WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY FORT LAUDERDALE BEST OF WEDDINGS
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COUTURE BRIDAL PHOTOGRAPHY

WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY FORT LAUDERDALE BEST OF WEDDINGS

WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY FORT LAUDERDALE BEST OF WEDDINGS

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Wedding photography may be the single most important investment you make when planning your wedding. After all, the wedding photographer will spend more time with you before, during and after your wedding day. During your wedding, we'll be the one you are with most throughout the day. Don't forget your wedding photographer is also the only vendor that leaves you with a physical record of your wedding day and everything that took place for a lifetime of memories!

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Not many people realize or understand how crucial it is to find a quality wedding photographer or wedding photography studio with skilled professional photographers for a successful wedding. Most couples will regret not investing a little more on their wedding photography thinking it's all the same, yet quality high-end wedding photography is truly a commodity. The internet is full of self proclaimed wedding photographer, who don't have the skills, equipment and experience to deliver a high-end quality product. Your wedding photos!

In this article, I am going to share with you the best way to choose a wedding photographer. As an award winning wedding photography studio in Fort Lauderdale, Florida we are recognized for being the "Best of Weddings" by Knot.com.

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How to Find the Best Wedding Photography in 10 steps?

Step 1: Find the wedding photography style you like!

Before starting to research wedding photographers, you'll need to figure out what photography style you you like most, that will help determine what kind of photographer you'll want photographing your wedding day. Spend time on Instagram and Pinterest looking at photos you love, from the décor shots to fashion photography. After creating a collection of photos, narrow it down to the elements that draw you to those photos to figure out what feels most authentic to you. It might be the posed formal wedding portraits, do the images feel like they are more candid, is the coloring muted or realistic, are the images in black and white or color. Maybe your eyes are attracted to dramatically posed or lit images. Keep in mind you don't have to try and narrow your selection down to one particular style. Most photographers blend various styles of photography to capture a complete wedding day. We are best known for the most elegant, romantic and timeless wedding photography in South Florida with our unique blend of photography styles and our story telling approach to wedding photography. If theres a special style of photography or editing you like, we try are best to meet every clients unique tastes while maintaining our distinct wedding photography and editing style, which has made us the most sought after wedding photography in South Florida and by world famous celebrities. We are wedding photography specialists whose main focus is capturing and creating the most distinct story telling engagement and wedding photography in Florida.

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Step 2: Research the wedding photographers you find

Create a list of wedding photographers you find in the area where your wedding will be hosted. Take that list and start researching your selections on Weddingwire, Knot, Google and their websites. Keep in mind, many reviews on Knot and Weddingwire might be fraudulent. Many photographers will have friends compete reviews, join Facebook review groups to exchange reviews, create multiple email accounts to review themselves or just download review badges on their websites hoping you won't look.

Note:

The best way to figure out if a wedding photographer or photography studio is fraudulently getting reviews is by finding out how long they are in business vs. how many reviews they have received. We have been in business since 2008 and photographed hundred of weddings, yet we only have about 50-60 reviews. You'll be surprised at how hard it is to get a couple to take the time to review a vendor after the wedding day and life becomes hectic again!

We also advise against limiting your searches for wedding photographers on websites like Weddingwire, The Knot, etc. to the top list photographers or even suggested photographers they show when you are looking a wedding photographers profile. Wedding wire, The Knot and related wedding vendor search websites aren't interested in finding you the best wedding photographer. They are interested in making money by selling advertising space at a premium for the top listed positions on their website, which are the most profitable!

Additionally, many of the best wedding photographers you'll find on these sites that have the most experience don't pay for any advertising. As an example, Couture Bridal Photography is listed in every major wedding vendor search website you will ever find. What you don't know, is we only use these websites for couples to leave us reviews. We have never paid for advertising and rely on our high quality, high-end wedding photography and most personalized experience a couple could ever expect or wish for when working with a wedding photography studio.

After reducing your list to a few wedding photographers that most stand out to you, head to their website and look at their work. Keep in mind, most photographers will only show off their very best images, even if they are one in a million. Look for consistency and look for complete wedding collections on their website. If you want to go a step further, you can screenshot the images on their website and run them through Google Image Search. It's not uncommon to find new or inexperience photographers stealing other photographers images to attract business, leaving couples highly disappointed. Use due diligence and thoroughly vet any photographers you are considering for your wedding day photography.

