Wedding Guide: How to Finance and Budget For Your Dream Day Chapter 9: Lasting Wedding Mementos For Less Money

Capturing your wedding day correctly so that you have everlasting memories is very important. Is it worth your while getting professional wedding photos or should you just rely on your friends? Personal Loans Now explores all the photography options.

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Learning Highlights
  • Professional videographers pay licence fees to the MCPS to have music edited onto a wedding video.
  • You can expect to pay on average £1,200-£1,500 to have your wedding photos taken by a professional.
  • If they have an assistant with a second camera, a professional photographer might take an average of 2,000-3,000 photographs in an 8-hour wedding booking.
  • 36.7% of married men in the UK do not wear a wedding ring.

This chapter concerns the lasting mementoes of your wedding day. This is the photographs, a video and the wedding rings. Personal Loans Now, offering logbook loans, will be examining whether these aspects of the wedding are necessary. We will also suggest ways of reducing your expenses and how much these money-saving methods could affect the quality.

The Wedding Photos

How important is it for you to have memories of your special day captured on camera or video? Nearly everyone would agree that they would like a record of their wedding. The question you need to ask is whether you would like to hire a professional photographer, an amateur photographer or whether you would be happy asking a member of your family or a friend who is a photography enthusiast.

The Professional Wedding Photographer

People often complain about the prices which professional photographers charge for their services. When they quote prices in the thousands of pounds, you should realise that you are paying for their overheads and expertise. Professionals use high-quality cameras and lenses and also possess a variety of other equipment such as tripods, lighting, batteries, memory cards as well as all the equipment for the post-production of the photos. There are wedding loans available to pay for the professional photos.

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Setting up as a photographer is an expensive business. It’s not something to start just because you have an expensive camera.

How To Save Money On Your Wedding Photographer

If you decide that having a professional photographer is a necessity for your wedding, there are some ways you can save money.Like other wedding vendors, the price of a photographer can depend on the season and day you marry. As we have seen for other aspects of the wedding, you might be able to receive a discount if you marry in winter or on a weekday. Discounts may also be possible for early bookings. Alternatively, you could consider a cheap personal loans to ensure you memories are documented beautifully.

Many photographers offer a wedding ‘package’. Regarding hours, this full-day coverage, lasting on average 8 hours, means they are present from the preparations of the bridal couple to the couple’s First Dance at the reception. It is perfectly acceptable to ask the photographer to start later such as your arrivals at the venue for the ceremony. Fewer hours of coverage means you can drastically reduce how much you pay for the photos.

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Wedding Photo Packages

Another way you can make savings on your expenses for the wedding photographer is to examine what they offer in their wedding ‘package’. This can vary from photographer to photographer and can include the cost of an album. You might find this unnecessary or prefer to do this yourselves. Also, photographers vary in how many photos they give to the clients. Realistically, how many photos would you like to keep?

Instead of the photographer printing your photographs, you could ask about the possibility of a ‘digital package’. Images could be kept on a disc and downloaded so that you could print off your own copies. Your guests can also print off what they want. Finally, you could hire a professional photographer who has just started up their business. They will want to build up their portfolio so they might be prepared to give you a reduction in the price.

Summary: Wedding Photos
  • You should decide whether or not to hire a professional photographer for your wedding.
  • Depending on their location, the average price for a wedding photographer is £1,200-£1,500.
  • Photographers charge so much as they have a lot of overheads and expensive equipment.
  • You can make savings on the price you pay depending on the date/day of the ceremony, asking for less coverage or fewer photos, by hiring a photographer who is just starting out or by choosing a cheaper wedding ‘package’.

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Choosing An Amateur Photographer

With just a quick browse through your local newspaper or online, you will find plenty of advertisements for photographers. They often charge a fraction of the price of professionals. For example, £300 instead of £1,000. Often, these people have another job. A keen amateur photographer, use their hobby as a way to make extra money.

Before hiring one of these photographers, make sure you have seen some of their work and ask to speak to previous clients. Pay particular attention to photos taken in challenging locations such as in gloomy places like the interior of churches. Also look for consistency in the photos they take. Are they able to make people look relaxed and natural in their photos and do they have an ‘eye’ for the composition of the shot?

