Couldn't afford it, don't regret it: why I skipped wedding photography #Budgeting Advice#economical wedding#photography Updated Mar 13 2017 (Posted May 5 2014) Guest post by Branwyn Everyone knows that we loooove us some amazing professional wedding photography, but what about those of us whose ENTIRE wedding budgets are less than a photographer costs? Here's one bride's perspective. Thanks to Tribesmaid Ceiladh for uploading this photo to our Flickr pool. When my husband and I started planning our wedding, there were few things that he insisted on, including "no strangers." Every person present at our wedding should be a friend or family member we considered close enough to invite to our small, intimate wedding. I couldn't help but agree. I didn't want any strangers there either — not even just passing at a distance. My husband and I are both introverts, both very private people. We have an independent streak a mile wide, and a strong DIY ethic. We saw no reason for our wedding to be any different. Thoughts of hiring caterers, servers, or musicians were considered and quickly dismissed. No strangers. We even briefly considered hiring people we knew, and dismissed the idea as well. If we wanted them at the wedding, then we wanted them as guests. Everywhere on the internet I went, everyone echoed the same sentiment: "Hire a good photographer. If you don't, you'll regret it. Doesn't matter if you don't think you want it or can't afford it. Make whatever sacrifices necessary to make it happen." We could either have the wedding we wanted, or a low- to mid-range photographer with absolutely nothing else. Put that way, the decision was easy. But the budget for our entire wedding was $1500. That was how much we could afford and felt comfortable spending, and we felt confident we could make everything we wanted in my wedding happen for that amount. We were both unwilling to put off the wedding to save up money, and both unwilling to go into debt for it. In our area, an "average" wedding photographer charges about $1500. A "good" photographer, about $3000. A photography student from the university, about $800. So, we could either have the wedding we wanted, or a low to mid range photographer with absolutely nothing else. Put that way, the decision was easy. I want to be very clear here: It's not that we lack appreciation for the art form of photography, or don't think there's any skill involved. It's just not something we chose to prioritize. Related Post On wedding photography minimalism Wherein a trip down memory lane with her parents' wedding album made this Offbeat Bride re-think her ideas on wedding photography in general. I thought about how weddings have been taking place for probably tens of thousands of years, and how photography has only been around for a couple of centuries. Even a couple of generations ago, it was not uncommon to have only a dozen pictures of a wedding, or maybe only one. That was all I wanted! A dozen nice candid shots of my loved ones. One good picture of my new husband and I together. No group shots, no hundreds and hundreds of pictures to have to sort through, no picture editing to remove my less than flattering bulges or zits or any unfortunately-placed bystanders. Simple and honest and low-stress, like the rest of the wedding we wanted. So, I said, "fuck it." We would not hire a photographer. If we were to regret it, then so be it. At least we would be honest to our own values. And you know what? I DON'T REGRET IT! I made little cards for our photo sharing website and stuck them in a basket of M&Ms for guests to take. My sister-in-law took the majority of our pictures. Several other people also took pictures and shared them with us. We ended up with more than I expected, a few dozen all told. Lovely, honest, imperfect pictures that take me right back to the overwhelming joy and love I felt on my wedding day. I wanted a wedding where I could truly be present in the moment. I got exactly what I wanted, and I don't regret a thing. What difficult decisions have you made with your wedding budget? What were your deal-breakers that you couldn't live without? How did you pick what to prioritize? Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo Branwyn I live in the woods of Montana with my husband, dog, and cat in a house we built ourselves (okay, the dog and the cat didn't help much). I work in a hospital laboratory performing a variety of diagnostic tests and I love reading fantasy and science fiction, writing stories, target shooting, and preparing for the apocalypse. PREVIOUS Maria & Rory's homemade community country wedding with secret nuptials NEXT Mimie & Galo's weird and wonderful Wonderland wedding Show/Hide comments [ 139 ] I guess I have perspective on this from two points of view; first from that of someone who had an offbeat wedding ten years ago–who has had children and a bit of down-the-road perspective and then that of a professional photographer. Here are the points I'd like to make: 1) 10 years ago we didn't want an album. We hired a photographer who just handed us the rolls of film