How much should I expect to pay for my wedding photos and video?
Setting out your wedding budget is one of the toughest parts of wedding planning by a long shot.
How are you supposed to know to divide up your well-earned cash the right way? How do you know how much to estimate for each part? This confusion often leads to many couples grossly underestimating how much certain wedding suppliers cost - which is where we come in.
One of the biggest areas of confusion is the cost of wedding photography and videography. Many brides assume this won't cost very much, end up going for budget options and being disappointed with the end result. Wedding photography and videography is a big outlay, but it is an incredibly worthwhile investment. It's important to set aside as much of your budget as you can to make sure you have the best memories of your day. In our opinion, when it comes to splurge vs save, wedding photos and video is in the splurge column.
Let's start with photos. You could absolutely find a wedding photographer to fit within your budget, whatever it is, but the consideration is that the level of experience and very likely the quality will go down.
It baffles us to see that many wedding magazines and blogs are giving brides advice to spend approximately £750 on wedding photography. In our experience, this is nowhere near enough for good photography. [Disclaimer: We know there are always exceptions - uber-talented newbies, mid-week discounts, etc - but for the majority of cases it is not high enough]
In our experience, spend less than £1000 on wedding photography and you will get the basic coverage, capturing the moments as they happen, no frills, nothing fancy. Single shooter, minimal coverage.
£1500-2000 will get you some fabulous wedding blog-worthy wedding photography. This is the sweet spot, and where we would always recommend couples pitch their budget in this area. All day coverage with more than one shooter for some creative angles. A wonderful, experienced photographer to put you at ease. And more than likely, a free album and possibly an engagement shoot.
Spend £3000+ and you should be getting some pretty incredible photography - high-end, fine art photography with a high quality album, often a longer day for more coverage, and with a few extra 'togs to shoot details and prep. Guaranteed perfection.
So when you're putting your spreadsheets together and dividing it all up, £1500+ is a great starting point where you won't struggle to find incredible shooters, but it's always ALWAYS worth ploughing as much cash as you can afford into wedding photos (without going into debt).
For under £1000 you'd be getting a pretty basic highlights reel, coverage from bridal prep to the first dance, with a 2-3 minute montage at the end. At this price range you are paying your photographer or videographer below the national minimum wage so it is unlikely the quality will be very good.
Spend £1500 or more and you'll get a treasured, high-quality video - likely a beautifully edited highlights film to music, and an edited video of your ceremony and the speeches. You'll get a second shooter, possibly a third, and some extremely creative, cinematic shots with high-production quality. You are paying for filmmaking experience, quality of equipment and the time it takes to edit such a quality product to perfection.
Adam Rowley from Delirious Films - one of our favourite filmmakers to work with - gives some helpful tips, "Like buying wine in a restaurant – you’d never buy the cheapest and probably almost never buy the most expensive. But no moment should be missed and your film should be magnificent. But beware budget videography. Something to look out for is if the videographer doesn't call their work a 'film', it could be an indication that they aren't that great."
Whatever your budget for film and photography, take care to establish the experience, and the quality of their work before you book. Don't be afraid to ask for references from past clients and more photos for reassurance. Regardless of the price tag, you want to be confident in your suppliers on your wedding day to give you the best.