When do I hire a wedding photographer?

First off, congratulations on your engagement! If you’re reading this you’re probably in the depths of planning a wedding and you might be wondering when to book a wedding photographer. After all, you don’t want to miss out on capturing those precious moments of your big day. Hiring a wedding photographer is one of the most important decisions you’ll make for your wedding is hiring a wedding photographer.

Knowing when to book a photographer depends on a few factors, such as your budget, your location, your style, and your preferred date. Here are some tips to help you decide when the time is right for you to book your photographer.

Destination Bridal Portraits in Kansas City

Tip #1 – Start Looking as Soon as Possible.

The sooner you start researching photographers, the more options you’ll have. You can browse portfolios, read reviews and compare offerings. Plus, you’ll have time to communicate with them and see if you click. 

One of the first steps when we meet a couple is to sit down with them either in person or over a Zoom, just to get to know each other. You want to be able to connect with your wedding photographer, as they’ll be with you the whole day! 

Tip #2 – Book at least 6 months in advance.

This is the minimum amount of time you should book a wedding photographer, especially if you’re getting married during peak season (May-September) or on a popular date (such as 10-10-2023). Some photographers may be booked up to a year or more in advance, so don’t delay! If you’ve put it off, don’t stress you just might have less options to choose from.

We only book a limited number of weddings each year to allow us to give each couple the love and attention their wedding deserves, because of that the peak months do fill up quickly.

Custom Designed Wedding Album

Tip #3 – Consider your priorities.

If photography is one of the most important aspects of your wedding, you may want to book even earlier than 6 months. This way you can secure your dream photographer and avoid disappointment, as well as have plenty of time for an engagement photography session ahead of your wedding to get a little practice in front of the camera. On the other hand, if photography is not a high priority for you, you may be able to find a good deal by booking closer to the date and leaving fate to chance.

If you prioritize photography, don’t forget to also consider how you plan to share these images. Are you looking for an heirloom album or fine art wall portrait? Or are you a social media sharer? Does Grandma need that gift print for the frame on the wall? Be sure you’re choosing a photographer that can support you with the offering that fits your style. At March81 Photography, we help you design art that captures all the emotions from those precious moments on your wedding day.

Tip #4 – Consider your type of wedding.

Are you planning a small, intimate ceremony with less amount of coverage needed or are you planning an upscale, large guest count wedding or are you planning a destination wedding or elopement? The larger the celebration, the more details and moving parts there are, so you’ll want to get your photographer in the loop as soon as possible to ensure you plan your day with plenty of time for all the photos you are hoping to get. If you’re planning a destination wedding, you will also want to connect with a photographer sooner than later, as the closer to the date, the more expensive travel arrangements become.

Destination Bride and groom portrait, sunrise in front of the Coliseum in Rome, Italy. Wedding Photography by March81 Photography
Destination Wedding Portrait in front of the Coliseum in Rome, Italy

Tip #5 – Be Flexible.

If you have a specific photographer in mind, but they’re already booked on your date, you may want to consider changing your date or time. You may also want to ask them for referrals to other photographers they trust and recommend. At March81 Photography we believe in community over competition and have several other photographers in our network that we would highly recommend should we not be available for your wedding.

Don’t let booking a photographer overwhelm you, find someone who’s style you love and reach out, ask them if your dates available. Start the conversation! It’s as easy as that. When you connect and they fit in your budget, lock them in and cross another thing off your list!

Ready to take the next step?

We would love to get together with you to talk about your dream wedding and what you’re looking for in photography. Let’s set up a time to chat.

Currently, we are meeting via Zoom. If you prefer a phone call or email please email us michael@march81photo.com

Additional Articles & Galleries

Let's Connect!

MIchael and Jennifer at the beach portrait of West Michigan Wedding Photographers, owners of March81 Photography