How to Plan a Wedding: 8 Ways to Get Affordable but Amazing Wedding Photographs

mckinley rogers

Anyone that’s been reading my blog for a while will know what an advocate I am of getting the very best wedding photographer you can afford for your big day. I’ve written about it on numerous occasions (here, here, here and here).

I know that budget can be a huge barrier for some of my readers but that still doesn’t mean you shouldn’t strive to get the most amazing wedding photographs that you can. Whenever I speak to couples after their wedding they always say “It went by so fast!” or “the whole thing was such a blur, I don’t really remember the ceremony!” And it’s so true. You’ll be feeling so many emotions on your wedding day that often it’s very difficult to recall a lot of the details afterwards. That’s where your wedding photographer and film-maker come in.

Wedding photography is something that you shouldn’t try to DIY. Your uncle with a fancy camera will never get the same results as a professional with years of experience. It’s a massive cliché, so much in fact that I almost hate saying it, but it is totally true – once the wedding is over, the cake has been eaten and the flowers have died, the photos and video are all you’ll have left to remember the day. I love looking back at my parents’ and grandparents’ wedding photographs and if we ever have children ourselves I can’t wait for them to see how mummy and daddy got married too.

One of the biggest things my readers say to me whenever I address this topic is that while they understand how important photos and video can be, they simply don’t have the budget for them. So today, I thought I’d share a few simple ways that for you to get great wedding photographs without having to spend thousands of pounds.


1. Do your research

Wedding blogs are a great place to start. Look through the real weddings on your favourite blogs and click the adverts running down the side of the sites. The more people you look at the more likely you are to find someone whose work you love and that suits your budget.

Speaking of pricing, it will fluctuates massively depending on the photographer’s location, experience and what kind of coverage they offer, but as a rough guide, in the UK for a wedding photographer with decent experience, you’ll likely be looking at around the £1200-£2500 mark. Same goes for a film-maker.

2. Have short coverage

Some photographers will offer shorter coverage for a lower price. They might not always do this on peak, high season days (i.e. a Saturday in the summer) because, quite frankly, shooting a short wedding for less money on a day that they’d be able to book full coverage isn’t a very smart business decision. But if you’re getting married on a weekday, or in the winter, you might be able to negotiate this option.

As a side note to that, often other suppliers will give discounts for off-season or weekday weddings too. Especially venues, they are ALWAYS more expensive to hire over the weekend. So if you want to save money across the board a Wednesday wedding is the way forward!

sara dalrymple

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Colourful Brooklyn wedding: Carly & Jason

If there’s one thing that makes me happy more than anything else it’s lots and lots of colour! So, obviously, Carly and Jason’s wedding was right up my street! The couple were married on Pebble Beach, under the Brooklyn Bridge and their reception was held at Dumbo Loft. Carly’s incredible sunset ombre dress was, unbelievably, from ASOS!

“Our wedding was vibrant, colorful, handmade, bespoke and eco-friendly”, began the bride. “We decided early on that what we really wanted was a killer party with great food, booze and dancing, attended by our closest family and friends. We kept the marrying part awesome but brief, so we could get onto the celebrating, drinking and dancing!”

“From the get-go, I knew my wedding dress would not be white. I chose an unconventional dress to get hitched in, something that would reflect my personality. I landed on a super colorful ombre dress with a low back to show off my years training as a swimmer. Who says you can’t be sexy at your wedding?!”

“Jason works at Etsy’s HQ in Dumbo, so not only did we turn to Etsy to find a ton of the personalized touches for the wedding, we also tried to get as many other things from local sources as possible”, she continued. “From the Brooklyn Brewery beer in the keg, to the lavender from Long Island, and the the cake and cupcakes from local New York bakeries.”

