By Louise Baltruschat Hollis
Photos by Kazooieloki Photography
Want the lowdown on the cost of wedding photography in the UK? I get it, planning out your wedding budget and estimating wedding costs is tough!
However, I am here to give the scoop on wedding photographer prices and help you sus out your wedding photographer budget.
As well as help you to work out what type of wedding photos you can get for your budget.
We’ve all spent hours on Instagram, and Pinterest, as well as flicking through magazines and blogs drooling over the most amazing wedding photographs. But is this level of photography realistic and achievable for the average UK couple?
Yes! And I will share all if you read on as well as answer FAQ and share what impacts the cost of wedding photography.
Photo: Barbara K Photography
To put it simply, UK wedding photographer costs start at hundreds of pounds and all the way up to tens of thousands of pounds.
It varies massively, but you can expect to pay between £800-£3000 for your photography.
According to Bridebook’s January 2022 survey of nearly 5,500 UK couples, the average wedding photographer spend was £1290. In 2020, this figure was less at £863, however, this could have been due to micro weddings and shorter coverage due to the pandemic.
The most expensive region in the UK for the average cost of a photographer was London at £1487 and the West Midlands was the cheapest at £1077.
Weddings outside of the UK, or destination nuptials were costing couples an average of £2224 in 2021. This could also be due to travel costs, accommodation and the time taken to be at a wedding further away from where a photographer lives.
Interestingly the survey also found that 91% of couples hired a professional wedding photographer, which means that only 9% of couples decided to DIY their photographs. This was the most popular service that was hired at weddings for these couples.
Hitched’s 2021 survey of 2,000 British couples found that the average wedding photographer cost was £1,200.
However, do bear in mind that these are average figures only. Some couples opt for no photography which means they spend £0 on their photos while some engaged couples spend £10,000+ on their photographer.
Whatever your photography budget is, that’s absolutely fine! There are no rules on what you should or should not be spending on your wedding photographer. It comes down to your personal finances and your total wedding budget.
But your photography dreams are possible, promise!
That being said, if you are to hire a pro for any part of your big day. Do really carefully consider DIYing your photos if you are planning to, it can be a risky move. But I will get on to this later in the article.
Let’s break down some of the average costs of individual wedding photography elements to help you gauge what you can expect to pay for your photos. I have done a little research and used a little common sense here too as well as my experience from 12+ years as a blog editor in the industry.
Please note these figures may change and may vary depending on differing external factors so do take them with a pinch of salt. The photography featured in this article is for illustrative purposes and is not related to the photography cost estimates outlined.
|Photography Item||Minimum Spend||You Could Spend|
|Short/Micro Wedding Photography||£300||£1000+|
|Mid-Week Wedding Photography||£500||£1300+|
|Off-Peak Wedding Photography||£900||£1600+|
|High-Season Wedding Photography||£1200||£3000+|
|Elopement Wedding Photography||£600||£1200+|
|Destination Wedding Photography||£1900||£5000+|
|Photographer & Videographer Package||£2000||£4500+|
|Add A Second-Shooter||£300||£500+|
|Printed Wedding Album||£150||£600+|
High-season in the wedding industry typically starts in March and lasts until October. If you are looking to get married during this time, demand is higher, therefore pricing could be higher for your photography.
That being said some photographers don’t offer off-season discounts so it isn’t across the board. But if you are looking to get married in the high season, you can expect to pay between £1200-£3000+.
Every photographer includes different elements in their packages. For example, the following could or may not be included:
We’re going to be looking at some of these costs in detail shortly.
Many photographers offer short wedding photography coverage or more recently micro photography packages.
These can be due to fewer guests as well as fewer hours. That means the photographer is at your day for a shorter time, plus there are fewer images to edit and deliver to you. You could pay from £300-£1000+ for short or micro wedding photography.
Another element of peak nuptials is the day of the week. Weekends are more popular for obvious reasons, which means that weekday celebrations may mean more availability for suppliers.
Sometimes photographers offer a discount for midweek weddings, but that isn’t always the case. If you are planning a mid-week affair you could be in luck and pay from £500-£1300+ for your photos.
Photo: Liza O’Malley Photography
Again, some photographers (not all) give different package options for off-peak celebrations. These typically fall between November and February. As a rough guide, off-peak photography could cost £900-£1600+.
Some dates may work out more expensive though, for instance, Christmas and NYE. These dates can prove popular!
If you are thinking of eloping, your costs may just be reduced. Some photographers are specialists in elopement photography, especially in popular elopement locations.
For an elopement photography package, you could spend anywhere from £600-£1200+.
For weddings abroad, expect to pay more for a photographer. Photographers will need to spend on travel and accommodation (or may ask you to cover these) as well as take more time to be at your nuptials (days rather than one day for example).
Some photographers specialise in destination weddings, while others offer this an extra package. Photographers may also charge different amounts in packages depending on how far away they are from the UK.
