Before contacting potential wedding photographers, it is in your best interest to determine your wedding photography budget or budget range. I have several brides who come to me and say that they have no idea what their budget is, which isn’t helpful to them or to me.
So many budget creation resources exist, including your planner, that can help you determine the right spending amount. Keep in mind that many “average” vendor costs are averaged over the entire country, so larger cities will likely cost more than the average. Also, feel free to increase the budgets of categories that are higher priorities for you and lower the costs for what’s not as important. Once you have determined price points for your wedding vendors, you should tell wedding photographers your budget for the following three reasons:
1. It Eliminates Wasted Time
By disclosing your budget upfront, both you and the photographer will immediately recognize whether or not your budget falls within their price range. This gives insight to the photographer about what to focus on and discuss before booking and also allows both of you to be on the same page about planning aspects. It won’t benefit anyone to spend time on meetings or extended email conversations if it isn’t the right fit from the beginning.
Don’t have an exact number? Provide them with a ballpark number! For example, are you hoping to stick around $3,000 or $6,000?
2. It Helps Them Recommend the Best Collection for You
When you tell wedding photographers your budget, the photographer will be able to suggest which collection best suits your budget. Reputable photographers won’t change their rates based on the budget you tell them. Don’t worry about your answer changing their prices. All it will cause them to do is point you in the direction of the collections they offer within your budget or it will allow them to create a custom collection for you based off of their hourly and product rates.
For example, let’s say that my Collection A is $4,500 and my Collection B is $5,750. A bride comes to me and tells me that her budget is around $5,200. I know that Collection B won’t be a fit for her and that Collection A might be if it has everything she’s looking for. I would recommend Collection A to her, as well as a few custom options that simply add on hours or products to Collection A while keeping the cost under her budget.
3. It Provides Referrals to Vendors within Your Budget
If you are out of budget for a photographer or they are already booked on your date, the photographer can refer you to someone who is within your budget if they know what price point you’re hoping to stay within.
Also, if you happen to be looking for planners, florists, or other wedding vendors, tell your photographer your style preference and budget for each category. They’ll be able to refer you to amazing vendors that are sure to be the right fit for your aesthetic and budget.
When you embark on your vendor search, don’t be shy or hesitant to tell wedding photographers your budget. It can only help save you time!