at the end of the day (this was my pre-professional photog days) Big mistake. I wish we'd just bitten the bullet on this one. Now we have a box of photos in the basement and "maybe" hubs has an idea of where in the basement they are. Oy vey! 2) So the argument that future progeny should have great photos to look at of your wedding is moot because you are making the decision not to start a family. Even though you say you're not having kids stuff happens and people change. One thing is for sure–life is so unpredictable. Dot your i's and cross your t's. 3) The idea that anyone would invite someone to their wedding but not care whether or not they're having a good time and they want to gift you their services (even though they're not close enough for you to care whether or not they're having a good time) seems like a disconnect there. Taking wedding photos and processing them after is SUPER labor intensive. I spend–when all is said and done–about 40 hours on your wedding and I only get to "work" 6 months of the year (I work all year round doing other things like marketing, networking, etc). Let's say I am booked 24 weekends of the year at $3000. That's $72,000 for the year. Take out taxes, take out other expenses and I am lucky to make a living wage. Labor and equipment aside–you've decided to go with your friend (who just may sacrifice a week of their life for you). If your friend mucks it up by not knowing exposures or having backups how's that going to play out? If you're not paying someone to do the photos there's a good chance they might not approach your photos with the same sense of responsibility a professional might. 4) If your decision is based on not knowing the photographer or being concerned that your photos aren't an accurate depiction of the good, the bad and the ugly the maybe the approach to hiring a photographer should be changed. As an earlier commenter said most of use just "develop" the photos. If we smoothed everyone's skin and gave them lipo it would add several more hours to the process and it's not realistic in terms of time to complete and in terms of an accurate depiction of the day. A good photographer will work with you to set expectations and to figure out what kind of coverage you need. I feel pretty darned comfortable with my couples. We make sure there's a compatibility in terms of our personalities there. We make friends and we start what is to become (hopefully) a lifelong relationship. Hire a photographer that makes you laugh! Hire someone that you wish you had met long before your wedding–that you can see would be a friend even if you weren't getting married. That is so important! Anyway–not knocking DIY. Just keep your expectations super duper low, be considerate of others and don't expect too much of them and try to consider how your decisions will affect the future you. Reply You make some very good points. 1. I think I also do want an album, but it doesn't need to be huge. One of my projects for this spring/summer is to take the digital picture files to somewhere that will make prints for me and assemble them into an album. 2. I'm guessing this isn't directed at me since I've never claimed not to want kids (on the contrary- I do want kids and grandkids!), but I may have just given the wrong impression unintentionally. My family doesn't have a strong tradition of professional photography. I've grown up with seeing the amateur photos from various family members' weddings and other events and quite liking them. I've never found them disappointing. It's possible that my future children and grandchildren won't like our wedding pictures as well, but I have to be me and my husband has to be himself. If our potential future children want to do things differently, they can. 3. I have all sorts of respect for the work that professional photographers put into a wedding. I'm not claiming that you overcharge. But for my personal situation and that of my husband, the added expense for us would not be worth the difference in quality granted by all that extra work. I'm sure $600 jeans would be far better quality than the $20 jeans I'm wearing, but I doubt I would personally get $580 worth of improved experience from them because of the way I use them. As to the experiences of wedding guests, we made the choice to have everyone at our wedding be a guest first, and maybe a volunteer (only if they came to us wanting to do something) second. My sister in law came to us saying she wanted to take pictures with her new digital camera. We said sure! Awesome! But be sure to enjoy the wedding too, don't spend all of your time being a photographer, you're family. She took pictures part of the time, and enjoyed being a guest part of the time. I know she didn't spend 40 hours doing intensive processing because she gave us the digital files the next morning. And the processing would have been wasted on us because we loved the pictures as they were. We cared primarily about her being our guest and having a good time. We did not oppose her taking pictures as long as she was also enjoying herself and understood we were not expecting anything out of her. We got excellent pictures afterward and were very delighted and impressed. I don't see a disconnect. 