by: Lauren

Hi, my name is Lauren, and I hired a cheap wedding photographer… and I’m here to prevent you from doing the same!

I Hired A Cheap Wedding Photographer

I’m sure you’ve noticed that I’m always talking about the importance of quality photography. Well, one of the major reasons for this is because I made a big mistake that I regret- and one that I hope to prevent other brides from making.

I hired a cheap wedding photographer.

The fact is, when I was planning my wedding, I had no clue about anything. I didn’t know what to expect costs to be, what to look for, or how to even know figure out what I liked. The only resources I used were large, popular wedding sites because that’s all I knew about and quite frankly, all that I could find back then. When I used the budget recommendations of these sites and magazines, the recommended photography percentage was way below what I was realistically seeing for photographer pricing. I didn’t have anyone to tell me what the “normal” pricing was for a good photographer, or even how to know what would be considered “good”. I was counting on the resources I used to help me, and they sadly didn’t. To make a long story short, this is one of the reasons why I set out to provide realistic information to brides about weddings, and so here I am today! (Note: go here to find out what to expect wedding professionals to cost!)

I’m certainly in no way a photographer, but since I don’t want you to make the same mistake that I did, I thought it would be helpful to pass along some tidbits that I wish I had known when it came to wedding photographers…

Cost Expectation

One of the first things that would be crucial to know is the normal cost for decent photography, because I myself had no idea. According to my survey of wedding professionals, you can expect to see pricing around $3500 for a professional photographer. This of course will vary depending on location, as well as with the photographers and their experience.

Pay Attention To Quality

Oh my goodness- I definitely wish I had known more about what to look for when it came to quality! I met with 4 photographers, but I got so fixated on price that I forgot to also look at quality. It can be quite difficult to compare just based on price, because often times photographers’ pricing structures are different- not to mention that their experience and quality is going to be different too! So please, I beg of you- pay more attention to the quality than to the cost!

It’s Not Just A Day’s Work

Keep in mind that photographers are not just taking photos of you for 8 hours on your wedding day. They also have to edit the photos (which can take up to 30 hours), design the album, answer your emails and phone calls, and carry out all of the other administrative duties that owning a business entails. (There is so much more, but I’ll leave that to the photographers to explain!) Sure, it’s easy to say that a photographer is making $3500 for a day’s work, but all of the work done before and after the wedding ends up being way more than just one day.

[Note: Don't get me wrong when I say "cheap photographer". I paid more than what would normally be considered "cheap"- it kills me knowing what I paid, and now knowing what I could have had for that same amount. But when you consider what was included in the price (my 12 hour wedding day, engagement session, bridal session, album and prints), and then see the pretty much unedited images, then yes, it was indeed "cheap".]

Needless to say, I’m still pretty heartbroken about my lack of knowledge when it came to choosing my photographer. Now that I look at amazing work from photographers every day, I know that my photos could have been so much better. But you live and you learn, right?

Bottom line: you get what you pay for.

 

If you have any questions about choosing your photographer, please ask! I don’t want anyone else to experience this regret, and this is one of the many reasons why I write this blog and why I entered the wedding industry. I want to help everyone have the absolute best wedding possible, and I believe that knowledge is the key to that!

I Hired A Cheap Wedding Photographer

 

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2010 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness. 



by: Lauren

The natural elegance of a garden wedding paired with a modern, glamorous style make for a wedding that is absolutely breathtaking! High Five For Love Photography captured this Tennessee wedding flawlessly- after all, with a champagne and mint color palette, a couple that is SO incredibly in love, and an amazingly chic wedding design, you really can’t go wrong. The stunning bride, Danielle, is here with us today sharing more about her wedding…

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What (or who) helped you most in your planning process and/or on your wedding day?

Having a team of support throughout the entire process was crucial. I only worked with vendors that I had recommended to me from people I trust and that I knew could help me bring my vision to life. Big Events Inc. was a huge part of the planning process. They helped me select vendors that could fulfill my design ideas and were there to complete my dream from set up to tear down.

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What was the most important thing to you when deciding who to work with for your wedding?

A personalized plan for each an every aspect of the day was very important to me. I had some very specific ideas about how I wanted everything to come together and I only worked with people who could understand my aesthetic. It’s also very important to get a great recommendation from someone you trust.

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What was your inspiration for your wedding details and/or design?

I wanted a light, ethereal environment that was very natural and clean. I was inspired by the classic garden wedding with a more modern application.

