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Why Photography should be a Priority when Planning your Wedding

When it comes to planning your wedding there are a lot of things to think about, consider and budget for. The list will seem endless and you may not know where to start, yet when it comes to wedding planning there are certainly a few things that should be your starting point and priority.

Why Photography should be a Priority when Planning your Wedding

The most important part of a wedding is the couple, and that is what it is all about and that is all that matters at the end of the day. However, when it comes to planning the big day you shall speak to a lot of suppliers, from florists, bridal boutiques, caterers, stationery designers, the list goes on, all these people will tell you how important it is to get it right. Getting the right flowers, having the best food, it is all about the dress, that is good, you want to work with passionate people, however are these a priority when planning your wedding? Of course they should be included and I am not saying you should leave out any of these, but are they more important then wedding photography?


I read and hear about a lot of couples who only have a small budget left for their photography, couples who are struggling to find a photography they like for their wedding coming up very soon, and couples who are not having a photographer as they just cannot afford one. These couples haven’t put very much importance on photography…

Why is wedding photography so important?

Is wedding photography the most important thing when it comes to your wedding? Nope, not at all, however when it comes to planning your special day it should be up there on the priority list of things to look at, budget for and book.

Wedding photography is important because it will capture your day, it will capture your memories, it will tell a story, and not just any story, it will tell a beautiful story of your special day, a day you will never forget. A story that you can show friends and family, your kids, and grandchildren, something you will have and can treasure for ever.

You see your flowers will wilt, your cake will quickly be eaten, your invites will be binned after the day, your dress shall be worn once, those shoes shall go back into their box, this isn’t me trying to be glum and miserable, this is about perspective, this is about helping you focus your budget on things that you may not put importance on, such as wedding photography.

When it comes to wedding planning, it is more than just one day, it is about a lifetime of memories.


One day, and a lot of memories

Earlier I mentioned about couples who didn’t put to much importance on wedding photography, and it can easily be forgotten or put down the pecking order because on the day itself, you don’t have anything. If you go to a florist they will create beautiful bouquets of flowers for you, your cake maker will make the most delicious and gorgeous looking cake for your day, the list goes on, the thing is here, these are things and items that will be there on your day, things that you and everyone will see. Yet when it comes to wedding photography you are paying for something you won’t see till after, and the best wedding photographers will go unnoticed, your guest won’t even know they are there.

What are you paying for?

When it comes to wedding planning, it is more than just one day, it is about a lifetime of memories. It is about capturing moments, it is about capturing emotion, it is about being able to relive the day through beautiful photos, it is about smiling at moments that you never knew happened, seeing the emotion on your family and friends faces, and most importantly of all, having a story you can treasure forever.

If you are just thinking about your wedding and looking at your budget, make sure you maximise your budget for your wedding photography, it’s not just a few photos of you and your partner on your wedding day looking beautiful and happy, it is about a beautiful story of your wedding day, from getting ready and smiling with your bridesmaids, to the emotion on your dads face as he sheds a tear and looks on with pride. Capturing the beautiful details on your day after hours and days of planning, from the beautiful flowers, your dress and venue, capturing the day as it unfolds, capturing the emotion of your guests, the nervousness of the groom, all the way through to that first dance, this is not just any story, this is your story.

Make sure you capture your day, and your story, don’t regret not hiring a professional wedding photographer.

Things to consider

Maximise your budget. Will the guests notice if you saved a little money on your flowers, will your guests really notice if you saved a little on the food, will they notice if the cake isn’t 5 tiers high? Save a little where you can and maximise your photography budget, it is the only thing you will have left at the end of the day. Read our article on the The Real Cost of Wedding Photography.

Find your style. There are hundreds of wedding photographers to choose from, and most will travel all over the country and even abroad, take time to decide on a style you like and find a photographer that reflects this. Make sure you view more of their work and complete albums, you don’t want one or two beautiful photos, you want a beautiful story that is of high quality through out, from beginning to the the end.

Book quickly. The best wedding photographers get hired and booked up to 2 years in advance, so once you know the date, find your perfect wedding photographer and get them booked.

Final thoughts

All this planning is for one day only, one day you marry the partner you wish to spend the rest of your life with, one day you share this beautiful moment with all your family and friends that you love. Make sure you hold onto those memories and don’t look back and wish you had hired a photographer.

Wedding Photography is about unique moments, it’s about being able to relive the day through beautiful photos, this is smiling at moments you didn’t even know happened, seeing the excitement and emotion on the faces of the your family and friends, and, above all, having a story that you shall take with you forever…

Here’s what you’re paying!

How important is wedding photography to you? Have you maximised your budget to get the best photographer you can?

Keith Marrison

Tips & Advice

The Average Cost for Wedding Photography in the UK is £1,480 in 2018


Published by Sam, Editor - July 5, 2018

When it comes to weddings there a lot of things to think about and before you start off it is all about the budget, how much are you looking at spending and how are you going to split it across all the different things. When I say different things there is quite  bit to think about, venue, food, dress, suit, shoes, flowers, drinks, cake and not forgetting wedding photography.