But as a guide, you could spend between £1900-£5000+ on a destination photographer.
Maybe you’d like to keep things simple and book a photo and film package for your day? Well if so, costs can vary wildly depending on the duo you choose.
Some photographers and filmmakers offer both in-house, while others bring in a pro especially. For both your film and photo you could spend in the region of £2000-£4500+.
Photo: Thyme Lane Photography
So, I mentioned some extras or package details that photographers sometimes include or have as bolt-on options. Let’s take a look at the most common ones in more detail.
The majority of photographers include an engagement shoot in their main photography packages. It’s because it’s actually a really useful exercise in getting to know your photographer, as well as feeling more confident in front of the lens.
You’re going to be spending most of your special day with your photographer and filmmaker, which may come as a surprise.
But when you think about it, they want to be there to capture you and all your important moments. Due to the huge amount of time on your day you’ll see them you will want to get on, trust me!
Building confidence and trust with your photographer will ensure one less thing to worry about on your day. Such as having your photo taken, that if it makes you break into a cold sweat.
On a side note, you will get some lovely photos too, which you can use at your reception. From your stationery to your wedding guest book and more! As well as keeping and displaying your engagement photos to remember the special period of your engagement (after all, it’s usually a short time frame in the overall time of your relationship).
So with all that being said, if a photographer doesn’t include a pre-wed shoot in a package you can expect to pay £200-£900+ to add one. Depending on the location and length of the shoot!
Photo: Tim Stephenson Photography
Unsure what a second shooter is? Essentially it’s a second photographer who will be shooting at your wedding too.
They will help get different prep photos if you are getting ready separately, capture other angles and moments happening in different places at the same time.
Some photographers have two photographers as part of their business as standard, while others will bring one in especially. This can be priced from £300-£500+.
Lots of photographers help their couples with ordering prints and designing albums. Depending on the quality, complexity and size prices will vary between £150-£600+.
It can be worth getting a package with prints or albums included so you don’t forget or put off making that order when you are busy being newlyweds.
Photo: Paola De Paola Photography
Some photographers capture a little video footage on the day or will make an image slideshow to music for you to enjoy. (I love our image slideshow, it’s a really special memento to kick back and watch.)
Depending on whether this is video or image footage, this can range between £350-£700+.
A fair few wedding photographers also have the option of hiring their own wedding photo booth. Of course, there are lots of great standalone photo booth companies you can hire too. A photo booth could set you back £250-£650+.
Photo: Liam Collard Photography
Yes, wedding photography cost varies massively as you now know. From £800 all the way up to £10000 and beyond in some instances. But why?
It could be due to:
Some photographers have built an incredible reputation, have masses of social media followers and vast demand.
Therefore, these photographers charge more per wedding. It doesn’t actually always mean that their photography or service is better than a cheaper photographer (they could well be). However, demand always makes for price increases no matter the industry.
Photo: James Merrick Photography
Many photographers invest heavily in learning and training. Some are degree educated in photography, others attend workshops and photography training to improve their photographic skills.
This means there is a cost involved for photographers to develop and evolve their services. Photographers may also invest in business coaching and programmes to help them improve their offerings overall.
Experience also often means a photographer charges more. That’s not to say a cheaper, and less experienced photographer is not as good.
But a photographer with years in the wedding industry and hundreds of weddings under their belt is likely to have dealt with every situation going. So their experience can really come in handy for a number of reasons. From tricky lighting to unpredictable weather and other on-the-day bloopers.
When was the last time you bought a camera? I bet it was a while ago as most of us use our phones for photography these days and let’s face it, they are expensive.
So can you imagine how much a professional, high-end camera may cost? Plus, it’s not just one camera a wedding photographer owns. Often there are at least two camera bodies and multiple lenses, as well as a bag, lighting equipment, storage cards, stands, film, batteries and a camera strap.
The cost of photography equipment can go into the thousands. And then there is a photographer’s office equipment, which requires a high-performing computer to edit images, as well as top-of-the-range software.
As well as the cost of the equipment itself, it then needs to be serviced regularly to ensure it runs perfectly.
Photo: J S Coates Photography
If a photographer has a specialism in a particular area for example:
Then they may command a higher price due to their skills and expertise as well as experience in these different areas.
Then, of course, there is the price difference between a part-time photographer and a full-time photographer. The latter is likely to charge more as it’s how they make their living.
When it comes to locations, what is it that makes the price of a wedding photographer change? Firstly, a photographer’s location can impact pricing. If they are in a place where living costs are high, they may need to charge more to pay their bills.
Secondly, it could be down to where your big day is in relation to your photographer. If your photographer has to travel far, it may incur an additional cost for travel expenses and accommodation if necessary.
Thirdly, their office or studio address may run with larger or smaller overheads depending on where they are in the UK. Some photographers don’t have an office and work from home, while others have a full photographic studio.
