Wedding tips, ideas & stories, from The Photographer

Posts tagged “vendors

15 Questions for a Wedding Photographer #7; Deposits

15 Questions Brides Want to Know About Wedding Photography #7

One of the interesting parts of being a professional in a field for a while is you get requests from the media for comment on events, or topics relevant to that field. Recently I was asked to answer some questions for an upcoming book geared towards future brides.

I was one of several professionals who were asked questions specifically for wedding photography, so I don’t think I’ll be spoiling anything by revealing my answers, since I’m sure they’ll use others for some of the 15 answers, plus I wasn’t asked anything about catering, or how to preform a traditional religious ceremony.

I’ll be sure to post up link when the book is published, but for now I’ll be spreading the questions and my answers (plus maybe a little extra) out over the next 15 days.


Question #7

What is the customary deposit to put down, to reserve a photographer for a date?  When is the balance typically due?

Customary deposits can range from 25% to 50% of the total balance. Since a lot of what can be included in my larger packages is album pre-pays I like to limit my deposit totals around 50%, or the amount I’d be losing if the wedding was canceled at my lowest package rate. It is a deposit and I have certain criteria where it may be returned, so the smaller the number is the less I have to worry about covering if I need to do a refund.

Balances are typically due at, or around the signing of a contract. If the wedding is over 6 months away, I typically ask for a deposit within 2 months from the date the couple signed the contract. The final payment in almost all cases is due the on or before the wedding day, with some exceptions to albums & print options.

I’m pretty laid back and I don’t want to stress out a couple with deposit dates. As long as we stay in contact and I know what’s going on, I’m not going to book another wedding on that day, but I’m not every photographer. Not paying your deposit by the due date could open you up to losing that photographer and on a popular date like 6/7/08, you might have a hard time  finding a talented replacement.

A deposit should be enough to cover any material charges a vendor has ahead of the wedding, as well as enough to ensure if you back out they aren't out completely for that day.


Coming up tomorrow

Question #8

Why is there such a large price range among different wedding photographers?


Previous Questions

#6  What types of wedding packages do photographers typically offer?

Go Beyond the Top 3 Search Results

Searching for wedding vendors

Searching for wedding vendors

Finding a wedding vendor that stands out from the background noise isn’t as easy as locating the bride in this photo.

One of my main reason for doing this blog is to help couples plan out the best possible wedding day that they can. For most of us, this is our first (and hopefully only) time we’ll be getting married and even if we’ve recently had a friend or family member who tied the knot, coming across information, or tips from seasoned professionals isn’t always easy to do.

While the internet has put information at a bride’s finger tips, it’s also littered with disinformation as well and companies looking to game the system as much as they possibly can. Especially when it comes to the billion dollar wedding industry.

The tip I have today is basically look past the first page or two of results when looking for a wedding vendor. This stands true for search engine results from the likes of Google, Yahoo, or Bing. As well as vendor lists on sites like The, & Common sense tells us that in most cases the companies listed at the top are the best, but unless you’ve done some internet marking yourself, you may not realize that all of these vendors are paying and paying big time to get in front of your wedding day eyes. Sites like The Knot can charge close to $4,000 a year just to be listed. Some of the bets photographers I know & don’t know in the wedding business aren’t even listed there.

If you devote a little more time to your search, you’re more likely to find vendors that aren’t paying to be number 1, and are using less of their money on advertising and more on the quality of their product, or staff used for the service part. These vendors aren’t usually high volume and will sometimes be willing to work out a sweeter deal to fill empty calendar dates.

As always, do your due diligence. Read reviews, or testimonials & ask for references from past couples.