How Much Should You Spend on Your Wedding Photography

Ultimately, how much you spend on your wedding photography is subjective and will come down to you and your own personal circumstances. Wherever possible though, I recommend not skimping on your photography budget, the photos that are created will be lasting memories of one of the most special moments in your lives together and will likely be passed down through generations to come. Below I discuss and highlight a few factors that may influence your wedding photography budget.


There are many factors to consider when it comes to determining how much you spend on your wedding photography. While this may seem like one of the obvious, the location of your wedding can actually have a huge influence over the cost of your wedding photography. Generally, wedding photographers that live and work in larger cities, such as London, will charge a whole lot more than photographers who live out of town. If you live in a big city and you're looking to save money on your wedding photography yet still have the same level of quality of photographer, then you could consider hiring a wedding photographer from out of town and paying for their travel expenses. As a destination wedding photographer, I travel throughout the UK - from the Scottish Highlands to the Isle of Wight and sometimes I'm even lucky enough to be invited overseas. If you're thinking of hiring me to cover your wedding and there's a considerable distance from the Lake District to your wedding venue then worry not! All I request is that my travel expenses are paid for and that I'm provided with accommodation for the night before your wedding and the night of your wedding - there's nothing worse than working a 12-hour day and then realising that you have over 300 miles to travel! Note: If you're planning your wedding overseas in the month of January or February, then I definitely need to hear from you! As I write this, it's January in the Lake District and I can't even begin to express how much I'm missing the sun!

Photographer's Experience & Skill Level

It's important to consider the experience and skill level of your chosen photographer. A more experienced photographer with a proven track record of producing high-quality photographs will inevitably charge more than someone who is just starting out in the industry. Obviously, I'm biased but this is one of the most important moments in your lives together so it's worth investing in a professional who has the experience and the skill to capture the very best moments of your special day. I hear you, 'Everyone has to start somewhere!', and so, if you're looking for someone more affordable with less experience, then I'd recommend that you find a professional wedding photographer who will have spent around a year second shooting with an experienced wedding photographer before going it alone. Sadly, there has been a growing trend of unskilled startup wedding photographers offering to photograph weddings for very little money in order to gain experience and portfolio photos. While you may be tempted, please, please, don't hire someone who has little to no experience in wedding photography to capture those special moments for you. Wedding photography can be tough and demanding for even the most seasoned of professionals - often we find ourselves working in extremely low light conditions that require expensive lenses and equipment that most startup photographers don't have. This doesn't make them bad photographers but it does mean that in certain situations their equipment will not be good enough to provide you with the quality of photos that you deserve on your wedding day and that they will not have the experience of what to do in the event that something doesn't go according to plan. To give you a rough idea, I carry over 10k worth of equipment with me to a wedding as standard and use a variety of prime lenses, zooms and lighting that gives me the confidence to be able to capture those special moments in any situation.

If you are thinking of hiring a wedding photographer who doesn't have a lot of experience, at the very least, ask them if you can see both a rainy wedding day and a bright sunny wedding - this should give you an idea of their skill level. If it's a bright blue day, the skies should have some detail in them and if it's a dark day, images should not be very grainy or even in some cases blurry. Always also ask to see a full wedding; many photographers will only show you their best work, it's essential to see the little in-between images that make up the story of the full day - it's these types of images that you will receive more of and what you're hiring your photographer for. Another thing to bear in mind is that some photographers like to tell a story with their images, while others like to just lump all the images from the day together. I like your wedding photos to flow in a chronological story - On that note, if you want to see any of my weddings in full, please, feel free to ask, wherever possible (i.e. they don't have non-disclosure agreements attached to them) I will send you a link and a password to view the entire gallery. A good photographer will stand by the quality of their work and always oblige!

Package and Coverage Required

Everybody's different! Some just want their ceremony photographing, others want to have their ceremony and some photos afterwards, some couples like to elope and hike up a mountain to say their I do's and others would like their full wedding day documented for prosperity. The type of package that you choose will play a big role in determining how much you spend on your wedding photography. A basic package may include coverage of the ceremony and reception, while a more extensive package will include full day coverage from prep to first dance. As a lake district wedding photographer who loves to tell a story, I see your wedding day as an important chapter in your lives together, with this in mind I aim to photograph your wedding story with a clear beginning, middle and a 'to be continued'. This means that I will take the time to photograph the weather on the day, the plants that are in season, the venue, all of the little details that you haven't thought about and all of the little details that you have, your jewellery, your flowers, your dress, the interactions and moments between people, the ceremony, the cake cutting, the dancing, the reception...the list goes on. That's why I would always recommend that if choosing me as your photographer, you opt for full day coverage if possible. I do also offer packages for those of you who are looking for less coverage and I'm always happy to tailor a quote to your needs, just ask.

Photography and Film

You may also consider choosing to hire a videographer/film maker in addition to a photographer to capture video footage of your wedding day. While predominantly a wedding photographer, I do also make wedding films and I would be delighted to make a short film of your wedding day if asked; please don't ask me to do both though - there's a growing trend towards photographers/hybrid shooters offering to provide video as well as stills on your wedding day. In my experience, and in my professional opinion there's not many people who are able to provide both stills and video well without the quality of one or the other being sacrificed somewhat. I'm of the persuasion that you should hire a photographer and/or a videographer but not one person who does both. I'd rather provide you with the very best photos or the very best wedding film.


Your wedding photography should be considered an investment. As a general guideline, most couples should expect to spend around 10-15% of their total wedding budget on wedding photography. For example, if a couple has a £15,000 wedding budget (the average wedding cost is now £30,000 in the UK, which is 200% more than what 1 in 3 people are prepared to pay), they should expect to spend around £1500 to £2,000 on wedding photography. Some of you may choose to allocate more of your budget to photography, particularly if you are looking for more extensive coverage, a very high-end photographer or to have a luxury wedding album made. In terms of investment/rates, I try to sit somewhere in the middle of what most professional photographers with my level of experience charge.

It's important to keep in mind that your wedding photographs will be one of the few tangible mementos that you have of your special day, and that they will be treasured for a lifetime, often passed down through generations. With this in mind it's always worth allocating a significant portion of your budget to ensure that you have high-quality photographs that you'll be happy with for many years to come. It's also important to consider your priorities and what's more important to you. Ultimately though, the most important thing is for you to find a photographer whose work you love, and whose style and approach align with your vision for your wedding. Just remember, your photos will last a lifetime and will remain long after the cake has been eaten, the flowers have wilted, the dress hung up and the music has stopped. Unlike some photographers I don't hide my prices, I like to be as transparent as possible so if you're interested in how much it costs, you can see my current wedding photography investment costs here.

Style and Quality of Work

When deciding how much to spend on wedding photography, it's also important to look at the photographers portfolio and read the reviews to see what others say, they can give you an idea of the style and quality of their work and the level of customer service they provide. You can find out more about my style and view some of my work here also, if you're interested then you can read about what some of the amazing couples I've worked with say here.

Whoever you choose as your photographer (even if it's not me!) make sure you talk to them about your needs and expectations, and ask them for a detailed breakdown of what their packages include, so that you can make an informed decision. When comparing photographers, make sure you're comparing a like for like service. Finally, if you want to chat through the plans for your wedding photography, even if you're just in the early stages, feel free to get in touch. There's no obligation to commit, I'm always open to ideas and I always look forward to hearing about wedding plans - the more unorthodox they are the better!