So I've written all about crafting a stress-free wedding timeline, given advice about getting those family portraits done, shed some light on what we all mean by "image rights", and even created a FAQ of questions I get asked about wedding photography... ...but what if you run the numbers and find out that you really can't afford a professional wedding photographer? As in, your numbers come back and there's next to ZERO for documenting the wedding.
That's totally okay. And that's coming from a wedding photographer!
Because here's the reality: the wedding industry is huge and expensive. (I should know.) Photography, unlike food, shelter, and love, is a non-essential luxury item. (Hear that? I'm NON-ESSENTIAL.) I could go on and on (like I've seen others do) about how you really should prioritize photography because it's the only thing that's going to last beyond the wedding day and blah blah blah.
But I'm not. Because maybe that's true, but also: you're getting married. You're both looking at bank accounts together and you have to work with what is NOW. And at the end of the day, if you just have your sweetheart and two pennies to rub together, that's pretty amazing. You should congratulate yourself for it and be a mighty boss about it. So hey, congratulations!
So hey, screw photography!
It really is totally okay to opt out entirely of having your wedding day documented, but if you feel a twinge of sadness and are still want to figure out a way to have some images captured, I do have a short list of ideas. Are you ready?
If your budget is limited but you're not ready to opt-out of wedding photography completely:
- hire a student - designate a talented family member - hire a pro for the ceremony & portraits only
In ALL these cases, it's absolutely vital that you:
- put your agreement in writing (have a contract with payment terms and other boring stuff!) - have an emergency back-up plan (in case someone gets an exotic disease or the second flood happens) - get your images printed (don't let them sit on a hard drive forever! that's worse than if you didn't hire anyone at all!)
If you don't do that last one, then you're missing the point of the power of images. So when all is said and done, no matter how you got those images, share your love and show it matters by putting them on walls, in books, and gifting them to others.