How Much Should You Spend on Your Wedding Photographer?
If you’re like me when I got engaged, one of the first steps after that happy “I do” moment was that realization of…we need a budget! A wedding celebration is an important milestone in every couple’s love story, and one of the most common questions I’m asked by newly engaged couples is, “How much should we spend on our wedding photographer?” Greenville wedding photographer cost can vary greatly depending on levels of skill, renown, and other factors.
Together, we’ll gain an understanding of Greenville wedding photographer cost averages, and equip you to make the right decision for your wedding day. If you’re looking for even more wedding planning resources, then be sure to check out my other wedding planning articles to get an understanding of how I work as a wedding photographer.
The Percentage Rule
Popular wedding planning sites like WeddingWire offer guidelines for Greenville wedding photographer costs, and it’s usually based on a flat percentage of your total wedding photography budget — or a “slice of the pie” if you’re looking at a circular chart. Many guides recommend investing 10-20% of your budget in a wedding photographer.
While this can be a good starting point to consider, there’s no one-size-fits-all rule that works for every couple and every wedding day. Why? Every couple values different things when it comes to the wedding day! For some couples, it’s of utmost importance to invest in a photographer with a strong track record of experience, with all the necessary equipment and backup gear, who can deliver consistently beautiful wedding galleries and stunning heirloom albums. Other couples may be willing to take a bit more of a risk, trading quality and experience to save a little bit of money by hiring a less-experienced wedding photographer.
So, remember: While a 10% “slice of the pie” may be a good starting point, many couples invest more than 10% of their wedding budget when they find the perfect wedding photographer!
Factors that Influence Greenville Wedding Photographer Cost
But really, how much do wedding photographers cost in Greenville? In a perfect world, there would be a short and sweet answer to this question, but there are a lot of factors that can influence Greenville wedding photographer costs.
Wedding photographers in South Carolina can range anywhere between $0-$15,000, so let’s explore and unpack the factors that influence the average cost of a wedding photographer.
Average Photographer Costs in Greenville & South Carolina
For the Greenville area and communities throughout South Carolina, wedding photographers usually fall into the following starting price ranges:
Inexpensive (Less than $2,000)
Beginners and Hobbyists: Other photography options that fall into this category would include those folks who are just getting started in the wedding photography business, or only consider wedding photography a hobby. While they may have shot some weddings, they do not yet have enough experience to be considered professional, and/or they may not deliver a style and quality of work that’s in demand in your area.
Average ($2,000 - $4,000)
Boutiques: In between the low-priced high-volume photography studios and celebrity wedding photographers are wedding photography boutiques — wedding photographers operating on their own or with a small team of 1-3 other professionals. You can rest assured knowing exactly who you are working with and these type of artists strive to get to know you as much as possible.
Small Studios: Small studios are often a collective of these “boutique” wedding photographers working together to run a small business. You’ll have the same personalized, high-quality service you might receive from a boutique photography studio, with the added benefit of being able to choose from several closely-connected pros to find the perfect photographer to match your wedding day needs and style.
Both of these types of photography businesses are fully equipped with backup equipment, liability insurance, and the technology and skills to support any kind of wedding day. Personally, this is where my own work falls as a photography investment.
Luxury ($4,000 and Above)
These sorts of photographers fill out the highest end of the range when it comes to the average Greenville wedding photographer cost. These sorts of professional photographers typically command a high starting price based on fulfilling a special niche (like only shooting film) or based on key relationships (partnership with influential industry leaders or celebrities).
So, how much does wedding photography in Greenville cost? As you can see, there’s no hard and fast, right or wrong answer to this question. It’s important to understand what you’re comfortable investing and then find the photographer that’s the absolute best fit for you.
As a general rule, the cost of a wedding photographer cost is whatever and as much as you’re comfortable investing. If you find a photographer whose work you adore, has great reviews from past clients, and their personality puts you at ease and gets you excited to create beautiful wedding heirlooms together, then book them — whatever their price.
For some, the perfect wedding photography investment might be $1,000 or less, while other couples may choose to invest $5,000, $10,000 or even more for the right wedding photographer. There will always be a more “inexpensive” option, but consider what you might be trading when it comes to style, skill, and consistency.
No matter which photographer you choose to invest in, remember that your wedding photographer will be working hard all day long to faithfully preserve your wedding day memories for you, your children and grandchildren. Be sure to love on them, as they’ll be loving on you as they take photos throughout the wedding day.