What's the average cost of wedding photography?

Wedding photography packages in Australia start at between $1,000 and $10,000.  So how do you figure out where you sit on this scale, and which package is right for you?  

There’s an easy formula you can use to calculate a wedding photography budget that meets your needs.  And the best thing about this formula is that its relevant for all weddings, whether you’re throwing a $5,000 backyard party for 20 or a 1,000 person extravaganza.  

To get started, determine the overall amount you’ll spend on your wedding.  Your photography budget will be a percentage of this figure.  To calculate what this percentage should be, you first need to consider how important photography is to you.  How you feel about wedding photography will determine if you should allocate a smaller or larger than average portion of your total budget to photography.

For some couples, photography is one of the most important elements of their wedding.  It’s one of the few budget items that result in a tangible keepsake and is often considered an investment that will be enjoyed by future generations.

Other couples may view entertainment or styling as a more worthy investment and apportion their budget accordingly.  How much of your budget you choose to spend on wedding photography can be determined by asking some key questions... 

Will you cherish your photos & hang them on your walls?  Will your album take pride of place on your coffee table?  Or will your pop your photos into a box at the bottom of your wardrobe and vow to create a photo book soon?  

And then possibly never get around to it. 

To help you ascertain what percentage of your budget is a reasonable spend for you, we’ve created a fun Photography Budget Quiz.  Answering these 12 easy multiple choice questions will give you a price guide that you can apply to your overall budget.

Take the budget quiz to determine what % of your total budget to allocate to photography.

The Average Wedding Photography Package in Australia

One of the difficulties in comparing prices between different wedding photographers is that there’s no conformity across the industry when it comes to package inclusions.  Most starting packages include wedding coverage plus a copy of high resolution images without watermarks.  

Here’s a list of other products & services that may be included in (and add to the cost of) photography packages:

  • drones
  • 2nd shooters
  • album design
  • albums
  • special lighting requirements
  • prints
  • engagement shoot
  • travel
  • online galleries (may be a standard inclusion)

Some photographers, particularly at the high-end of the market have heftier starting prices but include more extras in their starting packages.  For example, many of Australia’s top photographers will only offer packages that include printed images or albums. They believe the printed image provides their clients maximum value for their investment.

Higher starting prices however, don’t always mean a more expensive or “higher quality” photographer.  So when should you pay more for wedding photos?  

There’s one definite reason for nudging your photography budget up a notch, and that’s when you’ve found a photographer who’s work you absolutely LOVE!  If you trust them, feel comfortable in their presence and want them at your wedding – book them.

Conversely, if you’re ‘umming’ or ‘arrghhing’ over booking a package above your budget, move on.  There’s more than 3,500 professional wedding photographers in Australia. Invest the time to find one you LOVE – you’ll thank yourself when you get your images back.   And you'll enjoy yourself more on your wedding day if you feel comfortable with the decisions you've made.

The easiest way to curate your favourite wedding photographers is to view comparable images side by side.  At Wedlockers, you can browse images using filters such as ‘emotive’, ‘candid’ and ‘shenanigans’ etc to help you shortlist photographers in your area.

Search Wedding Photographers in Australia 

Investing your trust in a photographer may feel like a leap of faith, particularly if you’ve never booked one before. You may want to check professional credentials before you pay a deposit & lock yourself into a contract.  

What is a professional wedding photographer anyway?

In Australia, there’s no regulatory body that governs wedding photography.  If you want peace of mind that you’re booking a professional photographer, you’ll have to do a little research yourself.  Here’s a few places to start:

Professional Accreditations

Photographers in Australia can choose to become accredited with the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP).  The AIPP set accreditation standards that members must achieve.  

If you’ve found a photographer you love that’s not an AIPP member, there’s no need to preclude them from your shortlist – some of Australia’s top photographers are not accredited.  On the flip side, if you’re considering an AIPP Master Photographer to shoot your wedding, don’t wait too long to book.  They’re busy for good reason.  

Published in Mags & Blogs

Finding your favourite photographer in a high end magazine or blog is as good a reassurance as you’ll get.  

Mags & blogs are somewhat obliged to publish editorial content from their advertising vendors - but they still need to curate quality content to satisfy their readers.  For this reason, you can generally be assured of photographers who’ve had real weddings or styled shoots featured in well-respected publications like Hello May, The Wedding Playbook, Farewell Fiance & Nouba.

Awards & Accolades

The wedding industry offers vendors several types of awards.  Some are based on a customer voting system while others are professionally adjudicated by a panel of experts.  

Professionally adjudicated awards include: APPA, IWP, WPPI

Some of Australia’s most talented wedding photographers have received accolades from the world’s most respected photography related magazines.  Being named a ‘rising star’ by Rangefinder Magazine or ‘top emerging photographer’ by Capture Magazine are among the industry’s highest honours.

