Budgeting for Wedding Photography

Ok, first things first, this is not a promotional post just about booking Starling and Sage for your wedding, though you should …. *wink* – Nope! Tons of brides call me and they ask what to expect for a photography budget, and at that point, most of them are in sticker shock! Most people don’t know what to expect until after they say “Yes! I WILL marry you!” So this article is about how much you should set aside in your wedding budget for wedding photography and why. As a disclaimer, this is an opinion based article, based off of my personal thoughts and experiences!

Let’s first start with why we’re spending what we’re spending:


First consider this – you just got engaged and most likely you’re looking on Pinterest and wedding blogs like Style Me Pretty (read their wedding budget tips here! They agree with us!). But wait, have you noticed how beautiful and romantic all the photographs on these websites are? Did you also noticed there aren’t any badly taken photographs on there?

The purpose of photographs is to capture memories, memories that are once in a lifetime. So why take a chance on them?

Depending on whether you’re having a laid back, casual affair or going big, you’re possibly going to  be spending anywhere from $5,000 to $100,000, an event that will be the happiest day of both your lives. But wait a minute – let’s focus on this oft-forgotten word here – DAY. As much as we HATE to admit that a wedding really only lasts for at most 12 hours, after a year and a half of planning, it does. Everything will be a flurry! A great photographer will make sure they capture every little detail and all the best moments of the day. An amateur will much more probably and quickly trip up and miss essential shots.

This is A Once-In-A-Lifetime Investment, Not a One-Time Purchase

With wedding photography, you’re hiring an artist and you’re hiring a vision – so what you pay for is what you get! In this day and age, it’s easy to choose “your friend who has a really nice camera” who would easily photograph your wedding for free! However, weddings are complicated events that require lots of coordination, adaptability and experience.  When you look at your wedding photographs, there should never be something technically wanting (i.e too dark, blurry, out of focus). This inevitably ends up in nothing but disappointment! Make sure that doesn’t happen to you!

Budget & Pricing

Articles that I’ve read have said that your wedding photography budget should be about 10% -15% of your overall wedding budget (The Knot has a great article here and don’t forget to search for us and read our reviews!). This is definitely a reasonable and substantial budget.

So you might have said in your head, “What the heck do they do? That’s a lot of money!”

Here’s a little more information to make sense of all of this pricing – All of our collections include products but these are the intangible items in each collection that many brides fail to take into consideration or just don’t know about:

  • Our creative eye, skill and talent, unique to us only.
  • Pre-production for shoots and weddings (prop gathering and consultations, brainstorming)
  • Equipment rentals and costs
  • Office costs and utilities
  • Post production for shoots and weddings (such as editing and retouching)
  • Our Expertise through professional education and training at the Hallmark Institute of Photography
  • Our wedding experience and expertise and ability to coordinate a photography schedule efficiently and professionally
  • Customer Experience from the moment you walk through the door to when you leave

These are the unlisted items that also come with each wedding collection we offer. Please also note that these items differ for each photographer, but we are listing what we provide specifically to us.

We include all this because of the fact that we love our job and we are artists trying to make a living doing what we love. Hard as it may be, we love it and wouldn’t want to do anything else!

Thank you for taking the time to read these article, we hope that it has given you insight into the price of wedding photography and what you should expect!