Your photography is one of the most important investments you'll make in your wedding. You spend months (or more) planning your big day and making many decisions, big and small. In the end, it will be over in a flash, and what you will have left is your photographs. It's well worth the investment. That being said, there are simple ways that you can save money and make the most out of your chosen photography package. Here are a three tips that I share with my couples, and that I hope you'll find helpful.

Location, location, location. Keep your wedding day locations close to each other.

Like in real estate, wedding photography can be about location, location, location. Some may not realize that their wedding photography packages are for continuous coverage. This means that if you purchase an 8-hour package, those hours include travel time between the getting ready locations, the ceremony and reception. For example, if the groom and groomsmen are getting ready 20 minutes from the ceremony, and the reception is 30 minutes from the ceremony, that’s 50 minutes less time that your photographer will be doing what they were hired to do - create photographs of your wedding. That's why it's a good idea to either have an all-inclusive venue, or make sure your wedding day locations are close together. This is especially important for weekday weddings, when you'll need to account for extra traffic.

Vendor meals

You will pay per plate for your guests, and the expense can add up quickly. I always have a second photographer with me and, while we appreciate when couples make a place for us to eat with their guests, we don't expect that by any means. Some venues offer vendor meals, which are simpler and less expensive (and we can eat them in an out-of-the-way area.) This is something to consider when talking to your venue or caterer.

Set up a Gift Registry

I now offer my couples the option to set up a wedding photography gift registry. This allows their friends and family to contribute toward their wedding day photography and/or any additional products they have chosen, such as albums or canvases. A link to the registry can be placed on their wedding website or shared on social media. Friends and family of the bride and groom can also surprise them by setting up a gift registry for them, complete with an initial contribution to get them started. Contact me here for more information.

I hope these tips have been helpful. Planning your wedding and figuring out how to pay for it can be stressful but remember, at the end of the day, you'll be married to the love of your life, and that's the most important thing.