Photo: HBA Photography
Great customer service is going to take a photographer more time. The more contact and 1-2-1 service before and after your day you get could equate to a cost impact on your package.
For example, a photographer may take on fewer weddings, to be able to dedicate more time to you as a couple. This could mean more meet-ups before the day itself, as well as help with planning your wedding photo list and other questions you may have.
Post-wedding, there is editing behind the scenes which can be very time-consuming. Most photographers do this in their own editing style, while others outsource in their signature style.
Photographers may also design you an album, order you prints or wedding thank you cards after your images are delivered.
If a photographer has a plethora of raving reviews, on Google Business, Facebook and independent review sites. It’s likely they are more trustworthy and could charge more for their wedding packages.
Photo:Ginger Beard Weddings
Wedding photographers can also have quite a few overheads in running their business which will impact the cost of their photography:
If you are getting married off-peak your photographer cost could be lower as a photographer can have lower demand. But some photographers still charge the same to cover their costs and expenses. It really depends on each photographer’s circumstances.
Photo: Fiona Kelly Photography
Wedding photographers are definitely worth investing in. Not every couple will be able to afford a photographer or value the importance of capturing their day, I get that.
However, after investing so much time, love and money into your nuptials. Do you want to relive those memories and moments after they fade from your mind? If you do, really consider hiring a pro photographer.
Be cautious about asking a friend/family member to shoot your wedding. Or finding a too-good-to-be-true cheap photographer to capture your day. There’s only one chance to get your photos, so find someone you wholeheartedly trust who is also within your budget.
It goes without saying you should never feel like you have to get into any financial difficulty because of your wedding. Work to your means and budget.
It’s a common misconception that wedding photographers are expensive, many people may believe they work for one day; the wedding day. This is far from the case.
Wedding photographers work before you even get engaged to train, buy equipment and market their services to you. They may meet with you and have several conversations before you book and make a deposit.
Then you may have an engagement shoot, where images are also edited and delivered. As well as having contact before your wedding. Then there are their overheads for running their business and the time to edit your photos after the day as well as designing your album.
As you can imagine that equates to a lot of hours per wedding for a photographer.
Yes, you pay your wedding photographer upfront. Usually, wedding photographers ask for a deposit to secure your date. This ensures you are booked in and often you will be asked to sign a contract too.
Before your wedding, with an agreed timescale you will then pay your remaining balance before your wedding day. This can be months or weeks in advance depending on your agreement with your wedding photographer.
Yes, 6 hours of coverage for wedding photography can be enough. But the number of hours of wedding photography coverage you want and need really depends on your wedding timings. As well as the photos you hope to receive.
If you are looking for prep photos in the morning, this can add on a good couple of hours to your coverage. Especially if you are having an early ceremony. The same goes for the timings during your reception. If you want the cake shot and first dance, it depends on how late this is.
Would you like dancefloor photos and your wedding exit shot? Then this will add hours to your coverage package hours.
For comprehensive images of the morning prep to the last dance, you are typically looking at 12 hours of photographer coverage, sometimes more.
One photographer can certainly be enough for a wedding. That being said, if you’d like more angles and your photographer to be in two places at one time. Do think about adding a second shooter to your wedding.
Yes, you should definitely think about feeding your photographer! Some photographers have meal requirements drawn up into their contract, while others are happy to bring something along.
The best thing to do is ask your wedding photographer in advance. They will really appreciate you asking and then you can plan on how to keep them fed and watered. Don’t forget to ask them for their dietary requirements too.
You want to take care and look after your photographer. It’s a long day for them and they will want to feel great to be able to capture those gorgeous shots.
The number of wedding photos you may receive will not only vary between photographers and their packages. But also depends on your wedding and how many photo opportunities there are.
Sometimes wedding photographers can take thousands of shots. But then they will go through and select the images they deem best and remove the ones that don’t work. They may give you a guideline in their package of the number of edited images you will receive.
But as a guideline, you can expect anywhere from 300-800 edited photos depending on the hours of coverage you have booked.
There are ways to save money on your wedding photography. But tread carefully and go with your gut instincts when it comes to making that final booking.
Be sure to look for independent reviews and look at full wedding galleries to see if you are happy with their delivered work. You can go with a wedding photographer newbie, all photographers have to start somewhere.
But be sure to do your research, ask the right wedding photography questions and spend some time with the photographer first. An engagement shoot is a good place to start to test the water!
Also, be aware that some wedding photography portfolios may consist of style shoot editorial images. These photos can look stunning but are different to achieve than on a real wedding day.
You could also:
So there we have it, you now know how much wedding photography costs in the UK, as well as the average spend by couples.
You've discovered all the elements in how a photographer prices their packages as well as different options for your photography and the estimated costs.
Plus, you have the answers to some frequently asked wedding photography questions. Now you're ready to set your wedding photographer budget and make those enquiries. Hooray!
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