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  • Kayla Bowman

How Much Should You Invest in Wedding Photography?

Updated: Jan 27, 2022

"After months of planning and years of dreaming, the wedding day is over in an instant. That’s why photographers are one of the most important vendors—they capture every moment so you can hold onto the memories for a lifetime.

Wedding photographs are the one thing you walk away with from your big day,” says photographer Emily Millay. “Brides and grooms are going through the motions of the day, but think of all the candid moments they miss. Those are the moments that make up their wedding, and that’s why wedding photography is such an important investment.

A bride and groom walking and holding hands on a fall day.

Wedding photography prices vary from $1,000 to $10,000 or higher in the U.S., but Millay says the average for a Midwest photographer is between $3,000 to $4,000. In New York, Brooklyn photographer Susan Stripling says prices range between $2,500 and $5,000. California isn’t much different; West Coast photographer Zoe Larkin says Bay Area prices are between $3,000 to $4,700 on average.

When should you hire your photographer?

Sooner is always better when it comes to booking your wedding photographer, especially when you have a specific vendor in mind. If you’re planning to use your engagement photos for your save the dates, book your photographer at least 10 months or more in advance. (Save-the-dates go out four to eight months before your wedding.) The longer you wait, the more likely your favorite photographers are to be booked up, Millay says."

A bride and groom walking and holding hands on the sunset of their wedding day.

Photo credit: LaBelle Image

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