Post # 1
I have been pretty good about finding vendors and getting things crossed off of our “to do” list, but finding a photographer has been a difficult process. I have met with a few photographers with great personalities, but their work hasn’t really blown me away. Then, I found a photographer whose pictures I absolutely love. One major problem – budget!
I can either stay within my budget and go with one of the pretty good photographers
pay over $2,000 MORE for an awesome photographer
How important was photography to you? Did you splurge on photography and cut down costs in other areas?
Post # 3
Photography was super important to us. We feel like after the day is over, the only tangible thing we’ll have are our photos documenting our memories! We splurged somewhat on our photographer – but she wasn’t the most expensive available.
When is your wedding date? Our photog offered us a 20% discount because our November wedding is “off season.” That helped a lot!
A friend of mine got a good deal on her wedding photography because she approached her favorite and basically said, “Look, we love your work and really want you to photograph our wedding, but we only have $xxxx to spend.” (I think this photog normally charged $2,800, but they wanted to spend $2,000.) The photographer said okay, and made it work for them. I think she cut something from the package (engagement photos, maybe?), but they made it work.
It doesn’t hurt to ask, especially if you are having an off-season or a Friday wedding. Some wedding vendors would rather be paid less than they normally make just to have a job that day. They look at it as, “I can either make a little less my usual rate but make SOMETHING on this day – or turn down the job and potentially not have any job that day.”
Post # 4
@Ms Bookworm: Unfortunately, we are having our wedding in “prime” wedding season – April. We live in Texas, so the spring is a really popular time to get married. It is just too hot in the summers! I sent the expensive/awesome photographer an email last week doing just what your friend did – said I love her work, would love her to photograph our wedding, and asked if she could lower her prices if I removed engagements from the package. The lowest she would go is $3,900…way more than I was initially intending to spend.
We are like you. We feel like photography is super important which is the only reason why I will consider splurging!
Post # 5
we splurged on ours. Like PP said, it’s really the only tangible thing you’ll have after the wedding.
If you look back at so-so photos, will you wish you had spent the extra money?
Post # 6
I think @Ms Bookworm: has a good point about seeing if you can cut things from the package to save some dough. For example, making your own photo albums can save a few hundred at least, since that takes a lot of the photographer’s time and that’s really what they’re charging you for!
Other than that, I can’t help much — we went the ‘trying to build up the portfolio’ route and only paid $500 for some of the most amazing wedding photography I’ve ever seen 🙂
Post # 7
@iarebridezilla: I saw some of your pics on your recap. You are right! Great pics!!!
Post # 8
We splurged but I knew we would. It is the only thing you have left afterwards and it was important to me to have great pictures. One option is to not get an album just the pictures and make your own. That could cut down $500+ dollars in some cases. You don’t want to look at your pictures afterwards and be disappointed.
Post # 9
We went way over on photography and videography and made some cuts in other areas, like invitations, flowers and decor (not enough to make up the difference, but still it helped). It was definitely worth it to us.
Post # 10
I would always choose to splurge on the photography if possible. The food will be eaten, the dress will be boxed/sold/etc, but then the photographs are what you display and distribute (family). Depending on your overall budget, it shouldn’t be crazy hard to find $2k somewhere.
Post # 11
Photography was my #1 absolute priority. I say splurge and get the amazing photog. If it’s within your reach, or you can cut other areas to make it not such a stretch, definitely go for it!! It’s all you have left of the day afterward!
Post # 12
We cut parent albums to get a slightly better photographer than we would be able to afford otherwise. But I also didn’t get the very best photographer in the area. I met him in person and loved his personality. I absolutely loved the attention to detail in all his work. And I looked at his site and his style seemed to fit well enough with what I was looking for.
We just did our E-pics and he was great to work with. At times, I day dream of the extra money I’d have if I had done more research and found some young photographer trying to start his own business and other times I day dream of the magazine-worthy editorial shots I might have gotten with a super experienced pro. But in the end I think our photographer is just perfect for us. I love our pictures.
So I guess my strategy was to go with a pretty good photographer that we click with perfectly and has an outstanding work ethic and quality standards. I totally trust him and know he cares about us and wants to do whatever he can to make us happy.
I guess my advice would be to keep looking until you find that “Goldilocks” photographer. I hope you can find the right balance of everything that makes you happy.
Post # 13
Photography was one of the most important things, but I drew the line at getting the best one, even though she was available because her packages started at $6k. We are really happy with ours, and she was much more reasonable. If you can afford it, we got a decent break by paying all cash, all up front.
Post # 14
As a Reno Wedding Photographer I see a lot of my competitions photos and prices. My recommendation is you go with the photographer you love. You can find a way to make the price work, and you will be very happy with the photos after the wedding. Once the wedding is over and the cost is in the rear view mirror you will only have good feelings instead of some regret if you go with the wrong photographer.
Hope that helps.
[Post moderated for self promotion]
Post # 15
An amazing photog can make a $2k wedding look like a million bucks and an average photog can make a $200k wedding look meh. You are investing a lot of money either way so do what you need to go with who you love. Even cutting little things add up. Like smaller lighter invites you will save on production and mailing costs. Scale down every other table center piece, etc. You get the point. You can also pick up odd jobs here and there and put it all towards your dream photog.