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November 2013 Weddings

What would you do? Photog question...

Hi all -

I'm in a pickle and could use some "well, I would do this..." from a neutral party.  Enter the ladies of the November 2013 board!!

FI & I have met with 2 photographers: #1 -- that we both love (and coming from FI, that's a big deal) and is reasonably priced & #2 -- that we both like a lot but comes out a few hundred dollars less ($300-400) than #1.

He & I are both inclined to go with #2, though we both agreed that we would book #1 in a  heartbeat.  The big reason for that is that we'd rather save the $$ on the lesser priced #2.  Also, #2 is offering 2 additional hours on her package than #1.  That's a big deal to us.

I'm very inclined to see if #1 is willing to work around our budget and, maybe, up the hours to 8 instead of 6 for the day - though I know they will never drop down to what #2 is charging for the same.  I don't want to insult #1 by low-balling them, but FI & I want to keep things as economical as possible (difficult to say since a part of me feels weddings are so crazy over-the-top, as it is) and stick with our comfortable photog budget.  The last thing I want them to do is say that they have other longer-hour packages - but thse are way over our comfort $$ zone.

Here comes the question fellow 11/13-ers...what would you do??  Go with #2 because she does nice work and is saving us money...or give #1 a shot to see if they will budge in price/package offering?

Re: What would you do? Photog question...

  • This might not be the most "proper" thing to do, but I'd consider gently negotiating with Photog 1. It depends on how much more you like P1's personality and everything. But my instinct is telling me, if you're posting about it on the board, you're probably not confident in the decision to go with P2 for whatever reason!

    Something to the effect of calling P1 and just being honest -- "FI and I loved meeting with you. We felt like we really connected and we're very interested in having you document our special day. We are having a little bit of trouble because what we'd really like is to stay within [whatever your budget is]. Is there any way you can work with us on our budget?" and if they are open to the idea, either see what they offer or just ask outright if there is anything that they can do. Some photogs run specials or might be willing to throw in something extra (free prints? extra hour? i dunno?). 

    It's possible that the P1 might counter you with something to the effect of "I get your budget woes, but THIS is why I'm worth the extra $$$." In which case you probably will have to just go with P2 if you can't find something comfortable within your budget.

    I mean worst case scenario, if you do offend P1, it doesn't really hurt anything because you just go with P2! 

    To me, I think $300 is a fair amount of money, but probably worth it if P1 has a personality that works better with both of you/you guys like her better/her pictures are better. Since it's so early in the planning process, I'd look for a way to find money in the budget elsewhere. You don't get to "keep" many tangible things from the wedding, but photos last! So that's just a priority for me personally. (That said, I haven't started seriously looking at photographers so maybe when I see what the numbers actually are I'll want to spend less haha)

    Again, I'd just ask - not try to put pressure on P1 like "Hey can you match this other offer?" But I don't think there's anything wrong with letting P1 know that you're more inclined to book her and just asking if there's any way you guys can find something that works. 

    Also, P1 might have like, an assistant photographer that she's worked with who has similar style but is just getting started (and charging less!), that she can recommend to you (thus maybe getting the same kind of style without going outside your budget).

    I'm sure some people might disagree, but that's what I would probably do.  :) Good luck and let us know what you decide!

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  • Thanks for your suggestions!  Photos really are the one tangible thing FI & I can take away from the wedding.  Guess that's why I'm putting so much thought in to this!

    I keep thinking that the worst photographer #1 could say is "nope...sorry, that's our price and we can't budge".  Makes me inclined to just give it a shot and see what they say.

    Saving money wherever we can is very important to FI & I (as I'm sure it is to many other B&Gs).  I know there is a way to have semi-decent bottle of champagne taste on a Verdi budget!  By cutting things like $300 here and $100 there, we can put that towards something else we'd like (aka seat covers).  So, I guess that's why I'd rather go with #2 -- to save $$.

    Either way, I think I'll reach out to #1 and give it a shot.  Thanks, again!
  • When I've asked my friends and family what the one tthing they'd change about their weddding if they could, the answer is nearly always the photographer. remember, you will be looking at those pictures for a long time.Personally, I'd splurge a bit there, and just book number one. Remember, it isn't that economical if you look at the pictures later and think how much better photog number one would be. Also, do some looking in the vendor directory at apracticalwedding.com They have lots there who have special packages for brides from that blog that are quite reasonable.
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  • Bottom line is this: You can't take the seat covers with you after the wedding, BUT YOU WILL ALWAYS HAVE THOSE PICTURES!!!!! Splurge on the memories that will be with you for your lifetime!!!! It makes a world of difference to look back and say these take me back to that day and it was everything we hoped it would be! Photog #1 seems to fit the bill in this case! More importantly, who has the better track record? Things to take in to account :-)
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