Why You Should Be Honest With Your Wedding Day Suppliers

by | Photography Wisdom, Wisdom


Image by Glen + Fiona

Surprise!! It’s actually a wedding, not a party. Whaaat?

It seems there’s a good amount of talk going around recently that suggests that dropping the word ‘wedding’ from your enquiry may actually save you a bunch of money on quotes for your special day. It’s picked up the nickname ‘the wedding tax’, where vendors such as Hair Stylists, Florists and Photographers – just to name a few – are bulking up the price simply because the service/product is for a wedding day. Yeah, it probably does happen and, yeah, it’s probably not right at all. So let’s examine it a little closer.

A recent feature on Channel 7’s The Morning Show has sent the industry into a mild frenzy online after it featured a segment on Wedding Scams, and why it may be a good idea to mislead suppliers into thinking it’s a private party instead. Tom Goodfrey, spokeman for Choice, said “..I think the reality is, this is where the best man comes in, or the maid of honour. You get them to ring for you as a private party… If they turn up to your wedding and find out, oh well, so be it.”

Here’s my personal advice, when it comes to products and supplies, it may be a ‘win’ to drop that ‘w’ word, but tread very carefully when misleading a service supplier. The consequences??… oh my, I for one wouldn’t be risking it. So, how can you get a good deal on your Wedding Day Photography? Here’s one *bad idea*… tell them you are just throwing a simple party.

Let’s say that someone books me for a few hours coverage for a party. I would probably show up wearing jeans and a t-shirt, with minimal gear.

For a party, I’d probably bring:

– 50mm lens and 24-70mm lens, to capture some portraits and people interacting.
– The memory cards in the camera should do it. Oh, and a battery. Simple.

If you book me for a wedding, I start with:

– 14mm lens, for a wide ceremony shot
– 35mm, 50mm, 85mm lenses to cover anything and everything
– A macro lens, for detail shots of the rings, jewelry, etc
– Second shooter who carries 24-70mm and 70-200mm lenses
– Multiple spare cards and batteries
– A backup camera (that makes 3 cameras on hand)
– Flash units, off-camera-flash triggers, tripod and lightstands
– 3 or 4 matching umbrellas for a rainy day
– Liability insurance – which doesn’t come cheap
– Formal clothes – I certainly wouldn’t be dressed for a simple party
– Oh, the list just keeps going…

On top of that, I’ve probably exchanged 20 emails with you over the year leading up to the wedding, and provided sample timelines and advice. I’ve researched the lighting conditions, tide times, sunset times, venues and surrounds, for the best possible outcomes on the day. I’m prepared to drive to multiple locations during the day, and I’ve even brought myself along some protein bars too, as weddings are long days. My second shooter has laced-up many a Bride’s dress, and I’m getting good at pinning on corsages. The level of service isn’t limited by the hours booked for the day.

So, can you ring up and get a quote for a 10 hour party and then compare that to a quote for 10 hours of wedding photography? Sure, but consider this if you will: Wedding Photographers shoot weddings. It’s in the name. The service we offer is priced accordingly. You might be able to fool a photographer on an enquiry for a day-long party on a Saturday with 50 guests, but to what end? I know if I received that call, I’d probably turn it down. I specialise in weddings, and I would want that day to be available to book a gorgeous wedding to shoot. To be honest, I can’t actually see this tactic working at all, let alone saving you a few bucks. You’ve just brought a professional in, and now they’re caught off-guard. They’re not mentally prepared, sure, but more so, they may not even have the gear they need on hand.

This isn’t an article on why wedding photography costs what it does, that’s been done plenty of times before. I simply want to highlight that no good can come from misleading a service provider into thinking they’re just looking after you for a party you have planned. You’re hiring a professional for a reason, yeah? and you wish to receive a professional service and quality product along with that I’m sure. Any good photographer builds a relationship with their clients. I am quite blessed to say that a lot of my own clients have become very good friends. The trust and rapport we build is essential in evoking true emotion and feeling into your photography, and allowing us to capturing the chemistry between two lovely people. Why sully that relationship by starting off with lies?

Ms Gingham says: That’s definitely food for thought and I totally agree with everything in this article!

Glen + Fiona: “We are based on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, Australia (..we live in Mooloolaba, just to be specific), but we are open to shoot worldwide – especially Santorini.”


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