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Let’s face it. Weddings are crazy expensive. I’m all about finding ways to save money, and there are lots of ways you can do so. But if you only splurge on one thing for your wedding, LET IT BE PHOTOGRAPHY. That’s right, I’m a venue owner and a stationery designer and I’m not telling you that your splurge item should not be one of those things, but photography. Why? Because its true! Chances are you know someone who is a “photographer” and it’s tempting to hire them for cheap or even have them shoot your wedding as a wedding gift to you to save money, but hear me now and believe me later, DON’T DO IT!!!
What makes this statement hit home is the fact that Shannon O’Kelly is NOT a photographer. As she stated in her blog post, she easily could have said that the venue selection or announcement and invitation choice should be the number one priority. But, she didn’t. “Why?” you ask? It’s simple. She’s seen numerous dreams crushed by bad photography.
“Cheap wedding photography” is inexpensive for a reason. Poor quality equipment and no equipment backups will surely cause the photographer to fail in a big way. Similarly, and inexperienced or unprofessional wedding photographer will lead the bride to tears every time she looks at her photos and album for years to come. You see, the wedding photography is the only true reminder of the big day. Not even the wedding video gets hung on a wall for generations to appreciate, it gets filed away and hidden in a box a week after the wedding is over.
So, you’re still wondering why you should never skimp on your wedding photography?
1. You Only Plan the BIG WEDDING Once!
Every girl dreams of being a princess and, unless you’re dating one of the Windsors, this will likely be as close as the bride will come to dressing like one and being treated like one, if even for a day. Yes, it is just one day, but this is THE day! Isn’t it worth investing a little into professional photography that will allow you to remember it as the day dreams came true? Mediocre photography will ruin those memories every time you look at the photos, if you even decide to display them in your home. I promise you that each time you look back at horrible photography for years to come you will be reminded that that it wasn’t worth saving the $1,000.
2. A Great Professional Wedding Photographer will Anticipate!
There are two aspects of weddings that last forever: 1) The bond of marriage itself, and 2) the wedding photography. What girl doesn’t love seeing the wedding photos of her parents, grandparents, relatives and friends?! So, it is important to not forget the future generations that will come!
Your future family will not be able to directly enjoy the time and effort that went into planning your wedding. They will not be able to taste the cake nor smell the fresh flower blossoms arranged throughout the reception hall. Similarly, they will never be able to directly appreciate how radiant the bride looked after leaving the salon or as she’s being helped into her gown in the hours before the ceremony. Only the photography is capable of capturing the feeling in the air for these once-in-a-lifetime memories.
So, to owe it to yourself to hire a wedding photographer. A GREAT wedding photographer! Only an experienced professional wedding photographer will know where to be in order to capture the special moments. You may think having one of your friends or “Uncle Bob” photograph your wedding is a good way to say money. Yes, you may save money, but the odds are stacked strongly against them. Plus, what do you think will happen to your relationship when your photographs turn out less than desirable? You will obviously never pull the photos out again. But, once you get over the tears, you may have find that your relationship has been seriously damaged as well. It simply is not worth it.
When your children and grandchildren ask to see your wedding photos, what will you tell them?
3. A Great Photographer will Turn the Ordinary into EXTRAORDINARY!
I have seen a lot of weddings. Many of the couples of incredible budgets that allowed them to place custom ice sculptures at every guest table at the ceremony and many of them were less stunning. Even if you are working on a tight budget, a wedding photographer should be able to find the details in the details and capture the photos you didn’t think were possible.
Take the desert table at the reception for example. You paid for the food, so it should be included in the memories that the photographer captures. In fact, a great wedding photographer will even make the tart tray seem as if it came out of a cooking magazine!
So, how much should great wedding photography cost? It hard to provide an exact number. There are a couple of may factors that dictate the actual investment including: the amount of coverage, the number of locations photographed, the type of bride album (e.g. traditional matted album versus a press print coffee table type album), the number of prints included, albums for the parents, digital proofs, additional professionals on the photography team, etc. These are just some of the things to keep in mind when working with a wedding photographer.
A true professional will help you understand the factors that go into the wedding photography investment and will provide multiple options. It is okay to ask questions, but it is more important to set an appropriate budget up front.
Couples in southeast Michigan are typically working with a $20,000-30,000 budget for their weddings, not including the honeymoon nor engagement ring. Roughly 40% of them are paying for the wedding themselves. Professional wedding planners recommend setting aside 10-15% of your overall budget specifically for the wedding photography. So, you can quickly see that understanding your budget up front can make it much easier to work with vendors when the time comes to book everything.
Here is a breakdown of what you can expect to pay for an average wedding with 150 guests and a $25,000 budget and an average 12% for the photography:
|Wedding Gown||$ 2,500||10%|
Investing $3,000 in wedding photography may sound like a lot; however, what you get in return is priceless. Literally.
If you are planning a wedding in southeast Michigan, please feel free to contact Paul Manoian Photography by using the online contact form below or by calling 313-883-9500. We would love the opportunity to speak with you!