To further vet your potential wedding photographer, visit their social media sites which may allow you to go back further in their history and see their latest work. Look for comments, likes and try to get a feel for the photographers overall personality by what they write, how they right and the overall design of their website and social media accounts.

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Step 3: Interview potential Wedding Photographers

You can't choose a wedding photography strictly by their photos. You need to meet them in person and get a feel for how comfortable you will be with them. A wedding photographer is someone you will spend the most time with out of all the wedding vendors who will be involved with your wedding. You may not realize it yet, but your photographer is someone you'll be working with before, during and after the wedding. Your wedding photographer might be the person you go to for all of your future photography needs as your relationship and family grow. Getting along with your wedding photographer and being comfortable with them is crucial for the best photography results and your wedding day experience.

We love connecting and building a cooperative relationship with our couples from the start to provide the best wedding photography Fort Lauderdale couples will ever experience. We love to meet our couples face to face when they inquire about our wedding photography services. When they are from outside of Florida planning a destination wedding or have a busy schedule, we use Skype, email, phone calls and text to build a personal, yet professional relationship.

If you can, we like when couples send an email telling us about themselves, their soon-to-be spouse, your wedding plans, vision and ideas. In return, we let our couples know about us and how we can help them make their wedding everything they ever dreamed of. We also encourage our couples to contact us with any questions, concerns or opinions, so we can provide them with clear and concise answers and set expectations.

If the photographer you want to hire for your wedding is already booked, ask if they have an associate photographer or someone they highly recommend. We have two associate photographers we use when we are booked or for larger ethnic weddings, such as Indian or Pakistani weddings. We also only book a limited number of weddings each year to provide the most personalized and exclusive wedding photography experience in Fort Lauderdale and surrounding South Florida.

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Step 4: Look at Wedding Albums and complete Photo Galleries!

You can't base your final decision on hiring a wedding photographer only based on the images they display on their website. For good reason, any photographer is only going to show off their best photos and a wide variety of weddings to market themselves. Ask to see wedding albums and complete wedding day galleries, so you can see every aspect of a wedding day they've photographed. You want to particularly pay attention to wedding photos taken during dimly lit receptions. The hardest part of wedding day photography is capturing high quality, sharp and colorful images in low light conditions. Inexperienced photographers or those lacking the proper equipment will struggle when the light is dim or photos will look flat from the use of a camera mounted flash.

We love to show off complete wedding galleries and our handmade Italian wedding albums. We are extremely educated and experienced professional photographers with the skills, tools and high-end camera equipment to deal with any lighting conditions.

Note:

Inexperienced, new or non-professional photographers will not have high quality albums or use online image gallery delivery systems. High quality album manufactures only deal with legally registered business with an LLC., INC. or Corp and business liability insurance. Our album manufacturer GraphiStudio only sells albums to photographers that meet specific criteria, so only the finest photographers display and sell their exclusive albums. Amateur photographers can only order albums from retail businesses online, which you can do on your own!


Furthermore, make sure you see the kind of photography you'll need in their galleries. If you're having a sunset wedding on the beach or a dimly lit reception, make sure you see that in their galleries and the quality of those images.

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Step 5: Take a good look at every photo in an album or gallery

When looking over a photographers portfolio look for images that captured key moments. Make sure every photo is clear, crisp and properly lit. Look to see if the composition of the images make sense to you. Look to see that the photographer is photographing people at the right time, so they don't look like deers caught in headlights. Look for photos of guests as they are watching the wedding ceremony, are they capturing emotion. Does a complete wedding gallery tell a wedding day story.

As South Florida's top wedding photography studio, we make sure we capture every detail, emotion and fleeting moment throughout a wedding day. Our wedding photo gallery is full of images that are properly composed and when put together create a compelling and emotional wedding day love story.

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Step 6: Does the wedding photographers personality and yours mesh

I can't overstate how important it is to like and bond with your photographer. Does the wedding photographer you are choosing seem excited about your wedding day vision? When you photographer make suggestions, do they communicate them in a clear and respectful manner?, do they seem to blow off your ideas?, is the photographer timid?

You want a seasoned professional that has the social interaction skills and grace of someone that can get along with anyone, yet can be bold enough to guide and direct people firmly with respect and humor.

