Staying Within Your Wedding Budget: Photographer & Videographer

Well, it’s officially been {almost} a year since our wedding day! I have decided to reflect back on our wedding day with a series titled, “How to stay within your Wedding Budget when it’s less than $20,000”! Welcome back for part three of this series!

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My dad gave me a very strict budget. My sister had gotten married two and a half years before me, and he wanted me to stay within the same budget as her. My dad set a budget for each category of my wedding. He was not going to go over that budget, and it was a pretty low budget compared to other weddings in the DFW area. I was determined to stick to it though, and worked really hard to stay within the budget! My dad budgeted pretty much every category possible, but I was allowed to move money from category to category. So if I overspent in one category but underspent in another, it was ok!

When planning a wedding in the DFW area, it is very hard to stay within a budget that is under $17,000! My budget was $16,519. The average cost of a wedding in Dallas is $28,810. That means I had about $12,291 less dollars than the average bride in the DFW area. However, I was determined to stretch this money as far as it would go, and that I did! Therefore, I want to help any other brides who might appreciate the tips and tricks!

Here is a breakdown of my budget:

Category Budgeted Amount Amount Spent
 Invitations/Envelopes/Stamps 400 262.50
 Wedding Dress 1700  1595.50
 Photographer 1500
 Videographer 1300
 Wedding Cake (Bride’s Cake)  575
 DJ 600
 Flowers  700
 Alterations  150
 Shoes  54
 Hotel Rooms  700
 Wedding Ring for Matthew  400
Chapel & Reception 300
 Security  210
Wedding Coordinator 375
 Venue Rental 955
Food 6000
Bar 600
Lights in Reception Not Budgeted
Grand Total: Budgeted: $16519  Spent:

Topics that were previously discussed will be linked in the above chart!

Today I am going to focus on the third category: Photographer & Videographer!
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I knew right away that I was not going to just go with the cheapest photographer I could find. My twin sister got married two and a half years before me, and they just went with the cheapest. And they were horrible. They made her entire wedding day miserable, and then the pictures were horrible too. I love pictures, so I knew I had to have the perfect person.

 

Tips for finding a photographer and videographer within your budget:

  1. Research online. Using a website like www.weddingwire.com  was my life saver. I researched photographers and videographers on that site and was able to read reviews, visit their webpages, and get a good idea of their work. Find one who’s style you like!
  2. Email the photographer or videographer and give them your budget. A lot of times they can re-work their packages fit your budget! That was exactly what my girl did! My budget was $1500, and on her website she didn’t have a package for that price. However, we were able to meet and talk about the things I wanted, and she worked a special package for me that totaled $1515! It was an amazing deal. It never hurts to ask! Many photographers are willing to work with your budget and rework packages to fit your needs! It never hurts to ask…. so ASK!
  3. Search for a photographer or videographer who is currently running a special. Try not to pay full price!! I found a videographer I was interested in working with, and emailed them. They just happened to be running a special for that month, so I was able to book them under my budget!
    1. SUB TIP: Read the contract before you sign and make sure they have put a date of when you will have the video back! That way you can legally hold them to that date. I didn’t notice that mine didn’t have a date on it until way after the wedding. I emailed them about it, and they gave me an estimated date. We didn’t get the video until two months after that estimated date. It was ridiculous! They were impossible to get a hold of and were so slow. When we finally got the product, we loved it… and they did include some free DVDs for the trouble. If I could go back and re-do it, I would make sure they put a date on the contract!

This next part is not a sponsored post- I just loved my photography so much that I wanted to share! I chose Brittany Feagans Photography, and it was the best choice I could have made! I could seriously write a book about how much I love this girl. We met at a Starbucks for a pre-meeting, and she blew me away. Her photos are beautiful and so is her personality! She makes you feel so comfortable. The package she offered me came with a free engagement session, and it was a great time to really get to know each other and get comfortable. On the day of the wedding, she ran the show! She kept everyone calm, relaxed, and comfortable, but also on a schedule. She also kept unwanted people out of the bridal room! She was seriously amazing. It felt like having another friend there, and it wasn’t awkward at all. I would recommend her again and again, and I can’t wait until we have a little family so that she can take our pictures again! I am so glad that I chose Brittany and that she was able to work with our budget– my house is now covered in engagement and wedding photos taken by her! You can read all about our love story, our wedding, and to see more pictures on her blog, posted here.

If you’re interested in watching our wedding highlight video, click here! It’s just a short glimpse into the best day of my life!

I hope some of these tips help another bride save money in this category! I’ll see you next time for the next section of “How to stay within your Wedding Budget when it’s less than $20,000”!

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