When To Book Wedding Photographer

The answer to when to book wedding photographer can be as early as 12 months in advance. We will talk about why this schedule is ideal and how it benefits you to avoid stressing out. 

But what if you’re the photographer himself and you’re unsure of what to wear? We wrote a helpful etiquette guide on what to wear as a wedding photographer

when to book wedding photographer

Remember that even if you’re hired, you should ensure that you’ll remain respectful for this special occasion. 


When Should You Book A Wedding Photographer

The ideal time to book your wedding photographer is at least 12 months before the wedding day. Some couples even book their photographer as early as 18 months from the wedding.  

This is especially beneficial if your wedding day is during the peak season or months from April to November. Otherwise, you risk not having your preferred photographer available on your wedding date. 

Another way to know when to book a wedding photographer is when you have already confirmed a wedding venue. Then, after securing a venue, you can reach out to the photographer, so everything is already set in place without any possibility of date changes. 

Nonetheless, there is no right or wrong answer on the best time to book a wedding photographer because factors vary for every wedding. It would just be a great idea to confirm these essential parts of your wedding in advance to avoid getting stressed once the date is near. 

For example, do you know when to order a wedding cake? It is also ideal to do so in advance to avoid potentially competing with other couples and settling for something you may not want.


What Is A Reasonable Amount To Pay For A Wedding Photographer?

It should be reasonable to pay $2,000 for a wedding photographer. However, on average, hiring a wedding photographer can cost anywhere from a thousand dollars to thrice that amount, depending on various factors. 

So, in general, prepare at least $2,000 when you’re planning on having a wedding photographer. But, first, let us check why do wedding photographers cost so much in more detail:



Depending on your requests and chosen package, the wedding photographer might need assistants or even another shooter for the event. Of course, this will raise the expected payment for the photographer. 


Editing and printing

The editing and printing of the images will be included in the overall payment for the wedding photographer. It takes time and effort to produce wedding photos that suit the client’s preference, and the photographer might be charging how they’ll give the photos, whether via physical images and/or digital copies. 


Time and location

Most wedding photographers charge by the time spent in the wedding. Unlimited coverage will cost more, and the photographer might also include the expenses they’ll shell out to arrive at your wedding venue if it’s far. 



You might also want the photographer to shoot other events outside the wedding package. For example, requesting bridal portraits and dinners will cost extra. 


Do You Tip The Wedding Photographer?

The choice is on the couple if they want to tip their wedding photographer. Tips are not included in the photographer’s fee, but it’s also not mandatory if you don’t feel like giving one or don’t have enough extras because of the wedding expenses. 

But if you do want to tip them, how much should you tip a wedding photographer? Consider giving a tip about 10% of the photographer’s rate or a minimum of a hundred dollars. 

If the photographer also brought other staff, a $50 tip for each person should be of good taste. On the contrary, those who can’t provide tips can always thank the photographer and give them a good review if they have a website. 


How Much Should A First-Time Wedding Photographer Cost?

It’s tricky to mention a specific payment suitable for a first-time wedding photographer. However, the lowest price can even be free as some newbies or those who just started their wedding photography business are willing to shoot for exposure. 

Some might be building their portfolio for wedding photography so that the first clients can pay lower than the expected payment. However, it’s also possible to pay $1,000 even for a first-time wedding photographer. 

Remember to be reasonable, especially when the wedding photographer has the skills and photos to prove his capabilities. To avoid any miscommunications, be direct with your expectations from each other and expect the service you want according to how much you’re willing to pay. 


How Do I Budget A Wedding Photo?

  • Consider asking a close friend or family member that might also be interested in shooting wedding photos
  • Book the wedding photographer only for the ceremony and have another designated non-professional photographer for the other moments of the day
  • Decide the inclusions you want in the package (e.g., do you really need an album or digital copies?)
  • Ask the photographer if they’re willing to accept a partial barter to save some on the overall payment


Who Pays For Wedding Photographer?

There is no specific rule, but the bride’s family is usually expected to pay for the wedding photographer. 



Was this guide helpful? We just discussed when to book wedding photographer and found out that you can do so as early as 12 months before the wedding. 

Doing so will help you secure a booking even if it’s peak season. However, some couples also find a photographer only after they’ve booked a venue for the wedding. 


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