Newly engaged? First of all, congratulations! This is such an exciting and thrilling time in your life, so please soak it all in. With that being said, once you get engaged, it’s easy to become *very* eager to start the wedding planning process.
One of the most important things? Vetting out and hiring your wedding vendors. I may have a bias here, but out of all the wedding vendors you hire, I highly encourage investing in your wedding photographer. Maybe you’re one step ahead and have already decided this is something you’re wanting, yay!
However, when to book your wedding photographer is another story. Every person has a different answer to the “correct” timeline to sign that dotted line. These, however, are my wedding tips on when to book your wedding photographer from a no-bull-sh*t vendor who gives it to you straight.
When Should You Start Looking For A Wedding Photographer?
Of course, I could say it’s something as easy as, it’s time to book right freakin’ now! But as I said, too easy. One of the most important things you should know when looking to book your wedding photographer is that you should do it sooner rather than later.
Typically the standard timeline to book your wedding photographer is 9-18 months prior to your wedding date. To some of you, this may seem outrageous. However, wedding photographers and wedding vendors in general book months (even years) in advance.
So if you’ve been dying to work with someone in particular, it’s always best to start reaching out ASAP. You’ll always be able to find someone to photograph your wedding, but if you’re dreaming of working with a particular vendor, in any category, I recommend reaching out as soon as you can so that there’s a better chance they’re still available for your date.
Don’t Fall For It – Urgency Marketing Schemes
It’s important to mention that some wedding vendors will try to use the “urgency” marketing tactic on you. They want you to freak out and book immediately out of panic that your date will be taken. Be wary of any vendor that seems overly pushy about booking RIGHT NOW — chances are they’re trying to scare you into making the sale. While there are situations in that vendors have multiple couples interested in your date, your vendor should clearly communicate their process with you for handling multiple inquiries.
For reference, I only release my availability for a date one couple at a time. Once a booking proposal is sent out, the wedding date is held in my calendar for the next 7 days. That way you can chat stress-free with whoever you need to about your package, budget, and finally, signing on that dotted line.
Wedding Tips | What To Do Before Booking Your Wedding Photographer
Before you start running off price hunting for the best wedding photographer, here are just a few things you should do before reaching out to your wedding photographer.
Establish Your Wedding Date
First things first, you’re going to want to establish your wedding date. This is probably one of, if not the most important things you’re going to want to know before wedding photographer hunting. Your wedding date will let your photographer know if they are available to photograph your wedding!
If your wedding date is flexible, I encourage you to let your wedding photographer know when you inquire. If you’ve been *dying* to work with them and your wedding date is flexible, there’s a higher likelihood that they will be available on one of the dates you’re considering.
How Much Are You Willing To Spend? Establishing Your Wedding Budget
Next, you’re going to need to establish your wedding budget. Your wedding budget will help you in determining which areas of your wedding expenses you’ll splurge and save. Your wedding budget will include set dollar amounts or ranges for your venue and each of your wedding vendors.
I am not one to tell you how much money you should spend on your wedding vendors, or specifically your wedding photographer. However, I would definitely recommend having your wedding photographer and wedding planner (if you choose to have one) be one of your top priorities.
Where Are You Getting Married? Deciding Your Wedding Venue
Then, you’re going to need to determine where you’re getting married. Again, your potential wedding photographer is going to need to know where you are planning to have the whole shindig go down! If you’re traveling away from home for your wedding or looking to fly your photographer in from another location, they’ll need to know the city where your wedding day will take place so that they can give you an accurate quote for their services.
I Didn’t Book In Time, Now What?
It’s possible that you’re reading this right now and thinking, “Oh shoot, I’ve missed my deadline, now what?”. Don’t worry, there is still hope! While of course, waiting until the last minute is not ideal, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still try! If you’re coming close to your wedding date and have yet to hire a wedding photographer, don’t worry.
If wedding photography is something that means a lot to you on your special day, I would still encourage you to look! While many wedding photographers may not be available for your wedding date, that doesn’t mean *everyone* will be booked.
Keep in mind that since you will be looking more last minute to your wedding date, your options for wedding photographers will become slimmer. So make sure that if there is someone that you really want to work with, you reach out ASAP.
Wedding Tips | When To Book Your Wedding Photographer
If you were to take one thing away from this post, it is this. PLEASE book your wedding photographer as soon as you can. Your dream wedding photographer is out there and is waiting for you. You’ll both be devastated if they can’t photograph your wedding all because someone else reached out first.
While this is by no means pressuring you to rush such an important decision, hopefully, it brings awareness to what we wedding photographers have to do on our end to accommodate our couples. While we wish we could photograph every single couple that inquires, unfortunately, we can’t! We want to be able to give all of our couples our full attention, so the moral of the story is: book your wedding photographer as soon as you can!
Hopefully, you found these wedding tips on when to book your wedding photographer helpful! If you’re looking for more wedding tips like this, check out this blog next!
And if you’re an engaged couple looking for your dream wedding photographer — my 2023/2024 wedding calendar is now open for bookings! I’d love to chat with you about documenting your wedding story🤍 Check out my contact form and inquire about your wedding date here.