How much does a wedding photographer cost?

Updated: Sep 11

Wedding photography is an important element of your big day which is worth investing in. You will want to look back at the photographs over the years and bring back the memories of that special day. So it is key that you set aside enough money in your budget to ensure you get a good professional photographer.


According to an article in the Independent the average cost of a wedding in 2018 was £30,355.

The National survey was carried out by Bridebook.co.uk

When cutting costs back, the average is still around £17,913 per couple.


As a guideline setting aside 5-10% of your budget for photography is the norm.


The wedding features that have increased in price the most over the past year are:

Marquee hire 24%

Food and drink 23%

Venue dressing 22%

33% of brides and grooms say they overspend the most on food and drink, spending an average of £5,862. And the cake alone costs couples an average of £323.

What’s more, 28 per cent of couples have an open bar (which is up from 21% last year).


Zoe and Thomas Wedding Abbey House Hotel Barrow in Furness

So what should a wedding photographer cost? Picking the right wedding photographer can be difficult especially when prices can be so varied, click here to see the 5 top tips to choosing the right wedding photographer.


Things that can affect wedding photography prices

Where you live: Naturally it will be more expensive if you live in London or a big city

  1. Wedding date: If your wedding is off season (winter months) or during the week, it could be cheaper. Fridays and Weekends are the most popular days to get married, so it can be harder to find a good photographer, as they often get booked a year in advance.

  2. There could also be discounts if you offer to pay in full in advance.

  3. Size of the wedding and number of guests: Sometimes it may be necessary to employ a 'second shooter' this is basically a second photographer to ensure you get full cover on the day.

  4. Timing: If you only want part of the day covering

  5. Going Digital only: Rather than having a bespoke printed album, you could buy the digital rights and print them off yourself.

  6. Only hiring a photographer for part of the day. The only problem with this, is there are some key moments you may regret not being photographed, for example getting ready, ceremony, speeches, cake cutting, first dance and evening party shots.


Look out for hidden costs

Professional photographers will provide a written contract which will be signed by both parties detailing exactly what you will get. Without this you could be hit with surprise charges. For example, I know someone who hired a very low cost photographer, not only were the pictures average, they were only supplied on a USB key with watermarks. This meant the couple had to buy individual images with the watermark removed before they could be printed.


Some photographers have their reasons for charging lower prices, this doesn't mean to say they are not as good as the ones charging higher prices. You just need to ask questions, see their work and get a gut feeling.


My prices are flexible!


Why? Because I don't want to exclude anyone on a lower budget. I won't do a lesser job, they will still get great service and premium quality photographs. I can justify low prices by not having premises, staff or any expensive overheads, in addition, I don't need to meet sales targets and I don't charge VAT. So I can cater for small wedding packages through to the larger wedding packages, as each one is very different. That's why it is difficult to have a one price fits all approach.


A good example was the time I photographed a wedding where the bride bought her dress on eBay, cut costs by not using wedding cars, professional catering and not inviting too many people to the wedding breakfast. It was a really good wedding! They just did what was important for them and they were extremely happy.


I think for most couples planning a wedding see quality and budget as being equally important, so it is all about getting things into perspective and not getting carried away.


I have seen photographs of couples in fantastic settings with superb stylised photography, I have seen in the same album many pictures of things not really relevant and practically anything that moves to bulk out the album, if that is what you want then you would go to the top end of the scale and pay thousands of pounds for wedding photography, and there is definitely a market for it.


My focus is to be down to earth and provide couples with an honest approach and a set of pictures that they actually want to keep looking at year after year and not take an hour to get through them all because there are too many. Quality not quantity!


When it comes to wedding photography, it can be expensive, but it doesn't need to be, so it is important to choose a photographer that fits with your budget. After all, cost cuttings are great on the day, but when it's over you want to be able to have a good wedding album to lock in those memories forever.


A final note on this; take time to look at the wedding photographs on my website, as a starting point look at the reviews section, I hope the pictures speak for themselves and show the quality that can be achieved without spending a fortune.


Wedding photography prices at the high end start at around £250 for a pre wedding shoot. £1200 for the wedding day and if you want an album it can be as high as another £400 for a bespoke handmade album. You will get a great service, probably a second photographer to cover the event and around 600 to 800 pictures of your wedding day. If this is what you are looking for, then I am probably the the wrong person and that's being very honest. I prefer to stay at the more affordable range and still provide my clients with a great service and premium quality.


In my view it is all about getting value for money without compromising on quality. If you would like to discuss your wedding photography I would love to hear from you and there is no obligation, please contact me.