4. I totally get where you're coming from here and I'm sure personality compatibility is very important. But as an introvert who struggles with social anxiety, the thought of contacting multiple photographers who I've never met before, meeting with them, getting to know them, and gauging who we like best and want to be at our wedding… well, it's panic inducing. It sounds like more stress than the rest of the wedding put together. I'm sure most people are not that way and probably think nothing of dropping and email asking for more information from half a dozen photographers' websites. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. Reply Ack! Sorry Branwyn. I should have been more clear. 80% of my comments were directed at some of the other commenters. There were a couple of comments that definitely made assumptions about wedding photography and the work we do in general that isn't necessarily true. I can see why the idea of vetting photographers made you want to run for the hills and in no way is your day about making you or your groom uncomfortable. Reply Sorry, didn't mean to assume you were talking all to me. No worries 😉 Reply Even though I am a photographer, I completely agree with this. I had a shot gun, intimate wedding. We were just going to elope, but because of our families wanting to be there, we put something together. The thing we ended up sacrificing was the reception because honestly, that was something I just didn't want to deal with. I really don't like all of those little rituals everyone does like throwing the bouquet or the dollar dance and neither of us are dancers or drinkers. Instead, we opted for a quick refreshment hour after we said I Do and then went on our way. For me, photography and a beautiful venue were the two most important things, which is what I got. Reply Thank you for this!!! My fiancé and I are just having a friend with a nice camera take our pictures. You would not believe the amount of people that told me I was going to absolutely regret it (side note-can people stop telling engaged couples that they're doing something "wrong"-planning a wedding is stressful enough already!). We're paying for the wedding ourselves, and if we had paid for a photographer then we wouldn't have been able to pay for an open bar for our friends and family. At the end of the day, we would rather give our friends an awesome party than pay for a zillion pictures. I hope we get a few nice ones, but it wasn't where our priorities were. We're getting married next week and this post made me feel better! Thank you! Reply This is a great post. We did a very similar thing — our entire wedding was DIY, tiny, and done on a tight budget. We too are a little shy, and didn't really relish the idea of being the Center of Attention all day. Everything from making the cake to playing the organ was done by family or friends, so the idea of having a Stranger with a Camera as part of the day seemed really weird to us. But most importantly, my husband is into photography, and so we made the choice to invest in some nice equipment (a new lens, a good flash, etc.) that we would then have for many years and use for photographing future travel, children, etc., instead of investing in a professional photographer. A friend who knows the basics used our best equipment, and other friends took turns with our second-best and their own equipment. Do I have the bestest, artsiest wedding photos in the world? Absolutely not. But you know who else doesn't? My parents, who eloped, and have two snapshots. People who hired professional photographers who screwed up and lost/ruined the prints (I think these stories were more common when film was used — but it happened.) We got A LOT of pictures, and there were some really sweet ones in there. We have no regrets — even though some people told us we would. I wouldn't recommend this course of action to everyone — I totally believe people who say they regretted not having a better photographer, or people who are pleased that this was a big budget item for them. But it worked for us, and obviously, we're not the only ones! Reply I'm in the same boat, as our budget wasn't "what we can afford" but rather "what we are comfortable spending." We didn't have a photographer, and that decision wasn't a compromise. It wasn't even something we considered. All you need, really, for a wedding is a license and an officiant. Everything else is just extra. We did spend and make an effort for some extras, but photography was never on the radar. We gathered family together, ate catered food on cute decorated tables at a rented venue, bought special clothes and jewelry, but at the end of the day, getting married was just another excuse to throw a party. In 20 or 30 or 50 years I don't care about having a fancy album to look back on our wedding day; I care about looking back and thinking, "Wow, we've been married a long time" and about everything that happens in between. I don't care