helping brides create beautiful weddings without breaking the bank

Now, I have no shame in saying my photography is one area where I am ready to put down a chunk of change.  The pictures from our day will be what stay with us, and let’s face it, what helps us piece together the missing parts of the whirlwind we call Wedding Day.  Aside from venue, I probably put more energy into finding a photographer than anything else.  I scoured websites, requested quotes and haunted craigslist looking for deals while still getting a desired result.  You see, I am one of those artsy-fartsy people…Yes, I Instagram and add filters and like photographing old buildings just for the heck of it.  So I don’t want your everyday, “1…2…3 and bridal party jump” pictures.  I want pictures that other people look at and say “That’s so creative…it’s so whimsical…what great quality”.

Yay….the thing about that…most of those type of photo producing packages start at $3500 and when your budget is $5,000-$6,000, it’s a little hard to justify spending over half the budget on photographs.  We have some friends who do great work and they were willing to cut us a deal.  Unfortunately, it was still outside our range and we didn’t think it was fair to ask them to book a day at half price when they could be getting full price from someone else.   I also found a good photographer on Craigslist who had recently relocated and was looking to build her local client base.  We met with her and were really considering her work, but when it boiled down to it, her style was not quite what we were looking for.

Then one day, my wonderful daddy had a wonderful idea.  See, my younger brother is getting married later this year as well (I know, no pressure mom and dad).  My dad reached out to a photographer he knows who, if his portfolio is any indicator, does amazing pictures!  Rich and full and artistic, basically just what we have been looking for (if you want a sneak peek, go ahead and check out his work at .

My dad’s idea: What kind of deal can you make for booking two weddings in one year?

Long story short, because of our personal relationship and booking the two weddings at the same time, our cost came out to $1000 for each wedding-all day and full rights to the pictures.  All for $500 under budget!  So, as you are looking at ways to save money, don’t be afraid to pull resources and work together.  A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, so I guess two weddings in the books would equal 4 unaccounted for.

Photo Credit: Chris Weaver Studios http://www.chrisweaverstudio.com
Photo Credit: Chris Weaver Studios http://www.chrisweaverstudio.com
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About Lyssah

Lyssah is a 28 year old California native and Tennessee transplant. Marketing Assistant by day and writer by, well, any other time, she and her fiance Cameron can often be found dreaming, adventuring and just plain galavanting into whatever fun meanders across their path, often with coffee in hand and a pen close by.

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  • Renae

    That’s a great price Lyssah. And very savvy of you all to get the photographer to cut a deal for both of your weddings!

  • Ashley

    I’m really worried I won’t be able to find the photographer I want in my price range, which is $500-$1,000. I agree that photography is an important expense but I don’t think it’s worth thousands of dollars. I’ve had some people suggested to me by friends. One was in our price range but lacked experience and I just wasn’t wowed by her shots. Another one was recently suggested by a friend who said she was affordable. Turns out affordable means packages starting at $1750. But I love her stuff! Is it wrong to ask her if she’s willing to negotiate? I don’t need all the bells and whistles most packages provide – just the edited digital files. Or, should I keep looking?

    • Renae

      Hi Ashley!

      I’m an advocate of negotiating! Never take the sticker price. I’d suggest you telling any photog you meet with (that’s near your budget range) what you’re willing to pay and work out how they’d can get to or close to your number.

      Every photog I contacted,would give me a number 2-3x’s out of my range, and I was up front and told them I couldn’t do 2k or even 3k, and would ask them what they can do to come down. And it worked! One shaved down 1k (but it was still too much).So definitely negotiate and ask for a custom photo pkg.

      Also, sometimes you have to get creative about your search. For example, is there a venue that is not so widely known as a wedding venue (like a hidden gem)? Well, google search that venue with the word ‘wedding’ added to it. In my experience, budget brides, use budget friendly venues, and (most times) budget friendly vendors (i.e. photographers). So that may help you uncover some gems.

    • http://www.thebudgetsavvybride.com/author/denise Denise

      If you can’t find a photographer you like within your price range, you might want to choose another area of your wedding where you feel can *give*. We originally anticipated an $800 budget for photography, but then our first choice ended up being $1,000. We then cut $200 out of our cake budget.

      Negotiation isn’t a horrible idea, but if you really like this photographer and her price won’t go down, allocating other wedding dollars to it might not be a bad idea.

  • Jenn

    I got a good deal on my photographer by booking really early! I managed to get 2012 rates (by booking the middle of last year) for a 2013 wedding, even though her advertised rates have actually increased about £200.

    When I was researching I also saw a lot of photographers that would do smaller packages (ie 4 hours of shooting instead of all day), which can help save couples too!

  • Anna

    Speaking as a photographer, please remember also that the time we spend shooting a wedding is not the only work we do. I easily spend 50-80 hours, if not more, on each wedding I book. People expect us to have quality equipment ($10,000 at least) insurance, a studio space, a website, facebook page, twitter account, marketing pieces, blog features, ability to travel, personal advice and personal packaging, and want to be able to access us by email or phone or in person at least 10 times before the wedding day, not to mention the time put in after the actual wedding. I’m not saying there aren’t some great photographers out there who are currently cheap, but it is just not sustainable in the long run.