The definition of “investment,” according to Google, is a “thing that is worth buying because it may be profitable or useful in the future,” as well as “an act of devoting time, effort, or energy to a particular undertaking with the expectation of a worthwhile result.”

If there’s one thing in relation to your wedding day that you’ll spend money on that could be seen as an investment, per the definition above, I think wedding photography would be it! Wedding photos are one of the few things you’ll have left from your wedding day that will allow you to re-experience everything that happened on your wedding day - the emotions, the joy, the tears, and even the decor and details that you put so much thought and love into! And most importantly, your photos will let you experience the beginning of a new adventure with your now-spouse!

As a wedding photographer, if you’re one of my brides (or considering becoming one of my brides! 😉) one of the most important things to me is that you get the most out of your investment. But how, exactly, can you maximize your investment? I’m all about practical steps, so below, I’m sharing three practical ways to maximize your wedding photography investment and get the most ‘bang for your buck’ (one of my mom’s favorite sayings!) when it comes to your wedding photos!

1.     Have all of your wedding events in the same location… or at least within close proximity.

Having all of your wedding events in the same central location has some major benefits! Going from location to location takes time, which will eat into your wedding day photography coverage. For example, many brides book between 8 to 10 hours of “continuous” wedding day coverage, meaning that if your coverage begins at 12PM, it will end at 8PM, regardless of what events happen during that timeframe, whether ther e are events for your photographer to take photos of or not. If you book 8 hours of wedding day coverage, but are driving between different locations (getting ready location, ceremony location, photo location, and reception), and all are about 20 minutes from each other, that’s 60 minutes of wedding day coverage you’re paying for that your photographer is not taking photos during! However, if you book 8 hours of coverage and do not have to travel between locations, you’ll actually get the full worth of your 8 hour coverage investment!

2.     Ask your photographer how much time to leave for photos… then plan for that amount of time!

A full time wedding photographer will typically photograph anywhere from 20 to 40 weddings each year, dealing with and planning the logistics of each of those weddings. If you’re planning a wedding, you’re more than likely pretty brand-spanking-new to this, and you’ve probably never had to think about things like how long you should leave for things like family photos, bridal party portraits, and/or photos of you with your new spouse on your wedding day! Lucky for you, your photographer has ample amounts of experience in this area – so be sure to ask for their help when planning your timeline! As photographers, we want you to ask for our help, because we want to make sure we have enough time to take the dreamy wedding photos you’ve always wanted!

3.     Sneak out during your reception for some sunset photos or epic night shots!

Once the reception gets going, it can be fun to leave the party for a few minutes to get just a few more photos of you with your new spouse! I usually consider this not only “bonus” portrait time, but time for my couples to have a few minutes to themselves. And I’ve never had a couple tell me that they regretted leaving their reception for a few additional photos, whether it be an epic night photo or a few “golden hour” (or sunset) portraits! Many of these photos end up being my favorites (and my couples favorites!) from the entire day.

All of the photos in the slideshow below were taken during “bonus” portrait time!

Happy planning, friends!