This Is What Real Couples Spend on Wedding Photography

Find out how much to budget for capturing your day.
by Sarah Hanlon

Regardless of where you stand on things like late-night reception snacks or extravagant floral centerpieces, most to-be-weds can agree: gorgeous wedding photos are a must. While the average wedding photographer cost is often on the higher side, it's one expense couples don't typically skip. Of course, how you divvy up your wedding budget depends on which aspects of your celebration (and therefore which vendors) are most important to you. But since you probably want to relive your wedding memories for years to come, finding a great photographer is an important task. Wedding photography prices vary by vendor and services offered, so it's up to you to find a pro who fits your particular needs. But if you're looking to get a general sense of how much a wedding photographer costs, we have the answer. Read on to find what real couples spend on wedding photography today. 
 
Based on an internal study of over 27,000 couples who got married in 2019, the average wedding photographer cost is $2,400. Almost 90 percent of couples hired a photographer, making them one of the most popular wedding vendors. Photography was also the most common area where couples were willing to spend more. Over half of all couples increased their original budget once they started planning—of that, 47 percent admitted to spending more on their photographer. 
 
Sixty percent of couples say that a photographer's style is the most important factor when deciding who to hire. This can potentially affect wedding photography prices. When researching vendors, it's important to ask about additional services that are offered. Some photographers may offer bulk packages and capture other wedding-related events. Prices can also vary based on hours worked before and after the wedding, as well as the amount of photos you receive at the end. Make note of what you'll receive with your potential package. Some photographers will give you raw files once the wedding is over, or some prices will include edited images, organized albums or portfolios. Plenty of factors affect the average price for wedding photographers, so thorough research is necessary. Tools like The Knot Marketplace will help you connect with potential vendors based on their services, price estimates and style of work.

 
 

No matter the price you pay, you'll get plenty of use out of your wedding photos for years to come. The timeline for receiving your photos is up to your vendor, but you'll typically get them three to 12 weeks after your wedding. So, while you should definitely go ahead and post your favorite shots on Instagram (and give a shout out to your pro!), you can also start to think about how you want to use your wedding photos. Most newlyweds create a wedding photo album to display your favorite shots from the big day. If you're receiving digital photo files, you can also print them out to be framed, arrange them in a canvas print gallery wall, or turn them into gifts for your family members. You can also use them as greeting cards for your first holiday season as a married couple. The sky's the limit when it comes to displaying your wedding photos—but since they are an investment, be thoughtful about how you display them after the wedding. 

The average wedding photographer cost has remained the same since 2016, but it's important to remember that this number represents the entire country. Prices will fluctuate based on region and the services you opt-in for. You can choose to go all-out with your wedding photos and splurge on the most expensive package—or, you could have a loved one take photos at a fraction of the cost. Ultimately, it's up to you to find a vendor in the price range that  best fits your budget. No matter what you choose, wedding photos are something you’ll get to have, hold and cherish forever—and that’s pretty priceless.

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