Asking A Relative/Friend To Take The Wedding Photos

You may decide to have your wedding photos taken by a relative or friend. Of course, this will save you a great deal of money as you would only have to pay for the films and/or the developing costs. However, you should bear in mind that these photos will almost certainly not be of the same quality as a professional.

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One of the advantages of a professional photographer is that they back up all their shots. Nothing is lost even if there is equipment failure. Imagine how you would feel if your wedding photos were of poor quality or if something went wrong. Maybe the photos are not that important to you, but it is worth thinking of the worst case scenario before deciding.

The Reception: Disposal Cameras On Tables

Some sites for wedding planning suggest putting disposal cameras on each table at the reception. Guests can take photos of each other and more candid shots of the reception, and you will make hidden memories. This is supposedly a cheap way of documenting your wedding. However, if you calculate the price of the cameras and developing costs, it is not as appealing as it initially seems.

Disposal cameras cost around £6 for 24-27 exposures. If you factor in another £4 for developing costs, this option is not as economical as it first seems. Depending on the number of tables at your venue, you could end up paying £90-£100 for useless poor quality pics of your wedding.

Unfortunately, the cheapness of these cameras means that the photos they produce are not of the highest quality. This is especially the case for interior shots. Also, you might be relying too much on your guests to take well-composed serious photos.

FAQs on Wedding Photos

How can I go about finding the right wedding photographer?
Like any wedding supplier, you could ask the venue or family/friends if they could recommend someone. On consulting with the photographer, ask if they have any complete albums to show you of previous weddings they have done. Consider their style, their experience and their personality; how well you get on with them will affect how relaxed and natural you look on the day.

How soon should I book my wedding photographer?
The sooner, the better if you wish to have a specific photographer or if you are getting married from May-September. Couples usually book about a year before the wedding.

Why do professional photographers take so many pictures?
Many of their photos might be very similar, but in the post-production editing stage, they pick out the best photos for you.

How can I make sure my photographer takes vintage-style photos?
This is something you discuss before the wedding. Producing vintage style (or ‘Matte’) photos is done in the post-production of the pictures. Other types of wedding photos can be ‘Clean’ (with natural-looking colours) or ‘High Contrast’ (when the colours stand out).

Should I use my brother to take my wedding photos?
Of course, you can. Do not expect the same standard as a professional. Even if you explain exactly what you want beforehand, you might find yourselves ‘babysitting’ him on the day. You don’t want to be directing which photos should be taken and when.

Wedding Photo Booth

Some couples, who have opted for a more informal style of wedding, like the idea of hiring a photo booth for the reception. These booths are usually hired for a set time of around 3-4 hours and offer different ‘packages’. These can be unlimited use, a variety of different props, an online photo upload and a 32-inch screen for live monitoring. It can be a fun way for you and your guests to enjoy yourselves but might not be to everyone’s taste.

Summary: Photographers

  • Although amateur photographers are much cheaper, check their experience and credentials carefully before booking one..
  • A much cheaper possibility is to ask a relative or friend to take the wedding photos. However, do not expect the same quality as a professional.
  • Placing disposable cameras on tables at the reception may seem an attractive option. You could end up paying a lot of money with few decent shots to show for it.
  • For an informal wedding, a photo booth can be hired for the reception.

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Guests’ Photos Taken On Mobile Devices

Nowadays, the chances are that most of your guests will have a mobile device, such as a smartphone, which contains a camera. Therefore, another economical option for documenting your wedding day is to ask guests to upload their photos onto a site. You could then download and print the snaps you like. The benefit of this is that your guests may be able to provide a selection of moments which you may have missed at the time. It is more attractive for couples who prefer the natural shot rather than posed ones.

The first wedding photo, taken by the famous war photographer Roger Fenton, was of Queen Victoria’s wedding to Prince Albert in 1840. The photo was not taken at the time but the couple dressed up in their wedding clothes to ‘recreate’ the shot 14 years later.

If you are planning a religious ceremony, you should speak to the minister/priest beforehand about their attitude towards guests suddenly snapping pics in what is a place of worship. Even in a civil ceremony, this might be distracting for other guests so think about this beforehand. You may decide this is a more viable option for the reception only. You may decide to use guests’ photos to supplement a professional photographer’s photos instead of replacing them.

