An article about the thing we are most uncomfortable talking about – money! ✨
I want to say something straight up. It’s something that I tell my couples openly when they talk about budget and I’m telling you now because, personally, I care about your relationship more than your wedding day. But there IS NO WAY, I want you to go into debt for your wedding. It’s stress you don’t need to carry together and there is always a way around it if you adjust your expectations.
Your perfect wedding day
You have planned your wedding a few hours drive from the Melbourne CBD and it’s going to be the perfect country wedding escape. You have booked an eight-hour package. You are set to go. But are you really? With a little extra planning and these five things to look out for, you can make sure you are working within your Wedding Photography budget.
> Travel & Accommodation fees
Some wedding photographers include a travel fee for wedding venues outside of the Melbourne CBD and Accommodation charges for two nights for venues more than 2 hours away. All of these little costs can add up when you have already set your budget.
You’ll be pleased to know that my fees and packages include no additional travel costs for venues within 100km of Melbourne CBD. I charge 1 night’s accommodation for weddings more than two hours’ drive from Melbourne but less than 4 hours’ drive. For anything over 4 hours I need two nights’ accommodation and for interstate or international weddings, a custom estimate will be created and shared prior to you signing your contract, so that you have all the information you need, before you jump in feet first.
Some ways that you can minimise these charges, are choosing a location closer to the city or one that includes accommodation for your photographer.
>What happens if your evening runs over
This one is quite common for couples who are trying to cut their coverage timings fine. Most photographers (including me) charge for additional time if required. If things are running over, we will generally come to you during the evening to ask if you would like us to stay to continue to cover all the aspects that we had discussed that have run over time, or if you would like us to leave on time. Some photographers require payment on the evening – I believe you have enough on your plate enjoying your evening, so I invoice you the next day with payment due at the end of the week.
Some things you can do to ensure that your event doesn’t run over are:
- Book in extra time for hair and make-up at the beginning of the day (this is a very common reason that weddings run over is the slower start to the day
- When planning formalities for your Reception, you can wiz through from your formal entrance, straight into your cake cutting and then into your first dance, which means you don’t need your coverage to go late into the evening (unless you want those awesome photos of your friends carving it up on the dance floor)
>Print & album costs… not all are budget friendly
This comes down to understanding what you will receive in your package. Do you receive prints or an album? Or would you prefer to organise these for yourself. Prints and needing to order prints through your wedding photographer can really increase the overall cost of your Wedding photography and wreck your budget if you haven’t planned for it.
To keep things simple, all three of my packages include access to an online gallery of high-resolution images for you to download and print at your preferred photo printer (don’t worry, I can give you my recommendations for the best local printers in town). I also give my customers my personal discount code for framed prints through the team at Memorable Moments App, which makes for excellent anniversary gifts – just saying!
My tip here is to really know what you will receive in your wedding photography package. Make sure that both you and your partner are across it, so that everyone’s expectations are satisfied.
>Elopements and micro weddings… and their celebratory events
Micro weddings, Elopements or Intimate weddings… it doesn’t matter what you call them, but regardless, they all have one thing in common… a little or non-existent guest list.
A lot of couples who elope hold celebratory events or parties with friends and family at a later date, which is a huge amount of fun. But doing it this way can really add up in costs. Getting a photographer for the wedding day AND the celebration can be a bit of a challenge.
To make this easier for my couples, I have a dedicated package for elopements which includes a hour to photograph your actual wedding and additional hours to photograph your celebration at a later date, which works out more cost effective than making two individual bookings.
And one last tip that you really need to know about budget, fees and Artists
Yes! I want you to have the most incredible day AND I want you to stick to your budget, but I need to hear this.
Please do not negotiate with artists on their fees or rates. I know it is easy to look at our fees and devise an hourly rate based on the number of hours we are working with you on your wedding day, but deep down, you know that you are not paying for our hourly rate. We are artists, not labour hire. Our fees are a reflection of our vision, experience, our ability to distil the depths of moments that cannot be put into words into images, painted with light.
If you commissioned an artist to paint a piece of art for your wall, something to convey the depths of human connection. Something that transports you back to a feeling every time you see it, do you expect that the artist creating it will feel their worth, while they are working for a client that doesn’t see their true worth. Of course not.
So please don’t ask the artists working on your day to negotiate their rates and worth. I can help you to build custom packages to fit your budget, but worth with clients who know, appreciate and celebrate my work is part of my brand integrity. I won’t reduce my rates to compete with other photographers our of respect to myself and other self-respecting artists in my industry. And I won’t reduce my rate and rob you of the experience of me putting my heart and energy into documenting your wedding day.