About a month or so ago, a Facebook friend posted a status which really shocked me. He stated that photographers increase their prices simply because of “that ‘W’ word…a/k/a/ ‘wedding’. He added that it was garbage to see photographers charge ‘way less’ for a random event, but yet wedding prices were overly inflated – despite each having “the same exact products and services.”

Even more concerning, I recently read on a brides’ forum that a couple hired a photographer for ‘an event’ and didn’t disclose it was their wedding. They explained that this helped them save money and suggested others do the same.

As a wedding photographer, SO much time goes into wedding preparation. In short, our time focuses on initial consultation, preparing contracts, scheduling and shooting the engagement session, preparing the timeline, photographing the wedding, organizing group photos, album design, and lots and lots of editing. An event doesn’t require even close to that amount of focus, as they are usually within 4 hours in length and don’t include as nearly as many details and key moments as a wedding (let alone editing!).

Time aside, the most important factor brides aren’t taking into consideration when hiding that ‘W’ word: equipment.

Weddings require additional lens types with different focal lengths (zooms) and low-light capabilities, in addition to quite a few more memory cards. I almost never bring the same equipment to event as I do a wedding. It just isn’t necessary. Should a bride hire me for a party and I show up, only to find out it’s a wedding, I may not be able to deliver what she was hoping.

Weddings are expensive, I totally get it. When we were married, we found ourselves writing more checks than we ever have before! Sure, I guess I could have told our vendors we were having a random party, but that would have been a recipe for total disaster.

Please don’t try to cut corners and withhold such important information from your wedding photographer. It could really affect the quality of your photos, overall experience, and the final results will more than likely fail to meet your expectations..