Don’t Be Forced to Settle on a Wedding Photographer — Plan Ahead for Quality Wedding Memories

You’re planning a wedding, and it is one of the most exciting times in your life. You want all the details of the wedding to be perfect, from the venue to the flowers. 

But there are also a lot of stresses involved with having hundreds of people attend your nuptials, including finding a photographer who can capture all those special moments as they happen.

Have you waited too late to find a wedding photographer in New York? If not, when should you book your wedding photographer?

Use our tips on finding a professional wedding photographer to ensure you’ll have beautiful memories of your special day.

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When Should You Book Your Wedding Photographer?

No one wants to make mistakes with their wedding — especially knowing when to book a wedding photographer. 

To ensure that you find the perfect wedding photographer in a timely manner for your big day, book when you have a good idea of:

  • How much you’re budgeting
  • When the wedding date will be; and
  • Your preferred style of photography

But more specifically, it’s important to book your venue first, then your photographer immediately after.

And you definitely do not want to wait until the last minute to secure your venue and photographer because, when it comes to weddings, time is of the essence.

Boutique Photographers: 18 Months to 2 Years Ahead

Boutique wedding photographers are often booked further in advance than other types of wedding photographers. 

If you are hoping to get married in less than eighteen months, most boutique photographers will not be available for your wedding date, so it’s important to book your wedding photographer early. 

But why so far in advance?

There is a large population of New Yorkers getting married, plus there are even more people who don’t live in New York who travel to New York to get married. 

Herein lies the problem — In New York, the number of desirable venues and vendors is limited.

There are only so many days on the calendar that places like the New York Public Library and the Plaza Hotel can be booked and must be secured at least 1.5 to 2 years in advance.

If you can not book a high-end venue well in advance, then you will most likely not be able to book a boutique wedding photographer.

If you understand the importance of wedding photo quality and you want …

  • Niche photography (i.e., light and airy, moody, etc.)
  • A particular season for your wedding; or
  • A certain style of wedding photos

… booking at least 18 months to two years in advance increases your chances of securing a high-end venue and boutique photographer.

It’s common for boutique photographers to be fully booked with weddings by the beginning of the year or even earlier sometimes.

However, if you want your wedding in the winter when fewer couples are tying the knot, you may not have to book quite so early.

Are you looking to get married in the New York City area at least eight months out? Do you want more than basic pictures for your special day?

Julian Ribinik Photography is well-known for our luxury boutique wedding photography in New York City.

We specialize in capturing a “moody” aesthetic in some of the most beautiful, high-end venues around the city.

Contact us at Julian Ribinik today to request a wedding photography consultation.

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There are particular weekends each wedding season that are the most popular. 

Therefore, it’s common for photographers to be fully booked on those weekends, shooting weddings on each day — a wedding booked on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. 

And if you plan to have a novelty wedding on special days, such as …

  • Pi Day, which is March 14th
  • Star Wars Day, May 5th; or
  • Halloween, October 31st

… it’s likely that many photographers already have two or more other shoots booked around your desired date, so you’ll want to plan ahead, if possible.

Standard Photographer for the Typical Wedding Season: 12 Months Ahead

If you are looking to have a standing wedding venue and photographer during the typical wedding season in New York, book your wedding photographer at least twelve months in advance. 

Booking early could even:

  • Save you money
  • Save your sanity; and
  • Save you from buyer’s remorse

Twelve months should also give you and your partner time to find which photographer works best for what you both envision for the wedding. 

However, if you have a particular wedding photographer in mind, book them as soon as possible. 

You want to make sure that whoever ends up shooting your big day captures every special moment perfectly — so take as much time as necessary until finding one that makes both of your hearts say “Yes!”

Non-Saturday Event: 9 Months Ahead

If you plan to have your wedding on any other day besides a Saturday, it could be fine to book your wedding vendors and photographer nine months in advance in New York. 

Your chances of booking the photographer you want increase even more if you plan to get married:

The best thing you can do is book your photographer as early as possible. Remember, there are many others — living in and traveling to New York — who want professional wedding photographers available on their date too.

If you plan to get married in less than nine months, you may have a difficult time booking professional wedding photographers, as well as venues in New York.

You don’t want to be forced to settle on a wedding photographer. Instead, plan ahead so you and your partner can have quality wedding memories.

when should you book your wedding photographer

7 Things to Do Before You Book Your Wedding Photographer

You are planning a wedding and want to hire a photographer. 

But do you know what preliminary needs there are to take care of first?

Here is a list of things to do before booking your wedding photographer, so that you can be well-prepared and ready to make an informed decision about whom to hire.

#1: Establish a Timeline

A wedding timeline details the major steps leading up to your wedding day — and can even include on your wedding day, from the time you get ready until the last song. 

An established timeline is an essential tool for ensuring your photography can capture every important moment of this once-in-a-lifetime celebration.

