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Hold The Bubbly – The Insider View

Dom Matt Pad Photo Video1On Friday we were pleased to see the BBC reporting on something close to our reader’s hearts – how to have a wedding on a budget. Weddings are undeniably incredibly expensive and we’re always pleased to share any top tips for making some savings on the big day to help all brides and grooms to get the wedding of their dreams for a budget that isn’t going to break the bank. As we read though we were a little surprised at some of the contents…

“Tessa O’Sullivan is getting married in a few months time and continues to be surprised at how much anything wedding-related seems to cost.

“Every time I call a supplier – whether it’s a florist or the printers – the quotes I get are always so much higher than I expect,” she says.

“It’s like you need to add a zero on anything that is wedding-related. Everything seems to cost so much,” she adds.

This wedding “premium” appears most stark when pricing a photographer.

One London-based professional quoted £1,500 for nine hours work at a wedding.

When we asked how much it would cost for him to photograph a 25th wedding anniversary – also for nine hours – his price fell to a far more palatable £680.”

Now we have read many articles over the years commenting on the “wedding premium”, often hard fought by wedding professionals desperate to dispel this ill-conceived myth. So, as wedding professionals ourselves we’re going to let you into a little secret… the wedding premium exists. Weddings are undoubtedly likely to cost you more than most other events and, as the bride and groom desperate to create your perfect day on a limited budget it can understandably seem that zeros are just being added on at the mere mention of the word wedding because they probably are. What’s less well-reported though is that those zeros are being added on not because of greed but because (amongst other factors) the level of work involved in a wedding is far greater than those other events that they might also be quoting for…

To use an example perhaps more relevant to any writers currently constructing a similar article about wedding pricing i suppose it would be the equivalent of being paid for 9 hours work writing 300 words on a topic in which you’re already an expert or being paid for 9 hours work to write a 3000 word essay on a topic that will require you to do a lot more research and meetings about beforehand and that is likely to require several days of editing by a particularly demanding editor afterwards. Oh, and it has to the the best thing you’ve ever written. Both are effectively quoted as 9 hours of writing so they should be charged at the same rate, right?

But to better illustrate the point let’s use the example provided by the article in question – the wedding photographer who “quoted £1500 for nine hours work at a wedding” whilst quoting a more palatable £680 for 9 hours capturing a 25th Wedding anniversary it’s important to consider what is actually required of the photographer for these two seemingly similar events. We of course don’t know the specifics of what the particular photographer in question was offering for each price but based on our own and some of our colleagues experiences of capturing both types of event here is a quick comparison of some of the things we might expect the two events to entail for the photographer:


This is just a quick example and of course some of these elements may vary depending on the individual event and photographer but of the photographer the anticipated level of work when quoting for these two events is vastly different. There are many more factors than just these as to why wedding photographers charge what they do, from the increased level of pressure to the probably £6000 – £30,000 worth of equipment they carry around with them to the simple fact that behind the scenes they’re probably doing 18 hour days 7 days a week to be their own marketing department, admin assistant, accountant, driver, blogger, photographer and editor so that they can keep living that dream of charging all that money and just doing “9 hours work” every Saturday.

We could provide similar examples for other wedding suppliers seemingly adding that infamous wedding premium but the simple fact is that those extra zeros aren’t just appearing from nowhere. There are so many great ways to save money on your wedding and we hope we can help you out along the way, but when it comes to the wedding premium it’s about premium service over price, and if you ask us that’s something worth paying for.

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  • Jaye Cole | Tux & Tales Photography - July 24, 2014 - 9:56 am

    BRAVO! This is the best response I have seen to this article yet – your breakdown & analogy is fantastic.

    I think that what a lot of people are missing is that the average UK wedding photographer makes £25K per year. Not £100K. We work every weekend (and most weekdays) for months at a time for a very discerning clientele – often without days off.

    This concept that we are all greedily throwing ourselves into piles of cash is bonkers and so uninformed. But that is what passes for journalism these days – by the BBC no less. It is unresearched – nearly libelous – misrepresentation purely to feed into sensationalism.

    Did this BBC ‘journalist’ do any research on the other side of the fence?ReplyCancel

  • Rachael ~Marry Me Ink~ - July 28, 2014 - 8:05 pm

    Nail on the head! Great points.ReplyCancel

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