How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Wedding Photographer?

Your wedding day is one of the most important moments of your life, but despite the months of planning, it will all be over in a matter of hours. At the end of the day, all you’re left with is the pictures. So they need to be good.

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Wedding Photographer

At the same time, you don’t want to spend more than you have to on a photographer. What is an acceptable amount of money to spend when you hire a wedding photographer?

We’ve put together this guide to help you find the answer to that question. Make sure you keep reading below to learn more about how much wedding photographers charge.

How Much Can You Expect to Spend?

When it comes to wedding photographer prices, it’s difficult to come up with an exact number estimate. There are many factors that can impact the overall cost, so it’s important to stay flexible when putting together your budget.

For example, the average cost of hiring a wedding photographer is between $1,500 and $3,000. However, depending on the package you choose, you could end up paying closer to $4,000 (or even higher). As a general rule of thumb, you should plan to spend at least 10% of your entire wedding budget on the photographer.

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Has Your Jaw hit the Floor Yet?

At this point, you might be asking yourself, “Why so much!?” It all comes down to the package. The more perks you have in your package, the more you can expect to spend. Because of this, you should study the package carefully and ask your photographer plenty of questions about it before you hand over your money.

Here are a few of the things you should give special attention to.

Time – How long is your wedding?

Most wedding photographers plan to be at your wedding taking photos for about six hours. However, if you want them there for longer, you’ll likely have to hand over more money.


Photographing you, your partner, and all your guests on your special day is only a small part of a wedding photographer’s job. After the wedding, they’ll then spend several hours sorting through your photos and editing them so you end up with only beautiful images.

The cost of editing will likely be included in your package, but always ask. You don’t want to be hit with a surprise fee later when you’ve already spent an arm and a leg on the rest of your wedding.

Prints / Albums

Make sure you find out in advance how your photographer will give you the wedding photos. Many photographers will give you USB drive or give you access to a gallery online. From there, you can print out your favorite photos and hang them around the house.

If you want physical prints or albums from your photographer, you’ll likely have to add that to your package, which will require an added price.

Number of Photographers

You only need one wedding photographer, right? If that’s all you want, then that’s fine. However, if your wedding will be large and have a lot of guests, you might want to hire a second photographer to ensure they don’t miss any important moments. Oftentimes, wedding photographers will offer a more expensive package that includes a secondary photographer, but this will make the price higher than normal.

Engagement Shoot

One of the best ways to get familiar with your wedding photographer and find out if you like their style is to book an engagement shoot with them.

Some packages include this extra shoot in the overall price; however, it might not be there. You might need to pay a few hundred dollars on top of the package price to cover the engagement photos.

Don’t Forget About

Before you pick a wedding photography package and hand over your money, there are a few other things you should know about that will affect the overall price. These aren’t listed as part of the package, so they’re easy to miss. Don’t make the mistake of overlooking the following.


It’s polite to tip your wedding photographer, especially if you loved working with them and were blown away by how the pictures turned out. You should tip about $100 for main photographers and $50 for assistants.


Will the photographer have to travel to your wedding? If so, you might have to cover their travel expenses. Don’t be surprised if they charge $0.54 per mile.

You may also have to cover the cost of a hotel if you’re throwing a destination wedding. Discuss this with the photographer in advance so you’re prepared for any extra costs.

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The wedding photographer will have to eat while they’re at your wedding. Make sure the caterer you hire provides extra meals for the vendors. If they don’t, you may have to spend more money providing food for your photographer.

How to Hire a Wedding Photographer That’s Worth the Money

When planning a wedding, you might be tempted to cut corners and hire the cheapest wedding photographer you can find to save money. Don’t do this. A cheap photographer might not provide quality pictures, and you don’t want to be left with blurry or unflattering images of this once-in-a-lifetime day.

Hire a wedding photographer that has good reviews and beautiful example photos. It’s worth spending a bit of extra money on this part of the wedding budget.

Want to learn some other helpful wedding planning tips? Don’t hesitate to take a look at the rest of our blog today!