We truly believe that hiring your wedding photographer is one of the most crucial decisions that you will make during your wedding planning process. You are assembling not only one of the most emotional and important days of your life, but also planning a beautiful and entertaining event that is full of meaningful features. The way that day is documented, and the person you hire to do so, surely matters! We have previously shared suggestions for how to choose a wedding photographer and some questions to ask yourself before you start the search to help you with the process of finding just the right photographer. But along with HOW to choose a wedding photographer, we also often hear engaged couples ask WHEN they should hire their wedding photographer.
As with other various circumstances, the answer is "it depends." The wedding planning timeline at the bottom of this post suggests booking your photographer by 10 months before your wedding and we think this is a great recommendation. When looking for a wedding photographer, it is important to consider their photographic style and cost, but also ensure that you get along well with your photographer—you are going to be spending a lot of time with him or her on your wedding day! However, every couple's situation is different. To be on the safe side, Grand Lens Photography provides three questions to consider as you decide on who your wedding photographer will be.
how popular is your wedding date?
There are certain dates that attract couples more than others. The time between May and October is the busiest of the year for a wedding photographer. There can be a date in the fall on the photographer is already booked and STILL receive requests for that date. The photographer ends up turning people away. Several engaged couples book their venue or hire their wedding planner first. If that is what you decide to take care of first, ask your planner and your venue contact about how popular your date is. This will provide you with a strong sense of whether you need to snatch up your preferred photographer immediately.
how many weddings does your photographer accept in a year?
This is an important question to ask your potential photographer during your wedding consultation. It is one that does not often come to the minds of engaged couples. Shooting weddings is an exhausting and time-consuming operation and numerous photographers set boundaries on a number of weddings we can commit to in a year or in a season. If your chosen photographer only accepts a limited number of weddings, it is important to hire them as soon as possible before all of those time slots are filled.
how in-demand is your wedding photographer?
This is a much more subjective consideration than the two above, but it is still important. From the research you discovered when you were searching for the right photographer initially, you might have an idea of how popular and sought-after the one you have chosen is. If that specific photographer is in high demand, they will receive a large number of inquiries. This suggests there is a greater chance that someone else will book them on the same wedding date as yours. The more popular a photographer is, the sooner we would recommend reaching out to them about scheduling your wedding date.
Note that all three of these reasons are recommendations for moving sooner. The only suggestion we have for why you should hold off on booking your photographer is if you are unsure that photographer is the correct fit for you and your partner. There is a flood of photographers in the world. But once you find the right one, the photographer whose work moves you, with whom you just "click", we hope you will move forward with booking them immediately. After all, it only takes ONE other couple to put your chosen photographer out of reach for your wedding day.
We have shared a helpful month-by-month wedding planning timeline to assist engaged couples in figuring out when they should have each wedding vendor booked for their date. Take a look at their Vendor Booking Timeline to create a guideline for your own wedding planning process! This is a great general guide, but if you have a shorter engagement than a year, do not worry! You can still have an amazing wedding with phenomenal vendors. Use the guide above to schedule your vendors in the same order to ensure you are able to assemble your dream wedding day team before they become booked up!