Wait… It’s NOT all about the dress?!?
According to a Shutterfly survey, nearly a 1/4 of brides regretted not spending more money on their wedding photography.
“Should’ve spent less on the dress; more on the memories. Of survey respondents married within 12 months prior to the survey, 22 percent felt they didn’t spend enough money on the photographer. 19 percent of the same sample reported spending too much on the bridal gown and food.”
The choice of a wedding photographer is a very important one. At the end of the day, all you’ll have are the memories and the husband. Wedding photography regrets don’t go away.
Ask around – friends, family, coworkers – ask them specifically about their wedding photographer.
I could’ve had a wedding photographer, but I chose Coke Zero and Starbucks instead.
Two and half years after my wedding day, I lost my husband. Had we hired a REAL photographer, I would have those wedding memories… but we didn’t, and now I have nothing. The day was such a blur- there was so much going on. My memory of the day is a bit fuzzy. And all the things that happened when I wasn’t there to see, and all the things that happened that I was too overwhelmed to remember… I’ll never know about those things.
I can’t even describe to you in words how horribly terrible our photos turned out. My dress was ivory with gold lace… but you’d never know that from the photos. We look awful and awkward in every. single. picture. The photos are so bad that I can’t even remotely fix things in Photoshop. You can’t fix inexperience.
You’re probably wondering why the wedding photographer didn’t have a professional wedding photographer. (And in my defense, this was awhile before I did weddings full-time.) Well, we were paying for the entire wedding ourselves, and we had a ridiculous guest list that we couldn’t cut down on and as it was, we already had to take out a loan for the reception. Wedding photography is so expensive! We didn’t even look at wedding photographers because we knew we couldn’t afford it.
Or so we thought.
We could’ve made cuts here and there and been able to afford an amazing photographer no problem. It just never occurred to us, and to be honest, we both hated pictures of ourselves and really didn’t place much importance on wedding photography. I will regret that forever, and so will our families.
We ate out all the time. Like, several times per week. And we drank a lot of soda. And we had gym memberships that we NEVER USED.
Here’s how the math works out on that:
Eating out one less time per week (avg. $40 meal with tip) = $160/month
Eliminate our daily 20oz Coke Zeros ($1.25 x 2 x 30) = $75/month
Get rid of the unused gym memberships = $40/month
Eliminating just a few things (not even including the 12 packs of soda, and the Netflix, and the Starbucks, and buying our lunch everyday instead of brown bagging it, and all the other meals we ate out) would’ve saved us $275 per month.
I traded PRICELESS memories for… what? I don’t remember those dinners. We never did make it to the gym, and giving up a bottle of soda per day seems like nothing. Those things all seem trivial and silly now.
Doing the math.
Say we had chosen a wedding package that costs $2200. $2200 / $275 = 8. So just 8 months of eliminating silly things to pay for a real wedding photographer. We had our date booked a year in advance, and, after paying the initial retainer/deposit fee, it probably would’ve been closer to 6 months of eliminating those silly things.
I don’t want people to make the same mistake as me. I hate when a bride tells me that a cousin or friend or uncle with a “nice camera” is going to do their photos for them. I hurt for them because I know they are going to be so, so, so disappointed. Just because you might not value your wedding photos now, doesn’t mean they won’t become priceless to you later on down the road.
If you don’t choose me, that’s fine. Just please, please, please, choose a professional photographer whose work you are in love with, whose personality you mesh with, that you TRUST to perfectly capture the story of your wedding day.