Save Money on Photography

Your wedding will go by in a joyful blur, but your photographs will live on. Here's how to get picture-perfect results without breaking the bank.

When it comes to wedding photos, you only have one chance to get them right—a key reason to leave this work to a pro, not a snap-happy friend. Top professionals work with equally top-notch equipment. They’re everywhere, not missing a moment, capturing the magic of your day... which is why their fees are lofty. On average, professional wedding photography costs $1,853, according to Still, there are discounts to be found—even from the top pros, who share these tips.

The Basics

1. Ask about price breaks if you’re having your wedding in slower months such as November, February or March, or if your wedding falls on a Thursday or Sunday night. The pros we spoke to tell us to expect between 10 and 20 percent savings.

2. Hire local talent. Most photo and video professionals base part of their fees on travel time to, from and in between locations, but, if asked, will often grant discounts if you’re having your wedding and reception in the same location, or if your sites are close to one another.

3. Don’t skimp on fees or food by eliminating photo assistants. These key technicians help set up the lighting and sound so the photographer can spend her precious time shooting you.

4. Ask about discounts based on referrals.
If a friend books a photographer or videographer based on seeing initial proofs or footage from your wedding, many pros will knock as much as $500 off your final payment.

5. Always mention who referred you. J.B. Yong, CEO of Sweet Dreams Studio Photography in Washington DC says, “I offer special discounts based on referrals.” (Case in point: He’ll offer $100 off to Bridal Guide readers if they mention this article.)

Did You Know: In big-ticket regions, such as New York City, average costs can be as high as $3,345 to $4,460 for a photographer’s time, with added albums, prints and slideshows bringing that total up to $6,201 to $8,268. And for videographer services plus editing in NYC, costs can reach an average of $2,169 to over $5,000 for more extensive editing. In Chicago, you could expect to pay between $2,451 and $4,085 for photography and videography in total. Check your city’s averages at

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Photo Credit: Casey Fatchett Photography