As you plan your wedding and get ready for the biggest day of your life, it would be appreciated if you gave your local wedding suppliers a break. Every day there are articles printed on how much weddings cost. There are people who offer their opinion on what things should cost and what value they place on those that work in the wedding industry.
What measures value? It’s a very open ended question and everyone will have their own answer. On many of the Facebook pages related to weddings I see people asking for a “reasonable price”. What is that? Is there a magic number attached? Your idea of reasonable might be quite different than someone else depending on the value they attach to something. Perhaps they want a photo album loaded with their favorite pictures. It could be a cake that has special fondant or an unusual design. It might be flowers for 12 bridesmaids or only 2 and of course it depends on the type of flowers that they want in the bouquets. Whatever it is, your reasonable price might not fairly reflect what it actually costs to create what you are looking for.
Because there are people who have their own opinion and it is not based on any special formula, when it does not fit the mold, the wedding Industry in general or the wedding supplier is often accused of ripping people off, inflating prices and playing with people’s emotions.
Although there can be unscrupulous suppliers in any industry, most wedding suppliers are honest, hardworking and kind small business owners with families, mortgages and bills JUST LIKE YOU trying to make a living! They got into the wedding business because they love to help make peoples weddings wonderful and beautiful. Of course, they have to make a living doing it as well.
As someone new to the world of weddings, you can feel overwhelmed and confused with lots of information flying around you, but personal research is the key to getting what is right for you, your partner, and your budget. Bridal forums can be helpful but what is one person’s experience, and what is right for them might not necessarily be right for you. Hiring a person who does not work in the industry full time or runs it as a hobby can also contribute to the variation seen in the costs. Having a cake made in someone’s kitchen is quite different than hiring a baker with a certified kitchen. Someone with a flair can certainly put bouquets together but are not trained or certified to know how to ensure your flowers will look beautiful all day. There are many other things to know besides bundling flowers together to look pretty. If you read further, you will see what I mean….
Professional wedding photographer…
What you do see is your photographer taking photos for one day (set period of hours).
What you don’t see is…
- Venue / Location scouting – to get you the very best shots and create your memories
- A plan B and options for inclement weather
- The care and upkeep of equipment – A seasoned photographer usually travels with several cameras, lenses, lighting equipment etc.
- Type of shots and type of lighting required for them
- The purchase of new gear
- Professional and Business insurance
- Proper license for the City or area they are working in.
- Fast forward to day before your wedding – making sure all of their equipment is working, extra batteries, extra film, extra memory cards usually 2 to 3 cameras, and lighting equipment
- A 10 to 12 hour wedding day always watching for that great shot
- Following your wedding day, spending time to back up your images and then backing them up again usually somewhere else in case 1st place has an issue
- The 60 hours + it can take in editing the thousands of images they took on the day
- Album creation
That is a lot of work that is UNSEEN but hopefully it should be coming clear why photographers cost what they do. It’s not just simply a case of coming and taking photos, its so much more.
A Photographers story transcends to all sectors of the Wedding Industry whether you are a cake maker, a venue stylist, make up artist, a floral designer, wedding planner and more. These people work tirelessly to ensure your wedding is the best while trying to make a living to support their families.
If as an employee, your boss expected you to work for less than your worth, you would probably be pretty upset and feel very UNDERVALUED! You would feel diminished. What if they asked you to give them a discount on your wages for a week of work?
You really do get what you pay for. Looking for a cheap photographer? That could mean that instead of a beautifully edited and curated selection of images that tell the story of your carefully planned day you could instead be left with pictures of random blurry moments captured by your now very merry guests.
Demeaning the experience and skill of someone who has spent years perfecting their craft is not fair. If you are looking for cheap, it is out there but it is true that you get what you pay for. Sometimes luck is with you but it is far better to ensure you are getting the best for a day you have planned for a very long time.
In conclusion, I just ask that you respect those businesses that are doing their best to help you. Making this time special for you is what inspires them every day to go that extra mile. In this economy, we are very aware that times are hard. We get it. We live it too.