When to Book your Wedding Photographer

when to book your wedding photographer
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Like with most good things, taking the first step is often the hardest when it comes to wedding planning. Trust us, we know. There are so many things to do, so many events to schedule, timelines to prepare, and seating charts to plan. When to book your wedding photographer is just one of them. Where do you even begin? And how early should you start booking vendors?

The big question today is, when should you book your wedding photographer?

Here’s the answer in a nutshell: There’s no such thing as too soon. Especially if you’re planning a destination wedding or elopement. Read on for a general rundown of when to book your photo and video teams.

Book your Wedding Photographer – Local Weddings

If you have an eye on a specific wedding photography team, you’ll want to secure a date with them right away. Even if you try to book your favorite photographers in advance, nothing is guaranteed. There’s always a chance your date could already be booked—even if it’s over a year out. Basically, don’t assume you’re safe because you still have time. The schedules of wedding photographers and their teams are busy ones, and they’re dictated by more than time between now and your wedding date. Keep in mind, wedding photographers are the one vendor needed for every kind of wedding—small, big, elopement, courthouse—you name it. So don’t delay! As a general rule of thumb, try to book your wedding photo and video team 12-18 months in advance. They’re one of the first vendors you should book.

Another thing to be aware of? Seasonal demand. This is one of those aforementioned things that dictates a wedding photographer’s schedule. For example, here in Jacksonville, wedding photographers tend to see high demand in autumn. That means we’re more likely to book fall months further in advance. If you’re wanting a wedding during peak wedding season, you need to book your photographer ASAP.

Book your Wedding Photographer – Destination Weddings

But what if you’re planning a destination wedding? Does that change things? Well, as you’ve probably figured out by now, planning a destination wedding is its own type of intense. On top of your wedding date, wedding photographers will need to keep travel time into account, too. That could impact their availability. Like with local weddings, you want to lock down your photo and video team as soon as possible. This is even more important with destination weddings. We recommend booking 18 months in advance, if possible. The sooner, the better!

What about Alternative Weddings

By alternative, we’re talking elopements and off-season weddings. With off-season weddings, you have a little more wiggle room. Wedding photographers tend to be less busy during these times. That can be perfect if you’re not a big stickler about what the weather’s doing.

With elopements, you get some of the same advantages. If you’re picky about dates or seasons, you might be able to squeeze your way into the busy schedule of a wedding photographer. But elopements can be a double-edged sword. They can take less time to plan, but keep in mind, if the wedding is only a few weeks after the engagement, you may have trouble finding a photographer. We recommend trying to book at least six months in advance for both off-season weddings and elopements. Better safe than sorry, right?

What to Know Before you Book

Before locking down a wedding photographer, there are a few things you’ll want to know for sure:  

  • Know what kind of ceremony you’re planning. Is it a destination wedding, a big church to-do, a beautifully private elopement? Have your vision set and be ready to act by the time you pull a photographer into the mix. They need to know what to plan for, after all!
  • Book your venue first. We know, we know. We said your wedding photographers should be one of the first vendors you book. And they should. But they shouldn’t be THE first. Knowing your venue will help your photography team plan and prepare.

If you’re struggling to nail down a venue, worry not! We’ve been around the block a time or two. Click here for a list of some of our favorite wedding venues in Jacksonville. Planning an elopement? We’ve got you covered there, too. Here are some of the best elopement destinations we’ve visited. Click here to find stunning views, romantic hideaways and every perfect elopement spot you can think of *swoon*

Ready to Book your wedding photographer?

Finding a wedding photographer is a daunting task, we get it. But we can’t stress this enough: DON’T WAIT. The worst feeling in the world is when you finally find the perfect photography team, and they’re totally booked.

If you want to learn more about NSPhotobook, click here. We know that every situation is unique and we work our patooties off to make sure you get the wedding photos of your dreams. Feel free to reach out with any questions, we’d love to hear from you!

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