Why be honest with photographers about your wedding photography budget?
Way before you start contacting any potential wedding photographers, it is extremely important for you to decide what your wedding photography budget is for your wedding day. In the past bride and grooms have sent me inquiries about my pricing and availability with no real grasp on what they can can afford for willing to spend for their wedding photography budget. This can be frustrating for the couple planning their wedding and for me as a professional wedding photographer.
So right away when you start the wedding planning process sit down and talk about what your overall budget is for your wedding. Not sure where to start? I found this website ( cost of a wedding ) that helps give you a ball park of what the average wedding in your area costs, this might be helpful to you to determine what to expect and what you can afford. If you already have a budget in mind that you want to stick too hiring a professional wedding planner can help you all allocate those funds to each vendor, they can also help you stay on budget. Once you have decided on a budget for your overall all wedding and price ranges for all of your wedding vendors, you should be completely honest with your wedding photographer and tell them your photography budget, and are is why :
1. Nobody’s time is wasted
By being up front about your budget, both you and the photographer will know from the very beginning whether or not your budget falls within the photographers price range. It will only frustrate you as the couple and the photographer if you spend time on email conversations and / or in person consultations if your budget is $1,500 for your wedding photography but the photographers packages start at $3,000
What if you don’t have an exact number? Thats okay, give the photographer a round about number you want to stay with in. Tell them what you are comfortable paying. Were you hoping to spend less than $2,000? Or are you willing to splurge and spend closer to $3,500 for everything you want? Here again, be open and honest and tell them what you can afford.
2. It helps the photographer to decided what package best fits your needs.
When the wedding photographer knows your budget, they will be able to point you in the direction of which of their packages suites your needs the best. A good and professional wedding photographer will not change their prices based on the budget you tell them, a true professional won’t try to double their prices just to squeeze money out of you just because you gave them a higher budget. You shouldn’t have to worry about your answer about your budget for photography changing their prices. Their prices should only change if you are asking for larger ticket items such as albums or a boudoir session to be added to the total package price. The point of you giving them a budget so so they can determine what collection of theirs falls with in your budget. Or perhaps giving your the opportunity to create a customized package to fit your wants, needs and budget.
I often create customized wedding photography packages for my clients. For example, my mid package (my my most popular collection) is $3,500 and my highest package is $4,700. Let’s say that a bride and groom comes to me and tells me that their budget is around $4,000 for their wedding day photography. Right from the beginning I know that my Premium wedding package isn’t not a good a fit for them and that my Exclusive package might be a better fit, if it has everything they want. I would then suggest that we could customize the package to fit in what they want and need. Such as an extra hour of coverage or a canvas. By recommending a customized package this helps them stay on budget while at the same time getting everything they want.
3. They can refer you to vendors within your budget
Lets say you contacted a wedding photographer that is significantly out of your budget or what if they are with in your budget but not available on your wedding day. Here is a good thing about being in the wedding industry, us photographers are friends and refer business to each other all the time. A good and professional wedding photographer will be able to refer you to someone who is within your budget if they know from the beginning what price point you have set for your wedding photography.
Another tip is that if you are looking for other wedding vendors, such as a wedding planner or florist, tell your wedding photographer what other wedding vendors you still need and they can refer you to some amazing people in the industry that fits your style and budget.