How Much Should You Spend on Wedding Photography?

Wow, I’m covering a fun topic today: How Much Should You Spend on Wedding Photography? Money is always a touchy thing to talk about, and it is a big factor when planning a wedding. I get a good amount of email inquiries and a lot of them simply ask for the price and what’s included, so I know that’s what’s on everyone’s minds.

How Much Should You Spend on Wedding Photography?

My answer to this question is going to vary depending on a few things, so let me warn you and say I’m not going to be able to give you an exact number like $3,210. That would be silly of me to say that I know everyone that well. I can give you some things to think about, though, that might help.

The first question is how much do you value photography. Is photography something that you love and it’s the most important thing or is it just something you know you have to have? Think about this analogy. Is your car a piece of junk and you only care about if it gets you to your destination or is your car more than that? Do you care about the way it looks? How well it runs? Figure that out and then I think we can move to the next step in this process.

Once you know how much you care, then you can set aside a percentage of your total budget for photography. If you don’t value it at all, you can set aside a very small percentage like say 5-15%. This would mean that if you had a $5000 budget $250-$750, a pretty small amount. On the other hand, if photography is life, you might put 40-60% of your budget toward photography. For the same budget, that would be $2000-$3000.

Now that you have a general guideline, you can start searching. I’d suggest you look at photographers and their styles before you even think about emailing for a price. Find ones that you think you would like to hire and then contact them. You might find one that is less than you thought or you might find they are all too expensive. Unfortunately we all can’t afford whatever we want. You might have to make some adjustments if they are all way out of your range. You might have to increase your photography budget or drop your expectations. Going back to the car analogy, we can’t all expect to get a BMW if we are only willing to spend $5000 on a car. The same goes with photographers.

Things are different from place to place, so I would expect the prices to really jump around depending on where you live. This is why I like basing things off of a percentage rather than a set number. $2000 in one place won’t get you the same thing in another place. With all this said, try to go into your planning with flexibility and an open mind. I can give you advice on How Much Should You Spend on Wedding Photography, but in the end you have to make the final choice. All I can say is that after it’s all said and done, the cake will be gone and you won’t wear your dress again, but you will have your photos.


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