Why Photography is one of the most important investments in your wedding day – and how to budget for it

Sorting out your wedding budget and prioritising and allocating your budget can be a bit mind boggling, especially when you  a) haven’t planned a wedding before and b) are not really sure what to expect when it comes vendor pricing and what you can get for your money.

In this post, Kate Ryan from Ryan’s Daughter Photography wants to talk about how to budget for your photography and why it’s important to consider it as a long term investment and not just another one-off wedding day cost.

Why Photography is one of the most important investments in your wedding day

Your wedding photography is one of the really important parts of planning your wedding. Not because it’s one of the bigger parts of your budget, but more importantly because it’s a record of your wedding that will last longer than any of the rest of your day – other than your marriage itself of course!

It’s a long term investment in your memory and will prompt your stories and memories of one of the best days of your life for years and maybe even generations to come. Making sure that you choose the right photographer and type of photography coverage for your wedding day is an important decision because you want to feel good about looking back through your photos together knowing that it was money well spent.

Choosing a photographer is a whole blog post of its own, but in short you need to feel happy with the type and style of the work they create and get on well with them. Why? Because your photographer will be telling the visual story of your wedding through their eyes and because we’re a creative bunch who usually consider ourselves artists and so we usually do our jobs with creativity being equal to making documentary of events.

In order to enjoy your photos you have to be happy with the style of work you photographer produces – even when you look back in five, 10, 20 years from now. Getting along with your photographer is a must too, because you’ll be sharing some intimate moments and you want to be able to feel comfortable about doing that with a near stranger behind the lens!  Ensuring a good match with your personality and vision for your day will make the whole experience so much more meaningful and special when you look back on it.

How to budget for your wedding day photography

Now that we’ve spoken about the importance of photography within your wedding and marriage, let’s look at how to budget for your wedding photographer. It’s a good start to get an idea of what you want from your photography to begin with – are you after full day coverage or just the essential moments of the day? What style of photography do you love? What kinds of products do you want with your photography package?

When you’ve decided on these elements reach out to a few photorgraphers (that you’ve researched and who catches your eye as someone you’d love to work with) and ask for their package information or get quotes from them. As an indication, wedding photography pricing in New Zealand ranges from about $1500-$10K with most professional packages sitting somewhere within $2.5K-$5.5K.  

Once you have set your overall budget ( check out these awesome guides here on Southern Bride if you need help with this: How to create a wedding budget and Portioning Up the Wedding Budget) the general rule of thumb that I recommend for an average kiwi wedding is to spend between 18-22% of your total wedding budget on photography.

If your total wedding budget is below $10K this percentage might climb a little bit higher, all depending on your requirements for coverage, of course. Using this as a guide, you might find that your photographer is the most “expensive”  in terms of one-off costs of your wedding day, but remember that you’ll have a visual record of all of the other elements of your day forever, so it makes sense in the long run.

What to do now that you’ve made this investment into your wedding day photography? I highly recommend downloading my free guide on just how to make the most of it right from making your decision on photographers all the way to how to best allocate the photography time on your wedding day – you can get it here:

About: Hi I’m Kate – Owner, Photographer, Heart and Soul behind Ryan’s Daughter Photography. I’ve been helping people celebrate their weddings with my camera since 2013. Based in the Waikato, I love to use my signature documentary style with a creative spark to capture the essence of your wedding story anywhere that you’re celebrating! You can contact me via my website: www.ryansdaughterphotography.co.nz – I’d love to hear from you!

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