Wedding Photographer Cost, Hiring Schedule, And…Everything Else

July 30, 2021 | morgan

image by Hotzel Photography | see more of her work here

We’ve seen a lot of panic-inducing posts online about how couples need to book their vendors immediately if they want to have a chance of their dream wedding—even if their big day isn’t happening for two more years. These posts raised our blood pressure. We hated them. Then we thought about all of the couples planning a wedding celebration worthy of their love, and we got a little upset. Okay, we actually got very upset. 

We’re here to set the record straight about hiring your wedding photographer. Everything you need to know from wedding photographer cost to the reasons why you should hire a professional. We’ve also included the timeline of when you should hire your wedding photographer—because that seems to be adding to the confusion. 

If you’re new around here, hi. We’re Junebug Weddings. We’re so excited that you’re here. Our goal is to help demystify the wedding planning process and make sure that your wedding is the best day of your life. We do that with a mix of Junebug-approved wedding vendors and wedding planning information. No question is too big or too small for us to help. We just love love. So, with that in mind, let’s get started with what you need to know about hiring your wedding photographer

image by Jordan Voth

Wedding Photographer Hiring Timeline

First things first, get your wedding budget together. You can’t plan for a wedding photographer cost without knowing your budget! Once you’ve decided on your budget, the date, and your venue or general location, it’s time to start reaching out to photographers you admire. Depending on when you start planning, this could be 13 months in advance. That’s perfectly fine. Most professional wedding photographers do book that far in advance and they’ll appreciate the gesture of you reaching out early. Early planning is always a good idea.

For some couples, they have one very specific photographer they want to work with. The date they say “I do’s” matters less to them than their photographer. If that’s how you feel, reach out to them as early as possible for their availability. 

While there isn’t necessarily a rule about when to reach out to your wedding photographer, the sooner you do it, the better. If you’re planning on a shorter timeline, be prepared to speak to a few different photographers before you confirm the one. These folks are in high demand.

Choosing Your Wedding Photographer

Wait, what if you don’t already have a photographer in mind? No sweat! We’ve got you covered. You can choose your wedding photographer with these six easy steps. Then, start reaching out to them. Websites like Junebug Weddings’ Vendor Directory make it easy to submit requests to wedding photographers you admire. Many of these sites will estimate the wedding photographer cost, though most won’t. 

You can also utilize inspiration from social media like Instagram and Pinterest to look through the portfolios of wedding photographers that you like. If a specific style of photography is calling out to you, be sure to mention that when you speak with them

A Few Questions For Your Wedding Photographer

  • Does your business have insurance? Not every venue requires this, but many do require that all vendors have proof of insurance
  • What is your expected turnaround time for our photos?
  • Can we see a sample of a full wedding gallery?

If you’re unsure of what else to ask, we’ve got a more comprehensive list of questions to ask your wedding photographer here.

What Does a Wedding Photographer Cost?

As you’ve likely noticed during your wedding planning journey, the wedding photographer cost depends! But that answer isn’t helpful. So let’s break it down. Your wedding photographer cost will range anywhere from $600 to $10,000. Again, that is quite a range and isn’t very helpful. Here are some of the details that go into the price.

  • a pre-wedding photography session — some photographers offer this as a way to get to know you before your wedding day while still documenting your love story. Your photographer isn’t just another vendor, and they might want to know your relationship beforehand
  • a second shooter —  the day goes by fast. Some photographers will want to bring a second shooter to ensure they don’t miss a single moment
  • editing — editing the thousands of photos captured from your wedding day takes time. You don’t want the raw images, those won’t ever be as brilliant as the ones your photographer spends time editing
  • experience — the experience that your photographer brings to the table makes a difference. Keep in mind that they’re their own small business and they price themselves accordingly, so you don’t need to negotiate with them
  • travel — if you’re hiring a photographer that isn’t local or you’re opting to bring a local one with you to your destination wedding, you should expect to pay for their travel. If you don’t discuss this, they’ll still likely include it in their contract 
  • your wedding size — an elopement with three people (you, your partner, and the photographer) will cost less than a large wedding with hundreds of guests. When your wedding photographer asks for the size of your wedding, don’t be caught off guard
  • hours of wedding day coverage — the amount of time your wedding photographer will spend with you impacts how much they’ll charge. Capturing images of you getting ready with the wedding party, the ceremony, the arrival of your family and friends, portraits, dinner, the reception, and your final exit all take time

When Should I Expect Images

This will also depend on your photographer and the season you’re getting married in. If you’re getting married in peak wedding season—typically May to October—your photographer will be shooting weddings and couple sessions nearly every weekend. They plan accordingly, but that’s a lot of images for them to edit each week. 

Most photographers will send a handful of sneak peek images in the weeks immediately after your wedding. But it’s normal for it to take around six to eight weeks to get your wedding images back. Sometimes more, sometimes less. Take this time to enjoy your honeymoon and settle into married life. Then, when you get that exciting email from your photographer that your images are ready, grab a box of tissues and get ready to relive every second of that day. It’s worth the wait. We promise.  

Whether you’re planning on eloping in Las Vegas or hosting a 300-person destination wedding, there’s a lot of work that goes into planning your perfect wedding. Once you’ve confirmed your wedding photographer, it’s time to get your wedding planner. Get prepared for those conversations with our wedding planning timeline. Above all, don’t forget to enjoy the process. And in case you haven’t heard it enough, congratulations!

