Are you getting married soon and wondering exactly how much you should budget for wedding photography?
Here is my guide to everything you should know about wedding photography prices and how to choose the right packages for your wedding needs.
Utah Wedding Photography Average Costs
How photographers price their wedding photography varies tremendously. Most photographers opt to create different packages tailored to different needs and budgets. The cheapest packages typically include just a few hours of coverage on your wedding day, while some bigger packages can include an engagement session or a bridal session and plenty of coverage on your wedding day. Some photographers will just have an hourly rate.
To make this as clear and easy to read as possible, I am going to break down packages by how many hours of total coverage is being offered, divided by the total price to find a 1 hour average.
Breakdown of Utah Wedding Photography Averages
Here I’ve laid out ten different average hourly rates for different photographers in Utah. I tried to get a range of budget and higher end photographers from Logan to St. George. The average cost being $386.4 per hour. This means that if you wanted just four hours of coverage in your wedding package the average price would be $1544, and for a full 8 hours $3088.
Wedding Wire ( a popular wedding blog) states that the national average total price couples typically pay for wedding photography is between $1,150- $3,000 with the average being about $2,000. This isn’t including videography either.
Why Does Wedding Photography Cost what it Does?
I think every one can agree that wedding photography is not something you should skip for your wedding day. Your cake will be eaten, your decorations will be gone, and you’ll never be able to relive the magical day. Great photos you can hold onto forever is so important.
Its easy to look at the national average and the Utah wedding photography averages as hefty… But in reality, many photographers price their wedding photography sessions (per hour) cheaper than their other sessions (in comparison to a 1 hour portrait session, maternity session or family session). So the number may just look shocking to some clients because of the total number of hours needed for such a big project.
Wedding photographers put HOURS of work into your wedding before and after your session too! Driving, scheduling, emails, planning, editing, uploading etc. Not to mention the cost of cameras, lenses, editing subscriptions, computers etc.
As a Salt Lake City, Utah based wedding photographer and destination photographer, I’ve carefully calculated my cost of doing business and figured out exactly how much I need to charge to even just cover my basic photography related expenses and taxes, plus the profit I need to make it worth it for me. I think most wedding photographers would agree that we want to offer our services at prices people can afford.
How to Choose a Wedding Photography Package
First off, of course budget is a huge deciding factor for many couples. Also, the length of your wedding ceremony and reception too. But it can be difficult to decide whether or not you want that extra bridal session or engagement session as well.
What is a Bridal Session?
Bridal sessions are typically taken before your wedding day, and you’ll plan on getting ready like you would for your actual ceremony. These sessions ensure you have plenty of time to capture the little details of your dress, shoes, accessories etc. You can plan this shoot to be at your actual venue or in a studio or even just at a beautiful outdoor area. If you’re a bride who loves styled pictures and wants to remember every little detail of your outfit in a gorgeous way- I’d highly recommend booking a bridal session.
What is an Engagement Session?
Engagement shoots are a fun session you do months before your actual wedding day. Most wedding photographers will agree that engagement photography sessions are SO valuable and SO worth it!
You’ll use these photos as invitations, as decorations at your wedding venue, and on social media to hype up your friends and family! They also give you an opportunity to get to know your photographer more before your wedding and see how you all work together.
Plus, it’ll give you both valuable practice in front of the camera. If you are planning your engagement session and don’t know what to wear check out this guide for tips and outfit ideas and this guide for summer outfit tips and ideas!
You Get What You Pay For When it Comes to Wedding Photos
Overall, weddings are huge life events. Even though you could probably find a super cheap wedding photographer and only pay a couple hundred dollars for your whole day, you really do get what you pay for.
One time I attended a friends wedding as a guest. They found a photography duo that only charged $200 for 5 hours of coverage and when they received the photos they were literally all tinted green, blurry, poorly exposed and unfixable. So you may be able to snag a great deal off a new photographer, but know that it comes with risks! This is another reason you should consider hiring the same photographer for your engagements. Those can easily be re-done, but your wedding can not!
Look for wedding photographers who have shot weddings before and look for examples of their work. Also, click here to learn how to ensure you get Jaw dropping wedding photos!