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Wedding Budgets + Regrets

Tuesday, January 9th, 2018

wedding budgetsLet’s not lie, wedding budgets are a little intimidating. Ok fine, they are down right huge and could possibly give one an anxiety attack. And unless you are marrying Prince Harry, what you want and what you can afford most probably don’t match 100%. I don’t know about you, but inspirational sites like Style Me Pretty and Pinterest have wonderful ideas that do not help with a frugal budget. I know this because I have been there!!

So how do you prioritize your dream of having an ample cascading bouquet and that amazing photographer who speaks to your soul? Or that venue with the white washed barn look and that beaded gown you tried on that fits every curve of your body perfectly? A recent survey by Zola found about wedding budgets and regrets with real couples and the findings were not surprising to me.

Wedding Planners

A whopping 20% of couples wish they had hired a wedding planner. To that I say “amen!!”. Planners, not venue coordinators {there is a difference!}, are instrumental in making your day flow. They oversee the schedule, they keep everyone on time, from the caterer, to the florist, to the DJ and photographer. They are on it! I cannot tell you the number of times the schedule at a wedding has gone off track.

A bride is late by over an hour because of hair and makeup is so common that I talk to every bride about this and tell them to leave an extra 35 minutes in their timeline for them just in case. A person in the wedding party is late, delaying pictures.Your mom adding 5 extra family groupings for pictures after the ceremony. It happens! And all of these things throw off your wedding day and make it so your schedule goes way off track, leaving less and less time for pictures. But you know who is amazing at reacting early and ensuring these things don’t happen or derail the day? A planner. They are truly worth their weight in gold and worth the prioritization over laser cut and bejeweled invitations.

swishnclick wedding photographer


Even higher, 22% of couples wished they invested more in their wedding photography. In fact photographers land the second spot on what makes your wedding day most memorable, right behind the venue. Again, a huge huge “amen!” to this. Photographers are right beside you almost the entire year of your wedding planning and plus your wedding day. We get to know you and your fiancé, your family, your love story. We dine over food and become part of each other’s lives. So on your wedding day, who is there when you’re are getting ready, for your first kiss and first dance? We are! Having a connection with the right photographer makes all the difference in your wedding images.

swish + click photography

Some of my favorite moments on a wedding day are when I am in the thick of it. I have held more than one wedding dress so the bride can pee. I have hugged numerous moms throughout the day. We have have held hands and teared up during important dances. I have danced with numerous couples throughout the night, including line dances I am terrible at! And at the end of the night we always hug and make dinner plans for the future.

At the end of the day, once you have hung your dress and are snacking on some extra wedding cake in your hotel room, the memory of your day will be in the hands of one of the vendors you trust the most: your wedding photographer. So it makes sense that you allow in your budget a little extra for them.  For my wedding we cut back in other areas to afford ours.

So what is the right budget for a photographer? I know a lot of couples try to stay around the $2000 or less mark, but that budget might get you a photographer who doesn’t know flash and so you wind up with grainy images or ones that are out of focus. I would start at minimum of $2900 and up for an 8 hour day, and make sure you interview/meet with them in person. Ask for samples of their work. It only works if you are laughing at the same jokes and you have seen their latest wedding and you love it!!

Harry Potter Swish + Click

Now as to where to cut in your budget to get the memories you desire? That is harder, I’d say hire a planner and have them help you!

  1. Christine says:

    It’s so important to educate clients! I know we’re biased but the photography really is so important!

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