Sunday, June 14, 2009

Budget Brides 101-How to save on Photography

I thought I would start putting together a few short lessons for all the brides out there on a budget and even if you're not save where you can and splurge on some awesome extras that will really wow your guests. So this week a client of mine Cicely just created her Wedding Website ( and instead of putting up a traditional site she decided to go with a blog which lead me to this first lesson. She spoke of her experience with a student photographer. Here is a few creative ways to cut costs without sacrificing class for your big day!

Photography. Your photographer can be the single most important assest of your wedding and next to the food the most costly. I do not recommend just going with the cheapest photographer you can find by any means, and IF you can afford it stick to someone with a good reputation and portfolio. Do your research. There are lots of affordable options out there, just be careful when choosing which one will work best for you. If you are having engagement photos taken or an engagement party photographed why not try out a photographer at one of these smaller events first before booking them for your wedding that way you will be able to see how they will work out for you, and going with one of the below options will not be so risky.

1. Look for photography students. Everyone has to start somewhere even the most talented professionals. You might luck up with a very talented student looking to build a portfolio to get into the business. Cicely and I researched a craigslist posting for a free photography session by an aspiring student (, we scheduled her to take their engagement photos and the session was a blast! No complaints so far, she said the student was creative and professional.

2. Post a free ad for aspiring photographers to take your pictures and set a price or simply offer them full usage of the photos for their portfolio.
The most popular free advertising for services being
The trick to this is to schedule more than one photographer, you don't want lots of people running around your event being disruptive but you do want to go with more than one to ensure that you will have a few shots that you are completely satisfied with. A client tried this method and it worked out for her, she scheduled four free photographers and had given each of them very specific assignments for her wedding photos. You will also be able to capture lots of shots that a traditional photographer wouldn't be able to capture. Lots of times the traditional photographer has to give so much attention to the wedding couple that you don't get lots of pictures of your guests.

3. Order the prints yourself.
You may have fallen in love with a very expensive or well known photographers work, but think you simply can't afford their services. Wrong! Most photographers have set package rates for you to choose from but many are open to customizing something for you if you request it. Be specific in what services you are interested in. Cut out the middle man and order the prints yourself, you can even publish your own professional wedding book for a fairly reasonable rate, my favorite company being (

These are just a few places to start. The key is to give yourself ample time to research. Start planning your wedding/event from the moment you know you are going to have one even if you haven't set a date yet. Research everything and everyone, the more knowledgeable you are the better. Look into to all options to ensure you are picking the best one for you. Lastly never under estimate the power of friends and family. If you know someone attending is pretty handy with the camera encourage them to step in and take pictures of your event. Don't be afraid to provide cameras for the guest to use to take pictures, be creative and attach a note card to the camera with instruction.
Keep an eye out for more Budget Bride lessons to come. Keep me posted on your photography stories.

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