if my kids have pictures to say, "Our parents had a beautiful wedding," I want them to think "Our parents have a beautiful marriage." It's not about the wedding day. Reply Thank you for posting this! I actually was of the opposite mind for my first wedding — in the camp of "this is going to be what remains of the wedding, so we'll shell out for it". We had an $8k wedding — $3.5k was the photographer. And it was great, amazing photography. People raved about our photographs. Money well spent! So I thought. But then we split up, and now I have them hidden in a private album on facebook and buried in a bookshelf. I'm hoping that someday my kids can look at them and be like "whoa mom was married before and that's the prettiest wedding gosh how charming", but now? It feels like the other $4.5 that went into giving everyone a wonderful day and celebration was much more "well spent", because good experiences never leave you. Now that I'm in a new relationship (not even engaged yet) I am already panicking about making the photography choice. My budget is far more limited than last time — and that was already limited — and now I feel like I was proven stupid for spending so much before. But I don't want to be pessimistic! It was really nice to read your post and the supportive comments and see that you can get good photos that can last for little or no money. If someone decides to gift me a photographer when I get remarried, that's great, but money spent on photography does not have to be an indicator of expected longevity. Thank you! Reply Really interesting post! While we spent a LOT on photography (including flying my photographer down to our destination wedding), I don't regret it for one moment. I knew having amazing images to look back on was a priority. However, I had to make a decision between amazing photography or amazing videography or a so-so version of each. While I flirted with the idea of videography, including having flip cams for the guests, ultimately, the decision was easy. There are a lot of people who tell brides that they'll regret skipping videography, I don't have a single regret at all. (Although part of me wishes we had our entrance that reenacted a scene from Coming to America-LOL!) I can't wait to see my professional photos but like you, I've realized that the memories that I shared with family and friends are the most important thing. And the few 'amateur' photos I've seen from my people make me smile so much every time I see them. Reply I understand not having a budget for photography and maybe a few dozen pics seem good enough at the time. But it's 2 years later and your Papa passes away or your newphew that you raised as your son, is no longer here. The list goes on and the last time the family got together was at your wedding. No one took a photo of you and your husband with them. That's when the regret hits. I've seen this happen. A lot of photographers will take photos of your day and they fade in the background as they photograph you. You will then get back real, honest photos. If you are unsure about a photographer, ask to see a full wedding gallery. You can see what a photographer truly produces. Can I point out too, maybe friends and family don't have wedding photos displayed is because a great professional wasn't hired and they don't like the photos. Reply I am very much in the same boat! What we have decided to do is have an old HS friend who has a small side photography business to do them. I have seen her wedding pictures before and I love them. Plus, FH and I are VERY relieved for it to be somebody that we both know. Also, we are buying our own video camera, and having my niece and my cousin film everything for us, which they will have fun doing! Love the 'NO STRANGERS' rule. Reply Yes, this was me when I got married. I didn't regret it because I didn't know what makes a difference. I was happy with my amateur, random pictures and my low budget wedding. 2 years after my wedding and I became a wedding photographer.Now – 12 years later I totally regret not having professional, artistic and awesome pictures from my wedding. I would still have a low budget wedding or just elope but professional pictures would be my TOP priority. It's only memory left after all. Reply I just wanted to thank you so much for writing and publishing this. I've been torn about the photographer situation–we can either fly my younger brother out for the wedding, or take professional pictures of a wedding without him. All of our savings are going into the wedding as it is. It's so comforting to know we won't be the only modern wedding without the dreamy picturescape of professional photos. I'm glad to know it worked out with just friends using their cameras. Reply Thank you so much for this post! I am from Montana too and will be having my wedding there next month. I was feeling sort of bummed about the photography as it isout of our budget right now. What a good and true perspective though, half a century ago, somebody would have been lucky to have a few wedding pictures. We are indeed very lucky just to have friends