? They’re just pictures") but now he’s sold. My dad, the biggest cheapskate in the world, now understands why we went with her. So, needles to say, your cake and favors and stuff can all be super scaled down, but a photographer’s artwork lasts FOREVER.

Could you and your Fiance scrounge up $2000 to cover the rest of the wedding? Or shop around for a cheaper photographer? But it sounds like you are sold to me. But if you literally do not have the 2K to cover the wedding, then don’t pull out loans to cover it. Perhaps wait a year to afford it? Or skimp on the photographer now and do a "portrait session" (usually a couple hundred max) on your 1 year anniversary and don your dress again. It’s all in where your priorities lie. Mine personally was the pictures I knew would end up on my wall and I wanted them to truly be artwork, not just a picture I could have my Dad take and then photoshop myself. 

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