Weddings are Expensive. I totally get that. I too was a bride recently (August 2012). I remember getting my budget from my parents and divvying up the amounts to each category. Once you've decided how much to spend on each category, it's all about finding a way to make the most of that allotted amount.
Here are a few tips for stretching your photography budget:
- Choose a photographer who offers digitals as part of their wedding package. Paying per image is generally more expensive and can result in hidden fees after the wedding that you hadn't budgeted for.
- Make sure you are getting the amount of coverage you need. (Ie: The amount of hours.) Create a timeline with your photographer before you book so that you know they'll be around for all the important moments of the day. There's nothing worse than thinking you can get by with 6 hours of coverage and having your time run out before you've danced with your dad & cut your cake. Most photographers have an hourly rate for any time added on the big day. Do you really want to chance shelling out a few hundred extra on the day of because you didn't get the right package up front? This happened at one of my weddings in the beginning and I ended up staying an extra hour to ensure all their special moments were captured. This was a huge learning lesson for me. I never wanted to put another bride in this situation if I could help it. Going forward, every time I met with couples for their initial consultation, we created a rough timeline together. I'm proud to report that I've not had an issue since!
- Save money by only having a second photographer there for part of the day. I recommend having a second photographer arrive at the same time as the primary photographer to capture getting ready photos of the guys & girls separately. If you are on a budget, you can certainly get away with having the second photographer depart after dinner is served.