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Why is wedding photography so expensive?

At many weddings I photograph, I get this question: Why is wedding photography so expensive? I dig into that question in this blog post. By the end, you’ll understand exactly why wedding photography costs what it does and why it’s worth the investment.

A Buffalo wedding Photographer carries a bride's wedding dress train while walking through Ellicottville.

5 Reasons Why Wedding Photography is So Expensive - and Why It’s Worth It

1. Your wedding photos become your wedding memories.

If you’re planning a wedding, someone has probably already told you that you’re barely going to remember your wedding day. Unfortunately, that statement can be true. I remind my clients to take in their day and be mindful of the moment. Breathe in how special your day really is. Your guests want to talk to you, and it can be hard to treasure small moments when your guest list is 150+ people.

When you receive your wedding photos a few weeks after your day, you’ll get to relive moments and witness a few you didn’t even know happened. Whether it’s an epic moment on the dance floor or a funny face your Best Person made during their speech, your wedding photography will shape how you remember your wedding day.

A Buffalo Wedding Photographer hugs a bride and groom outside a Buffalo wedding venue.

2. I’m more than your wedding photographer. I’m your Wedding BESTIE!

Actually photographing your wedding day is probably only about 10% of what a wedding photographer does. When you ask “Why is wedding photography so expensive,” remember that you’re paying for more than 7-9 hours of coverage. You’re also investing in the time we spend:

  • creating your timeline

  • building a relationship with you

  • editing thousands of photos

  • designing a wedding album

For me, it goes even further. From the moment you submit your inquiry, I start my job as your wedding bestie! We’ll schedule a video chat to talk through details. That call helps us check if we’re a good fit, and I prepare a custom wedding photography proposal. If you decide to move forward with me, the Wedding Bestie Updates start! You’ll get a series of emails with my best tips, trends, and updates to help you on your journey.

A Buffalo Wedding Photographer sits in a yellow office chair holding a camera.

My dream wedding process looks like this.

A flow chart shows the wedding photography process from inquiry to gallery delivery to show why wedding photography is so expensive.

3. Photography gear matters - and it’s expensive.

The price of your wedding photography includes the professional-quality gear your photographer uses. Just as you and your partner want to invest in creating the best wedding day, your photographer wants to be equipped with the best gear. That includes camera bodies, lenses, flashes, batteries, and other equipment. Here’s a peek at the average cost of what wedding photographers invest in:

  • Backup hard drives: $100-$400

  • Cloud backup programs: $200/year

  • Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, and other editing programs: $150/year

  • Website and domain hosting: $500/year

I also invest in ongoing business and photography education so that I continually can improve my services for my clients.

4. The collection you choose plays a role.

Why is wedding photography so expensive? To understand, it helps to know what you’re actually purchasing. Here are the nuts and bolts of it all.

My collections start at $3,850. Outside of everything mentioned above, you’re paying for ^+ hours of coverage on your wedding day and possibly a second photographer. My collections also include an hour-long engagement session and all the post-production time spent editing those images. If your collection includes an album, you get a lifetime keepsake.

I always want to be as transparents as possible with my clients. Your wedding photography is an investment. It’s something to be valued because your photos are everlasting.

A graphic shows five wedding photography packages.

5. It’s all about the experience.

You’re not just investing in your photos. You’re investing in an experience with your wedding photographer. My clients’ experiences are so important to me. They’re the whole reason I do what I do. My job is to make sure you have the best day ever!

As your wedding photographer, I’m also with you almost every moment of your wedding day. I’m there while you’re getting ready and during the quiet pre-ceremony moments when nerves rise. My eyes are on you during cocktail hour and dinner. Then we escape together for ten minutes of golden hour photos so you can take it all in. My philosophy is: Since we’re together all day, we’d better have the best time together!

It’s important to me to give you the Wedding Bestie experience while planning your special day. I believe it’s important for me to give that experience to your family and friends as well! I have three goals on your wedding day (aside from documenting incredible photos):

  • To memorize the entire wedding party’s first names

  • To have your parents, grandparents, guardians etc. FALL in love with me

  • To have my clients ask for a picture with me because we’ve had the best day together

That’s the kind of experience that makes your wedding photography worth the investment!

A Buffalo wedding photographer hugs a bride and groom in a wedding reception venue.

Are you looking for a wedding photographer? I’m Kelly, a Buffalo wedding photographer and your future wedding bestie. I’ll document all the fun on your wedding day with joyful photos. Reach out to me here!



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