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Darley and Underwood Wedding Photography logo. Top left greenary, photography hand written and bottom right a Hasselblad and Sony camera

How to Book a Wedding Photographer - A Simple Guide, with Elements of Amusement

Updated: Dec 9, 2020


Groomsman at the top table of a wedding at Shottle Hall, Derbyshire. By Derbyshire wedding photographers.

This is more of a wedding planning guidance blog – a step by step walk through of the process of booking your wedding photographer. The blog is based on our experience and booking processes. Clearly, different wedding photographers have different processes, but the concepts are generally very similar. And we've added some snaps - obviously! Enjoy!

When to Book Your Wedding Photographer


So, you’ve booked your dream wedding venue in the glorious Leicestershire countryside (other counties are available) and you’re thinking, “what’s next on the wedding planning list?” From our experience, second on the list is finding your wedding photographer. Bingo!


But be prepared! The photographer you had highlighted in florescent orange in your planning journal isn’t guaranteed to be available for the date you have booked. Some photographers take bookings years in advance. We are now booking dates for 2023! To avoid disappointment, co-ordinate with the venue and photographer to select the perfect date to suit all involved before booking.


We would suggest booking your wedding photographer as far in advance as possible. The likelihood of a good photographer being available for a prime weekend date six months in advance is slim (unless there is a pandemic about of course...).

A very happy bride and groom at the top table framed by wedding guests. Warwickshire wedding at Aston Lodge Country House.

How to Choose a Wedding Photographer


Firstly, you really need to start your search with well over a year to spare.


Then, you need to find a photographer who is displaying photographs in their portfolio that you like. Photographers have different styles in terms of colouring, brightness and the moments they choose to capture. Which photographers you like is entirely a personal preference.


Price is always a key factor. Wedding photographers can charge anything between £300 to £5,000+. But, remember that you want to look back at your photographs fondly – cheap absolutely isn’t always best. Find a price range that works for you and scout out the photographers within your budget that cover the aspects of the day that you’re hoping for.


But where do you find wedding photographers? Google is always a good first bet! Search “wedding photographer Leicestershire” and see who pops up – all wedding photographers have a website – we're not from the dark ages! Alternatively, utilise a specialist wedding directory such as Hitched or Find a Wedding Photographer, or indeed go local by checking out a wedding group such as the Leicester Wedding Network.


Other methods of finding a suitable photographer include searching Instagram, asking your venue for recommendations, quiz your friends and family or visit a wedding fayre or two (when they’re allowed again...).

Happy wedding guest in orange dress framed by wedding guests. Wedding photography Derbyshire at Shottle Hall

The Booking Process


You’ve found a photographer with a portfolio you love, they’re available, they offer the package you need and are within your price range – good work!


One last thing before you book – check that you like them! Most wedding photographers are lovely, but it’s absolutely worth checking that you’re going to get on with them. You will see them a lot on your wedding day, so you really don’t want to have the feeling of dread every time they come up to speak to you. Have a virtual meet up over a cup of coffee (or a stronger beverage of your choosing) and have a chat. It's a great opportunity to ensure that you’re on the same page with everything and to ask questions.


Back to that booking process...


A contract or agreement is always the first step, which will be sent to you when you confirm that you’d like to proceed. Don’t be too daunted by it, it’s normally fairly standard stuff. Nonetheless, have a read of the key sections at least (clearly it’s recommended that you read it all...) to check that you’re happy with the terms. Look for elements such as cancellation conditions and payment schedules.


Remember – there is no obligation to sign the agreement. You can always look elsewhere if you’re not happy.


If content to continue, you will need to complete the blank spaces in the agreement, sign and return to the wedding photographer.


To then fully confirm your wedding photography booking, you will need to process the deposit payment (as stated in the agreement) – in our case, 50% of the total fee. These days a simple bank transfer is the method of choice using the bank details provided.


The wedding photographer will then confirm in writing that you have booked their expert services and provide you with a payment receipt for your records.


For a few months, that’s likely to be it! Feel free to get in touch with them in the meantime to ask for supplier recommendations or keep them up to date with your plans. We like a chat!

Boho bride portrait in leather jacket with wavy hair. Wedding photography in the Warwickshire countryside. Tipi wedding.

The Final Pieces of the Puzzle


Firstly, if your photography package includes a pre-wedding shoot, arrange this with your photographer and enjoy looking at how awesome you look in the resulting photos!


Secondly, your photographer is likely to ask you to complete a “wedding details form” of some description. This to confirm the running order of the day, timings for key events and details of anything particularly special you have planned (aside from tying the knot, obviously!). We tend to arrange a chat with you too, just to catch up and answer any outstanding queries you have.


Lastly, you will unfortunately need to process the remaining balance payment. Bummer, right? Sorry.

In summary

  1. Find a wedding photographer you love and ensure they love you back.

  2. Sign an overly-wordy document and transfer some dollar.

  3. Tell them all about your awesome wedding day plans, including Gran’s real name.

  4. Create huge amounts of envy by detailing the dream honeymoon you have booked.

  5. Pay some more dollar.

  6. Sit back and look amazing on your big day.

  7. Simple.

Young groomsman holding shy flower girl at Nottinghamshire wedding.

The Sales Pitch


If you’d like to have a chat with us about photographing your wedding, we’d be delighted to make that happen. A handy contact form is available to get in touch, or feel free to use the email / phone details below – we don’t mind!


Must try harder on the sales pitch...


Stay safe. Laugh lots.


Phil and Al x