Who Pays For The Wedding Photographer?

It’s time to start planning for the big day, and there is so much to organize.

One of the things I’m sure you will be thinking about is a wedding photographer. It is important that your wedding is captured by a professional photographer so that you can look back at your big day with perfectly captured candid moments.

But, who pays for the wedding photographer, and how much can you expect to pay? In addition to this, what can you expect from a wedding photographer?

Join me as I take a look.

Who Pays For The Wedding Photographer? There are no set rules when it comes to paying for the wedding photographer. The bride’s parents have traditionally been responsible for paying for the entire wedding, including the wedding photographer, but these days most people believe that the couple should bear the expenses of the wedding photographer especially if they have been living together for quite some time. This is not set in stone though, and contributions from family members to the wedding expenses can be negotiated based on willingness and ability to cover the expenses.

How Much Does A Wedding Photographer Cost?

The cost of a wedding photographer can vary from $1,000 to $10,000 in the U.S. The price will vary depending on the wedding photographer, and of course, what you require from the wedding photographer. Most wedding photographers have a base asking price for their services, and they charge an additional fee per hour should they be required to provide extended coverage of the wedding.

Wedding photographers can also offer add-ons like albums and prints, and the price for these items can vary from $300 to $1,000.

Should You Negotiate These Costs?

Many people are not aware of this, but photographers will spend hours editing and preparing these photos using expensive software and hardware, and they take this into consideration when putting together costings.

There is a lot of behind-the-scenes work that goes on when producing the final collection of photos to be delivered to the wedding couple. It takes a special kind of skill and a lot of hard work to produce these photos.

Certain wedding photographers are willing to work with clients to accommodate their budget, but most of them have worked out a set price to cover their time and to make sure that they are not losing money by charging anything less. I would therefore not recommend that you negotiate the costs, or negotiate a price that is far less than what your wedding photographer initially quoted for.

If you’re on a tight budget, rather hire your wedding photographer for a shorter time than the traditional 6 to 8 hours for the wedding. Plan carefully, and work together with your wedding photographer to establish which photos are most important, then hire him or her to just be there to capture those photos.

What Is Included In Wedding Photography Packages?

Now that we’ve established who should be paying for the wedding photographer, and how much you can expect to pay, let’s have a look at exactly what you can expect from a wedding photographer.

While this can vary depending on the photographer you hire, it will give you a good idea of what you can expect.

1.) Photography Coverage

Of course, the wedding photographer will be taking photos on the day, and you can expect him or her to be there for 6 to 8 hours depending on what was agreed upon,

2.) A Second Photographer

As you can imagine, there is quite a lot going on at a wedding and there are so many beautiful moments to capture. This can often be difficult for one person to capture, so most wedding photographers will give you the option to get an additional photographer.

3.) Pre-Wedding Photo Session

Some wedding photographers will offer a pre-wedding photo session. Some call it an engagement photo session, but it usually takes place months before the wedding and it is a great way to capture the couple before the wedding. It is also a great way to build up a relationship with the wedding photographer.

4.) USB Stick or Online Gallery

Most wedding photographers will give you a collection of high-resolution photos of your wedding on a USB stick, or they will upload it to an online gallery. Uploading it to an online gallery is an option many choose because you can access it from anywhere, and your photos will remain safe and won’t get lost.

5.) Prints

On request, the wedding photographer can provide you with a selection of printed photos. That said though, many people opt to get their favorite photos printed themselves.

6.) Wedding Album

Certain wedding photographers will print out your favorite photos of the day and put them together in a wedding album. As per the prints mentioned above, many couples choose to organize this themselves.

7.) Photo Slideshow or Video

Some wedding photographers will put together a photo slideshow or video using a selection of the best photos that were captured on the day. This is normally accompanied by a soundtrack that suits the occasion and photos.

When Should You Hire A Wedding Photographer?

I highly recommend that you hire a wedding photographer at least 10 months before your wedding, especially if you have a specific photographer in mind. Wedding photographers are often booked well in advance, so the sooner you book your favorite wedding photographer the better. This will ensure that your favorite wedding photographer isn’t booked by someone else on your big day.


Hopefully, now you have some more clarity on who should be paying for the wedding photographer.

Traditionally, the bride’s parents are expected to cover the wedding expenses including the wedding photographer. But these days, the couple will carry the costs of the wedding or they will accept contributions from family members to help pay for the big day.

The cost to hire a wedding photographer will vary based on the actual photographer than you hire, and what you require from him or her. You can expect to pay anything between $1,000 to $10,000, however, a budget of $2,000 will be enough to make sure your big day is beautifully captured by a professional photographer.