Keep in mind, your wedding photographer is going to be your shadow for six or more hours and interacting with everyone during your wedding including your other wedding vendors. You want someone that everyone is going to feel comfortable with, find likable and want to cooperate with throughout your wedding day. Another characteristic you want in a photographer is someone that can get people to naturally laugh and smile for the most natural images and can be assertive, yet not overbearing.

Overall you want a wedding photographer who is a good listener, has patience and shows enthusiasm in his or her demeanor.

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Step 7: Compare wedding photography prices, packages and options

You probably won't be able to extract an exact dollar amount for wedding photography until you are sure of what you want, need and expect from your wedding photography experience. Typically, wedding photography from a professional photographer or photography studio that is licensed and insured will cost anywhere from $2500 to over $15,000 at the higher end of the spectrum. This may or may not include prints or an album depending on where in the world you are, since wedding photography pricing ranges from place to place geographically.

When you meet with your photographer ask for a range of pricing based on the amount of hours you might need and any additional products such as albums and prints you might be considering. Getting a ball park range of pricing will allow you to know if the photographer you are interviewing is within you budget.

Ask the photographer about A la carte pricing vs. packages they might offer. Understanding how their pricing structure works will help you find the best value for the amount of money you have budgeted for your wedding photography.

Additional things to ask for when discussing wedding photography prices are the following:

  • Are second photographers included?
  • what kind editing is done?
  • How much for more elaborate special effects or editing?
  • How long before you receive you images after the wedding day?
  • Are engagement photography sessions including in wedding photography packages?


As the premiere Fort Lauderdale wedding photography studio, all our wedding photography is a la carte. A 2nd photographer is included in every option and every image is delivered custom edited for our well known and distinct wedding photography style and includes black and white photos and special effects editing on select photos. We also offer complimentary engagement photography sessions and have an on-location wedding hair and makeup team with licensed professional makeup and hair stylists.

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Step 8: Ask to see a wedding photography contract

I can't over emphasis how important it is to look over your wedding photography contract before signing it. Understand every detail set out in the contract and ask questions if you don't understand something. If there are any aspects of the contract you are uncomfortable, ask why it's in the contract and what its meaning is.

Most photographers won't hold a specific date without a signed contract and a retainer for their services. Make sure the contract you look over is the contract you sign and never ever hire a photographer for your wedding without a contract.

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Step 9: Ask your wedding photographer about post-processing

It typically takes anywhere from 4-8 weeks to receive your wedding photos from your photographer after the wedding day. Every photographer or photography studio has their own formula to their post processing system, so well list the steps we take in the post processing stage of wedding photos:

  • Backup all images to multiple hard drives for security.
  • Load images into Adobe Lightroom, which is where we begin our editing.
  • Remove any awkward looks, blinking, blurred or poorly exposed photos
  • Begin the editing process with our proprietary preset.
  • Adjust image exposure and white balance
  • Removal of blemishes and distracting objects
  • Review of all images and add special effects or advanced editing to select images.
  • Export Raw images to separate hard drive as JPG images
  • Import photos to client gallery for delivery
  • Create initial wedding album layout
  • Delete memory cards for next use


We limit how many weddings we photograph each year so our couples receive their wedding pictures in a reasonable amount of time. Our contract states six to eight weeks for photo delivery, but our average delivery is usually within three weeks.

Furthermore, to protect your wedding photos, we do not delete the memory cards until your images are delivered and our hard drives are replaced every 3 years. This extra approach to backing up images is one of the reasons why we're Fort Lauderdale's most trusted wedding photography studio.

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Step 10: Plan your wedding day with your wedding photographer!

As you currently know, your wedding photographer is the pro and has a vast amount of experience photographing weddings. Try not to spend too much time putting together an elaborate shot list. Instead, provide your photographer with a wedding timeline or work with your photographer to create one. Showing your photographer the types and kinds of images you want on your wedding day will suffice and allow your photographer to do their best work. Think about how much can easily missed when looking at a list of must get images, and not being able to anticipate and capture fleeting moments.

You also want to tell your photographer about any family or relationship issues. Maybe you have divorced parents or a grandparent that can't walk or even a bridesmaid and groomsman who don't get along. We can avoid an awkward situation by knowing these particular quirks before the wedding day.