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Bright and Minimalist Elopement Inspiration Shoot

July 30, 2021 | kailey

Subtle can still be show-stopping and less is often more. This minimalist elopement inspiration proves it. Event planner 36th Street Events—along with a talented team of wedding professionals—created a simple, sleek wedding design that’ll never go out of style. From the historic venue to the eye-catching florals, every carefully crafted detail of this elopement will have minimalist couples feeling inspired.

The Grand Lady—a historic Austin event hall—proved to be the perfect wedding venue, fit for every couple and any wedding size. This intentional space was created with design flexibility in mind, making the perfect blank canvas for wedding decor. Remi & Gold brightened up the neutral space with vibrant floral arrangements. 

If you’re looking for creative ways to add a pop-of-color to your big day, these images by photographer Diana Ascarrunz—showcasing the stunning design elements from this minimalist elopement—are sure to kickstart your creative wedding planning process

Photographer’s Thoughts On This Minimalist Elopement Inspiration 

​​I love styled shoots. It gives you extra time to experiment and create images you might normally not have time to do on a normal wedding day. It also means the host and designer have creative freedom to do something out of the ordinary. You always meet new people and make connections that last.

The Wedding Team:

Photography – Diana Ascarrunz
Event Planning – 36th Street Events
Ceremony + Reception Venue – The Grand Lady
Floral Design – Remi & Gold
Cake – Morgan Pearl Cakes
Invitation Design – Pink Champagne Designs
Makeup Artist + Hair Styling – Makenzi Laine
Wedding Dress – WAYF
Rentals – Loot Rentals


Small celebrations don’t have to be boring. This minimalist inspiration—captured by photographer Diana Ascarrunz—proves you don’t have to sacrifice beautiful decor elements. To kickstart your own elopement planning, check out this guide for decorating your elopement

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Dazzling And Fun Chileno Bay Resort Wedding

July 29, 2021 | olivia

An ocean view, modern table decor, and stunning wedding fashion—Jordanna and Sammy’s three-day Chileno Bay Resort wedding was filled with love, family, and plenty of margaritas. With help from wedding planner Amy Abbott’s Events, their Cabo wedding celebration was transformed into a weekend getaway for their guests. 

We can’t forget to mention Jordanna’s three gorgeous looks throughout the day. She started the day with feather trim bridal pajamas, followed them up with a strapless chiffon high-low Oscar de la Renta wedding gown, and finished the day in a lace jumpsuit for the reception. Not only did the bride look fabulous, but you won’t want to miss her bridesmaids in mismatched dresses

Thankfully, photographer and videographers Ana & Jerome captured every moment of this stunning ceremony—from cliffside “I do’s” to tequila shots and dancing

The Couple:

Jordanna and Sammy

The Wedding:

Chileno Bay Resort, Cabo San Lucas BCS Mexico

A Wedding Weekend Experience

Our goal was creating not just a beautiful wedding day, but an entire wedding weekend experience. From the guests receiving their invitations—which included a custom margarita glass candle—to the Boskos beach party at Chileno Bay, to the time we said “I do,” it all came together so perfectly. It was an incredible weekend celebrating our marriage.

A Magical Three Day Weekend

Due to COVID, we ended up downsizing our wedding and we couldn’t be happier that we did. Having a smaller wedding meant more time that Sammy and I got to spend together and soak it all in. Thursday we kicked off the weekend with an all-white attire sunset cruise around the famous Cabo arch, followed by a fun taco and tequila dinner. On Friday we rented cabanas for everyone to hang at the pool and even made custom ‘Boskos Beach Club’ hats. That night, we hosted a beach cocktail hour with teepees, firepits, and lots of margaritas! By the time the wedding day had arrived, everyone knew each other and we really got to relax and enjoy the wedding day as a celebration of our love and loved ones.


Wedding Advice From The Bride

Having a great wedding planner made everything so seamless. I’m extremely detail-oriented so I spent hours planning and agonizing over the smallest things, but they were so worth it in the end! Also, don’t sweat the small stuff—no one notices it. Between that and ignoring any bridal “rules,” you’ll be much happier. We did a champagne tower instead of a cake because why not? Lastly, go for fireworks—they are worth it!

Choosing A Chileno Bay Resort Wedding

We both knew we wanted to get married in Mexico, and that Cabo was totally our vibe. When we visited Chileno Bay Resort, it encompassed everything we were looking for in a wedding venue— elegant, yet fun. I knew I didn’t want a barefoot beach wedding, but Sammy wanted an ocean view. When they showed us the cliffside area where the wedding would be held, we were sold. I also loved that the venue already had an incredible vibe to it—no ballrooms for us!



The Wedding Team:

Photography + Videography – Ana & Jerome 
Event Planning – Carena Trampe of Amy Abbott’s Events
Venue + Catering – Chileno Bay Auberge
Floral Design – Cristina G Cabo
DJ – DJ Alex
Invitation Design – Bells and Whistles
Makeup Artists – Kelsey Hyatt Makeup and Los Cabos Makeup
Hair Styling – Brittney Hodgins Hair, Kelsey Hyatt Makeup, and Los Cabos Makeup
Wedding Dress – Oscar de la Renta
Groom’s Apparel – Bonobos
Rings – Jordan Road Jewelry
Rentals – Del Cabo Rentals


Congratulations to Jordanna and Sammy on their Chileno Bay Resort wedding. We are so grateful that Ana & Jerome captured and shared their day with us. Creating a wedding exactly how you and your partner envision can be unique and fun. Check out how to make the day all your own with our ultimate guide to planning a unique wedding.

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