Depending on where you live you can probably find someone willing to shoot your wedding for anywhere from $200-$10,000. You can also get a hamburger for anywhere between $1 at a fast food joint to $100+ at a nice resturant. Here’s where your choice comes in–if it’s the most important burger you’ll eat in your life…a burger you’ll not only want to cherish and remember, but one that your kids and grandkids will want to hear stories about, which one would you choose?
Yeah, I get that weddings are expensive. I was the bride who often had to decide between buying groceries or paying wedding vendors. Do I recommend doing that? Absolutely not. In retrospect I could have prioritized and budgeted for the wedding much better than I did. Make a list of the 10 most important aspects of your big day. If photography isn’t in the top 3, this post is for you. If photography IS in your top 3, this post is for you also.
For me it was, but even then I didn’t understand the true value of our wedding photos until after our wedding.
This investment isn’t exactly the same as investing in wedding favors, catering, or even your dress/tux. When you try on your dress or see those cute customized M&Ms with your names on them, there’s a feeling of immediate gratification. After your wedding you see your photos and get a similar feeling. Some of the gratification comes with looking through your pictures and seeing moments that you either don’t remember or didn’t even realize happened!
So there’s maybe 20% of the gratification, where’s the rest? The true value of photography builds over time.
*2 years later when your spouse decides to eat cupcakes with bright orange frosting, then leaves that frosting on every light switch in your house for you to clean up (you know, hypothetically)…you’ll need those pictures to take you back to the love you shared that first day.
*20 years later when your kids ask how the two of you met and what your wedding was like, you can put your wedding album in their lap and tell them stories of how their grandparents got down on the dance floor to “Desi Girl“.
*Decades after that, your children will be telling YOUR grandkids the story of how their grandfather got down on one knee and sang to their grandmother during their wedding….and they’ll have photos to take them back in time to experience that day for themselves.
As a photographer I’d say if you want to give me $10,000 to shoot your wedding, I’d be more than willing to oblige.As a past-bride I’d recommend really prioritizing every vendor on your list to figure out what’s most important to you, and budget from there. As someone who’s been married for a while now, I’d ask you to find a comfortable balance between the $200 -$10k+ by really thinking about what you’re paying for. You and your memories are worth it.
*Photo by the*reason