In the UK the Average Spend on Wedding Photography in the UK is £1,480

In our 2017-2018 wedding photographer survey the average spend by couples getting married was £1,480, this will be for a full days coverage from getting ready through to the first dance. If you are planning your budget then hopefully you have budgeted around £1,500, that is not of course to say you can get it cheaper or wish to spend more.

In the US it was reported that the average spend was $2,556 in 2014, which converts to £1,780 at the conversion rate on the day this article was published.  So although slightly more you have a good ball park figure of what you will be looking at spending.

Things that can effect your Wedding Photography price…

Time of year – If you have your wedding in the off season, so in the winter months then you are likely to get it slightly cheaper as photographer may be willing to do a special deal as many couples look to get married in the spring and summer months.

Day of the Week – Thats right, which day you get married can have an effect on the price, and not just for photography but also the venue too. Fridays and the weekends are the most popular days, however if you get married on a weekday you maybe able to get a better price as the photographer is unlikely to be booked then.

Coverage – Less photos can reduce the cost, and by this I mean less time capturing, so instead of the full day you hire them to just capture the ceremony and a few after, so instead of the whole day they are just there for a few hours. Before deciding this is a great cost saver think about the day you are planning, think about the story you want to be told via photos. How are you and your bridesmaids getting ready, do you want photos of you all getting ready? What about the groom? Do you want photos of the cake cutting, or the first dance? Don’t jump the gun and only hire your photographer for a few hours just to save money, think about the whole day and the photos you really want.

Presentation – Once the photos have been edited and ready to go how do you want them? If you want your photographer to produce a beautiful album for you to relive and tell your wedding day story then this would be an additional cost to just getting all your photos on a USB. Most photographers will upload your photos online to a password protected area for you and your guests to see.

Engagement shoots – This is an option, quite a few photographers will include a free engagement shoot if you book them to cover your whole day, this is great to help get comfortable in front of the camera and around your photographer. It will help you feel more relaxed and calm in front of the camera when having photos taken on the big day itself. As well as a bit of fun you also get some lovely shots of you and your partner perfect for going on wedding invites or your save the date cards.

Things to consider when Booking a photographer

Once you have budgeted for a photographer browse our site and pin photos you like, favourite photographers that match your style and ask them for a quote. If they are within budget and you really like their work then go and meet them, ensure you get on and feel comfortable with them, make sure they answer any questions you may have if they haven’t already. When chatting to them you want to feel relaxed, if you feel like you are telling a friend about your wedding that you have known for years then that is a good sign.

Of course getting on is one part, but also ensure their work is of the highest quality, look through completed albums and get in touch with previous couples who they shot their wedding for to make sure they are happy.


You are not restricted to local photographers either, if you are getting married in Manchester for example but the photographer you really like is based in London then get in touch with them, most photographers now will travel the country and also fly abroad too. You may have to pay for their travel expenses but if you get the photographer you really want then it is certainly worth it.

With wedding photography you only get one chance, don’t regret not hiring a professional and make sure you get the photos you want that tell a beautiful story which you can show your family, kids and grandchild. That is why wedding photography is so important.

So the average Spend on Wedding Photography in the UK is £1,480, how much have you budgeted? And how much did you spend?

Keith Marrison
‘I regret not Hiring a Professional Wedding Photographer’

How did you go about planning your big day?

We decided we wanted to marry on the first anniversary of us starting to go out with one another. We knew from the start that we wanted a quiet wedding – just our closest friends and family. Unfortunately I fell ill and we had to cancel the wedding. In some ways that was a good thing. Our small intimate wedding had grown in to something we didn’t want due to parental pressure. We finally got married 3 years after we met and we were able to plan the wedding we wanted. We chose the date nearest to the anniversary of us meeting. We booked the registry office first – and we were able to request to be married by a family friend that made the wedding ceremony extra special. We then started to look for places to have a meal for after the ceremony when Ian’s sister offered her house. We booked a local caterer to provide a buffet style meal with lots of our favourite foods. Ian’s Mum had been a wedding cake maker in her youth and she offered to make us a 3 tier cake.

Family offer in good faith, but what I have realised is that wedding photography is more than having a good camera.

How did you go about splitting up your budget?

We wanted to keep costs low – we didn’t have much spare cash and the money we did have we both felt we would prefer to spend on the honeymoon. We didn’t have a specific budget – we bought what we liked but we ended up spending about spent equal amounts on the dress, suit, and food. At the last minute I decided to have flowers for myself, my matron of honour and 2 bridesmaids. They cost more than my dress!

At the time what was the reasoning for leaving out hiring a professional wedding photographer?

Because we were having a quiet wedding we thought that a wedding photographer wasn’t really necessary – that somehow it was extravagant for a small wedding . We also thought it would be an added expense and that the money could be put towards other costs and our honeymoon. And then when my brother (who was a keen amateur photographer) offered to take photographs the thought of having a professional photographer never entered our minds again.

