Photography Budget: Who Pays?

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Photo Credits: Duston Todd, Aaron Shintaku, Austin Gros, Karen Wise, Gabriel Ryan.

Photography Budget: Who Pays?

Photography and video expenses are traditionally the responsibility of the bride's family. These days, of course, couples are just as apt to foot the bill for their own weddings, although they may accept help from parents and other family members.
Wedding videographers usually charge a set fee for the method and style of video you've selected. This may include editing, a couple of baby pictures, favorite music, the master and a few extra high-quality copies to share with friends and family. Extra costs are almost always limited to when a videographer stays for an extra hour or two of overtime.

Photography, on the other hand, is an aspect of your budget that can easily snowball. But you can help keep the situation under control by being realistic about what you'll need. Decide on the amount of prints, albums and enlargements you think you'll want, along with the length of time you think you'll need your photographer, and ask your parents to guesstimate what they think they'll want to order. Factoring in requests for parents' albums and prints now may save money in the long run. And it may give you an opportunity to ask if and what your parents wish to contribute to your overall cost.

If you're lucky and your parents have offered to pay for part of or your entire wedding, be sensitive when discussing your choices. Wedding videos and albums are expensive, so be ready to back up your decisions. Remind everyone that the wedding lasts one day, but the photographs will last a lifetime. If you've selected a $4,000 photography package and a videographer who charges $1,500 -- and your folks think $3,000 is more than enough for both -- don't burst into tears. Instead, consider scaling back your package, or kicking in the difference yourself. We've never met anyone who regrets spending too much on wedding pictures or on the additional cost of having a video shot. Sadly, however, the reverse is often true.

A gratuity for your photographer is not required, although a lot of people like to use cash to reward a job well done. If you are going to tip, $25 is plenty. Or send a thank you note and small gift. Even better, a glowing recommendation to all your engaged friends is the best "tip" a photographer could ask for.

See More: Photography , Planning