Wedding photography is one aspect of your big day we’d advise you not to scrimp on. We’re all for DIY weddings and doing as much of it all you can yourself, but we think your photography is something that’s worth investing in. You’ll be looking back at these photos for years to come, so you want them to be the best they possibly can be to remind you of what a special day your wedding was.

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Leave it to the professionals

You may have a friend who’s a keen amateur photographer and who has offered to capture your big day, but we’d still say invest in a photographer. You need someone who’ll stay focused on the job at hand and won’t be itching to go off and join the party, have a few drinks and miss some once-in-a-lifetime moments.

When you’re putting together your wedding budget, allocate some money for your photographs first and then look out for a wedding photographer whose style you like. So how much hould you put aside for this? We asked some of our favourite wedding photographers what you should expect to pay for somebody who’s going to do the job well.

Mark Dolby is based in Leeds, and has been a best man twice and as well as a groom, so he knows what it feels like to be on the other side of the camera! He advises that you budget at least a thousand pounds for your photography.

“The simple answer is £1200, including your album and disc of images,” says Mark. “How much you spend on a photographer really depends on how important the photos are to you. If photos aren’t a priority, don’t be afraid to go for a less expensive photographer or perhaps only get coverage for part of the day – just make sure you understand the risks!

“It’s hard to compare photographers based on price, because so much of what you’re paying for is about the quality of service and personality of your photographer. It’s worth investing in someone who’ll not only take great pictures but help you have a fantastic day, and so I think it’s important to meet them before you book.”

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What about if you’re getting married abroad?

One thing we definitely advise when it comes to arranging photography for your overseas wedding is making sure you can communicate with your photographer properly – whether this means getting a translator to be a go-between for you and the resort photographer, flying a UK-based photographer out to your chosen destination or choosing an expat who’s based locally. The last thing you need to be worrying about is whether your photographer knows exactly what you want from the day because you haven’t been able to communicate clearly with one another.

Gypsy Westwood, who’s been photographing weddings in Ibiza since 2001, says that on the island you should expect to pay 2000 Euros and upwards for a whole day.

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Good customer service

Mark Tattersall is based in the North West of England but travels all over the country to capture weddings for couples.

“When it comes to costs, it’s a simple equation,” he says. “Wedding photographers can only fit in so many weddings per year whilst maintaining good customer service, professional development and a smoothly-run business. It’s impossible to pay the bills unless you charge in the region of £1500 a time.

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“Some will charge slightly less and some a lot more, but a photographer charging under £1000 must be either an up-and-coming talent or one of the many wedding photographers of whom I hear horror stories from couples who contact me for help after being disappointed with their budget photographer.”

“There are many talented ‘weekend warrior’ photographers who work a regular 9-5 job during the week, but who still do a high-quality job at weekend weddings,” says Home Counties specialist David Bostock. “However, you need to ask if they have invested in the back-up facilities for your images, professional gear and lenses that can shoot in very low light, and public liability and professional indemnity insurance should the worst happen.

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“Certainly anything less the £1,000 a day is often a recipe for disaster. A full-time wedding photographer with upwards of 200 weddings under their belt should probably be around £1500 for a full day’s coverage. Many of the top wedding photographers will be charging more than £2000 and sometimes over £3000 for their services, and in my experience, the £2000 cut-off is quite a telling price point. The most important thing is to check out their portfolio and their coverage of at least three full weddings.”

So according to our experts, £1000 a day seems to be a ballpark amount to set aside for high-quality photography that you’ll cherish forever. Here at Wedding Ideas we’ve seen lots of real-life brides have beautiful and touching photographs taken by talented people for all sorts of prices, so it doesn’t necessarily mean that if you pay less than £1000 that your photos will turn out horribly – but it’s definitely a figure to bear in mind while you’re putting together the budget.

To see gorgeous galleries from real brides and be inspired by their photography, why not take a look at our Real Weddings section?

33 COMMENTS

  1. Interesting article. I would mention that guests could take into consideration that they could leave ipads at home and don’t bring them to the wedding 🙂

  2. How can you say the ballpark figure is £1000 – when all of the photographers you spoke to state that its in the region of 1200-1500?

  3. Agreed that the photographs are not an area to scrimp on. Since we received ours last month we have not stopped looking at them and noting things that we didn’t notice on the day. A decent photographer will get to know you as a couple and learn what you like and listen to you. This pays off when you get some gorgeous photos. They will also put you at ease if you see the quality of their engagement shoot shots. Worth every penny for a lifetime of great memories

    • Hi. I am getting married on a tight budget and my husband-to-be feels uncomfortable in front of the camera, so your photographer sounds perfect and I’d love to know who she is!

  4. My maths was different to yours, from the photographer’s quotes I got 2000EUROS + £1500 + £1500 + £1200= mean of £1470.

    Not sure how you came to the conclusion “So according to our experts, £1000 a day seems to be a ballpark amount to set aside for high-quality photography that you’ll cherish forever”!

  5. Interesting to hear conversations from people who are prepared to pay for a quality service and results and people who equally use a friend to do their wedding. I’m a pro wedding photographer and clients can expect to pay around £1300 upwards for an album and all day coverage. There are reasons why we charge what we do. Training, insurance, income tax ( yes we pay that too ), up keep of equipment, advertising, websites etc before we even try to make a living. Anyone charging £500 and providing an album and all day coverage is likely to be working for less than minimum wage if they are doing the job correctly as a full days wedding can take an additional two days processing the images and another day designing albums, plus consultations etc. This all adds up. I aim to be still in business in ten years time, people who charge so little are unlikely to be able to make a living and so may not even be in business at the time of your wedding. It’s not just about pressing a button and taking a snap. A wedding photographer only gets one chance to ‘get the image’. Would you really trust that memory to someone who hasn’t the experience? Odds on, you’d spend more on your flowers that will last a week at best.
    All the best.

  6. I have video filmed four weddings to date and taken candid photos at the same time. Editing videos always takes me a lot longer than processing the photos. I take around 100-200 photos for including in the videos. Most photos I take are candid but and they look great. I’d say 200 candid photos will take me two days to process. A video will take me two weeks to edit.

    I don’t think price has anything to do with how well your photos will turn out. I have seen some expensive photographers turn up with very expensive lenses and expensive cameras and still take naff photos.

    It’s best to do your homework and check out previous wedding photo albums from the photographer as this is going to be a good indicator of what you will be receiving.

    Another really important thing is how courteous and polite the person is because you and your guests are either going to love this person being around on your special day or at the very worst hate them.

    As I take videos of weddings and spend a long time analysing the footage I really see how the photographers involvement impacts on the wedding day.

    I’d say take your time to fully check out prospective photographers and if you need to stretch that budget a little to get the photographer you want “do it”, it one very special day in your life.

  7. I guess it depends what you’re looking for. A friend of mine went with a fine art photographer called Summer Neverland. I think it was worth it. The photos were definitely worth the price (it was about £1500 if I remember right). I’m coming around to the value of a good wedding photographer.

    • As a wedding photographer my self, any photographer charging around £1000 should be good. I charge £870 for full day service with over 400 images edited to disc which is about right for where I am from. If you are going for a budget service, then from my point of view I can guarantee the work/skill/ideas/creativity/equipment of your photographer will not be that good and will not be prepared to take extra care in editing your images or the presentation of them.

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