Here are some tips for putting together an effective wedding timeline before hiring your wedding photographer:

  • Talk with your partner about which parts of the wedding planning they would like to be involved in creating or managing beforehand — which will help prevent any potential conflicts down the road.
  • Consider the season, month, and where you envision the wedding taking place (i.e., a museum, a park, a library, etc.). This can affect things like costuming options and guest list size/invitation needs.
  • If you’re holding the ceremony and reception at the same venue, it’s important to make sure that they are available on those dates. If not, then consider having a separate location for the reception instead and sharing that with the photographer.

#2: Determine Your Budget

Before you look for a photographer, you need to determine your budget. 

This can be the most troublesome part of wedding planning because it is something that must be discussed and agreed upon by both parties. 

It may even cause some tension if one person feels like they are spending too much money on certain aspects of the wedding while the other feels like they are getting a bargain.

The best way to approach the discussion about budgeting is to:

  • Be honest and clear about what you want or don’t want
  • Approach the conversation with a loving, win-win mentality; and
  • Get clarity around who is paying for (or contributing towards) the wedding

Budgeting is foundational in having a clear vision of how money should be spent on the wedding.

#3: Hire Your Wedding Planner

If you’re thinking of having a luxury or standard wedding, it may be helpful for you to hire a full-service wedding planner.

A professional wedding planner in New York should be able to:

  • Refer you to the best wedding vendors in the area
  • Help narrow down choices by suggesting those that fit your style and budget; and
  • Secure a discounted rate or special services with vendors they have worked with before

For these reasons, it’s wise to book your wedding planner before you make any major wedding decisions. 

#4: Secure the Venue

The venue you choose for your wedding can have a huge impact on the overall style of your wedding. 

The venue you choose can affect:

  • Your wedding date
  • Your choice of vendors; or
  • Your vendors’ availability

Therefore, it’s important to secure your venue before hiring your photographer.

The fact is:

  • Some venues only work with certain photographers; and
  • Some photographers may not be willing to work with certain venues

If a venue gives you a list of approved photographers, you may want to reconsider booking the venue. 

Approved lists from venues include people who pay the venue to refer them to soon-to-be-married couples, but the photographer most likely does not have the quality of professional wedding photography to gain clients on their own. 

Just remember that choosing a quality venue oftentimes correlates with choosing a quality photographer.

#5: Choose the Date

When booking a wedding photographer, you don’t want to be forced into settling on a photographer because you didn’t plan ahead. 

If you don’t choose a wedding date well in advance, based on limited high-end venue availability in New York, you may find yourself with low-end options, such as: 

  • Poor food options
  • Assembly-line catering options; and
  • Unorganized event staff

To get one of the luxury venue vendors, photographer included, you’ll need to book significantly in advance — upwards of two years.

#6: Know Your Style

Before you begin your search, decide what you want from a wedding photographer and what style of photography fits your personality.

Wedding photography styles can be broken down into a variety of categories, which may include:

  • Black and White
  • Light and Airy
  • Traditional
  • Candid
  • Vibrant; or
  • Moody

How do you know what style fits you and your partner?

If you prefer an informal style with no reception or other major parties at the end of the night, then it may be best to choose a photographer who specializes in candid, vibrant shots. 

But, if you want something more formal with lots of typical wedding traditions involved, choose a photographer who specializes in traditional or light and airy photography.

If you want to have a luxury wedding at the New York Public Library with evening shots of the wedding party outside, a professional who specializes in taking moody wedding photography, like Julian Ribinik Photography, may be an excellent choice.

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#7: Do Your Research

Before deciding on a photographer, do your due diligence.

Not sure what to do? 

Before hiring a photographer, check out their:

  • Professional business website
  • Photography portfolio; and
  • Social media presence

You will also want to look at reviews of potential photographers, which will tell you:

  • If past clients were happy with their work
  • How easy it was to work with them; and 
  • How well the final wedding photos turned out

Also, try to meet face-to-face with the potential photographer before deciding so that you can get a sense of how it would be to work together.  

Observe how well they listen to your needs, as well as what packages they offer based on what matters most to you.

you book your wedding photographer

Looking for the Best Luxury Photographer in NYC? Let Julian Ribinik Weddings Capture the Memories of Your Special Day

Planning a wedding is stressful enough as it is. Don’t let the photography aspect be another thing to worry about.

With over 10 years of experience in wedding photography, Julian Ribinik Photography is one of the best luxury photographers in New York City. 

Our attention to detail and ability to capture the emotions of the day make us the perfect choice to capture your special day.

Julian Ribinik Photography has been featured in publications, including Style Me Pretty. Our unique style and vision will ensure that your wedding photos are truly one-of-a-kind.

To learn more about Julian Ribinik Weddings, or to book a consultation, contact us today.

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Julian Ribinik Wedding Photography

330 E 46th St, New York, NY 10017

(212) 256-1646