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Couples spend an average of $2,000 on wedding photographers, with many spending $4,500 or more. That is a lot of money when you consider everything else that goes into a wedding. You have to reserve the venue, pay for the food, get the flowers, and buy a dress. With so much to buy, you have to ask yourself if hiring a wedding photographer is worth it.

That depends on what you want out of your wedding. Let’s look at what you get with a professional wedding photographer, along with some ways to save some money.

What You Get with a Pro

Wedding photographers charge a lot of money for a good reason. They put a lot of time and effort into the process. They typically work for six or more hours, and they bring a second photographer along with them. Also, they have expensive gear and handle the editing for you. They can also make photo albums for you, so you’ll always have a keepsake.

That’s why they are so expensive. They give you quite a bit.

Fortunately, you can get what you need without the cost by getting a little creative.

Cut Down on the Time

While most wedding photographers work for six-plus hours, that isn’t necessary. You can enjoy the benefits of using a professional without spending as much money by cutting down on the amount of time the photographer works for you. You can get the shots you need in two or three hours. That means you can spend a lot less money.

If you’re intent on going with a professional but don’t want to spend as much money, this is a smart way to go.

Do Your Own Editing

If you know your way around a computer, you might be able to handle your own editing. Have the photographer send you the RAW or JPEG files, and then you can take care of the editing. This can save you a significant amount of money, but keep in mind that not all wedding photographers will be willing to do this. After all, they will be handing over unfinished work, and some will not be comfortable with that.

Have a Pre-Wedding Studio Session

You can also save quite a bit of cash by renting photography studio before the wedding. Photography studios have all the equipment you need for the shoot, plus plenty of props to use. Also, they are staffed with people who understand photography and can help you during the shoot.

Just bring a friend along who enjoys taking pictures. That friend can take some professional-looking shots of you and your significant other for a fraction of the cost of a real wedding photographer. Plus, since you’ll be inside, you won’t have to worry about running your gorgeous wedding attire before the main event.

What Option Is Right for You?

You just need to decide which option is right for you. If you have the money, consider springing for a photographer. However, if you want to save some money, rent studio space or cut down on the hours the photographer spends at the event. With so many options, you can find something that fits into your budget and your personal style.