At what point did you regret not having a wedding photographer and how did it come about?

I was disappointed as soon as I saw the photo’s after our wedding. There were so few photos that I felt I could put in a picture frame – many were blurred – or people had their heads cut off – the lighting was all wrong! Since I have become a wedding supplier I have been following the wedding blogs and every day I see the most wonderful wedding photos and I so wish that we had employed a wedding photographer to capture our special day.

What advice would you give to others thinking of using a friend or family member to capture their day?

DON’T! Friends and family offer in good faith but what I have realised is that wedding photography is more than having a decent camera and an ability to take a good shot. It’s about having an eye to capture those special moments, to tell the story of your day – as well as all the technical expertise.

What Issues did you have with your photos?

  • Out of focus
  • Over exposed – washed out photos
  • The posed shots often have distractions in the background – like a garage nearly coming out of my head (as seen above).
  • I realise now that even with reportage type wedding photographs you have to have an eye for the shot. My brothers more ‘candid’ shots have all got people pulling funny faces or people half off the photo. They don’t look ‘natural’, they just look bad!
  • There are no lovely creative shots that you see so often now – the one’s that make you go ‘wow’.

What tips would you give to couples planning their big day and deciding how to spend their budget?

Your photo’s last a lifetime – they will bring you endless pleasure over the years to come, long after the food is consumed, the drink has been drunk and the flowers faded. It is totally worth budgeting for a photographer – if money is tight I would definitely skim money from other areas to ensure you can have one. Hire the best wedding photographer you can afford.

If there is one thing I regret about my wedding day, it is not having had a professional photographer – please don’t make the same mistake, if that wasn’t enough check out this article on 5 Reasons Why you Should Hire a Professional Wedding Photographer.

Keith Marrison
10 Essential Considerations

1. Find your style

Different wedding photographers work in different styles. Some are amazing at traditional portraits, while others prefer to move around and capture your day reportage style. Find a photographer who shoots and edits the style of photos you think will best reflect the essence of your wedding. You may want a combination of both, but speak to the photographer and view lots of complete full albums to ensure their style and work matches what you want and how you want your special day to be captured and told.

2. Budget accordingly

You really do get what you pay for with wedding photography. If you want the full package, with 10 or so hours of coverage by two photographers, expert editing, and fast delivery, you’re going to have to pay for it. Talk honestly to your photographer about your budget so they can suggest ways you can get the most for your money. If possible look to save money in other areas to maximise your photography budget, you photos will be one of the only things you have left after your special day so make sure you get the best story captured in the best way possible.

3. Family shots

Let your photographer know if you want any specific family shots you want, including a list of any group shots and perhaps assign a guest to round up those people on the day for you. It is important to note this point is family shots and important people that you want a photo with in a more traditional style. This is not about telling your photography you would like a shot of you and your husband on the bridge in the garden, or on the steps in front of the venue, let the photographer that you are paying for use their expertise and experience to find and suggest great places for a shot. Trust them, they will have years of experience and may have even shot at your wedding venue before too.

4. Have an engagement shoot

Photography is an up-close-and-personal service and both you and your photographer need to feel comfortable working together. Not only will an engagement photo shoot enhance your wedding album, it works like a dress rehearsal for photography on the day to make you more relaxed and natural in front of the camera.

5. Unplugged wedding

Smartphones can be an absolute nightmare for wedding photographers. It’s almost like having paparazzi to compete with for key shots, like the bride walking down the aisle. You’re paying a lot of money for your wedding photos so follow a growing trend for unplugged weddings by asking your guests to leave their cameras alone and enjoy the experience first-hand rather than through a lens. We covered this topic in more depth in a recent article Unplugged Weddings: Ensure your Guests are ‘there’.

6. Allow enough time

This is especially true for group shots where it can take time to track down key people you want in photos. Let guests know in advance when and where they need to be for group photos. On the flip side don’t let this dominant your day, you want to enjoy it and have fun, you don’t want to have memories of your day stressing about a hundred group shots.

7. You need to like your photographer

You don’t need to like all your suppliers (though it helps) but you do need to like your photographer because they will be photographing your naked emotions. Choose a person you will be happy to spend 8 to 10 hours with on one of the most important days of your life so your smile says “I’m so happy!” rather than “how long until this is over?”.

8. Look at pre-edited shots

Editing is about enhancing a great shot, not fixing terrible photography. Ask to see some pre-edited photos before choosing a photographer so you can see if they are skilled professionals or amateurs with a good editing package.

9. Have a “first look” photo

First look photos, where the bride and groom have a private moment to see each other before their ceremony, provide some of the most beautiful and emotionally charged images of an entire wedding.

10. Book early

The best photographers get booked up way in advance so book early to ensure you’re getting the one you want. Many professional wedding photographers will be taking bookings up to 2 years in advance, and sometimes more! So be warned and don’t be surprised when getting in touch with photographers a couple of months in advance that they are not available for your day. If you want the best make sure you book as soon as you can.

Keith Marrison