Additionally, as hard as we try, its not easy to always remember who is who. Select a close family member or friend to help your photographer gather individuals for the group photos to speed the process of formal wedding portraits.

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HOW MANY HOURS OF WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY DO YOU NEED?

This is the most commonly asked question in our studio. Wedding photographers offer a variety of options from specific packages that cover a set number of hours in which they will photograph your wedding to a la carte options allowing you to choose a set number of photo coverage hours. Some photographers only offer "all day coverage" for a set price. All day coverage might be expensive, but offer the best value in some circumstances. With so many possible wedding photography options, how many hours of wedding day coverage will you need?

Our Fort Lauderdale wedding photography studio relieves hundreds of wedding photography inquiries every month. While communicating with couples who are interested in our wedding photography services, a significant number of our brides and grooms ask about "how much time they need for wedding photography?", when they review our wedding photography packages and services. We not only want to photograph your wedding, but more importantly help you understand how much time you need when hiring us for your wedding photography, to reduce the stress and anxiety you might be feeling as well as save you some money!

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What does the average wedding day look like?

You' probably have the following:

  • Wedding day preparation
  • Wedding ceremony
  • Post ceremony group portraits
  • Wedding reception

More couples are adding these before the wedding ceremony:

  • Wedding day bridal portraits
  • First looks before the ceremony

And also adding these after the ceremony:

  • Bride + Groom alone bridal portraits
  • Enjoying their cocktail hour w/ guests
  • Ballroom reveal and photos
  • Grand exits at the conclusion of the reception

The above listed activities are what many modern couples are incorporating into their wedding day. We tell our couples to make their wedding the experience they want to have. We encourage our couples to make their wedding their own special occasion and host it the way they envision it. While its great to make your wedding day, a distinct and unique experience for you and your guests, your shouldn't over look the following:

  • How long transitions and travel will take?
  • How much time the bride will be hidden away before the ceremony so the guest won’t see her?
  • How much time needed to capture the wedding ceremony and reception details?
  • How much time should be added to allow your guests to enjoy your wedding day?

So how much time will you need on your wedding day? This answer can only be found after deciding what you want on your wedding day and how much time you need during different portions of your wedding day. Once you have a better idea of which activities are important to you, we can create a timeline of wedding day activities, including the time needed in between each.

Let's take a look at a generic review of common wedding day activities and how long they take to get an idea of the time you need. Keep in mind, our studio manager Sandra Balzola will create a customized wedding day timeline for you or work with your planner to create one that's personalized for your wedding.

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Photographing the Wedding Day Preparation

The getting ready portion of your wedding day can be the most compelling story telling aspect of your wedding day!

Bride’s details + makeup application: Our wedding photography coverage typically begins with the bride sitting in the makeup chair. Our in-house stylists at Couture Bridal Beauty spend about an hour with the bride. During the time the bride is having her hair and makeup done, we'll be photographing the details and using some of the time photographing her shoes, dress, jewelry and other additional details. When the brides hair and make up is complete, we photograph the bride and all the finishing touches while she is looking absolutely amazing!

The time for this is 1 – 1.5 hours.

Brides and bridesmaids in their robes:

All the cute photos you find on Pinterest and Instagram of the bride and bridesmaids jumping on a bed, popping champagne or throwing confetti happen when the bride finished with hair and makeup. This portion of the wedding day can take place in the hotel suite or your home on a large bed. These photos are cute and fun, and add a little to your future album.

The time for this is 15 – 30 minutes

The Bride getting in her wedding gown:

This part of the wedding day can be the platform of beautiful wedding portraits in your wedding album. Ideally, you should be in a spacious room with lots of window light for dramatic imagery. Your mother and bridesmaids should be a part of the scene and assist you getting into your wedding gown. This is where your wedding day story will begin and be the source of great wedding pictures.

The time for this is 30 minutes.

Advantages of First look Weddings:

This advantages of a first look wedding allow the father of the bride see his daughter for the first time or mother of the bride see her son in his tuxedo. Most likely, it'll be the bride and groom seeing each other for the very first time.

Couples that take advantage of a first look wedding get to have their bridal portraits done after being photographed seeing each other for the first time. This allows couples to spend more time with their family and friends after the wedding ceremony during the cocktail hour.

