Having a set budget is an effective and helpful thing to have when planning your wedding. Sometimes in this process, couples might find a photographer that they LOVE, but don't have the numbers in their budget to book them. I am inspired by so many creative couples, and even my own experience as a bride on a budget, to write this post about affording your dream wedding photographer!
my personal experience:
When my husband and I planned our wedding, we had quite a low budget for both our wedding AND our honeymoon! I hadn't started my business at the time, but I did have my heart set on my dream photographer! Unfortunately, because I never came across helpful tips to afford our dream wedding photographer, I didn't think there was any way that I could afford my dream wedding photographer! Since that was our reality, we didn't receive photos we loved because we thought we could only afford someone who had never photographed a wedding before!
With my experience in this field personally, I have made a list of helpful tips to help you afford your dream wedding photographer to capture the wedding of your dreams!
TIP 1: LISTS, LISTS, LISTS!
Something that is so effective for the FOUNDATION of your wedding planning journey is writing a list of all of the necessities that you need to purchase for your wedding day. It doesn't have to be your prioritized list (we'll get to that later), it is simply just a list of things that you know you'll need! Click here for a list of wedding items you may very well need!
TIP 2: PRIORITIZE THAT LIST
The next best thing you can do for your journey is to prioritize that list. Re-write the list in the order that you and your fiancé value the most for your wedding day, and work with that list. Ask questions such as:
- What is something that we dreamed of for our day that we'd love to see?
- What do we value most from this day? (other than getting married, of course!)
- What do we see ourselves valuing the most AFTER the wedding takes place?
- What are we not too picky about for our day?
- What do others think is good to value? (IMPORTANT!)
Asking others what they valued the most from their wedding day is a great way to START making that priority list. Of course, everyone will have different things that they valued most, but I can assure you that you will see many of those values aligning.
TIP 3: RE-CONSIDER YOUR GUEST LIST
I know that current circumstances have already caused so many couples to redo their guest list over and over again, which breaks my heart because some of these decisions are truly out of your control. Yet, if you are reading this and you believe that there may not be as tight of restrictions when your wedding comes around, try this! Remove a couple of people from your guest list if you have been on the fence about it. Ask questions like:
- Do I truly have a relationship with them?
- Have they met the both of us?
- Could I imagine my day without them there?
This tactic will certainly make more space for you to have your dream photographer capture your day!
TIP 4: YOUR DECOR! (PINTEREST: BE INSPIRED, NOT DISHEARTENED)
I know what you're wondering, "what does this have to do with Wedding Photography". Trust me, it does! The temptation to move your budget around after already establishing it really begins to arise when you see other details on Pinterest or other social media platforms.
I encourage you in this: Know your budget, be specific in your Pinterest searches so they correlate with your budget, and don't be afraid to get creative! This opens up the floor for you to invest more in the photographer that you love!
Decor ideas that help you with your budget:
- Diligently Thrift Shop for the items you want (vases, chairs, knick knacks, etc.)
- Ask a family member or friend who recently had a wedding to borrow their decor if they bought it (we did that, and it was a true blessing)
- Facebook Marketplace - it is filled with people selling wedding decor items!
TIP 5: ASK PEOPLE FOR HELP!
There are a lot of ways that you can save money in other areas of your wedding so that you can invest in a stress free photographer who will give you beautiful photos that capture you day. Here are some below, and just so you know, have NO SHAME in taking action on these ideas!
1) ASK FAMILY MEMBERS + FRIENDS IF THEY HAVE PROPERTY FOR YOUR VENUE
You can always dress up a venue, it takes creativity and lots of planning, but it is certainly doable (Alex and I did it in his family's backyard!) This gives you more space in your budget to afford the other priorities on your list, like your wedding photographer!
2) ASK YOUR GUESTS FOR AN EARLY WEDDING GIFT TO PUT TOWARDS YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY
Your wedding photographer is going capture your day with all of their experience, knowledge, and skill - and you have those photos to cherish for the rest of your life! So asking family members and friends for early ($) Wedding Gifts to invest in a photographer for your wedding is an amazing, and super effective way to have a professional and experienced photographer to capture your day! This is a step that Alex and I didn't do - and if we did, we could have gotten our dream photographer!
OTHER EFFECTIVE TIPS:
- Reconsider having an open bar if you have the option, or cut your alcohol service an hour short (this will save you a few hundred dollars)
- Book less hours of the photographer and get creative with your timeline
- Don't do wedding favours, or DIY your wedding favours
- Online RSVP for guests (saves a few hundred dollars on Postal Services)
- Cut small floral items (mother's corsages, father's boutonnière)
DO YOU WANT your DREAM PHOTOGRAPHER & your DREAM VENDORS all in your budget? HAVE AN INTIMATE WEDDING OR ELOPE!
I know this one sounds like a crazy jump to go straight to eloping or an intimate wedding, but truly, think about the outcome of this option! You can invest in possibly ALL of the ideas and vendors that you wanted, and still receive a dream wedding with the most meaningful people in your life. With this, you don't have to worry about being able to afford the wedding photographer of your dreams because you will be saving costs in so many other areas, and still being able to book other vendors too!
SEE WHAT OTHERS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THiS!
If you have been hesitant on this idea, or even interested in this idea, and I encourage you to read some experiences from brides and grooms online about their elopement or intimate wedding! See what other people have to say about their experience, what they did for it, and if they would recommend it to others!
all in all,
I truly believe that you can have the wedding of YOUR dreams, and book your dream photographer who will capture your wedding beautifully, all within your budget!
My husband and I learned a lot of lessons about the topic of wedding planning on a budget, and in hindsight, we now see that we could have afforded a wedding photographer, we just needed to try different things, and reach out for help!
That experience is what inspired my business. I know that wedding planning can be a very busy season, and I know what it's like to plan on a budget. The goal is not only to give beautiful, timeless, and elegant photos to couples from their wedding day, but to help out each couple to the best of my ability with authenticity and love.
I hope that this blog post helped you, uplifted you, and gave you new and fresh ideas to have your dream photographer capture your beautiful wedding day!
If you have any questions, or you want to inquire to have your special day photographed by me, click the button below!