When Should I Book my Wedding Photographer?
Rob Dodsworth Photography
When should I book my wedding photographer? A question I often see in wedding planning threads and forums. The answer isn’t straightforward but I’ll set out a few pointers in the following article that will help to make things a little clearer.
1. Book early to avoid dissapointment
Most of my couples book their wedding photography 12-18 months in advance but it can be even more. I am due to photograph a wedding in 2020 that I was bookedf for in early 2018! If you find a photographer whose style you love, if they have good reviews and and you get on with them then, it’s likely soemone else is eyeing them up too. It’s not a decision you should rush but I suggest narrowing your short list to 3 favourites and once you have spoken to each, make your decision as soon as reasonably possible.
2. Book your venue first
I often get enquiries from people without a set date or venue in mind. This is fine and I am always happy to chat but it is difficult for me to give an idea of my availbility for your wedding photography if you haven’t booked your venue. Get your venue booked first and then everything else falls into place aorund that!
3. Summer dates book the quickest
Summer time in the UK is, naturally, the busiest time of year for weddings and for wedding photographers. It’s the peak of the so-called “wedding season”. While Winter weddings are becoming more popular, Summer weddings are still where it is at, for the most part. Lots of couples choose to marry in the Summer, in the UK, to avoid the wet and the cold that British weather can bring. So, if you’re planning on a Summer wedding, you will want to get your wedding suppliers booked as quickly as possible.
4. Weekday weddings are becoming more popular
One caveat to the point made above is that while weekends in the Summer do book quickly, you might find that your preferred photographer has better weekday availability. It is far from guaranteed though. I had 10 weddings last August with 5 dates in that month falling on a week day. Yet, weekend dates, especially Saturday and Bank Holiday dates are, for most of the year, still more popular than week day dates.
5. Christmas and the New Year is a popular time to book your wedding photography
A lot of people get engaged over the Christmas period and even if they haven’t done, once Christmas is out of the way, people get back to their wedding planning very quickly in the New Year. Almost every wedding supplier will see an upsurge in enquiries hitting their inbox, for both the forthcoming year but also, the following year. Following on from the Christmas holiday, Valentines Day is also a popular time to get engaged and so, enquiries for wedding photography stay strong through until March.
6. Bank Holiday dates and unusual dates get snapped up
Some people really like there wedding to happen on a date that is hard to forget. For example, in 2020, the date most commonly enquired for has been 20 June 2020 (20-6-20), and also 10 October 2020 (10-10-20). Bank Holiday dates are also especially popular because, if you are planning a big blow out (and you should be!) then it’s nice to give your friends a few extra days to recover!
7. Don’t forget your other wedding suppliers
Wedding photography is one of the first things people book for their wedding day after they have found their wedding venue. But don’t overlook other wedding suppliers. I always tell the couples who book me that the best in the business will also get snapped up the quickest. For example, my favourite make-up artists are often booked, at least, as early as I am. You might also want to start looking for your wedding caterers and your DJ or Wedding Band.
And finally …
When all is said and done, dates do book up quickly but don’t panic. Just start your search as soon as you can and make your enquires. I hope you’ll like what I do and will want to get in touch but if I am booked, I am always happy to recommend other people to you so, it’s always worth contacting me. Good luck and enjoy your wedding planning!