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The Importance of Booking Your Wedding Photographer Early: Why Couples Should Plan Ahead

wedding place setting with a yellow plate and wooden tabletop

As someone who planned her wedding in six months, I will say our wedding experience would have benefited from more time to plan. In particular, landing on a wedding venue was a challenge because there were far fewer to choose from than if we had a full year or longer to plan.

To make sure your wedding planning works in your favor and not against you, here are three reasons to plan your wedding day 12-18 months in advance (and two pro insights at the end):


Gorgeous and stress-free wedding days always include high-demand services that have a limited amount of availability. If you book your date with your favorite photographer sooner rather than later, there will be a greater likelihood that your date is open on their calendar (especially if you have your heart set on an October or May wedding date!).

Time is on your side

Most times, wedding photographers and other vendors will book dates up to 12-24 months in advance, with 18 months in advance being the average. This means that if you're planning your wedding date for fall of 2025, you can utilize the longer planning season to your advantage.

More time to plan will give you and your fiancé more comfortable timeline to think through the wedding day experience you want to have and to design it with your wedding planner. More time means room for creative brainstorming and gathering all the supplies needed for your special day.

When you feel rushed to make decisions, you can miss important details or miss out on opportunities that could have been there if you had more time, so don't let that be you.

Payment Plans

As you'll find with luxury brand cars, jewelry and clothing, better quality, features and an elevated level of service can be reflected in your investment. Likewise, a cheaper quality product will require a lower investment.

Because photos are of the upmost importance to cherishing your special day, wedding photography that capture your wedding day in an authentic way comes at a high investment. The more experience photographing weddings your photographer has and is reflected in their portfolio, client experience and elevated service, the greater the investment will likely be.

With more time between first booking your photographer and your wedding date when your balance will be due in full, you will have more time to plan and manage your wedding invoices and payments.

Most photographers and wedding vendors will offer a payment plan that includes a deposit to reserve your wedding date on their calendars. Doing the math, it will be easier on your wedding budget to fulfill your investment commitment over 18 months instead of 6 months, for example.

With Darling & Dear, we require about 30% deposit with the remaining balance split into 2 or 3 payments over an equally divided timeline leading into your wedding date for weddings booked at least one year in advance.

. . .

Do yourself the biggest favor and book your most important vendors as early as you can without sacrificing the wedding date you want to be married.

Pro Tip No. 1: The top three wedding vendors to be booked first are your wedding planner, wedding venue and wedding photographer. So if you have your heart set on working with the best, be sure to inquire and schedule your Meet & Greet call with these vendors first.

Prop Tip No. 2: According to, October and September are the most popular fall months to get married, with May and June being most popular for spring weddings. With only 4, sometimes 5, weekends in a month, you can see how quickly the best vendors get booked up so quickly!


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