The photographer has one of the most important tasks at your wedding, but they also can be one of your highest costs. The average photography bill is over $2,500, and the average couple spends 10-15% of the total wedding budget on photography. Depending on where you live and what’s included in the photography package, normal wedding photographer fees range from below $2,500 to $15,000 or more. Part of the reason for the huge range of prices is that photographers offer a huge range of services. In addition to shooting your ceremony and reception, photographers may include engagement photos, and photos of preparations before the wedding. Of course, the longer time you expect the photographer to be present, the more you can expect to pay. As well, wedding albums, edited videos, and other frills may be added to the photography package.

With so many options available, it can be difficult to narrow down what you really need. With such a wide range of pricing, we’ve put together a few tips to help you get the best wedding photos at the best price. Here are a few suggestions for saving money without compromising quality.

Reduce photography time
A normal wedding photography package covers 8 hours. Consider hiring your photographer for just 2-3 hours around the ceremony - they’ll still capture all the most important moments, and you'll save at least half off the price. Going without engagement photos is another easy way to save.

Hire one photographer instead of a team
Another obvious way to save is to reduce the number of photographers present at your wedding. If you’re okay with one angle for your photos, this is a great option.

Print your own photos
There are many inexpensive printing options available online, including Walmart LINK. Printing your own photos and putting together your own album can save you $1,000s over what the professionals would charge for the same service.

Shop around
When buying a big ticket item like a car or house, you would never blindly accept the first one you find. You can save a bundle with the same mindset for choosing your wedding photographer. By calling several businessee, you will be able to pick the option that provides the best value and fits your style.

Hire a local photographer
You will likely be required to pay travel costs travel costs, such as flights, hotel, and meals, if you hire an out of town photographer. These expenses add up quickly. There are sure to be many qualified photographers near your wedding venue, so save an unnecessa r y cost by hiring a local photographer.

Negotiate
If you find a photographer you love but they are too expensive, ask if they offer any discounts or smaller packages with fewer add-ons to fit your budget.

Hire a friend
Even if they are not one of your closest friends, reach out to a photographer you know personally to photograph your wedding. Your friend may offer a deep discount (or even free as a wedding gift), especially if you allow them to advertise with your photos to help build their portfolio.