Some couples prefer traditional weddings where the groom sees his bride for the first time, as she walks down the isle during the ceremony. In any case, this is a personal preference and something that should be thought of and considered, especially if you have a shorter wedding day or long reception.

The time for this is 15 – 30 minutes

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All about Bridal portraits:

Bridal portraits traditionally take place during the cocktail hour after the wedding ceremony following the group formal portraits. Some brides actually plan bridal portraits with us several months before the wedding day, but most choose a bridal portrait session after the wedding day.

When the bride and groom decide to have a bridal portrait session after their wedding, they get back into their wedding attire and the bride has her hair and makeup redone as on the wedding day. We typically schedule bridal portraits to be done in locations that offer lavish and ornate backgrounds, parks and along the beach. A post wedding bridal portrait session is thoroughly planned out and leads to extremely creative and exciting photography.

The time for this is 30 minutes to several hours.

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Groom & Groomsmen getting ready:

Although the above applied to brides, it's very much the same for the groom and groomsmen. Photographing the groom has to be planned carefully especially if there is only one photographer. We typically start with he groom, since they can dress down and rehang their clothing while they wait for the wedding ceremony to happen. The bride will be essentially stuck in her dress, so we spend our time with her after his portraits.

Lastly, you’ll need to consider the following when creating a wedding day timeline:

  • Travel time between the getting ready location and the ceremony location.
  • The time the bride might want to be tucked away so the guest do not see her in advance of the ceremony.

This is often 1 hour before the ceremony.

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The Wedding Ceremony

Wedding ceremonies vary widely based on the couples religious affiliation, ethnic backgrounds, and the bride + groom’s wishes. We've photographed wedding ceremonies as short as 10 minutes and as long as 2 hours for Greek Orthodox weddings.

Of the many things you'll need to consider is what will happen after the ceremony. Will we be taking formal bridal portraits and then head to the cocktail hour or will we going to do bridal portraits at a different location while the bridal party heads to the cocktail hour.

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Post Wedding Ceremony Portraits

Family formals usually take place right after the wedding ceremony. We will discuss in advance, what groups our brides and grooms would like on the wedding day during the formal portraits. This is typically a very important aspect of the wedding day photography since this might be a time where most of the family is together at the same place. We usually ask the bride and groom in advance to provide us with someone who knows the family to help us with family and friends the couple want in their group photos.

The time for this is 10–20 minutes

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Bride & Groom Bridal Portraits

Your bridal portrait session is the opportunity to have your first formal photos taken after your wedding ceremony. Now as husband and wife, these will be the most treasured pictures taken as a newly married couple. These portraits are typically formal, fun, and posed.

The bridal portrait session is also the time during your wedding day where your photographer will show his worth in weight. The goal is to create spectacular images that are artistic, distinct and imaginative. As the top rated wedding photography studio in Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Palm Beach, we are know for the most elegant, romantic and timeless bridal portraits couples rave over. Our couples book their wedding photography with us for our photojournalistic photography style that has a unique mix of editorial, illustrative, glamour and fashion photography to create the most incredible wedding day photography in South Florida and destination weddings around the world.

The time for this is 30 – 120 minutes

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The Ballroom Reveal!

Our brides and grooms typically spend thousands of dollars on the decor and locations of their reception space, sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars. Every one of our couples invests a good portion of their budget on lighting, floral design, linens, and even chivalry chiavari chairs. No detail of their reception space is overlooked for their extravagant wedding reception.

As the preferred wedding photography studio at the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Marina, The Breakers Palm Beach, the Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach, W Fort Lauderdale Beach, Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach and the Ritz Carlton Fort Lauderdale Beach, we routinely plan a ballroom reveal for our couples.

During the ballroom reveal we join our bride and groom in their reception space, so they can see first hand their wedding day vision before guests are seated. We take the time to create several portraits of the bride and groom in the midst of their receptions space surrounded by their decor. Our couples appreciate this time being allotted into their wedding day timeline and the photos taken during the ballroom reveal are always a part of their wedding album.

The time for this is 15 – 30 minutes

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The Wedding Reception

The wedding receptions planned by our brides and grooms in conjunction with their wedding planner or even us, is where the celebration truly begins!

