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).
A newly-engaged couple’s average time 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 just two days! I didn’t mind this at all.
I love short notice bookings as they 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.
I’ve found that my late wedding bookings are often very fun and relaxed (see all the photos on this page and throughout my site!).
Read More>> Late Weddings are Often Short Day Weddings Too – I Cater for Those Here!
Reasons Why You Could Need to Book a Wedding Photographer at Short 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 might regret not doing so if they didn’t book someone. I’ve heard of this situation many times.
Or I’m sure that some people hold out until the eleventh hour in the hope of getting a late notice discount, which often works (see my offer further down the page for proof!)
However, it’s a dangerous strategy, especially in the summer wedding season: the best wedding photographers book months, even years in advance.
Timing and Events Beyond the Couple’s Control
The time of year plays a big part too.
The months from about May until September are high wedding season, and the various vendors’ time (and cost) is at a premium. Good wedding photographers take bookings quickly during these months.
Couples having a more low-key wedding may well opt for an out of season wedding celebration, helping keep costs down and avoiding the mad rush for the best venues and photographers.
Some couples get engaged and see no reason to wait to get married. On the contrary, they want their wedding as soon as possible, and the short notice wedding is unavoidable.
Having a last-minute wedding can prove beneficial as there’s less time to stress about the small details and the possibility of the late notice discounts mentioned above.
Our Wedding Photographer Cancelled at the Last Minute
The need to book a photographer late in the day may not be down to the couple, but the photographer they had previously booked has sadly let them down.
I don’t want to dwell on this negative here, but if this has happened to you or you are interested in how to proceed should it happen, there is a section devoted to this at the bottom.
Late Booking Tips and Ideas.
Research and Reach Out
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. As a result, they sometimes receive last-minute cancellations also.
Even though your wedding may be short notice and might seem like a rush, don’t skimp on your research. Instead, find time to chat with or meet your photographer just as you would if you had months to go.
If you can’t schedule a meeting, a phone call will suffice. The important thing is that you feel comfortable with your chosen photographer. Personalities do play a big part and appreciating their vision and style helps too.
Testimonials and reviews can also be reassuring that you’re making the right choice, and there are many on my photography reviews page. All the couples listed are happy to be contacted by you. Just ask me for their contact details.
There’s No Substitute for a Professional
Some couples decide quite late on whether they even need a photographer. They may feel they haven’t the budget or that it’s not essential. They may recruit a relative or friend with a decent camera to get the shots.
My advice is DON’T!
A dedicated wedding photographer knows what to look for and how to take images that truly capture the best moments 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, especially when booking late.
Recommended Venue>> Woolwich Town Hall Caters for Late Wedding Bookings
And now for my short notice wedding photography discount…
Last-Minute Wedding Photography 2023 – 10% Discount
If you book me with six weeks or less to go, I will give you a full 10% off my whole day website wedding prices.
Please mention this offer at the time of booking. It cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or discount.
What Should I Do if a Wedding Photographer Has Cancelled on Me?
(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 London, Cardiff, Newport, Bristol and South Wales for around ten 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 about what to do in a 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 wasn’t up to the job in the first place.
Either that or you could be keen to see your beautiful wedding photos, 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 their wedding photographer to show them any of their images if any at all. The earlier you know about possible problems, the easier they are 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 while 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 entirely innocent!
Further Advice>> Consumer Organisation ‘Which?’ Offers Some Good Tips on Handling Supplier Cancellations.
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 recoup fees.
- Find Out Why?: If they let you know they can’t make it, find out the reason why. For example, people get ill and have family traumas (they may put down pulling out for ‘personal reasons’). Try to find out the real reason before deciding what action to take.
- On Contracts…: Hopefully, you read and signed a contract before booking and can still lay your hands on it. Re-read it and check what the cancellation terms are. What happens if they are unable to fulfil their contractual obligations? If a wedding photographer is unreliable, they are unlikely to provide a contract, or they will weigh the terms in their favour. If this is the case, all is not lost. Contracts can be overturned in court if 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. However, if they seem to change after you have settled their fees, try to arrange to meet them. Talk to them about your concerns. 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 potential disappointment and stress when it’s too late.
- Be Persistent: Don’t give up! If they don’t answer your emails or return your phone calls, try and try again. And make notes, which 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.