It’s no secret that there is an endless supply of wedding planning information available online. Everywhere from Martha Stewart Weddings to Brides.com has articles on “Finding Your Dream Dress” or “Choosing a Color Palette” which, don’t get me wrong, as a former bride, I think is amazing! It’s wonderful to see the shift of all of this content being available online because it allows couples to feel more in control of their big day. But, as a Washington, DC wedding photographer, I have had more than one cringe-worthy moment when reading articles that focus on photography, specifically. Hence, why I created this Bridal Business series! I use it as a place to educate couples on wedding photography related questions from the perspective of someone who is in the trenches, shooting weddings on over half of the weekends in any given year and learning from those experiences.
Without a doubt, I think there are two things wedding blogs get wrong most frequently about photography. Those are 1. when to hire a photographer and 2. how much your photographer should cost. The latter is a discussion for another day, but I want to dive into the first question today as I think it’s a really important one! For me, I’ve found in the District of Columbia and the surrounding area that the majority of my clients book within 12-18 months of their big day. That’s not to say I haven’t happened to have an opening only 9-months in advance, but for those popular weekends in “big” wedding months like June or October, most of those are booked about a year out. If you have your heart set on a specific photographer or photography is an important aspect of your wedding day, I highly recommend reaching out to several in your area as soon as the date is selected and the venue is finalized. It’s actually not uncommon for me to get e-mails from potential clients who haven’t even booked those things yet — they love photography that much that they will schedule their day after finding the right fit!
That being said, even if you are less than 12 months until your wedding date or have a short engagement, it never hurts to contact your favorite photographers! Most of the times, even if they are already booked, they are happy to provide recommendations of colleagues with a similar price-point and style. The long and short? Sooner is always best, but it never hurts to ask!