During the reception several traditional activities typically take place starting with a grand entrance that is announced by a wedding DJ or MC. Once the bridal party and parents are announced the bride and groom make their entrance and go into their first dance as husband and wife.

We are diligent in capturing this beautiful and intimate moments as the bride and groom share loving words, tender kisses and dance to their chosen first song. We use dramatic and directional lighting during the first dances to create some of our most spectacular wedding photos.

Following the first dances, other activities include speeches, cake cutting, dinner, flower and garter toss and then the open dance floor. During the open dance portion of the wedding we photography the bride, groom and guests as they dance, interact and celebrate the couples new marriage.

The time for this is 2.5 – 4 hours
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Planning a Grand Exit

Unfortunately, every wedding day must come to an abrupt end. Many of our newly brides and grooms will plan a grand exit to conclude their wedding day and drive away to their honeymoon in a limo or vintage car. The Grand exit is planned according to the time of day it will take place. If a grand exit is planned during day light hours for an early wedding, they confetti or bubble are the preferred choice. If the grand exit is taking place at night then sparklers are handed out lit and held up to create an arch where the newly married couples will walk under and through to their awaiting limo. A grand exit presents great photo opportunities and a spectacular photo for the conclusion of a wedding album.

The time for this is 15 minutes.

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aThe amount of wedding photography you need will depend on how many activities and type of wedding you are hosting, including the time it takes to go from location to location.

We would love to make this process as easy as possible for our soon to be brides and grooms, by helping you with your wedding day timeline. We are usually the source of our couples wedding timeline even if they have a wedding planner, since we understand the intricate details of your wedding day. We also know how much time we need to provide you with the wedding photography you want and are expecting throughout each portion of the wedding day.

Our wedding timeline is a personalize custom timeline based on your specific wedding and needs. A wedding timeline customize specifically for you is best since one size does not fit all when it comes to a wedding.

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How much should my photographer cost?

As one of the arguably most important days you'll have in your life, your wedding photography is kind of a big deal. That makes finding and hiring the right photographer an even bigger deal to make sure you'll have the most beautiful wedding photos you'll cherish for a lifetime.

But hey, NO PRESSURE!

Although we live in a digital age and Instagram and Snapchat are all the rage, most soon to be brides and grooms will invest in a professional wedding photographer to capture their most important chapter in their lifetime. Yeah, it would be easy to have your family and friends snap pictures from their cell phones and point and shoot camera for some cute photos with some filters and effects to post on social media. Yet, professional photographers who specialize in bridal photography are trained and experience in capturing, creating and anticipating the most intimate and emotion moments that take place during a wedding day. This is what makes investing in the right professional wedding photographer well worth the sometimes high cost.

Additionally, a professional wedding photographer as noted above is the only wedding vendor that can help you with all aspects of your wedding day including the wedding timeline. The right wedding photographer is going to be your go-to person leading up to, during and after your wedding. You will spend more time with your photographer than any other vendor during your wedding planning experience.

The average cost of a wedding photographer


Even with our digitally connected world and greater attention to visual media, couples are willing to invest more money than ever before in professional wedding photography. In the Knot's latest survey of the 2018 wedding season, the average cost of wedding photography reached an all time high, that including after the money spent paying for the wedding photographer. More couples invested in wall art and custom albums than ever before.

Based on the latest statistic, the average total wedding cost is just over $3,500 USD, with couples spending an average of $4,800 USD on their wedding photography. A wedding photographers average cost is high and comes in at number four after money spent on the reception venue, engagement ring and a band. Yet, the price of wedding photography depends highly on where you live or planning to get married if you plan a destination wedding.

The cost of wedding photography varies highly from city to city and State to State. In New York City, couples hire us for an average of $6,000 USD not including the cost of our travel arrangement and accommodations for several days leading to and after a wedding.

Couples in New York City find us to be a great value considering Couture Bridal Photography is a Fort Lauderdale based wedding photography studio. We typically photograph 20-30 weddings every year in New York City and Long Island, due to the average higher cost of a wedding photographer up north. Couples actually save money flying us up to New York City, than hiring a local New York City or Long Island wedding photographer.

Whereas, couples getting married in Fort Lauderdale or surrounding South Florida pay an average of $3,800 USD for the same wedding photography services they would receive in New York City or anywhere for that matter.

