Most photographers want to sell you wedding photography packages for your special day. And, of course, they always praise their most expensive package. But do you actually need it? Probably not! That’s why we’ll break down the most common packages from wedding photographers and give you an overview of your options.
As a passionate photographer, I’ve met many wedding photographers, as it’s one of the most profitable niches of this profession. Therefore, I have a good grasp of their packages, their offers, and, of course, their budget.
If you want to jump straight to the top 5 most popular wedding photography packages, click on this button!
What is Included in a Package?
Basic Package Every Photographer Covers
In a typical wedding photography package, you can expect to find some fundamental services that almost every photographer provides. These include:
- A set number of hours covering the wedding event with one or more photographers
- A plan on when the photos will be shot, before or after the ceremony? Or just during the wedding…
- High-resolution, edited photographs are available in an online gallery or via a USB drive
- Permission to print the photographs for personal use or already made prints
As you see, that’s pretty standard. That’s roughly what you would expect as the bare minimum from any photographer at your wedding. They come, take photos, and give it to you digitally.
Of course, that’s not it! Those are just the basics. However, most photographers offer some extras to stand out even more and make your day extra special. The downside is that most of these come with a higher price. You have to think carefully if you can afford these and if it is worth it to you!
Some of the most common and popular add-ons are:
- Additional hours of coverage
- Engagement or pre-wedding photo session
- A second photographer for capturing more angles and moments
- Physical prints or albums
- Videography services to document your wedding day
As you can see, most of these are really nice to have. A pretty photo album of your wedding, or even more impressions due to a second photographer, can be quite awesome to remember your wedding even better. However, it does not stop there! We can go beyond that and add some luxury add-ons as well!
Now, these are really for the rich and wealthy, or if you want to make sure you’ll get the best photos out of your wedding day. Those add-ons can often be quite expensive, but sometimes they are just worth it! Luxury add-ons I’ve seen include:
- Specialty albums with high-quality materials and custom designs
- Drone photography and videography for capturing aerial views
- Fine art prints showcasing your favorite wedding photos
- A dedicated photobooth or mobile studio setup for capturing guest portraits
Sounds expensive and high-end, doesn’t it? But that’s what makes it special: not every wedding has a drone photoshoot or a photo booth! That’s why you should consider what your budget for your wedding and your wedding photographer is!
Cost and Budget
Your budget is what makes or breaks your dream wedding. You can get everything you’ve ever dreamt of for your wedding – if you have the spare money for it. Unfortunately, weddings are really expensive most of the time, and a good wedding photographer is no exception. However, keep in mind we have expensive equipment and devote multiple days to planning, traveling, and the actual shoot of your wedding photography. So it’s not overpriced! Most of the time, at least.
How much does a wedding photographer cost? In short – plan with $2,000 if you have to keep an eye on your budget.
The price of a photographer vastly depends on their experience, their equipment, and other factors like accommodation. On average, wedding photographer costs range from $1,500 for photographers at the beginning of their career up to $30,000+ for high-end photographers whose work appears in magazines like Vogue and Vanity Fair. We know – absolutely insane, right? But those are most often celebrity photographers themselves, bringing expensive equipment and a photography team. You most certainly won’t need that!
Most couples typically spend about 10-12% of their budget on wedding photography. Here’s a quick breakdown of the average wedding photography pricing:
- Beginner photographers: $1,500
- Experienced photographers: $2,000 – $4,500
- High-end photographers: $30,000+
Aside from the experience of the photographer, these are the most common factors that spike up the cost of your wedding photographer:
- Location: Your photographer has to get to your wedding in the first place. Plan for travel costs and maybe a hotel for the night.
- Coverage: The total hours of coverage you need will affect your budget. More coverage may require additional photographers or higher fees.
- Editing and albums: As mentioned, some wedding photography packages include editing and album creation. These can also be quite expensive.
All in all, make sure only to book what you really need. Most wedding photography packages will probably be way too much for your wedding. Do you want full coverage of your wedding day? Or is the ceremony enough? It’s completely up to you!
