El Caribe wedding photographer
Lighthouse Photography

El Caribe wedding photographer

How to actually afford amazing wedding pictures and video.

Because beautiful pictures are almost non-negotiable.

Unlike your wedding flowers or spread dessert, your wedding pictures will last forever, so you obviously want them to be amazing. Hiring a professional wedding photographer and videographer is really the only way to get those crisp, high-quality shots and tear-jerking clips which capture every moment of your day. Realistically, you should plan to allocate 10–12 percent of your total wedding budget to video and photos.

It may be tempting to skip a professional shooter or ask a friend to take pictures — but trust us, not hiring photo and video pros is one of the biggest, most common wedding regrets for couples who have not. If you're on a budget, it's not the answer to missing out on gorgeous images — instead, follow these money-conscious tricks to save on wedding snaps.

1. Find packages to suit your budget that you can customize.

Make a list of the styles and types of photographs and video that you want before you hire a photographer and videographer. That way, you're going to go into the hiring process knowing how your package should look. This allows you to pay only for exactly what you need, be it a certain number of hours of coverage, extra sessions, multiple shooters or digital photo file access. "The build-your-own package system helps clients make the most efficient use of their budget," says Jenna Henderson, a Nashville-based photographer.

Photo detail: Northport Long Island New York

Do not underestimate the value of your recently married friends but also potential pros you interview to know what to prioritize. Ask them to walk you through the ins and outs of the services they offer, such as whether you can realistically fit all your shots in the minimum amount of coverage they offer, or how many assistants make the size of your guest list the most meaningful.
2. Wait to buy prints (or include one in your package) and albums.

If a wedding album is not already a part of your photo package, don't worry about spending money on one right now. Concentrate on hiring a pro who will take some great shots. Think of it this way: For your first anniversary, a beautiful album is the perfect gift to give to each other as a twist to the paper theme.

But waiting to create an album does not mean you will not be able to see your pictures for a whole year. You can still admire and show off your shots a few weeks after our wedding when they are ready. You will at least get a portion of the digital files as soon as they are edited — you may even have access to an online gallery too. The same is true of videography. Many videographers will upload your highlight reel to an online platform like Vimeo for you to watch and post throughout social (no shame!) on repeat.
3. Hire a local wedding venue.

When you hire them for a job they'll need to travel to, a pro's price will often increase. Remember, they're not just getting there – they're going to be lugging with them pounds of expensive equipment too.

4. Have your reception and ceremony at the same venue.
Wherever you choose to say "I do" and party can potentially affect the price of your photo and video. By hosting the ceremony and reception at the same venue, you'll have more time to take portraits, cover the cocktail hour and more, as you don't have to spend time traveling to multiple locations. In fact, you will also end up saving in a few other ways, such as transportation, rentals and charges for the location.

5. Get a referral from a dear photographer.

If you've been crunching numbers over and over again and still can't get the wedding photographer or videographer you want to work for your budget, don't give up. In other ways, they might still be able to help, like giving you a referral to another pro with a similar style within your budget.

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