So, what’s one got to do with the other? Lots of brides planning their own wedding often want to know this. The only dumb question is one not asked I have had several inquiries about my basic starter wedding photography package, which is meant for small one location weddings, with maybe 30-50 guests. Ceremony, a few setups with bride and groom, wedding party and immediate family….and maybe some limited reception coverage, maybe….depends on the group and bride and groom photos, and length of ceremony. But that package suits the needs of some clients….and I have captured some sweet and intimate moments at those small weddings, so they are nice to do sometimes. But that small package is not designed for weddings with multiple locations or many guests. The logistics just don’t work out for that time block.
Number of guests does affect the cost of most wedding vendors, whether photographers, caterers, venue rates, etc. When the part of the discussion comes around about their wedding, and giving them the proper price quote and which package fits their needs best, there is sometimes surprise when they tell me they have 150 guests and they are interested in my starter package. If all they want are ceremony and some bride and groom and family photos, and no reception coverage, it would work out fine. But to cover a reception with that many guests takes a good 2 hours by itself. Between the different events and capturing the candid interactions of the guests, that takes time…..and I try to get everybody I can. These are people who are important to the bride and groom, and these are the photos they really enjoy seeing. Natural element of social interaction, hence my journalistic approach. Plus, life is short. Grandparents and guests unfortunately can pass on in the future…..and couples are always so thankful to have those photos.
I understand these are tough times. They are for all of us. But you have to think what is worth cutting corners on and what isn’t. A perfect example is my farm wedding. They really didn’t know the cost involved originally but they knew exactly the story they wanted told through the photos. They didn’t have money to burn but also didn’t want to short change themselves….and wanted to make the people they loved part of the story. That’s why wedding clients hire me, to tell a story. Too much abbreviating can water down the story. A wedding is a once in a lifetime event, and certain things you can’t do over again. I never advise going into large amounts of debt or overextending yourself, but to have a clear idea of your expectations and needs going into it. What lasts and what memory fades. When going through the expense of hiring a wedding photographer, it’s better to sacrifice some 6 dollar cups of coffee a few days out of the week, and after a period of time, you have the money for ample coverage. Definitely a lot to consider when planning your guest list, and how that affects other expenses and planning aspects of your wedding. I hope this helps.