Deposits and Refunds
One last point on pricing: As wedding photography takes a lot of planning, you often have to provide a deposit to secure your date. This deposit is typically a percentage of the total photographer cost. It’s essential to discuss deposit and refund policies with your photographer before signing the contract for the wedding photography packages. The last thing you’d want is to have any issues with the payment, so be aware that everything is fitting and non-scammy. If you do change your plans, most photographers offer a small refund of your deposit if you give them notice in advance.
5 Most Common Wedding Photography Packages
Now, let’s come to the overview of the most popular wedding photography packages most photographers offer. I know a couple of professional and amateur photographers, and most do offer packages of this kind:
- Basic Package:
This package usually includes 4-6 hours of coverage, capturing the main events like the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception. It typically comes with a predetermined number of digital photographs and an online gallery for easy viewing and sharing. This is the most basic package, and most people will be fine with that.
- Standard Package:
A step above the basic package, the standard package includes 6-8 hours of coverage. This allows us to capture even more special moments throughout your wedding day, such as pre-wedding preparations and family portraits. You can also expect a larger number of digital photographs and possibly a slideshow of the highlights.
- Premium Package:
For couples who want comprehensive coverage of their wedding day, the premium package is ideal. Providing 8-10 hours of coverage, you’ll receive all the benefits of the standard package plus additional services like a second photographer, a beautifully designed wedding album, and high-quality prints. However, this one is often double the price of the basic or standard package.
- Destination Wedding Package:
If you’re planning a wedding in a remote or exotic location, a destination wedding package is specially designed to cater to your needs. This package generally covers travel expenses, accommodation for the photographers, and extensive coverage of your entire wedding weekend. It’s perfect for capturing stunning destination-specific images and unforgettable moments with your loved ones.
- Custom Package:
For couples looking for a tailor-made solution, a custom wedding photography package allows you to handpick the services you need. This might include additional hours, engagement photoshoots, or unique services like drone photography. You should contact the wedding photographer of your choice to make sure you get exactly what you want!
My Opinion on Wedding Photography Packages
So what package should you choose? Honestly, I think the Basic Package is most fitting for most weddings and people. It’s the cheapest, but with the right photographer, you will still receive amazing photos of your special day. You should calculate with $1,500 – $2000 when choosing this package.
I think packages per se are a great thing! It gives you an opportunity to compare different photographers, the costs, and the coverage. However, don’t be all fed up with the packages themselves. Have a look at the portfolios of the photographers! You should pick a professional photographer whose photos you really like.
I hope this article gave you a good overview. If you want to keep reading more from me, have a look at these articles. Otherwise, have a good wedding!
Also, have a look at our Pinterest, to stay up-to-date with the latest photography trends!
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I expect to pay for a wedding photography package?
Wedding photography packages can vary greatly in price depending on location, experience, and services offered. On average, expect to pay between $1,000 to $3,000 for a professional photographer. However, keep in mind that higher-end packages and experienced photographers can cost more.
How do I find an affordable photographer and videographer near me?
To find an affordable photographer and videographer near you, start by asking for recommendations from friends, family, and online reviews. Additionally, you can use websites like The Knot, WeddingWire, or even social media platforms like Instagram to search for local photographers within your budget.
What’s included in a luxury wedding photography package?
A luxury wedding photography package typically includes high-end services, such as full-day coverage, multiple photographers, high-resolution images, professionally edited photos, custom-designed albums, and a private online gallery. Some may also offer engagement sessions, bridal portraits, and a trash-the-dress shoot to complete the experience.
What is the typical budget for a wedding photographer in NYC?
The typical budget for a wedding photographer in NYC can range from $3,000 to over $10,000, depending on the experience level and the services offered. Keep in mind that prices in larger cities like New York City tend to be higher due to increased costs of living and demand.
Are there any combined photographer and videographer deals?
Yes, many photographers offer combined photographer and videographer deals that can save you money and ensure a cohesive style across your wedding photos and videos. When booking your photographer, inquire about any package deals or discounts they may offer for bundling these services together. Be sure to research and compare to make the best decision for your special day.