Wedding Photography

Saving Money on Your Wedding Photography

Everything having to do with planning a wedding costs a fortune, and the cost of wedding photography can seem astronomical. The typical couple spends almost $1,500 just on the photos and video. So how can you memorialize your wedding with photographs and not bust you budget? Easy – you just have to know where to save, and where to spend.

Always hire a professional to handle your wedding photography, but if you want to save money, have them only take pictures during certain portions of the event. Many professional photographers have a "ceremony only" package for wedding photography – meaning that the pro will take all the formal pictures of the bride and groom, family and wedding party and the ceremony, but you’re on your own for the reception. Photographers generally offer better deals on packages anyway – and if there’s something special you want that isn’t in a particular package (say, a photo of the couple cutting the cake) ask if you can swap it for something you don’t want (like a photo of just the bridesmaids and groomsmen). Be sure to ask the photographer about all options that may be available to you, as there may be options you haven't considered.

Don’t think that the cheapest wedding photography package will be the best deal. You may end up spending more money after the wedding for additional photographs or prints, and taking care of extra expense that aren’t included – so shop for a comprehensive package that includes everything you want, including additional prints for the in-laws. That ultra-deluxe, top drawer package probably has all sorts of things added into the price that you don’t want – so go over each wedding package carefully before you commit.

Get friends to help

In addition to the professional wedding photographer, have a few friends document the wedding, too. Putting disposable cameras on reception tables is popular recently, but usually the photographs aren't very good. Give a few trusted friend decent cameras and ask them to take candid pictures during the reception – the new digital cameras are excellent, small and lightweight, and very easy to use. You can also ask a trusted friend to videotape the ceremony – if you know someone with a little bit of experience, you can save about $1,000 of your wedding photography budget. There are even one-use video cameras available now, for about $30. You could buy two or three of those and then edit the video of your wedding on your home computer!

Wedding photography doesn’t have to eat up a huge portion of your wedding budget. Just talk to a few photographers, look at their offerings, and pay for only the services you really need. With the help of friends, your budget wedding photography will look like a million bucks!

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