This one may seem non-negotiable, and many will debate that couples should not skimp on their wedding photos. We agree, you must document the day and you have to have professional pictures to showcase such a special occasion. However, many couples will tell you, out of the thousands of pictures their wedding photographer produced, they may have 3-5 that they actually printed out and framed. Although it varies by location, the average cost of a wedding photographer is $2,814.
Typically, that price only includes the hours the photographer worked during the wedding and photo editing and printing may add an additional cost. You may think that you need a photographer present to capture every moment of the day from the time you begin to get ready until you depart your venue, but more realistically, you aren’t going to frame pictures of the bride getting her hair and makeup done, or even guests eating dinner, and hang them on the walls in your house.
Not hiring a professional photographer is another way to make your guests feel included in your wedding. Ask if any of your guests have a quality digital camera that they wouldn’t mind bringing to take a few pictures for you. Additionally, with the progression of smartphones, many of your guests will be able to take stunning pictures that you would never guess are from a cell phone. Create a cute hashtag for the wedding and ask guests to use it and tag you in any pictures they take and share to their social media. This will allow you to easily view and access the pictures your guests took.
If you aren’t willing to forego a wedding photographer altogether, only schedule them for the minimum hours. Nine hours of photography services are just unnecessary and excessive. Instead, have them focus on the ceremony, family shots, and bridal party pictures that you know you will want to share and keep. If time is still available after you accomplish this, schedule those momentous moments you want captured at the beginning of the reception. For example, do your first dance, cut the cake, and throw the bouquet first thing before your photographer leaves.