When Should I Book My Wedding Photographer?

Wedding Wisdom

How Far In Advance Should You Be Booking Your Wedding Photographer?

Congratulations! You’re engaged. The champagne corks have popped. The wedding planning process has begun. Your dress, venue, and guest list might grab the headlines. But, there’s one crucial decision that shouldn’t be pushed to the sidelines. It’s your wedding photographer. One question on your mind should be “When should I book my wedding photographer?”

wedding planner when to book wedding photographer
Nowadays, wedding planning is becoming more adventurous and exciting than ever before. Traditional advice suggests booking a wedding venue first. However, we’ve noticed a delightful trend among brides. A significant number of them book our services before choosing a specific venue. And why not? A growing number of wedding venues emerge every year. Couples now have many choices to create a unique and memorable wedding day.

Your photographer is the memory alchemist. They capture the bridal prep, the ceremony, and the first dance. They transform fleeting moments into timeless keepsakes. They’ll capture the nervous anticipation, the tearful vows, and the joyous laughter. They’ll capture the very essence of your love story.

bride crying during outdoor wedding ceremony

So, when should you book your UK wedding photographer? The simple answer is “As soon as possible“, but don’t worry, we have got you. This guide will unravel the mysteries of photographer availability and seasonality. It will also explore the art of securing your dream wedding photographer.

The Rise of the Early Bird:

We remember the days of booking your photographer a few months before your summer wedding. Those days, like dial-up internet and perms, are charming relics of the past. The wedding landscape has morphed, and proactive planning is now paramount. Don’t be surprised to learn that our average booking window has grown swiftly from 5 months to a whopping two years!

newly engaged couple watch the epic sunrise over old harry rocks dorset

Why the shift? A Combination Of Factors:

The Changes Of The Season:

The wedding season traditionally peaks in Spring and Summer (June-August). However, the lines are blurring. Thanks to a more forgiving climate, stunning spring, winter, and autumn weddings are gaining traction. This extends our typical “busy season” working as wedding photographers in Dorset.

Bride and groom kiss at outdoor wedding ceremony with Dorset coastal countryside and seaside views with cows

Lengthening Engagments:

Acclaimed platforms like Hitched and Guides for Brides have explored the details of wedding trends . Their comprehensive research reveals a notable shift in the UK’s wedding landscape. The average length of an engagement is steadily rising. This noteworthy evolution allows couples ample time for meticulous wedding preparations. This phenomenon sheds light on the increasing lead time for “when should I book my wedding photographer?”. In 2019, the 12-month average increased to 18 months in 2022 (excluding pandemic years). It further extended to 21 months in 2023. This trend highlights the importance of foresight and early planning.

The Power of Social Media:

With Instagram showcasing jaw-dropping wedding photography, couples are more discerning. They are seeking photographers who align with their unique style and vision. This increased demand puts a premium on popular choices.

wedding photography on social media instagram

Limited Edition Love When Booking A Wedding Photographer:

Unlike a bakery churning out pastries, wedding photographers can only be in one place at a time. Popular ones get booked solid, regardless of the season, leaving latecomers facing disappointment.

At the time of writing, we have had to gently let down 12 couples with the news that we are fully booked for the weekend of the 28th of June next year.

Seasons & Significance:

Now, let’s navigate the ever-evolving wedding calendar and its impact on when you should book a wedding photographer:

Peak Season (June-August):

Think bustling gardens, beachside ceremonies, and golden hour magic. If your heart is set on these months, book at least 12-24 months in advance. Remember, weekends are the most coveted. So be extra proactive if you want a Saturday or Sunday wedding.

summer wedding photograph

Shoulder Seasons (March-May & September-October):

Offering a welcome respite from the peak frenzy, these months provide more flexibility. However, popular dates and photographers still require early booking of at least 9-18 months ahead of time.

best wedding photographs bride groom bluebell woods

Off-Peak Season (November-February):

While charming and intimate, don’t be lulled into a false sense of security! Secure your chosen photographer at least 6-9 months ahead to avoid the last-minute scrambles.

autumn wedding photograph with orange leaves

The Art of the Searching For A Wedding Photographer:

Finding your perfect wedding photographer transcends merely browsing online galleries. Here’s a quick synopsis of how to embark on a successful search:

Do Your Homework: Start early!

Immerse yourself in the world of wedding photography. Explore online portfolios. Scour social media hashtags. Seek recommendations from friends and family. Focus on styles that resonate with your vision. It could be classic elegance, candid documentary, artistic flair or a combination of many!

Wedding Showcase/ Fair Season

During the bustling months of February and March, the wedding industry comes alive with anticipation. Couples flock to wedding shows to make bookings for the upcoming year and the ones ahead. It’s a whirlwind time for us. The months are filled with inquiries, meetings, and showcasing our photography at various venues. It’s much more likely that a wedding photographer’s diary will be fuller after the wedding show season than before.

This repeats in late October and November, so consider these months when looking for a wedding photographer and thinking about “When should I book my wedding photographer?”

documentary wedding photographers wedding fairs showcases

Connect & Compare:

Shortlist your favourites and reach out. Schedule consultations to discuss their approach and availability. Its not just about their style of wedding photographs of wedding albums. Ask questions, gauge their personality, and see if their energy aligns with yours. Remember, you’ll spend a lot of time with them on your wedding day. So a comfortable connection is crucial.

zoom meeting with wedding photographers

Seal the Deal – Booking A Wedding Photographer:

Once you find your soul mate with a camera, don’t delay. Secure your date with a contract and deposit. Early booking often comes with advantages like manageable payment plans.

For more in-depth advice, read our guide on “How To Choose Your Perfect Wedding Photographer”.

Beyond the “When” in “When Should I Book My Wedding Photographer?”

While timing is essential, remember these invaluable nuggets of wisdom:

Popular photographers, especially during peak seasons, get booked fast. Don’t wait until the last minute to avoid disappointment.
when to book your wedding photographer fully booked diary

Booking your wedding photographer early gives you access to the best options and reduces stress. This allows you to focus on other wedding details with peace of mind.

Think Of It Like Concert Tickets:

Wouldn’t you want the best seats for your favorite band? Do the same for your wedding photographer!
concert ticket for wedding date

Consider Your Budget:

Photography ‘packages’ vary in price, quality and scope. Determine your budget early on to guide your search and avoid surprises.

Trust your gut:

Ultimately, the wedding photographer you choose should resonate with you on a personal level. Go with someone whose style and personality click with yours.

To help with this see our advice on “Why You Should Meet Your Wedding Photographer”.

To Conclude: When Should I Book My Wedding Photographer?

Answering the question “When should I book my wedding photographer?” has no definitive answer. Start your photographer search early. With careful planning and these insights, you’ll secure the perfect storyteller. They will preserve your love story in stunning photographs which will create memories cherished for generations.

So, begin as soon as you can. Choose wisely and invest in quality. This will ensure that the magic of your wedding day is captured in all its breathtaking glory!

wedding couple photograph planned at meeting

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one thousand words Photographers Dorset wedding photographers

Tom Wishart & Murray Lambert

Documentary Wedding Photographers In Dorset & Hampshire

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