Videoing Your Wedding

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It is, of course, possible to have your wedding videoed so you can relive the day. Later you will probably feel that it went by so fast. Another advantage is that a ‘highlights’ version can be edited for any family or friends who were unable to attend the wedding. Professional videographers pay money for music copyright so you will be able to have a soundtrack added to the video. At the reception, they can go round collecting personalised messages from your guests.

However, a professional wedding videographer charge as much as the photographer. You are looking at a bill of at least £1000 for the videographer to film the whole wedding. It could cost you less if you choose to video only certain parts of the day. You could consider best rate personal loans to pay towards your day be videoed.

Bulky photographic equipment and technical lighting problems meant that wedding photos in the 19th century were mainly taken in a photography studio. Often couples would have a single pose taken near the time of their ceremony and in their best clothes rather than their wedding attire.

Some couples choose to save money by hiring a professional photographer and an amateur videographer or vice versa. This can turn out to be the worst possible option. You may find on viewing their work later that the amateur was getting in the way and preventing the professional from doing their job properly.

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A compromise solution might be to hire them both for a part of the day. For example, the photographer documenting the ceremony while the videographer films the reception. Of course, this could increase your wedding expenses. You should balance the benefits of them both and decide which is the most important for you to have a lasting memento of your day.

Summary:Wedding Photos and Videos

  • You could use the photos taken by guests on mobile devices to replace the professional photographer. You may get more natural, candid snaps to your wedding album.
  • Some couples choose to video their wedding day.
  • Filming the wedding day means couples can relive their day and show it to guests who were unable to attend. The videographer will add to the cost of the wedding.
  • To save money, you could use amateurs or choose to have some of the days photographed and the rest videoed.

The Wedding Ring(s)

The first thing you need to decide is whether you will be buying one wedding ring or two. This is a purely personal decision. Some men dislike wearing any kind of jewellery. Manual workers might find a ring dangerous in their line of work in case it catches on something.

In Medieval times, a ‘wed’ (the root of the word ‘wedding’) was given by the groom to the bride as a token of their betrothal. Her acceptance of this wed effectively meant they were married. Although it was often a ring, it could have been a coin split in half. They would each keep one-half as proof of their marriage.

Giving the average price of a wedding ring is impossible. How much you spend can depend on such factors as the metal it is made of, how many carats it is, its weight, its design and whether it contains any precious stones.

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Savings On The Wedding Ring(s)

You might not be prepared to compromise on the wedding rings you would like. If you are, savings can be made if you choose a lighter ring or one of fewer carats. In some cases, only a professional jeweller would be able to tell the difference.

Another way to save money on your wedding is to think about where you buy your wedding ring. Although they have a range of more expensive rings, some High Street jewellers sell rings for as little as £40-£60. You also might be able to find some bargains in clearance sales or by shopping online.

If you are a fan of vintage jewellery, you could purchase a second-hand ring. It is worth checking antique shops, flea markets or some jewellery stores to see what you can find. You could wear a hand-me-down ring which belonged to your grandmother, for example. Some people like the continuity of wearing a family heirloom that is as much of sentimental value as it is of monetary value.

FAQs on Wedding Photo Options and Rings

How will we know how to operate the photo booth equipment at the reception?
An employer is usually included in the £200-£400 hire fee. They are on hand during the entire 3/4-hour hire period to advise and sort out any problems.

What are the pros and cons of relying on guests’ photos to make up my wedding album?
Of all your options, this is most definitely the cheapest as you can print off only the photos you like. However, the quality will not be the same as using a professional photographer especially if you are planning to enlarge any of the snaps. Bear in mind that everyone taking photos during an emotional moment such as the exchanging of vows might disrupt their, and other guests’, enjoyment.

Can I add music to a home-made wedding video?
Technically this is possible, but there is the question of copyright, especially if you then upload the video on a social media site.

Can I save money by having photos printed from a wedding video?
This is possible, but you might find the photos are not such good quality.

How can we save money on the price of the wedding ring?
You should think about the type of wedding ring you would like and where you purchase the ring.


  • Some grooms in the UK choose not to wear a wedding ring.
  • The price of the wedding ring depends on what metal it is made from, its carats, weight, design and if it is plain or contains any stones.
  • Cheaper wedding rings can be found online, in clearance sales and High Street jewellery stores.
  • You could save money on the wedding ring by buying second-hand or wearing a family heirloom.

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