Wedding Photography Costs, Prices & Packages Explained for 2023
Updated November 2023 – When it comes to planning and budgeting for your wedding there are many things to consider and in most areas the sky is the limit to how much you can spend. The most costly areas of any wedding tends to be the venue hire and food, however it doesn’t need to be and where you spend your budget really depends on what is most important to you.
You are engaged, the excitement is sky high and the ideas are flowing, but to start with you have the not so fun part to look at… the budget.
Whatever your overall wedding budget is, this is what you will be splitting up between all the different parts creating a budget for everything, from the wedding venue, photography, flowers, catering, cake, invites, decorations, gifts, oh and of course the dress.
When planning your budget it can be tricky to plan it out as it is difficult to know how much it is for what, and what it is for what you actually want, such as what is the typical cost for those flowers you love, to hire the wedding venue of your dreams, or that dress you pinned on Pinterest.
Wedding Photography Prices in the UK for 2024
In our latest annual wedding photographer survey the average cost for wedding photography in the UK for 2023 is £1,760. We have conducted this survey over the last 4 years and the change has been ever so slight, overall the average is around the £1700 mark.
What is the average price of a wedding photographer UK? The average cost from our annual wedding photographer survey is £1,760 for a full day wedding.
These averages are based on a full day starting package from a professional wedding photographer. The drop is very small however it is still a drop, the industry is very competitive and with lots of new photographers on the scene offering cheaper packages so they can build their portfolio many cost saving brides will look to take up these offers.
Wedding Photographer London Prices: £1,890
The average cost for a wedding photographer in London is £1,890. Of course wedding photographer prices in London vary with different packages differing in price, the cost of a luxury wedding photographer can start from anywhere between £1500-£2000 going up to and above £5,000.
Remember these are averages, there will be some that are cheaper and some that cost more, the cost of your package will also depend on what you want and how many hours are required.
How much should you budget?
Couples frequently ask whether wedding photography is worth such a significant investment when actually on the big day itself, there is nothing to show for it. Only you can decide that, but what we can do is give you an insight into where your money is being spent, and how much a good photographer should actually cost you and what a top photographer will give you after your wedding day.
Budget Vs Price
You’ve probably heard it before but with wedding photography you really do get what you pay for. If, when you prioritise the items on your wedding shopping list, photography is in your top three, you will need to be prepared to put aside 10-15% of your budget for it.
Most photographers offer a scale of wedding photography packages starting from the most basic, which involves one photographer, a set number of hours, to a comprehensive solution where you have two photographers shadowing you from the moment you wake until you wave goodbye, and hundreds of expertly edited photos in a beautiful presented photos that shall bring back many emotions as you relive the day go through it.
More is not always better with photography. It is better to have a basic package from a photographer you love than a large album from someone whose style doesn’t match your own, or you hired because they were ‘cheap’. If you need more convincing read our interview with a bride who really regretted her decision not to have a professional photograph her wedding.
Key Points – Decide how long you want your photographer for, from getting ready to the first dance, or just for ceremony? Decide your style of photo you like and shortlist photographers that match this.
UK Wedding Photographer Package Prices, what’s included?
Prices vary between photographer and also what you get and want. As standard you will get your photos in digital format either via a download link or an online gallery you can view and download from. Some packages will include an engagement shoot, a wedding album put together and printed for you, and they all vary by time spent at the wedding, how long you need them there shooting.
Cheaper packages that are more affordable can be found in quieter months which are out of season, as well as late space offers if a photographer has a late cancellation.
Things that maybe included or could be added when booking your wedding photographer:
- Number of hours shooting at your wedding
- Pre-wedding shoot or engagement shoot
- Having a second shooter
- Printed album
- Photos provided on a USB
What Impacts the Cost of a Wedding Photographer?
As with any market, product or service there is always a cheaper option and a more expensive choice. Our average wedding photographer cost is in the middle, there are cheaper photographers out there, and there are some that have a starting cost of £2,000 for the day. We found that photographers in the North East are on average cheaper than those in London and the South East. Location plays a role in this.
Other things that can tend to impact costs are experience, new photographers to the industry tend to charge less to help build up their portfolio, while experienced photographers will have hundreds of weddings captured and a huge portfolio of weddings you can browse through viewing all their work. The fact they have captured lots of weddings doesn’t mean they just have lots to view and show you, it also shows their experience, and that is something that is worth paying for.
Things that can effect the cost:
- Prices do vary by region with London and the South East being the most expensive
- Paying the travel expenses of the photographer
- Packages offered by the photographer
- Experience – A less experienced photographer will be cheaper than a full time photographer that has shot 50+ weddings.
- Length of time they are needed on the day
- Discounts maybe available for weekday weddings
- Discounts maybe available for out of season weddings such as in Winter.
- Late space offers maybe available due to cancellations
It is important to note that the more your pay doesn’t technically mean you are getting better, some photographers may charge a lot more yet still be relevealny new to the industry or not have many years experience.
Key Points – Experienced wedding photographers cost more than someone starting out or who has only being doing it fo a few years. Hiring an experienced photographer means less worry for you, they know what they are doing, they know where to be when, they know where to get that perfect shot of you walking down the aisle, and they know where to look for that moment when your Mum sheds a tear watching on.
