Brides Often Regret Not Spending More on Wedding Photography


If you’re set to get married soon and are in the process of planning for the big day, here’s a tip that might save you from some sadness further down the road: don’t go cheap on the photography if you can help it. It turns out that spending too little on photography is one of the biggest regrets brides have after their wedding, while spending too much rarely causes remorse.

For a wedding issue that will soon be hitting newsstands, New York Magazine created an infographic titled “What They Would Have Done Differently.” The magazine asked one hundred recent brides about what they’d do differently if they could go back in time.

As you can see from the two polls above, photography is huge on most brides’ lists.


21% of those polled wished they had spent more money on their wedding photography. Only 12% wished they had spent less.

If you think the sample size is too small, or that the results don’t reflect reality, get this: Shutterfly found the exact same thing when it polled 500 recent brides back in 2011. They too found that 21% of brides wished they had spent more on photography.

All this just goes to show that while many of the things that happen at a wedding won’t be remembered in the long run, photos and videos that result can have a big impact on memories and happiness for many years to come.

Thanks for sending in the tip, Adam!

Image credit: Beverly & Ryan’s Wedding by aprillynn77

  • fast eddie

    As wedding photographer, finding a way to subtly inform potential customers that my prices are actually reasonably competitive will now be augmented with links to those New York Magazine and Shutterfly articles :)

    Not really about providing the links, but I do hear horror stories about engagement shoots from clients all the time. It’s a shame.

  • Paul R Anderson

    Back in the day when I did wedding photography for a living, I learned to keep the initial price as low as I could afford and provide ample number of proofs. I always made more than the average photographer in my area because of reprints. Of course this was in the day before video was common or easy and there was no internet. Man, with what there is today I could make a killing…if I could stand the work any more.

  • Julian Cash

    The Photos last forever. Most everything else tends to be temporary. I LOVE shooting weddings! Tons of happy people dressed up and having real emotions. It’s kind of ideal. The effort for shooting a wedding (for me). 5% prep (find a 2nd photog) and communicating with the couple. 20% shooting on the day (always a very long day). 75% editing, polishing, and making photo books and such. The pricing tends to reflect this. But the couple often mostly thinks of the 20% shooting part as what they’re paying for.

  • just sayin’

    While I see great value in wedding photography, I don’t think this survey really demonstrates that. They conveniently ordered the splurge regrets almost randomly, shallowly disguising the fact that photography was actually the #2 wedding splurge REGRET. 12% felt they overspent on photography, 21% felt they underspent. Sure, photography wins, but not by a crazy landslide. The categories on the left need to ordered the same as on the right.

  • Coby Bray

    in as little as 2 year every trace of the wedding will be gone including the bill the only thing you will have is the photos

  • anna bananna

    depends. i spent $3,000 on wedding photography, and although we ended up with a number of great shots, I don’t have a single photo of me with my maid of honor or me with my mom… One would think that the above would be implied as “wanted” shots…


    That’s why planning on your photographer’s behalf is SO important! I require a minimum of two face-to-face planning meetings with all of my brides to ensure all ducks are in their rows prior to the big day!

  • Bart

    Unfortunately that is because a lot of today’s wedding photographers are not trained and uneducated in the art of photographing a wedding. All it takes these days is a nice digital camera and a website and you can consider your self a wedding photographer (and charge any arbitrary number of dollars you wish, usually anywhere from $1000 to $5000). Brides, you need to do an extensive research about your photographer. What matters most is years of experience and ability to capture both fun candid shots and also traditional (i.e. family shots, posed).

  • wesbrawner

    I wish that entertainment wasn’t lumped in “everything else”. I DJ, my wife is a photographer. Other than that, I agree. We have clients say that they wish they would have paid a little more for photography, or DJ.