Another factor that influences the cost of a wedding photographer is their experience, notoriety and style. As Fort Lauderdale's premiere wedding photography studio, serving South Florida and destination wedding around the world, we are among the most highly experienced and sought our wedding photography studio in Florida.

The price of wedding photography also varies based on the number of photographers you want to capture your wedding day, packages that contain wedding albums and wedding wall art or engagement photography sessions.

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The average cost of wedding photography in South Florida is anywhere from $4,000 USD to $8, 000 USD for 8-10 hours of wedding photography coverage.

Aviva Samuels, celebrity wedding and event planner at Kiss the Planner states, “The cost of wedding photography varies greatly from city to city and from photographer to photographer based upon the experience level and popularity of the photographer, as well as the specifics of the services that they provide making Couture Bridal Photography the best value in South Florida where I work as a wedding planner." Couture Bridal Photography's wedding photography packages typically run between $4,000 and $7,000 USD for 8-10 hours of photography coverage that include 2 photographers and all images delivered fully edited to their distinct award winning style.

There are, of course, photographers who cost far more or far less, but these numbers reflect a typical price point in South Florida. Wedding photographers that charge less typically don't have the experience, style, equipment, skills and insurance required by the majority of couples who want high-end wedding photography.

Wedding industry standards dictate and investment of 10 to 20 percent of a total wedding budget on photography, brides and grooms to be may choose to invest more or less on their wedding photography , depending on how important they consider wedding picture quality and style to be.

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Why there’s a big fluctuation in wedding photographer prices

If you are wondering why a wedding photographers quotes can vary so widely, consider wedding photography like any other hourly service. The fewer the hours means a photographer has to pay his assistant or 2nd photographer less, therefore, fewer photos taken which result in less editing time.

Additionally, when it comes to the wedding industry theres always more to the picture. Wedding packages with the works will hike up the price point depending whats included. Wedding photography packages that include albums, prints, wall art have a cost associated with them. The time necessary to design and order albums, custom editing for wall art and placing print orders take time. Alfredo Valentine, owner of Couture Bridal Photography states, "We tell our clients to wait 6 months to a year to recover financially from their wedding before ordering albums." Additional services like engagement photography, bridal boudoir and trash the dress photography can also add to the cost of your total wedding photography experience.

To save money, you may want to consider printing any photos yourself, although you might be sacrificing print quality and lifespan.

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Save money on wedding photography, without sacrificing quality

A talented wedding photographer isn't going to be cheap! But on such an important day in your life with no do-overs, and your wedding budget may already be straining to the max, you can have your cake and eat it too, says Alfredo Valentine.

It is entirely possible to save a little money of high-quality wedding photography, if you do your homework and take advantage of special sales or offers. Alfredo Valentine, states, "we offer wedding photography payment plans and special discounts for booking early and fast". Couture Bridal Photography, south Florida's most popular wedding photography studio typically offers discounts for early booking and booking within a specific period of time after receive a quote. Alfredo says,"we want to fill our calendar every year as early as possible, this allows us to for the following year and grow our business, while still offering the best wedding photography Fort Lauderdale couples love most!".

Many wedding photographers offer incentives for early booking, so taking the plunge right away after booking your venue might be a great option for you. If your wedding photographer offers payment plans take advantage of that too, Says Alfredo Valentine. "You might be over-budget on wedding photography, but you won't feel it since you'll be making smaller payments over a 6 month or more period".

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Top tips to save on wedding photographer costs:


  1. Consider ordering your photo album 6 months to a year after your wedding day. If you hired a reputable wedding photographer, this won't be an issue. You will have recovered a little financially after 6 months and you'll be able to invest more on a nice heirloom wedding album, you'll enjoy for a lifetime. If you decide on creating your own album online, remember you might be saving money, but the quality and longevity won't be the same as our handcrafted Italian wedding albums by GraphiStudio.
  2. Have your family formal portraits photographed after your wedding ceremony rather than prior to the ceremony. First look wedding photos are a popular choice and result in great images, but your photographer has to spend more time and begin earlier on your wedding day. The disadvantage to a first look wedding though, is you won't be able to spend your cocktail hour with family and friends.
  3. Take into consideration, that you don't need 2 hours of photos of people dancing. Limit the time you hire your wedding photographer for by timing your photography coverage to end 30 minutes into the dancing. A good photographer will schedule your cake cutting photos right after the first dances before you sit for speeches. You aren't really going to be cutting your cake anyway, since most venues do that for you. Taking your cake cutting photos takes about 10 minutes and then you can go on and not worry about having a photographer with you for the whole night just to get these photos.