with camera phones. Perhaps if I get a picture I love, I will pay a pro to brush and brighten it up in the future. Reply Good for you for sticking to your guns. I think a lot of people just don't understand that your priorities are going to be different from their own, or even from what is mainstream. Like you said, everyone wanted to go on about "how you'll regret it", but you obviously don't, and that's awesome. And it's how I feel about flowers. I will not care one whit if there isn't a single bloom at my wedding, even though my mother is lamenting the fact that "my girls won't have nice bouquets to carry" (they don't care either, and that's why they're in my wedding party!) Thanks for sharing, it gives other brides the courage to put their foot down on similarly unpopular choices. Reply I love this! We want a photo booth at our wedding, and a couple good pictures of us at the alter, but I really don't WANT a photographer. They always steal away the bride and groom, and I don't want to spend hours plastered with a smile on my face getting told different poses and places. I want to be present at my wedding, enjoying myself and feeling beautiful and loved, not trying to fake it for a photo op. It's so nice to find someone else who opted out of a photographer! Reply I am not a big photo person (basically whatever is on my Facebook because regular photos just sit in a box) but I at least wanted some professional wedding photos. I went on Thumbtack and found a wedding photographer for $500 for 4 hours of picture taking and a second person for videography. We are having a super small wedding of about 30 people, so I don't think the photographer will miss much. I planned the ceremony and reception so that all the "important" stuff will be done during the time period, and then after that it will just be cellphone shots from our guests. Reply I had the same feeling when I got married! I just didn't want to do all that and I didn't want strangers there either. Watched all my friends get married and deal with this photographer person bossing and pushing everyone around… Didn't want that. So I had a friend do that majority of it and the rest was family and friends….. But I, unlike this bride, regretted it HARD! STILL regret it! Regretted it so much that I became the wedding photographer that wasn't available to me for my budget… That's how much it bugged me. So, there's that…. At least, in San Diego, there's one person who refuses to let that regret happen to another bride on a strict budget. Reply We aren't going to have a photographer either for several reasons. 1- We are paying for our wedding ourselves with ZERO financial input from either of our families (This way they can't override our plans by playing the "But I'm helping you pay for the wedding" comment). 2- He HATES being in pictures. He has agreed to a few shots of us together because it is something I really wanted. But I cannot justify getting a professional in just for a couple of shots. I'd rather the less perfect shots taken by those we wanted to be present. In some ways I think the presence (or lack thereof) of a professional photographer will pale next to the fact that we will not be serving alcohol at our wedding at all. In fact we are deliberately looking at venues where alcohol is prohibited. Fun times for this one…. Reply I'm late to this party, but I'm in a similar scenario and I've given this a lot of thought (but still not totally sure whether or not to hire a professional). I know that I'm quickly growing tired of hearing "you HAVE to hire a photographer". The small contrarian in me always thinks "I don't HAVE to do anything!" My fiancée HATES being photographed, and I don't expect that to change just because it's a special occasion, no matter how good a professional is at making people comfortable. Our budget it also quite tight, so there's no question of getting a full-day package from one of the many amazing photographers in our city in any case. I personally do value good photography – to a point. I don't feel particularly strongly about having hundreds of pictures documenting every detail of my wedding. I really just want a few of the actual ceremony and some posed shots with our dogs. I would never want to downplay the work that goes into shooting weddings and for the people who make it a priority, it's worth it. But for that small amount of pictures and the anxiety that it would put my fiancée through, I don't know that it's worth hiring a professional over having a family member grab some shots during the courthouse ceremony. The only thing I'm concerned about is that the family member who takes pictures doesn't get to be an active participant, but I think even that worry pales in comparison to risking our budget and making my fiancée dread the wedding. At the end of the day, I'll have pictures, sure. But not at the expense of my fiancée's comfort and our budget. We'll still be married regardless. Reply Thank you for this post. We are having a small registry wedding and by small I mean bride, groom, our 4 month old baby and our mothers. MIL is a great