Wedding Reception Forum

budget and photographer

hi tk!
this is my first post since officially graduating from the NEY section (see obligatory ring porn below)!

at the moment I am in the process of trying to book a photographer and i have found one that i absolutely love.  she is, however, EXTREMELY pricey.  i am lucky enough to have parents who have provided a generous amount for our wedding, and the photography is quite important to me.  since it is the way we will be able to remember the day i am willing to splurge a little (her rates are about 16% of our total budget).

effectively, i'm nervous to part with such a big chunk of our wedding budget so soon.  we have already picked a more affordable venue/caterer.  part of the logic to this was so we would HAVE that extra money for things like the photographer and band.  

to the more experienced brides:  did you struggle to take the plunge and splurge on something?  do you feel like the big ticket splurge item was worth it??

and, as promised, obligatory ring porn:

Re: budget and photographer

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    Lovely ring! And congrats on your engagement. Photography is one place I would splurge if you can make it up in other areas. Places to put your money: photography, food, music, bar. Things that guests don't care about: decorations, programs, favors, chair covers, etc.

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    16% is a bit high, but photography is worth it.

    I was in a wedding party where the bride and groom had hired an inexperienced (aka cheap)photographer. It was painful to see the bride and groom not getting the experience they had wanted.

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    I believe ours was closer to 10% of our budget. But then again I don't know what your wedding budget is. Is it important to have good photography? have you met her in person? Do you mesh well? Is there an ala carte version that you could book just her services without prints or something?
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    I think ours ended up being about 15% of our budget, but we also ended up going under budget due to my lack of desire for things like chair covers that would have just been a waste of money, in my opinion.

    If you have met with this photographer in person and have clicked with them and their style, then I don't see a problem with splurging on this aspect of your wedding. Certainly photos were one of the most important things for me (food was number 1, venue was number 2) so I was okay with doing so.
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    Go ahead and splurge. We didn't, and we definitely got what we paid for.
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    My photographer looks like it's going to be about 15% of the budget. Photography was really important to us and ended up being the second thing we booked, the venue was first. If you love her, and have met her, and are willing to make cuts elsewhere where necessary, go for it.
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    If photography is important to you, go for it. I also think that a better photographer is needed for a larger wedding. A smaller wedding is easier for a photographer to shoot, while a larger wedding takes a bit more skill. I would also make sure that you get a good picture package with the photographer.
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    Our photographer is about 18% of our budget. Some areas we splurged and other areas we came in underbudget. I think you'll be fine.
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    edited August 2013
    Honestly, we didn't set a limit for the photography. That vendor was the only one where we wanted to have the best even if it cost an arm and a leg. We found our photographer two years out of the way and struck up a correspondence. When we finally set a date we put down a deposit. We've already done engagement pictures and they turned out stunning! We added a videography package on as well. It's incredibly expensive but in our eyes it's money well spent.

    Edit: Gorgeous ring by the way!
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    Love the ring! I have a pear shaped halo as well; you will get loads of compliments IRL!

    My photographer was 15% (though we did get a package with an album) but cheap for our area! I'd say its reasonable. We, however, didn't get a videographer. If you're planning on one than you might want to shop around a bit more.
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    It just depends on what aspects of your wedding day are more important to you. I'm very money conscious about things, so splurging $1600 for our photographer was hard for me, but she's great, takes great photos, and we got a steal of a deal for it (two photographers for the entire day, all photos in high-resolution on a disk with full rights, engagement photos, etc.) Around here that's a little pricey, but photos were really important for me. The reception was important for my Fiance, so those two are where we are spending the most on. Specific flowers, covers, programs, etc were less important, and we went from wine favors to homemade chocolate favors, just to cut costs to have what we felt was more important.

    If photos are important for you, splurge and remember that you will have those forever, and that you can make cuts elsewhere on things less important. 
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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    Well we spent 30% of our budget on our photographer, and it was totally worth it. We wanted to have a casual backyard wedding, and photography was our biggest priority, so that's why it worked out that way. We figured that after that day, all we'd have of our wedding (beyond the marriage of course!) was our rings, our marriage certificate, and the pictures.

    We don't regret a thing. The photographer was fantastic, our cheap food was delicious, my cheap dress was beautiful, the free venue was gorgeous. It really depends on what you're spending on the rest of our wedding and what your priorities are. Just make sure you've met with the photographer, seen enough of their portfolio to feel comfortable, and figured out which package gives you what you want.
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