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6 THINGS TO LOOK FOR IN YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY CONTRACT


So you’ve found your perfect photographer, you have the perfect venue and now you want to hire him or her for your wedding day photography. The next most important step will be to sign a wedding photographers contract. For many of us, this can be a quite intimidating; we aren't all lawyers! yet, you should be informed before signing on the dotted line.

There is an abundant source of information on the topic of wedding photography contracts online that can help you with the process, but what better place to start than on the website of Couture Bridal Photography, the top rated award winning wedding photography studio in South Florida.

By no means is this list comprehensive since contract vary from photographer to photographer, but it will give you a good idea of some important items you should look out for before signing a wedding photography contract.

1) UNDERSTANDING A PRINTING RELEASE

Having print rights to your photos is becoming more and more important to brides and grooms. When meeting with your wedding photographer, be sure that you will receive a print release (a document signed by the photographer that you’ll be able to show your chosen printer). You’ll also need the digital JPG. images that are edited and print ready. Photography typically do not give away RAW images unless an extremely high fee is paid for them

I’d also like to add that a print release is not the same as a copyright release. A copyright release designates ownership on images. Unless you exclusively pay a specific fee, which is usually high, your wedding photograph will forever remain the intellectual property of your photographer, which means you can't make reproductions for commercial use or financial gain. A printing release allows you to make prints for personal use only.

Couture Bridal Photography typically only provides copy right releases to their celebrity wedding clients, who pay a much higher fee along with a non-disclosure and privacy agreement.

2) HOURS OF COVERAGE NEEDED

Make sure your wedding photography contract has the specified amount of hours you're paying for, as well as start and end times. The wedding photography contract should also specify how much you will have to pay if you keep your wedding photographer beyond the contracted hours, referred to as overtime. Additionally, any overtime authorization should be clearly stated in the contract so there isn't any confusion on how the photographer and you should know how to advise each other.

3) TWO PHOTOGRAPHERS? (BUT WHICH PHOTOGRAPHERS?)

Knowing who will be photographing your wedding is something you should have outlined in the contract. Although this may seem like a shameless self promotion, but when you hire Couture Bridal Photography, you will be hiring Alfredo Valentine and Sandra Balzola. If you are going to get one of our high end associate photographers, you will meet them and they will be listed as the photographers on your contract.

4) DO I GET A REFUND IF _____?

Knowing and having outlined in very specific wording should describe under what conditions and circumstances you will be entitled to a refund. Your photographer not showing up is a refund. Your wedding day getting rained out or a hurricane strikes, you likely won't get a refund. If you cancel your wedding, no refund. You get the point!

6) HOW ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHER MEALS?

This isn't something to specifically look for in your wedding photography contract, but something nevertheless you should be aware of, and that's feeding your wedding photographer. It's really nice to get a bite to eat during an 8 hour or more wedding day, especially since we are constantly on the move. Feeding us was something we didn't have in our contract for a while, but ended up having to after having some really long weddings and not being able to get a break to eat something.

Now, unlike some other wedding photography studios we do have a limit on feeding us. We contractually require being fed on weddings on 6 hour or long weddings. If food won't be served, well take a 45 minute break to eat and hydrate ourselves so we can perform at our best.

That being said, we are flexible and work with each bride and groom specific budget and needs. You also aren't required to feed your wedding vendors, but it is the right thing to do, since we all work hard to make your wedding day the most magical time in your life.

Fort Lauderdale's top wedding photographer!

Alfredo Valentine is known internationally as one of the top wedding photographers in the United States and Caribbean. Alfredo Valentine and his team of professional photographers, assistants, 2nd photographers, associate photographers and retouchers provide the best award winning wedding photography experience throughout Miami, the Florida Keys, Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Naples and Orlando. Couture Bridal Photography is also known as the top rated destination wedding photographers for weddings in Puerto Rico, Colombia, Dominican Republic, New York City, Hawaii, Bora Bora and throughout Europe.

Location: 551 N Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd. Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304.

1/200; f/5.6; ISO 3200; 24.0 mm.