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Unexpected Surprises

Unexpected Surprises

Not every couple exchanges gifts or notes before the ceremony but I have to say… I sure love when they do!  

Carving out these little moments on a wedding day creates memories and yes, great photo opportunities too.  

To have a moment, a note, a little gift (or a big one) is something you will cherish forever.

From a photographers perspective, we love the range of emotions that the gift exchange evokes.

We do not stage this, but it needs to be planned out to an extent.  Here are some ideas on how to add this into your wedding day.

So when is the best time to do this?

A popular time is the wedding morning in getting ready rooms.  This way the gifts stay safe and sound in the hotel/house with no worry of them getting lost or left behind on the busy wedding day.

I suggest brides open their gifts once they are about to walk out the door so they look fabulous in the photos.  Hair, makeup done and dress on. I like to shoot this right after the bridal portraits in a quiet moment.

The other option is to do it at the First Look.  You can each bring your gift or notes and give them to each other in person.  This is nice since you have a moment alone together before joining the wedding party.  It also gives us photographers a wonderful photo opp to shoot the reactions of both of you.

But… then the gifts are with you and have to be taken care of all day.  Just something to consider if you are exchanging something of high value and will worry about it throughout the day.


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Featured Question

Q: Is there really a wedding mark up?

Do you feel like the industry charges more “because it’s a wedding” and they know it’s an emotional purchase?

Do companies think that they can charge more for weddings since the bride and groom may be willing to spend more on their dream wedding?

Hey wedding pros – is this higher price tag justified? Why? Do you charge more for your service if it is a wedding?

This is a taboo topic, whispered but not discussed… until now.

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Join the conversation!


    Robin Sloan, The Uncorked ProjectVerifiedRobin Sloan, The Uncorked Project

    I have been asked this so many times... does the wedding industry inflate prices when they hear it's a wedding?

    Here is my honest answer (as a former wedding photographer)... NO. Did I charge more for a wedding than a 50th birthday party or a family portrait session? Yes, absolutely. I charged A LOT more for a wedding.

    Was I taking advantage of the emotional sell? Absolutely not.

    The main reasons I charged more for a wedding were: the unseen amount of work involved in the 12+ months leading up to the wedding, the skill level needed on the day, the INTENSE pressure to create perfect "portfolio level work" no matter what the reality of the situation- but mostly it is to compensate for the time AFTER the wedding in post production.

    Little known fact about wedding photography - the real job is sitting at a computer editing photos. Photographers spend many hours behind the computer carefully selecting and editing photos. They make adjustments, crop, and adjust colors to ensure each image it's best. Don't forget the time it takes for batching, renaming, importing, exporting and uploading the photos and preparing them for delivery.

    Do you think this justifies why photographers charge more for weddings than for other types of shoots?

    AvatarCody Pettengill

    Couldn’t agree more! And on the videography side its an absolute ton of data + editing discipline.

    Its a double sided coin- weddings are extremely high pressure but also high reward when we nail it.

    Our products (photo video) in particular are the only thing that genuinely will last forever . Having fun and ALSO nailing the product is worth the price of entry and frankly more.

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