There are so many things to think about after the big “YES!”. Two of the biggest decisions you will likely make first are the when and where to get married. After that there is a long list of details, both big and small that need to be addressed. One of the most important is who is to photograph the wedding. Imagine having secured the most idyllic location, wearing the most glamorous bridal gown, at the most elegant reception venue and no one to capture all these details.
Each week I get a handful of inquiries from brides looking for a wedding photographer for 6 months from now, for next month, or even crazier; next week. In almost every case I have to turn them away because I am already booked. While the thought of loosing the opportunity to work with an amazing couple is disappointing, I am more troubled knowing how difficult it is going to be for them to find a quality photographer on such short notice. The simple truth is many in-demand wedding photographers book over a year in advance. As your wedding date gets closer, it will be harder to book your first choice photographer.
Because we are living in a time where we are inundated with photography, more and more, brides are placing an increasingly higher value on quality photography for their wedding. So, needless to say, finding the right photographer is pretty important.
So when is the “right” time to contract your wedding photographer? The simple answer: book your wedding photographer as soon as you secure your venue, if not sooner. I have been booked on a number of occasions before the reception hall has been retained. Some vendors, such as the florist, bakery, limos, or even hair/make-up artists may be able to schedule more than one wedding in a day. Their services typically do not extend from the bride’s preparation through the end of the reception. Photographers, on the other hand, don’t typically schedule more than one wedding in a day. So once you find a photographer that you know is THE ONE, don’t delay.
Keep in mind that there are certain times of year that are more popular for weddings. Here in the North East, October tends to be the busiest month, so if you’re hoping to get married during peak leaf season, perhaps look into booking everything that much sooner.
What if you did reach out to your favorite photographer well in advance and he is still unavailable on your date? Don’t panic, ask them for recommendations. They may know of a colleuge with a similar style who is available.
There is certainly no right or wrong time to book a wedding photographer, however, delaying will certainly affect your options.