Being singled out as an ambassador for one of the world’s leading camera companies (including Canon & Nikon) is another of the industry’s highest accolades.  A handful of Australian photographers & film makers have achieved this honour.

Vendors who are listed on Wedlockers receive endorsements & recommendations provided by other wedding professionals.  These provide insight into the particular expertise offered by each vendor.  Log in to access these valuable insights – they’ll help you make a decision between your shortlisted vendors.


Customer reviews provide an indication of the type of experience you’re likely to receive from businesses in the wedding industry.  We recommend utilising reviews on Facebook.

Key points

The most important criteria when choosing a wedding photographer is that you LOVE their work & feel comfortable around them.  With 3,500 wedding photographers in the Australian industry, you will find one that fits your budget.  

The average cost of wedding photography does not take into account varying package inclusions and overall wedding budgets.  For this reason, determine instead a percentage of your overall budget to allocate to photography.  Take our budget quiz to determine the right percentage for you.

If you’ve found this article useful, share the link on your blog & Facebook page.  

Engagement Party Checklist

Welcome to the engagement bubble!  Being engaged is an exciting time that marks the start of many fun adventures together.  One of the first experiences you'll share as an official couple is planning your engagement party.

To help you get started, we’ve put together the ultimate engagement party checklist.   It contains everything you’ll need to craft a unique celebration with maximum fun and minimum stress.  

Download our FREE Engagement Planning Checklist

One thing you’ll quickly notice when planning your engagement festivities is the amount of research that’s required.  Deciding what kind of engagement party you’ll have, finding the right venue and booking services like caterers and entertainment means a lot of searching, reading and asking questions online.

Avoiding unnecessary tasks is key to making the most efficient use of your time.  Our Engagement Planning Checklist keeps you on track by breaking down tasks into a manageable to-do list. We give you questions to ask yourselves at key points in the planning process to help you stay focused and productive.  

Download Engagement Planning Checklist

Before you dive into researching venues, caterers and chap-wearing barmen for hire, have a read through our Top 10 Engagement Planning Tasks.  You’ll save yourself hours of research & stress by following the steps below!

Top 10 Engagement Planning Tasks

1. Decide what engagement events you’ll have

Narrow down your engagement plans by confirming a few fundamentals:  

  • Will you or your parents host the engagement party?  
  • Who will pay for it?  
  • If you’re paying, what’s your budget?  
  • How big will the event be?  Just close family & friends or a whole street affair?
  • What do you want your engagement party to be about?

One of your first decisions as a newly engaged couple is agreeing on how many pre-wedding events you’ll have & who’s hosting them.  If a "diy foodie affair with a backyard taco bar" is non-negotiable for you but your parents are talking “formal dinner” you may find yourselves having more than one event.  

Regardless of what celebrations you decide on, keeping the purpose of your get-together in mind now will make decisions easier down the track.  Are you creating an opportunity for your families to connect and get to know each other or is there something else that’s important to you both?

2. Choose your bridal party

If you want your bridal party to attend pre-wedding events, you’ll need to agree on who these special people are sooner rather than later.  

Getting them onboard early means you can ask for their help.  It also gives you the opportunity to honour them during the festivities or host a special event just for them to share in the excitement together.

There are many ways to ask your bridal party to be a part of your wedding.  Get creative and come up with your own ideas. Here’s a few to get you thinking:

  • Host a cocktail making competition where a signature winning drink is named in your honour
  • Host a dinner party & bury the big question in the dessert
  • Organise special one-on-one time with each bridesmaid & groomsman and come prepared with a personalised card or poem.  Let them know how much their relationship means to you & explain why you’ve chosen to ask them to be in your crew.
  • Organise a beach party & write the big question in the sand
3. Create the guest list

Your budget will determine the size of your guest list.  But don’t let this reality rule your plans. Start by naming everyone you’d like to (or need to) invite, and worry about budget limitations afterwards.

Once you’ve created a comprehensive list of names, organise them into an A, B & C list.  Your A list will include must-have attendees such as parents, grandparents, family & close friends. The B list are your next most VIP’s and if budget issues arise, it’ll be your C list on the chopping board first.

Once you’ve confirmed your guest list & know how many people you’re inviting, it’s time to find a venue.  Remember, not all your invited guests will make it.  For this reason, you may like to include in your search, venues that can cater to around 70-80% of your invitees.

4. Choose a venue

The type and theme of your event will help to narrow down your venue options.  If you’re hosting an outdoor movie night for example, your choices might be limited to someone’s backyard. 

If you’re on the hunt for an event space, use location & venue capacity to filter the most practical options.  You can find local event spaces, private dining rooms, destination venues & holiday homes on Wedlockers. 