amatuer photographer, shes actually quite obsessed with it, she has agreed to be the photographer and I know shes going to go crazy and take 100's of photos 😉 We want candid, sincere photos… I'll be giving her a kind of summary of the types of photos I want/of who/where, she will of course be included in the photos as well (tripod, my mother). After the photos in the registry and outside the registry (old heritage building which is gorgeous and I really want to capture it) we will take more photos at the botanic gardens which is nearby, then head off to a nice afternoon tea, the 5 of us. That night we're having the big party with the whole family and the next day we will be off to a beachfront resort! I think it's about doing what works for you and the groom. The day is your day, it's about you, don't give into other peoples expectations! Unless they would like to foot the bill. For us it was a matter of keeping it small, sweet, simple and private. Reply Too add to this, my aunt got married in a commune in the 70's and her photos (all of about 50) were all film, they have lasted in an album and they are so beautiful… meadows, flowers, long hair and her gunne sax dress. She is still with my uncle and their children adore the photos so much, my cousin has scanned and printed them for herself! Do what suits you, photos should speak personality. Reply we kept our wedding budget low and kept things simple. I made our wedding cake since I didn't see anything I wanted to buy and pay top dollar for but I fell in love with a cake design that would only be possible if I did it myself. That was a great decision. I splurged on the honeymoon since I LOVE to travel, so without a doubt that was the most costly item on the list. My only regret was my decision about photography. I am a photographer myself but my friends and family that were involved are not photographers. I handed my camera to my brother with some basic instruction. My mother also took some photos as well. None of the photos he took were in focus because he apparently didn't catch that part about focusing before pressing the shutter. The photos my mom took were ruined by the lab that I developed them at. I have pictures but they are either blurry or messed up in one way or another and of course as a photographer I am pretty picky about photos. The sad part is that I could have paid someone to do photos but didn't do it, I could have afforded it but thought we had it covered. At the time, I didn't think it was that important, but looking back, I wished I had done something else. Reply So this! We're getting married next month. I have IBS, I don't drink, eat out and social situations leave me running for the bathroom. The idea of a wedding day spent in the loo scares me. My partner and I decided in the end it will be just 5 of our closest loved ones (who will all be part of the ceremony), a trip to the registry office in our casual clothing followed by a visit to the zoo. A family day out, completely relaxed. Don't feel guilty for not buying in to the expensive wedding industry, it's your day, live it how you want. Xxx Reply When I got married to my late ex-husband in 1998, we had no budget for photography. We DIY'd almost the entire wedding with the help of his mom as my family decided they wanted nothing to do with it because of religious differences. Our biggest expense was the D.J. ($300) and as a surprise to us, he hired an amateur photographer to capture 50 film images for us. This man was probably in his late 40's to early 50's and well, we definitely got "amateur." Every photo was photobombed by my husband's 7 yr. old niece and the lighting was terrible. My ex-sister in law took some great images but she never made copies for us. It's not important to me now as we ended up splitting after a decade, but if even a few photos are important, consider having a friend with a bit of photography knowledge and a creative side take some decent pics so that you're not left with the "WAW Waaaaw" afterwards like we were. Reply Can I just say that I think "couldn't afford it, didn't regret it" should be a new category on Offbeat Bride? Haha. Seriously though, for anyone on a shoestring budget, it's really freeing and affirming to see other people talk frankly about the "expected" things that they simply couldn't afford (or put another way, couldn't afford to prioritize) but didn't regret not having. Reply I had a friend ask me to take a few pictures during their wedding because they had gotten a smaller package and the photographer told them they'd only get a limited number of photos. They saved those for the preplanned, posed, family shots and then I walked around and took candids after the photographer left (I'm not a good photographer, I just have a good camera and like taking pictures for fun). It worked out really well, and they were happy with the results. Plus I had fun making a "blooper reel" type photo calendar for them of all the weird shots I got (eyes closed, people mid-chew or sentence) and it made a funny Christmas gift for them. Reply SO this is the best collection of