Full Day or Just The Ceremony? Local or a "Destination" Wedding?
Just Digital Images or Luxury Printed Album? Price No Object or On a Budget? Documentary or High Fashion?
When it comes to choosing the best wedding photography package for your wedding the first problem is, "What's available?"
Every wedding photographer offers a slightly different package so comapring one with another isn't easy.
So my FIRST Advice is:-
DECIDE ON YOUR PRIORITIES
Some things to consider would be:-
Style of Photographs
Time at Your Wedding
Digital, Prints or a Combination of Both
How Many Images Do You Want Of Your Wedding Day (Quality or Quantity)
Experience of The Photographer
Acheivements by The Photographer
and finally, Price
LET'S LOOK A BIT DEEPER...
STYLE of Photography for your wedding.
Some wedding photographers take photos of your wedding with Instagram in mind - their feed and website gallery looks great with all the images having the same "'look" and tones - often they all look like the wedding was in mid-summer. So what if your wedding is in November and it's raining and cold? What images will you get?
Many wedding photographers claim to be "Documentary" and sure enough all their photos are unposed and natural with no photos that really stand out as a magazine front cover shot - do you want at least a few photos that go beyond this - this is your BIG DAY and maybe just a few photos that show you both at your best would be great.
Some photographers only offer BLACK and WHITE photos - ok if that's what you want but what about those beautifully colourful flowers and decorations?
For ME I like the best of everything. Some photos really do cry out to be Black and White; most of the wedding day is best photographed in a documentary style with little or no intrusion but I think a few minutes spent getting "staged" (not posed!) photos will give some photos you'll love.
TIME at your Wedding
Obviously this is an important consideration.
The longest will be "Full Day" which will cover your wedding from the Brides prep. through to the First Dance and maybe a little later. The shortest will be "Ceremony Only"
DIGITAL or PRINTS or both
Ok - you can have your wedding photos on a DVD, on a USB flash drive, uploaded to an online Gallery - OR - you can have just prints. OR both! Here's my view of the best option - Either of the DVD or USB options means you can't "share" your photos with friends, relatives and guests at your wedding; an Online Gallery you CAN - so go for a photographer offering an Online Gallery option. You can always download these and get any prints you want yourself.
VIDEO and or ALBUM Included?
Just a few years ago it was impossible for a wedding photographer to do anything more than photograph your wedding. The technology of the cameras of the day maybe did have video capability but it was very limited and probably not even as good as the smart phone of the day. Skip to 2023 and my brand new Nikon Z8 has video capabilities that enable it to be used for Hollywood productions in 4k HD! All at the flick of one switch!
So unless you want a dedicated Videographer, if you simply want your wedding ceremony videod, and maybe some video clips of other parts of the day (prep, speeches, cake cutting and first dance) then some wedding photographers (including myself) are now providing video as part of one of their packages. Wedding Album - Your choice but for me I believe that you can't beat photos in print. No computer screen, no laptop or even HD monitors have anywhere close to the resolution of a good quality print. There's so much more detail and the photos really come to life in print. You might not think it's necessary but it'll be something you wish you had in years to come.
HOW MANY IMAGES do you want?
You may think that a package offering 500 photos is "better" than one offering 250.
Here's the truth!
During a "full day" wedding there are only so many photo opportunities. Some weddings do have more action, more things happening which maybe pushes that to almost 300 (remember I've photographed around 200 weddings and pretty much seen it all!) But if you think you'll get 250 "more" photos in the package with 500 what you'll actually get is almost identical copies of 250. There simply isn't more shots to be had!
Don't Fall For The More Is Better Wedding Photography Package!
ACHIEVEMENTS and REVIEWS of the photographer
So when anyone starts out as a wedding photographer they have NO Reviews and NO Achievements or Awards.
As time goes on they collect some reviews, maybe enter a competition and get an award. So to SOME extent any achievements and reviews indicates their competence at their job.
It maybe not the full story. Some photographers will enter all sorts of minor competitions or elicit reviews from every client. Others will simply accept any reviews that their clients offer without being prompted. Some more dubious photographers may even create fake reviews!
Whilst I'm not saying their worthless I'd just suggest some more in-depth research regarding a photographers Achievements and Reviews before relying too much on them.
And yes - Finally PRICE
Having established what is important to YOU for your wedding photography you shoud be able to shortlist photographers who offer the things YOU want - the things that'll make your wedding photographs something to treasure for the rest of your life.
And do remember that even Princesses probably have a budget so there's nothing wrong in admiting that whilst you love Xyz's photo style and package it's twice what you have budgeted.
Please don't start with PRICE when looking at Wedding Photography Packages. It should be the deciding factor once everything else has been considered not the first.
WHERE to find your ideal wedding photographer?
Here's a few useful Links:-
Please also take a look at My Own WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY PACAKAGES :-)