- 5 years ago
- Wedding: October 2015
Hello Bees, I have a pretty specific issue here that might end up being long so bear with me.
First off, I am planning on having an October 2015 wedding. We got engaged on Christmas, so we haven’t had much time to actually plan anything other than doing some research. We have not booked anything yet, and we will not know a real budget until probably summer time frame. My mom has offered to pay for half/most of the wedding, so we are guestimating the wedding will cost in total about 10-15k (again, really rough estimate).
I am graduating college in June and I really wanted to get some engagement photos done in Philadelphia where we live now before moving out of state. I didn’t think we would have any money for this because I guess I just assumed my mom wouldn’t want to pay for anything wedding related yet since its so early, so I posted something random on facebook like “why are photographers so expensive?”
Apparently everyone and their mother is a photographer now? I got tons of recommendations/requests. One of my good friends growing up offered to do our e-pics in our hometown. She didn’t mention if she would charge us but I would want to pay her. Another friend gave me a recommendation for her friend that is a professional who would charge me $175 for e-pics with about 80-100 digital editted copies (sounds like a good deal to me?). So in my hometown, where the wedding will occur, I have two good options for e-pics. However, nothing for Philadelphia.
Anyways, here’s where it gets more complicated. My old EMT instructor told me to contact her about a friend of hers photography buisiness. She showed me his work of taking pictures of her son – which are very good in my opinion. As I talked more with her, I realized that she was actually a really experienced wedding planner and has planned over 500 weddings (I actually knew that at one point but forgot). She is listed as an “event planner” working with this guy.
Basically she told me the photographer has offered to do our e-pics for between $225-300 (depending on where we have them done, if we need liscensing, etc) which is $100 dollars off his usual pricing. We would get this discount IF we agreed to have him do our wedding too. His wedding packages come out to about $1200 – 2200 which look to be very good deals. She also offered to throw her in the mix for free if I wanted her as a planner or even just to have someone there the day of the wedding to coordinate everyone.
Ok, so at this point, everything seems almost too good to be true. I know shes doing me a favor because we are friends (or at least she knows me pretty well), but I have a few concerns.
1) The photographer’s website is not very appealing. He’s basically a stereotypical biker dad who looks super tough but has a really kind heart (from what I can tell). The website looks like it was made by someone who has no experience with graphic design/technoloy LOL. He also only has one wedding gallery on the website and the pictures look to be over editted. I found out that the particular gallery I saw was actually his colleague/partner photographers work.
2) So I checked his facebook link and I saw more of just his work, which looks really good to me. I’m worried though because out of all his shoots, only one seems to be from a wedding and its from a wedding very different from what mine will be. I’m slightly worried that he won’t have the experience to be the only photographer at the wedding to get all the “must have shots”, even though I could always tell him what I want…
3) I have not actually talked to the photographer. I’ve been going through my EMT instructor who is very nice, and I know I could ask to talk to him, but I am worried that she “guides” him if that makes sense. I want to make sure that the photographer WANTS to do this.
4) I am worried that it is too early to book a photographer. We want a specific day in october 2015 but we haven’t booked a venue so it could change. My EMT instructor basically told me that even if we had to back out – he probably wouldn’t be offended and we could still keep the low rates for e-pics, but I kind of felt like I was pressured to seal the deal, when I was only looking for e-pics at the time.
I know NOTHING about photography. I’ve heard its one of the first things to book, but based on all this information, do you think I should go for it? Assuming I have two/three e-pic shootings and get an average sized wedding package, that would be about 1/5 of my budget on strictly photography. I WOULD get a free wedding planner though, and I know she does good work. So maybe by having her I would be able to actually save money in the long run.
Please let me know your thoughts, or if I’m worried about nothing. Thanks 🙂