Breaking Down Wedding Photography Costs
You might be wondering what’s so difficult about wedding photography. Can’t you just ask your Uncle Steve with his snazzy camera to cover your big day? Not unless you want an album full of photos you may never want to look at. The average photographer spends between 28 and 40 hours working on every wedding. This includes consultations, travel, setting up, actual photography, uploading and backing up photos, editing, printing, packaging prints, and shipping. Is Uncle Steve going to do that?
So you are paying for time, however anyone can pick up a camera, but it takes a skilled professional to deliver the standard of pictures you’ll love looking at and sharing. So infact you are paying for experience, paying for someone that knows exactly what to do, someone that has done this for years, someone that you can trust, someone you don’t need to worry about, someone you know will produce a photo album and story of your day that will bring a tear to your eyes.
How much to Spend on a Wedding Photographer?
This is like asking how much to pay for a car, or a steak at a restaurant, or a house. Photography varies a lot by skill, talent, experience, popularity, demand, and items included in the package. There is no right or wrong answer.
There will be some that are cheaper and some that are more expensive, just like buying any of the above, only you can decide what you like and what it’s worth to you.
Wedding Photography on a Budget
Our top tips for finding a great photographer on a small budget include having your wedding out of season or on a weekday, hiring a photographer that is local so you do not have to pay extra for travel, or looking out for special offer deals, discounts or late space deals from photographers. Check out more money saving tips here.
How much you spend on your wedding photographer will depend on your budget, the importance your wedding photos have to you, and the time and place you’re getting married. Don’t assume that because you’re on a tight budget you have to compromise on quality, however do remember that you will only have one chance to capture your big day, so if you can squeeze a bit more of our your wedding budget for the photographer you want then do so.
Above all, go with your gut instinct when it comes to choosing your photographer. It doesn’t matter how good they are, if you’re not comfortable with a particular photographer it will show in every frame.
Destination Wedding Photographer Average Cost
If you are looking at having a destination wedding then hiring a destination wedding photographer and having them fly out to capture your wedding will cost more, but this is down to expenses.
The package cost for the day is likely to stay around the same as if it was in the UK, the difference maybe if you want photos the day before, or flying to the other side of the World and it will take a day to get there. If for example it is Europe then you are likely to just pay for their expenses, this would include flight, transfers, and accommodation.
The additional cost depends on where you are getting married, the distance and cost of flights and the additional expenses.
Do you pay wedding photographers upfront?
When hiring a wedding photographer you would typically pay a deposit to book and reserve them for your date. This could be from 10% to 50% depending on the photographers terms.
Most photographers will want the remaining balance to be paid a week or so before the wedding, others may wait for the remaining balance paid after the day when some sneak peaks are sent through, or when the full collection of photos are completed.
Hiring a Professional Wedding Photographer
When it comes to planning the wedding, it’s more than just one day, this is a lifetime of memories.
Wedding Photography is about unique moments, it’s about being able to relive the day through beautiful photos, this is smiling at moments you didn’t even know happened, seeing the excitement and emotion on the faces of the your family and friends, and, above all, having a story that you shall take with you forever… Here’s what you’re paying!
Photography is an Investment
It is important when looking at your budget about what you get, if you look at the list of thing you need to budget for you will have things such as venue, flowers, catering, the dress, invites, the list goes on. When you look at these things they are just that, these are key items and parts of the day, but just for this one day, whereas photography is an investment, and that is the key difference.
Wedding photography is a story, wedding photography is a beautiful story of your day, capturing those special moments, capturing moments you didn’t even see yourself, capturing emotions, capturing happiness and tears of joy on your parents faces. Wedding photography is not just something on the day, it is something you will have for life that you can share with family, friends, your children and then one day grand children.
So when you are planning your budget bear this in mind, photography isn’t something you use and throw away, photography is a story that you will treasure for life.
As with everything costs can vary, some will be cheaper and some will be at the higher end, as a rough idea for a full days coverage you could be looking at anything from £1000 to £2000+. You would expect a full days coverage with a photographer capturing moments of you and your bridesmaids getting ready, the ceremony, reception right through to the first dance.
Some of you maybe reading this and asked the question ‘Why is photographer so expensive?‘. It is important to understand what you get and what you miss out on if you don’t hire a professional wedding photographer. With that in mind here are 3 articles that are worth reading to ensure you don’t ask your Uncle and regret not hiring a wedding photographer.
- I Regret Not Hiring a Professional Wedding Photographer
- 5 Reasons Why you Should Hire a Professional Wedding Photographer
- 5 Mistakes Couples Make When it comes to Wedding Photography
If your budget is stretched and your perfect wedding photographer is slightly out of you price range then here are 5 Tips on how to Save Money on a Wedding Photographer which may just make a little yet large difference for you.
Things to consider…
Even with a large budget make sure you hire a wedding photographer you feel comfortable with, someone you feel relaxed with, whatever your budget you can’t put a price on who you feel comfortable and relaxed with, this is important to help create those natural and fun photos making you feel at ease in front of the camera..
When looking at wedding photographers and your budget, maximise it the best you can, save a little on other things to get the best wedding photographer you can afford.
Finally just Remember, the cake gets eaten, the flowers will die, but the Wedding Photos will last Forever…