What Is Your Wedding Worth?
May 17, 2010

You’ve selected your venue and food: $20,000. You’ve paid a pretty penny for beautiful flowers: $3,500. The dress cost a small fortune, but you look amazing: $5,000! You’ve spent countless hours on the smallest of details that will make your wedding incredibly unique and meaningful: $2,500. Wedding photography: $1,800. Yes, this is the day you will cherish forever, priceless. But wait, why so little for photography?  

Long gone are the days of film. Nearly all wedding photographers use digital cameras. It’s great because professional photographers are now able to take unlimited photos. They also have the opportunity to make edits in Photoshop to fix small problems and use cutting edge techniques to make your photos look incredible.  

Now here’s the bad part. Because of this, everybody thinks that just about anyone with a digital camera is qualified to take photos for weddings. WRONG!  Often, the assumption is that the job is simple. It’s not. Photography is not a matter of being present and clicking a button. It’s about having years of experience, proper software to make edits, knowledge and ability to make multiple backups so your photos are not inadvertently lost or deleted, and expensive cameras and equipment, not to mention a plethora of lenses for each unique setting. It’s about being able to assess lighting situations and knowing how to manipulate the camera so you are able to capture the best shot.  

Thank you to Heavenly Portraits for capturing our priceless moment...My Husband and I after "I Do"


It’s about making sure you don’t miss key moments on the most important day of your life. Not just the first dance or the cake cutting, but the very precious moments. You and your new husband are walking back down the aisle and you share that private moment together when you look at each other in awe that you finally tied the knot. Yes, that moment is priceless. However, the inexperienced will miss it. From time to time, I’ve even seen professionals miss the smallest of details like the escort table or the bouquets, so how can you possibly expect the newbie for which you shelled out a mere $1800 to get the shot?  

You need to ask questions. You’re sitting in an office that offers multiple photographers for hire. You’re looking through a ton of albums and you realize you love the work of one particular photographer. Ask if that same photographer has creative control. Will he be the one making the final edits and putting together your album? Make sure the album you are reviewing is a correct representation of the company as a whole and not the photographer’s separate company. Is the photographer simply for hire or does he have another company he runs where he has vested interested in doing a better job?  

When searching for my own wedding photographer, I remember looking through a photographer’s album, and I fell in love with the photos. Somewhere near the end of the interview, my husband asked the photographer if it was his own work. It was only then he confessed it was not his photos but rather a sample book. Needless to say, we did not hire that photographer. Ask the questions, no matter how silly.  

Did you ever wonder why one photographer charges around $1,000 and another starts at $3,000? The current economy with its fair share of layoffs has seen an emergence of new photographers. Take caution in any photographer willing to do your wedding for free or less than $3,000. Ask to see reviews and multiple albums. A wedding is not the proper time to test out one’s abilities. There are no repeats and once it’s all over, the photographs are the only thing you have to remember the day.  

Venue and food: $20,000, flowers: $3,500, wedding gown: $5,000, wedding photography; priceless!  

Looking for an Orange County Wedding Coordinator?  I’d love to hear from you!  

Kerry Pulverman                                
de Luxe Weddings & Events