Wedconomics: Factoring the Cost Per Use and Ways to Save on Wedding Photography

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But what if you don’t have the standard $3,000 – $5,000 dollars to invest in a wedding photographer? Not a problem, there are ways to save (while still investing) and NOT resort to handing your sweet uncle a point-and-click. Here’s a few suggestions:

Regular readers of Kiss My Tulle know that I am a firm believer in saving money on weddings because they only last ONE day and therefore, a wedding’s cost per use can be quite ridiculous. So, when divvying up your wedding budget – try to make your splurge items those things that are going to get a higher cost per use.

Wedconomics: Factoring the Cost Per Use and Ways to Save on Wedding Photography
Image Courtesy of: Miranda Laine Photography

For example, spending $2,000 on a dress that you will only wear one time has a cost per use of 1 = $2,000. WHAT!?!? CRAZY, right? However, put that same $2,000 toward a wedding videographer and your cost per use becomes a better deal. For example, if you’re married for say, 40 years and you watch the video on every anniversary then your cost per use becomes 40 = $50. MUUUUCH more sensible, right?

So what does all this math have to do with budgeting for your photography? Well, for one – photography is a great place to invest in your wedding’s highest cost per use item. Seriously, think about it. Say you spend $3,000 on your wedding’s photography. If you hang one single photo from your wedding on your wall and keep it there for oh, 40 years – then your wedding photography’s cost per use would be $0.2054794 – roughly $0.20 per use. Kicks that $2,000 cost per use dress’s sorry ass, doesn’t it?

But what if you don’t have the standard $3,000 – $5,000 dollars to invest in a wedding photographer? Not a problem, there are ways to save (while still investing) and NOT resort to handing your sweet uncle a point-and-click. Here’s a few suggestions:

  • If you like a specific wedding photgrapher but can't afford them, ask if they hire out their interns or assistants for less. Many times, assistants/interns work with a certain photographer to learn their style and techniques so you may get the same "look" you want for a smaller price tag.
  • Some photographers include their travel fees in their packages. Why not see if a talented, yet less expensive photographer includes your region/state?
  • Book at a bridal expo. I found my photographer at a bridal show and booked her on the spot. Normally, I never would have been able to afford her but she was running a show special that put her fee right at the top of my budget. And she was totally worth it.
  • See if you can negogiate. Do you need that bridal session AND parent albums AND… you get the picture. All I wanted was an engagement session, the wedding day, and a disc of our images. Opting out of the extras helped me keep the costs down.
  • Be upfront with a photographer you like and tell them you love them but don't have the budget for them. Don't be shy and ask if you can hire them at your pricepoint (hey, the worse they can say is no). Or, ask if they can recommend a photographer they like who is in your budget.

How are you saving on your wedding photography?