San Diego Wedding Photography Budget

If you are getting married in San Diego, you likely have an upcoming wedding in the planning stages. If so, congratulations! Our city is filled to the brim with exciting venues and expert vendors. Over the years, we have built our reputation as the #1 San Diego wedding photography team. But how do you distinguish between the options? More importantly, how do you decide on your San Diego Wedding Photography budget, and how to spend it most wisely?

When couples are first engaged, they often wonder where to start. Often, the planning begins by booking a San Diego wedding photographer. This means we have the privilege of talking together early in the process. We love being involved at this stage, because it lets us share ideas and recommendations.

We find that couples appreciate our experience and transparency. This is why we devote the time into explaining the options, and to finding the best photography package for our clients. We also understand that budget can be a major factor when searching for a photographer. With this in mind, let’s talk about how to find a quality wedding photographer within budget.

Evaluating Wedding Photographers At Different Price Points

Sparklers photo from wedding photography budget in san diego

Before contacting us, you may be considering one or more other photography studios, besides ours. After all, a Google search will result in hundreds of San Diego wedding photographers. Each of these companies will have their own shooting style, photography packages, and pricing options.

Some photographers may not even share their pricing until you are sitting face to face. This can make it confusing. It can even be hard to tell whether the photographer is within your wedding photography budget.

Other photographers only list their starter packages. At first, this pricing can look appealing. But then, to achieve what you are after, the actual price can be much higher.

This is not always intentional, but photographers know that couples often shop by cost. So they may put their lowest cost starter package online to entice buyers. Or they may quote a higher price than what they list on their website. These are just a few factors to watch for when reviewing different wedding photographers in San Diego.

Checking Wedding Photography Pricing Online

We are here to protect and inform our wedding couples, so you know exactly what you will receive. This way, you will understand the value of your wedding photography package. There will be no surprises! Because of all the reasons stated above, we have developed our own unique system. It was designed within our company, and you won’t find it at other wedding photography companies.

With our photography package builder, you can see all pricing in real time. For example, let’s say you have chosen a specific wedding date. With our online system, you can easily look up your desired date to check availability. Not only that, but you can see actual wedding photography pricing for the date itself. This lets you plan your photography budget down to the dollar. It means you can make a very informed decision!

Wedding Photography Budget vs. Budget Wedding Photography

beach photo from san diego wedding photography budget

What Is A Wedding Photography Budget?

First off, let’s make a distinction. Having a wedding photography budget is completely different from hiring a “budget wedding photographer.” Every wedding couple has a budget to work with for different vendor categories. There is a catering budget, venue budget, wedding cake budget, etc.

Along with these budget allocations is a wedding photography budget. This is the set amount that couples have decided to spend on their wedding photographer. For large upscale weddings, this budget may be quite substantial.

For smaller and more intimate occasions, the budget may be more modest. But regardless, the couple has a figure in mind. This is the amount that they are ready and able to devote to photography, as part of the overall wedding budget.

Working With Different Wedding Photography Budgets

We understand that San Diego wedding couples have different financial means. What one couple is able to easily devote to photography may be out of range for another couple. Regardless, we are completely respectful of the budget you have to work with.

What we will do is provide insight on how to apply your photography budget most effectively. We have the ability to customize our wedding photography packages to meet your needs and photography goals. This is one advantage to working with our studio, as opposed to a photography company with fixed pricing. With us, you have a lot of flexibility, with no corners cut.

What we always say is that we want to work with all couples who have wedding photography as a top priority. We have ways of staying within your photography budget, without major sacrifices. If you love our work, and we seem close to your wedding photography range, it will be worthwhile to contact our studio.

Extending Your San Diego Wedding Photography Budget

wedding photography packages within budget

We know that a wedding is a big financial commitment. To have the best San Diego wedding team of vendors, couples need to plan accordingly. But it can be a lot of money to come up with upfront, or all at once. This is why we have created options that help you to extend your wedding photography budget. Let’s review them now:

Wedding Photography Discounts

On our package builder, we offer discounts for our wedding photography service. For example, we provide a military discount for active duty and veterans. It is our way of saying thank you to the brave men and women of our armed forces.

In addition to this, we have other discounts that you may be eligible for. As one example, we have a midweek wedding rate that is significantly less than the weekend photography cost. If you are looking to save on your professional wedding photography, this option may be appealing to you.

Our special reduced rates change over time, and are based on availability. So if you happen to see a promo code or photography discount you qualify for, we suggest booking right away. Otherwise, there is no guarantee that the same wedding photography discount will be available.

joy of finding a wedding photographer within budget

Payment Plans

As mentioned, it can be challenging to come up with money all at once to pay your wedding vendors. For example, your wedding venue may require a significant deposit. We understand this, and as such, we have created payment plans.

These flexible plans enable our clients to pay for our photography over time, up until the wedding. This way, they can use the funds they have to pay for other wedding vendors. There is no cash crunch, and they are able to have the best professional photographers without sacrificing on quality.