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Organic Nature-Inspired Johannesburg Wedding: Robin & Tamarin


The work of South African wedding photographer Jacki Bruniquel never fails to blow me away. The way she captures things is so unique and wonderful, I love looking at weddings through her eyes. So I was thrilled when Robin and Tamarin’s gorgeous day landed in my inbox. Not only did Jacki’s beautiful photographs make my heart go a-flutter, but the wedding itself is too gorgeous for words! If you’re looking for some really organic and nature-inspired wedding ideas then this one is for you…


“We didn’t really have a theme per say, but we did try to play off the contrasting ceremony and reception spaces”, began the bride. “The ceremony was simple and minimalistic, underlining the clean refurbished industrial space; the reception was lush and organic. Both spaces suited the city context well.”


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Surrealist Pineapple Wedding Shoot

This is not a wedding - john and Kalo - 1000px - Kama catch me (15 of 39)

Well, that’s a blog title I never thought I’d write! I have to admit, when I received these photos from Fiji based (but will travel!) wedding photographers Kama Catch Me, I was initally dubious. “Oh this will be a weird one”, I thought. Well, I actually wasn’t wrong… but it’s weird in the most awesome way!

“This shoot is based on our love for surrealism and with my wife coming from Belgium, there was none other to draw inspiration from than the crazy Belgian Ninja of Surrealism ‘René Magritte’”, wrote Ropate.

This is not a wedding - john and Kalo - 1000px - Kama catch me (7 of 39)

“One of our joint favourites is a painting called ‘The Treachery of Images‘ from 1929. In it, René painted a smoking pipe with a caption that says ‘Ceci n’est pas une pipe’, French for ‘This is not a pipe’ Whaaaat? When asked about it he said something like ‘yeah its true, its just an image of a pipe, its not an actual pipe…go on try putting tobacco in it’. Yeah he’s for reals!”

This is not a wedding - john and Kalo - 1000px - Kama catch me (8 of 39)

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DIY Rainbow Farm Wedding: Helen & Toby


Helen and Toby’s rainbow wedding took place at Coombes Farm in Lancing. The didn’t have a huge budget, £8000, but they made it go far with plenty of personal touches and DIY projects. The cakes, flowers and stationery were all done by friends and they didn’t hire a fancy caterer to feed their guests. Instead of gifts they asked their guests to each bring their favourite dish!

“We deliberately chose to get married on Friday 13th September 2013, as we liked the idea of choosing a date that is not usually chosen by couples planning a wedding”, Helen explained. “It also meant that it would be unlikely to clash with any other weddings and Toby won’t be able to forget our anniversary!”


“We chose Coombes Farm due to its relaxed vibe, it is very much a working farm and therefore doesn’t feel like the average wedding venue, which can feel very polished and formal. We also wanted somewhere where we could stay in the camper van and for our guests to have the option to camp, which made it feel like a mini festival. We basically treated planning our wedding like planning a party and wanted to ensure that everybody enjoyed themselves! Key ingredients included a tractor ride and of course, a bouncy castle!”


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DIY Tutorial: Half Up, Half Down, Hidden Hair Braid


Today I’m sharing the second hair tutorial from my collaboration with Your Cloud Parade and 10.11 Make Up (you can see last week’s faux hawk here!) This is a elegant and ethereal a half up, half down hidden braid style would be perfect for boho or casual brides. And I promise it’s not as complicated as it sounds!

The best bit? It uses all the same supplies and products as last week’s tutorial so if you tooled up for that one you can now give this one a bash too!

Supplies Needed

♥ Hairspray (we used Kenra Volume Spray)
♥ Bobby and hair pins
♥ Curling iron (we used Hot Tools - barrel size may vary based on length of hair, just for adding texture)
♥ Texture spray (we used Kevin Murphy Resort Spray) or spray wax (we love KMS Hair Play spray wax)
♥ Backcomber (we used Tool Structure Tortoise Backcomber)


Step one: Add some texture to the hair by adding some curl. Spray with some texturizing spray or spray wax.


Step two: Add volume by sectioning out the hair around the crown of your head, leaving out the front and sides. You will want enough hair on each side for braids, as well as any hair you want framing your face based on the desired finished look you would like.

Backcomb or tease the hair you have gathered at the back of the crown. Start the backcomb about 3 1/2 inches from the scalp, pressing the hair down towards your scalp to create a cushion.

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