wedding photographers in Chicago. It includes almost all best photographers. Reply I'm curious… can you share with us some photos from your wedding? Thanks! Reply "That was all I wanted! A dozen nice candid shots of my loved ones. One good picture of my new husband and I together." You took the words right out of my mouth. I was just the MOH in my best friend's wedding and they hired a killer photographer. While hiring someone of her stature is ABSOLUTELY not in my budget, I thought about all of her wedding photos. And they're gorgeous, don't get me wrong, but there are hundreds to scroll through. And…what do you do with them now? She got married about two months ago and aside from showing them to a couple people, they're just sitting there. They are having a book printed, but the other 200 photos are left to just wait, I guess. We just got engaged, and are just starting to throw out some ideas for the wedding. And we realized that we don't WANT 300 photos of us. Like you said, I obviously want a couple, but I want them to be "real". I want candid shots taken by family and friends, a shot of my new husband and I to print and frame, and call it a day. Reading this made me feel so much better and not alone. Thank you! Reply I did not hire a photographer either. I HATE having my pic taken and the thought of posing for hours made me physically ill. The stylized dress/ring/"first look" shots that make every wedding look alike is in no way my idea of art. We took great pics with cell phones and point and shoots. I edited them in Photoshop. Many many people have asked me who did them (I edit photos and take product shots as part of my day job, so I have some skill.) I had more fun got away from the silly "must haves" and hacky photogs who charge an arm and a leg and and feel that nixing this from the budget was the best decision ever. Reply YES! I have a friend who is a wedding photographer and I have heard her complain MANY TIMES when a bride or groom cut a session short and she didn't get "her" shot! She is well regarded and always busy but it galls me that she thinks the day is about her. If someone hates getting a photo taken, or their shoes hurt, or they just want a glass of champagne already, or they don't want the obligatory staged shot the photographer wants, they have every right to bow out. Personally, I have never once revisited the photos we have of our wedding, save the one we had framed. That one was taken by my sister who knows how to work an IPhone camera and its lovely. Reply I'm very relieved and a bit refreshed to see an article like this. It seems like as soon as you say you're getting married, no matter how discreetly, suddenly every company is trying to sell you something and charge a premium markup simply because you're getting married. As much as I love photographs and looking at them and loving them, I hate being in them; I'm super self-conscious and generally hate everything about the way I look, even when I'm all made up. But boy I love having pictures of the people I'm with and the things they're doing. My friends, every day, take pictures with their phones that were far nicer than the cheapest photographer I got a quote from, and the cheapest quote was still the same price as our wedding and reception venue. Eek! Pocket change to some, a fortune to us (especially when it's hundreds to only do the 15 minute ceremony). So, we've got plan B. Much more comfortable, much more candid: openly encourage our friends and family to take as many photos and videos as they want, and we'll all upload them to the same website where everyone can save, print, and order photos and photo albums. Professional photos would be nice, but they aren't necessary for us to have for reminders of the day – we'll have photos we all take, plenty of other keepsakes, and each other. <3 Reply My husband and I only wanted a few decent photos of us and our families to have on display at home so we considered just asking a guest to take some. However when we told people that they recoiled in horror. We ended up hiring a photographer which my mother paid for. As we weren't doing any traditional things at the wedding we just ended up with a load of photos of my husband's mates and unflattering "arty" pictures which will look comically dated in a few years instead and don't even have one half decent one of us two together to frame in the living room. Imo it's worth hiring a photographer if you want the whole day documented and "instagramable" however if you're only after some basic family and couples pictures then you'd probably be better off seeing if a relative or friend with a decent camera would take some. Reply Read more comments ‹ 1 2 Leave a Reply to Branwyn Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Sign me up for your offbeat awesomeness newsletter! No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy. Biz owners & wedding bloggers Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. Our comments are not the place to pimp your website. If you want to promote your stuff on Offbeat Bride, join us as an advertiser instead.