If a payment plan would be beneficial to you, be sure to ask us about it. You will also find this option available when building your wedding photography package. There is no interest charged or pre-payment penalties. It is simply a benefit we offer to our valued clients. Even couples that initially planned to pay us upfront often take advantage of our payment program. There is no downside!

Wedding Registry

On our shopping cart, we provide a wedding registry for our clients. With our registry system, friends and family can look you up by name. Once they find you, they can contribute towards the cost of your San Diego wedding photography package. This enables your friends, co-workers and family to offload some of the wedding photography budget.

This monetary gift can be any amount, large or small. There is even a notes field where your guests can leave well wishes, or earmark specific funds. For example, if they want the money to be reserved for a wedding album, they can make this designation.

Knowing you have an album, engagement shoot, or extra hour covered lets you use your own budget differently. It makes the money go further! So if you are interested in the wedding registry option, make sure we set one up for you. We typically offer the registry a few months before the wedding, though we are happy to set one up early if preferred.

Split Payments

Sometimes, there is more than one source paying for the wedding photography. For example, the couple may cover half. And then, the parents of the couple may contribute the other half. Or, the parents may decide to pre-purchase a wedding album in advance of the big day. If this describes your scenario, let us know. We will explain how we handle split payments, letting you make the best decision possible.

Budget Wedding Photography

As mentioned above, there is a marked difference between having a wedding photography budget and “budget wedding photography.” Everyone has a wedding photography budget, large or small. But there is a category of service that could be considered ‘budget’ wedding photography. This is the kind of company you will find when you Google terms like “cheap wedding photos” or “discount wedding photographer.”

There is a certain type of business that prices itself on the lowest end of the cost spectrum. On the surface, there is nothing wrong with this. Everyone appreciates a great deal when they see one. But we suggest being wary if the cost seems very low, or too good to be true. There is a tradeoff somewhere, and it could be one of many things.

Drawbacks of Budget Wedding Photography

There are several reasons why a company may be priced so low. First, the budget photography company may be brand new, and untested as a wedding photographer. It could be a student just out of school, or even a high school student looking to make some extra money. Or it could be someone switching careers, giving photography a try. And more and more, you'll find photographers that are actually trained in other areas (commercial, editorial, nature) picking up weddings to earn income.

Even if the photography company presents well, be wary of “crazy” low prices. Take the time to read reviews across the web, from Yelp to WeddingWire. Does the budget photographer have bad reviews? Do they have 5 star reviews that don’t seem genuine? Do they even have a presence at all? Reading what others write about the wedding photographer will teach you a lot. It can be very telling.

It happens fairly regularly that we're contacted by a couple who originally hired a budget wedding photographer. What winds up happening is that the photographer cancels just before the wedding, leaving the couple in a mad scramble. Some unscrupulous photographers even keep the money after they fail to deliver. Or it turns out that the pricing was not at all what was discussed, putting the couple into a stressful situation.

Avoiding Budget Wedding Photography

The last thing we would ever want is to create a stressful situation on your wedding day. This is why we are upfront about wedding photography pricing, and how to use your budget to its fullest. It’s also why we invest in top of the line cameras and equipment, and bring extra gear just in case.

And, we always have one or more photographers on standby. This is absolutely essential. In the very unlikely event of an emergency, your backup photographer will be ready and waiting to photograph your wedding. You will never be left without a photographer.

These are all benefits you won’t find with a budget wedding photography studio. Someone who runs a part time photography business, or has a long history of unhappy clients, simply can’t deliver the way we can. Even if you wind up booking another studio, take our advice.

Avoid the budget wedding photography companies that advertise themselves as cheap or run giant coupon specials. You’ll be glad you did! Like Lasik and safety helmets, there are some things that are worth spending a bit more on. After all, you can’t get a reshoot on your wedding day. There is only one opportunity to do it right. Trust in experienced professionals!

Value For Your Wedding Photography Budget

using your wedding budget effectively

We’ve made it clear that we’re not the cheapest company out there. We are, however, competitive in cost with other wedding photography studios. Cost-wise, we are right in the middle, with options to go up or down according to need.

What we always aim to do is provide the best value for your budget. The money you spend goes towards securing talented and creative photographers, not flash and gimmicks. We also have a support staff to ensure your entire experience runs smoothly. With each package option, we make adjustments to apply your budget the way you want to spend it.

Simply put, we put ourselves in the shoes of our clients. We created the company we would want to hire, if we were the ones getting married. This is why we are proud to stand behind our photography packages, and the options they present. We know they are the best in the industry, and we are excited to talk them over with you.

Wedding Photography Budget Questions

We have covered a lot of ground when it comes to the wedding photography budget. But, there may questions that are specific to your needs or circumstances. Are there details we have not yet covered? Are you wondering about your own photography budget, and how to apply it?

If so, please reach out to our studio! Let’s talk about your upcoming San Diego wedding, budget questions, and all the fun and excitement to come!