FAQ's Answered by a Wedding Planner: Photography

Many couples highly prioritize their wedding photography. This is understandable; photos become a keepsake of your wedding day and the beginning of your marriage. I am not a photographer, but after working with many across different weddings, I have learned a thing or two. Keep reading for FAQ's Answered by a Wedding Planner: Photography.

 Photo courtesy of  Ashley Anna Photography

Photo courtesy of Ashley Anna Photography


1. How much should I spend on wedding photography?

If you read my blog post about flowers, you know it depends upon your total budget. I would typically recommend around 10% of your budget go towards photography.

2. Tell me about bridal portraits and whether they are a necessity.

Bridal portraits are primarily a southern tradition. The bride will spend a day, before her wedding, to take portraits in her wedding gown. To me, this is a great trial run for hair and makeup, and to see if you need any last minute alterations. For example, I have had brides say after their portraits they realized they needed to bustle their gown, because it was too hard to move. Also, it is a great time to bond with your photographer. Y'all can get more comfortable with each other before the big day! I think bridal portraits are important and there are really no downsides.

3. How do I create a shot list for my photographer?

Photographers will typically ask for a shot list before your wedding day. This means you should give them particular photos you want taken at your wedding. Be specific with who you want photos with. Give names, not just "Grandma," "Aunt," etc. This will help family photos go quicker and smoother.

4. Are there benefits to doing a first look?

I think there are several benefits. One, you can take your family photos before your ceremony, leaving more time for you time enjoy your reception. Two, you and your fiancé can enjoy the last few moments of being engaged in an intimate setting. Your first look will capture all the excitement (and happy tears). If you are opposed to a first look, you will still have beautiful photos; do what you and your fiancé want to do!

5. How far in advance should we take our engagement photos?

I would suggest you take engagement photos when you are about 8 months out. Save the dates are normally sent about 6 months before your wedding. You want time for the photographer to edit and the save the date to be designed. If you choose to not use an engagement photo in your save the date, the session can be done closer to your wedding.


I hope this blog post helps answer some basic questions regarding wedding photography. If you have more questions, please comment below! I'll also be happy to answer any questions via email: hello@merrymemoryplanning.com