Sarah's and my goal has always been to educate our couples as best as possible so that their wedding day is stress free. We've decided to start a weekly feature to help educate all couples, whether they have booked with us or not. We want everyone to be well equipped with information when planning their wedding! We're starting off the series with when to book your wedding photographer!
Let me start off by saying, nothing in this post is a hard fast rule when booking your wedding photographer. These are just some suggestions we've come up with after almost 9 years of shooting weddings!
1. When are you planning on having your wedding?
The first thing to consider is when are you having your wedding? Are you dreaming of a fall wedding with beautiful colors and mild temperatures? Or have you always wanted a traditional June wedding? We have found that these are probably the two most popular times of year to get married. Fall has definitely taken over spring in becoming the MOST popular time to get married. The weather is mild (typically mild - I mean we do live in an area where the weather seems to change every day haha), the trees are colorful and there is usually not too much of a chance of rain. All that being said, you'll find that venues and photographers book up very fast for these dates. Our suggestion to you is to start looking at wedding photographers at the same time you are looking at venues and book them as close together as possible, typically 8-12 months in advance. If you are planning on a wedding sometime between December - March, you should be fine booking somewhere between 6-8 months in advance.
2. How badly do you want the photographer you have been eyeing?
Do you have a photographer that you've been following for awhile and just wouldn't feel complete without them shooting your wedding? Contact them shortly after your engagement! Let them know what venues you are looking at, what time of year you'd like to get married and dates you are looking at if you have any specifics in mind. Most photographers will be super flattered that you want them for your wedding and will let you know what dates they have available and, if you are flexible, you can book your venue on one of those dates. If you are really really flexible, go ahead and book your photographer first!! Then choose your wedding date and venue based on their availability. You can even ask them for suggestions on venues based off of your style. They may have a suggestion that you never thought or heard of! We love to help couples through the planning process and after having shot in a lot of different spaces, we have been able to help couples choose something that fit their needs.
3. How important is photography to you?
The bottom line is really this - how important is photography to you? Do you feel that these images are how you'll remember your wedding day months, years, decades from now? If you are looking for quality photos you'll treasure, then make booking your photographer a priority. Most photographers will book up 8-12 months in advance. Don't stress if you're behind the curve!! If your dream photographer is booked for your date, ask for a recommendation. Most photographers will be happy to offer you referrals for other photographers that are available on your date and that have a similar style and pricing as theirs. We are networked with several other comparable photographers and are happy to send on referrals when we are booked for a particular date. We want to make sure you are taken care of!!
We hope that this post has helped ease your stress and point you in the right direction as far as when to book your wedding photographer! If you'd like to be notified when we post other informative posts and when we offer freebies (we'll be releasing sample timelines in a couple weeks!!!!), make sure to sign up for our email newsletter below :)