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When to Book Wedding Photographer: Tips for Planning Ahead

You’ve said “yes” and now the wedding planning begins! Choosing the right wedding photographer is crucial to capture the magic of your special day. But when to book wedding photographer to ensure their availability? This blog post will guide you through the ideal timeline, popular wedding dates and seasons, destination weddings, and last-minute bookings. Let’s dive in and make sure your wedding memories are beautifully preserved!

Key Takeaways

  • Book your wedding photographer 9-18 months in advance for the best chance of securing them.

  • Consider weekday or off-season weddings for more availability and competitive pricing.

  • Last minute bookings are still possible with some flexibility, determination and creativity!

Ideal Timeline for Booking a Wedding Photographer

As you begin your wedding planning, one of the first tasks should be securing a photographer. Ideally, you should book a wedding photographer 9-18 months prior to your wedding, though a minimum of a year in advance is highly advisable. This ensures that you’ll have the best chance of securing your preferred photographer and allows them to be involved in the planning process, such as discussing the venue, theme, and timeline of your big day.

After booking your wedding photographer, make sure to update them on the exciting details such as your wedding website and any plan alterations. If your preferred photographer is already booked, don’t worry – you can ask them for recommendations or consult a wedding planner to help you find a suitable alternative within your budget.

Factors that may affect your booking timeline include popular wedding dates and seasons, destination weddings, and the demand for specific photographers. Let’s explore these factors in more detail.

Popular Wedding Dates and Seasons

Saturdays in spring, summer, and fall are the most sought-after wedding day dates. High demand and limited availability during peak seasons necessitate that you book your wedding photographer immediately after setting a date, particularly for weddings in the bustling months of May or October. For weddings taking place between April and November, it’s best to book a professional wedding photographer around the 15-month mark.

Why the rush? Popular wedding dates are in high demand, and photographers’ schedules fill up quickly. Booking early ensures you’ll secure the photographer you want while staying within your wedding budget. Therefore, once engaged and with a wedding date in mind, begin contacting photographers to confirm their availability for your special day.

If you’re open to flexibility, consider a weekday or off-season wedding. These options often offer greater availability and potentially more competitive pricing for both photographers and venues.

Destination Weddings

Destination weddings add an extra layer of complexity to the planning process. Not only do you need to secure a wedding venue, but you also need to accommodate travel arrangements for your photographer. Consequently, you should commence your search for a photographer for your destination wedding even sooner than the usual 9-18 months before the event.

Booking your wedding photographers early for a destination wedding not only ensures their availability but also allows them to plan their travel arrangements and work with you on capturing the unique aspects of your chosen location. This extra time can be invaluable for creating stunning, unforgettable wedding photos that truly showcase the beauty of your destination.

Remember, the more time you give yourself and your photographer to plan, the better the outcome will be. Hence, begin your quest for the ideal destination wedding photographer immediately after finalizing a location and date.

In-Demand Photographers

Early booking becomes a necessity when dealing with in-demand photographers. These professionals are often booked up quickly, sometimes even years in advance. To secure their services for your wedding, it’s best to reach out as soon as possible after getting engaged.

Should your chosen photographer be already booked, do not despair. Here are some steps you can take to find a suitable alternative:

  1. Ask your photographer for recommendations of other photographers with a similar style.

  2. Consult a wedding planner for guidance in finding a suitable alternative.

  3. Act quickly and be proactive in your search to ensure that you find the perfect photographer to capture your special day.

To sum up, booking your sought-after photographer early enhances the likelihood of securing their services and getting the dream wedding photos you desire.

Last-Minute Bookings and Alternative Options

Life happens, and sometimes wedding plans change, or you find yourself with a shorter engagement timeline. In these cases, securing a wedding photographer at the last minute is still possible, but it may require more flexibility and creativity.

Even if you’ve missed the advised booking timeline, do not fret – other options are still at your disposal. We will now delve into some strategies for last-minute bookings and unconventional wedding photography.

Tips for Last-Minute Bookings

First and foremost, start reaching out to multiple photographers as soon as you realize you need to book one at the last minute. Be prepared to be flexible with your wedding date or consider a weekday or off-season wedding to increase availability. Ask for recommendations from friends, family members, or wedding vendors to find a photographer who may be available on short notice.

Don’t forget to check online for last-minute deals, especially for accommodations for your guests. By being proactive and considering alternative options, you can still find a talented photographer to capture your special day, even at the last minute.

While last-minute booking of a wedding photographer isn’t the best scenario, it definitely isn’t an impossibility. With flexibility, determination, and a little creativity, you can still make it happen.

Considering Non-Traditional Wedding Photography

With so many weddings shifting towards non-traditional options, such as elopements or smaller ceremonies, these events may not require as much lead time for booking wedding photography. These intimate gatherings often allow for more flexibility in scheduling and can be a great option for couples with shorter engagements or last-minute changes in plans, including an engagement shoot.

Opting for unconventional wedding photography could provide a relaxed, informal ambiance and yet ensure beautiful, unique captures of your momentous day. Whether you’re eloping, hosting a small ceremony, or opting for a non-traditional wedding event, remember that booking a photographer with less lead time is still possible.

Ultimately, finding a particular photographer that matches your needs, style, and schedule is of paramount importance. Don’t hesitate to venture beyond traditional norms and consider alternative options if conventional wedding photography doesn’t align with your preferences. Professional photographers can offer a wide range of styles and approaches to capture your special day.


In conclusion, the ideal timeline for booking a wedding photographer is 9-18 months before your big day. However, factors such as popular wedding dates and seasons, destination weddings, and in-demand photographers may require earlier bookings. For last-minute bookings or non-traditional wedding photography, flexibility and creativity are key in finding a suitable photographer. By being proactive and considering alternative options, you can ensure that your wedding memories are beautifully captured, no matter your timeline or circumstances.

hey there!

I’m Gary Pope, the lead photographer of Love Long and Prosper.  I’m your typical super-geeky dude turned photography enthusiast who just loves capturing quirky couples!