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What was your favorite thing about your wedding?

The venue! I had the incredible opportunity to build a venue around the home I grew up in and to create such a personal day in a place that means so much is an incredible feeling. That’s what I will always cherish the most.

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What is your best piece of advice for other brides?

Do what makes you happy. You can’t get caught up in what you think other people will like. Form an idea of how you want your day to feel and stick to that from the beginning. You know deep down what will make it memorable for you and at the end of the day it is about the person you have chosen to spend your life with…as long as you are both happy that’s what counts.

Danielle’s advice is absolutely spot on- you have to do what what YOU want and what will make you happy! And I love that Danielle and Tyler were able to have their wedding at Danielle’s childhood home! What a perfect location!

So what are your thoughts on an “at home wedding”? Are any of you planning on having your wedding take place at your home or a family member’s home?

 

Vendors who made it all happen…

Photographer:  High Five For Love Photography //Event Planner: Big Events Wedding// Linens and Coverings:BBJ Linens // Lighting:Bright Events//Invitation Designer: Darby Cards//Cake Designer: Dulce Desserts//Makeup Artist:Julia Arnold Makeup Artist//Caterer: Kristen Winston Catering//Dress Store: The Bride Room//Floral Designer:The Potting Shed//Linens and Coverings: Visual Elements



by: Lauren

Feathers, sequins, and pearls are just a few of the stunning elements of these Great Gatsby wedding ideas captured by Amy Little Photography. Inspired by the glitz and glam of the 1920s, Amber of Beachside Ceremonies wanted to show how even a beach wedding could be chic and glamorous, and she did just that…

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I love the chic, glamorous style of the glittery silver paired with touches of pink and white! And of course always a favorite- the elements inspired by the era of The Great Gatsby!

So tell me- what do you think of a Great Gatsby wedding? Will any of you be drawing your inspiration from this chic time period?

 

Vendors who made it all happen…

Photographer:  Amy Little Photography // Cinema and Video:Ashley & Todd Films // Event Designer:Beachside Ceremonies & Events // Cake Designer: Emerald Coast Custom Cakes // Floral Designer: Our Greenhouse // Event Venue: Holiday Inn Ft Walton Beach // Invitations & Stationery: Impressions Studios // Makeup Artist: Aura Salon



by: Lauren

Rustic and elegant, this Tennessee farm wedding captured by Jenna Henderson is full of southern hospitality and pure beauty! Taking place at the bride’s family farm, this outdoor feté was the perfect option for a couple who both grew up enjoying time spent outdoors and on the farm. The beautiful bride, Brooke, is here with us today to share more about her wedding day:

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What (or who) helped you most in your planning process and/or on your wedding day?

My wedding planner helped me most in planning my wedding on my wedding day.

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What was the most important thing to you when deciding who to work with for your wedding?

I wanted to use small local businesses with great attitudes who really wanted my day to be awesome!

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What was your inspiration for your wedding details and/or design?

My inspiration came from wanting to have a fun, rustic country wedding that represented me and my husband.  We both grew up on farms, so having an outdoor, rustic, country wedding really represent who we are. Many of the ideas I used for my wedding came from ideas found on Pinterest, Etsy, my wedding planner, or just my own imagination.

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What was your favorite thing about your wedding?

My favorite thing about my wedding was the dancing at the reception. I had an absolutely amazing DJ, and he knew how to control the crowd and get the guest to let loose and have a great time.  

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What is your best piece of advice for other brides?

My best advice would be to choose things for your wedding that really represents you and your husband. Try not to get caught up in all the trends. Really accentuate who you and your husband are because that will make your wedding day feel more natural. You and your husband will be more comfortable and be better able to really enjoy your wedding day.

I love how Brooke and Jesse made sure to have things at their wedding that truly reflected them and their relationship. To me, that is the key to having a unique wedding- personalization your details and design to yourselves!

So tell me- are any of you having your wedding at a favorite location or area like Brooke and Jesse did with their family farm?

 

 Vendors who made it all happen…

Photographer: Jenna Henderson / Florist: All-O-K' Sions / Catering: Prater's BBQ / Cake & Cupcakes: Sweet Dreams Cakes & Cupcakes / DJ: Music Tree Entertainment / Bridal Salon: The White Room / Groom’s Attire: Express / Rentals: Stewart's Special Events / Rentals: Christopher Equipment