The costs of wedding photography vary considerably. In fact when researching for the average cost of wedding photography in the UK I was bombarded with such an array of different figures it was almost meaningless. Probably the most credible source I could find was from Moneywise that quoted 839 as an average cost. This amount feels about right so I hope that gives you a ballpark figure.
Bear in mind though its an average so people are spending a great deal more and a great deal less so please dont panic if its a lot more than you anticipated. The Photographer Finder have some incredibly talented wedding photographers with competitive packages less than the average figure above and dont include any of the tips suggested below!
This article is to provide you with some ideas on how to save money on your wedding photography and still have the lasting record you deserve.
Tip No 1 Dont marry on a Saturday
Quite possibly the most effective and easiest way to reduce the cost of not only your wedding photography but also for the rest of your wedding is to not get married on a Saturday. This one factor alone can save hundreds and puts you in an excellent negotiating position.
If you have the typical British reticence of negotiating or haggling, imagine yourself in the other persons shoes. If you can see it from their point of view it makes you a more effective negotiator. Booking a photographer last minute when they have no prior bookings may possibly get you a reduction. Booking far in advance when they dont know how many weddings will occur in that year may also get you a reduction. Booking a wedding on a day that is unlikely to include another wedding will almost certainly get you a reduction.
From a wedding photographers perspective assume they do x amount of weddings a year and 99% of them occur on a Saturday why would they want to negotiate a lower price when they could have a booking at normal cost? However, if you choose another day of the week the chances are they have no likelihood of another wedding so you are giving them an extra booking. The same goes for a venue, choose a Friday in December and you are competing with the Christmas clientele.
Tip No 2 Consider a voucher scheme
For the last few years every time Ive been invited to a wedding there has been a note saying youre company is enough but if you would like to buy us a gift we would really appreciate contributions to our honeymoon with vouchers from such and such travel agent. So why not do the same for wedding photography? Some wedding photographers are already offering this service. Its a great way to cover some or all the cost of your photography or even perhaps upgrade your package. If you were interested it may be worth asking your wedding photographer to put some vouchers together if they dont already offer the scheme.
Tip No 3 Ordering a CD
By ordering a cd of your images instead of prints, albums etc you are reducing the photographers time and expense and consequently cds are being offered by more and more wedding photographers. It is a way of keeping to a tight budget but make sure it is not a false economy. Despite what Tomorrows World said cds and dvds are not infallible. They scratch, skip and malfunction. If you are choosing a cd from your wedding photographer check the images and not watermarked and clarify that the images are hi res (so that you can print them).
Another tip (sorry not a cost saving one) if you are considering buying a digital format instead of prints get them processed by a prolab not a high street processor. There is a very noticeable difference in quality. You have paid for pro pictures so it is worth getting them developed professionally and it is still cheaper to go direct.
Tip No 4 Shop outside your location
Ok, normal advice is to shop locally. However, when shopping for a bridal gown for my friend last year she fell in love with a dress that she couldnt afford and nothing else came close because she had found her perfect dress. After a gazillion hours of shopping locally we extended our search. We went to a town that is less affluent and found the same dress for nearly 20% less. It took a bit of extra time for the fittings but she had the dress shed set her heart on. So its certainly worth considering looking outside your area as your perfect wedding photographer may be in the next county (of course we can do this for you). You will need to take into account the travel costs of the photographer but it could still be a way of saving a pretty penny.
Tip No 5 Hire a Newbie
By newbie, I dont mean amateur. A newbie is someone who has had professional training and possibly a couple of weddings under their belt. He or she will be looking to expand their portfolio and gain experience and the prices they charge will reflect that. The preparation stage and clarifying exactly what you want beforehand is even more important when booking someone with little experience. However, everyone starts their career from scratch and what they lack in experience they should make up for in enthusiasm.
Tip No 6 Limit the length of time you want the photographer at your wedding
Wedding photographers charges are based on their time, their expertise, their experience and the costs of the finished product. If you reduce the length the time they are at your wedding it may be possible to reduce the overall cost. Check with your potential wedding photographer to see whether this will make a difference.
Tip No 7 Modify your wish list to fit their charges
Consider whether you would prefer to have better quality with a more basic package than more images with a cheaper photographer.
As with all cost savings a degree of compromise is involved. The hardest part is deciding just what to compromise on but never hesitate to speak directly to the photographer for advice and guidance.