Search Wedding Venues in Australia 

Other options include the family farm (think bonfires & marshmallows), picnic rugs at a local park or beach, an intimate dinner party at home or throw the same dinner party in the local independent movie theatre.

Think outside the box to create lasting memories that you & your posse are still talking about in your 80’s.  (And btw, if you find an awesome venue that’s not listed on Wedlockers, please invite them to join. It’s free to create a business listing & your recommendation is much appreciated by our community!)

5. Set date

The ideal time to host an engagement party is 6 to 8 weeks after getting engaged.  This gives you enough time to book a venue & organise the event while that newly engaged buzz is still buzzing.  

This lead-time also provides your guests with sufficient notice to prioritise you in their calendars.  Just make sure your date works for all immediate family members including parents, siblings & grandparents.  And if your bridal party are on your A list, you may want to pre-check your proposed date with them too.

Here are a few things to consider when setting the date:

  • major sporting games
  • superstitious dates of relevance to particular cultures
  • limitations of your A list (pregnancy due dates, weddings etc)
  • public holidays & long weekends
6. Book engagement shoot

An engagement shoot provides images for your wedding invitations, signage & guest book.  It’s also a great opportunity to get to know your wedding photographer. Knowing and trusting your photographer ahead of time, goes a long way to feeling relaxed on your wedding day.  Feeling relaxed = gorgeous photos!

Before you start emailing photographers, have a think about what type of experience you’d like on your wedding day.  What sort of person do you want to spend the day with? Are they fun & easygoing? Will they need to be great with kids or directing large crowds?

Narrowing down the type of person you want, provides search criteria that you can use to filter the market.  There are literally thousands of photographers in Australia & they’re all different, so having basic criteria will guide your search & save you time and headaches!

At Wedlockers, you can filter wedding photographers who have been endorsed with the qualities you’re looking for.  Simply log in to access this feature - it’s free.

Search Photographers in Australia 

Now that you’ve narrowed your list, look at images and find a style you like.  Do you prefer fashion style shoots or very natural and candid shots? Use the filters to view & compare different types of images.  Which photographers make you feel something when you look at their work?

Email your 3 favourite photographers explaining why you’ve chosen to enquire with them.  Wedding vendors want customers who will appreciate their effort & work. Show your appreciation up-front and you may earn more flexibility with packages to fit your budget.

Don’t simply ask for a price list!  

7. Decide on styling

By now you’ve already chosen a theme or colour palette.  If you don’t have time to DIY or can’t envisage the details to execute your styling ideas you may want to hire a stylist or planner.

Stylists know how to bring your vision to life and will offer styling suggestions of their own.  Planners save you time by organising the tasks you set for them. Some businesses offer both styling and planning and you can find vendors who do one or both on Wedlockers.

Search Wedding Stylists and Planners in Australia 

If you’re styling your own events, find inspiration by browsing the work of our listed vendors.  Use the search filters to compare images of ‘tablescapes’ etc.  Images link directly to local suppliers so you can easily source vendors like florists and hire companies who offer exactly what you’re looking for.

8. Send invitations

Invitations can be emailed, posted or sent via wedding websites & apps.  However you choose to deliver your invites, tie the design in with your styling.  Incorporate images from your engagement shoot and provide information about gifts, dress code and accommodation if required.  There's a wide range of invitation suppliers, graphic artists, painters etc on Wedlockers.

9. Plan menu

What type of event you’re having will influence your catering options.  For example, if you’re planning a chefs hat dining experience you might find a set menu will work best. Caterers are ideal for backyard soirees and intimate dinner parties are best served by private chefs.  All of these options plus food trucks and bar services are available on Wedlockers.

Search Australian Wedding Caterers

If you’re catering yourself, make sure you plan well in advance.  Searching for obscure ingredients the day before the party is an excellent way to ensure maximum stress!  

Create a signature cocktail to welcome your guests and don’t forget to organise a cake.  Make sure you have sparkles ready for speeches & toasts and plenty of it!

Always over cater!

10. Set the mood

What kind of ambience do you want to create? Laid back or high energy?  How will you achieve that feel? What are the limitations of your venue?

If you’re hosting a private party at your house, all the options are available to you.  From hiring an 80’s rock band to organising a DJ or pushing play on your own spotify play list.  And those are just the music options.

Other things that set the mood are lighting, decorations & theming, furniture choices, having an MC, games, centrepieces like a photo board of your lives together so far or a novelty food truck or bar service.  

Search Wedding Entertainment options in Australia 

If you want to ensure your guests are thoroughly entertained you can hire private event entertainers.  On Wedlockers you’ll find bands & dj's, caricature artists, comedians, famous magicians, ice sculptors and all manner of eclectic fun.

Make your engagement party one you’ll never forget!

 Download our detailed Engagement Party Checklist


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