Last Minute Wedding Photographer Needed? Don’t Panic!
(Shh! Don’t tell everyone but there’s a short notice discount offered further down the page).
The average time for a couple to book their wedding photographer is around ten months to a year and a half in advance. The shortest notice I’ve ever had to prepare for shooting a wedding was four days! I didn’t mind this at all. I’ve found that the late notice weddings are often very fun and relaxed.
Reasons Why You May Need to Book a Wedding Photographer at Late Notice.
There are various reasons why engaged couples leave finding their wedding photographer until the last minute. It could be that they never really intended to have a professional photographer document their wedding in the first place. Maybe a relative or friend persuaded them that they may regret not doing so if they didn’t book someone.
Or I’m sure that some people hold out until the eleventh hour in the hope of getting a late notice discount. This often works (see my offer further down the page for proof!)
The time of year will play a big part too. Obviously the months from about May through until September are high wedding season and the cost of the various vendors will be at a premium. Wedding photographers in particular get booked up quickly during these months, but those having a more low-key wedding may well opt for an out of season wedding celebration. This can help keep costs down, as well as avoid the mad rush for the best venues and photographers.
Then there are those that get engaged and see no reason to wait to get married. They want their wedding as soon as possible and the short notice wedding is unavoidable. This can prove to be beneficial as there’s less time to stress about the small details as well as the possibility of late notice discounts as mentioned above.
The need to book a photographer late in the day, may not be down to the couple, but the photographer they had previously booked and has sadly let them down. I don’t want to dwell on this negative here, but if this has happened to you or if you are interested, there is a section devoted to this at the bottom of the page.
Late Booking Tips and Ideas.
If you find yourself in the position of needing a wedding photographer at short notice, do your research and then phone one; or several. Most photographers’ are only too happy to take last minute work if they are still available. I actively encourage it as it can fit in very nicely around other things. If I happen not to be free, I have some good and reliable photographer friends that I can recommend.
Even though your wedding may be short notice and might seem like a rush, don’t skimp on your research and the finer details. Find time to chat with or meet your photographer or other wedding vendor just as you would if you had months to go. If you really can’t schedule a meeting, a phone call will suffice. The important thing is that you feel comfortable with your chosen photographer. Personalities really do play a big part. Obviously appreciating their vision and style helps too.
Testimonials and reviews can also be reassuring that you’re making the right choice. There are many on my photography reviews page and all the couples listed are happy to be contacted by you. Just ask me for their contact details.
Some couples are still undecided quite late on as to whether or not they even need a photographer. They may feel they haven’t the budget or that it’s not important. They may recruit a relative or friend with a decent camera to get the shots. My advice is not to. A dedicated wedding photographer knows what to look for and how to take images that truly capture the best of your day. The money might seem a lot now, but your photographs will last a lifetime. If you really can’t afford a photographer then tell them your budget. There might be room for compromise. This is especially true of late bookings.
And now for my short notice wedding photography discount…
Last Minute Wedding Photography – 10% Discount
If you book me with six weeks or less to go, I will give you a full 10% off my full day website wedding prices.
You must mention this offer at the time of booking. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer or discount.
What Should I Do if a Wedding Photographer Has Let Me Down?
(Please don’t worry – these situations are rare and most of us are reputable pros!)
Unfortunately, it is a sad fact of life that having to book your photographer late in the day may not necessarily be your fault. I have been photographing weddings in Cardiff, Bristol, South Wales and London for around 10 years and (touch wood!) have never missed a wedding, been late or had cause to cancel for any reason.
Most wedding photographers are professional, hard working and conscientious!
However, there are those unscrupulous wedding photographers who will let people down. I read on wedding forums all the time of couples seeking advice as to what to do in the situation where their photographer pulls out with little or no reason. Even worse is where they stop replying to your calls and emails.
My feeling about all this is a positive one: It’s better to have found out now rather than after your day when it will quickly become apparent from sub-standard results that your photographer really wasn’t up to the job in the first place. Either that or you could be keen to see the photographic record of your wedding day, only to find that it is then that they become non-responsive. I hear occasional ‘horror’ stories from guests at weddings that they had to wait months for photographer at their wedding to show them any of their images if any at all. So, the earlier you know about possible problems, the easier they will be to deal with and rectify.
But just a word of caution here: Even in this day and age, people are sometimes non-contactable for a period of time for very genuine and minor reasons. Before you start to panic, check that they haven’t just gone on holiday for a couple of weeks and forgotten to change their answering machine message or auto-reply… The reason may be perfectly innocent!
5 Tips if Your Wedding Photographer Suddenly Becomes Elusive or Pulls Out…
- Keep Records: Be sure to keep track of any emails you send, responses you get, statements of monies paid out and notes of phone calls (even when you have tried but had no answer). These may prove invaluable if you need to go down the unfortunate route of taking your photographer to court for compensation and to recoup fees.
- Find Out Why?: If they let you know they can’t make it, find out the reason why. People do get ill and have family traumas (they may put down pulling out to ‘personal reasons’) so try to find out the reason before deciding what action to take.
- On Contracts…: Will Hopefully you read carefully signed a contract before booking. Hopefully you can still lay your hands on it. Re-read it and check what the cancellation terms are and what happens if they are unable to fulfil their contractual obligations. It has to be said that if a wedding photographer is unreliable, it may be unlikely that they either provided a contract or likely that the terms are weighted in their favour. If this is the case all is not lost. Contracts can be overturned in court if they are deemed to be unfair.
If Alarm Bells Start to Ring…: You may have a ‘gut’ feeling about things – that things don’t quite seem right. The unscrupulous wedding photographer will undoubtedly seem helpful and responsive before your booking, but if they seem to change after you have settled their fees, try to arrange to meet them. Talk to them about your concerns and if you are not satisfied, decide what route to go down regarding a possible cancellation. It is far better to rectify things before your wedding day than wait for possible disappointment and stress when it’s too late.
- Be Persistent: Don’t give up! If they won’t answer your emails or return your phone calls, try and try again… And make notes! This will let them know you are serious and not willing to let them get away with poor treatment (and quite possibly your money!) It will also carry weight if you decide to take it further later on.
Although I have now relocated to Caerphilly near Cardiff, I am still taking last minute wedding photography bookings in London and Bristol.
I cover all of South Wales including Swansea, Newport, Neath, Pontypridd, Cwmbran, Abergavenny and Penarth.
As well as all those wonderful small towns & villages in-between!