How to Budget for your Dream Northern Michigan Wedding

November 3, 2023


I know there can be some sticker shock when starting the search for your wedding photographer, or any wedding vendor for that matter! This is not a post about how to nickle and dime your photographer, or how to ask for discounts. We have set pricing because it is what we need to charge to pay our assistants, earn a living, and support our family. Here are some simple ideas on ways to get closer to the rate you budgeted, while still support your favorite artists and creators. Learning how to Budget for your dream northern Michigan wedding can be so helpful!

Book Any Day But Saturday

Having a Northern Michigan wedding in the summer on a Saturday is the creme de la creme of wedding days. Most of your favorite vendors are likely to book up quickly on Saturdays between the months of June-October. If you really want a certain vendor but cannot afford their rates, consider booking them on a Sunday-Friday. This could be a win-win all the way around as most venues, and other vendors will also be thrilled to host you on a non-Saturday.

Fun in the sun at an Inn at Bay Harbor wedding.Fun in the sun at an Inn at Bay Harbor wedding.

Book Less Time

Depending on your timeline, this might be tough. But if you have fallen in love with a specific photographer but cannot pay for all day coverage, consider foregoing coverage at a certain part of the wedding day. For non-Saturday weddings I offer packages from two hours all the way up to twelve, so you could skip getting ready and/or the dance party at the end and that will shave 2-3 hours off your timeline. Many professional photographers have an eight hour minimum for Saturdays, so you might not get the answer you are looking for, but if you are willing to switch to a different day, I bet most will work with you on a smaller package.

Have a Later Ceremony

Another way to shave time off your wedding day is to have a later ceremony. Many church ceremonies take place at 2pm, and that might be unavoidable. But if you are getting married at pretty much any other venue, you might be able to have a later ceremony, which would have your photographer start a bit later in the day, again, shaving off a bit of time.

Evening wedding ceremonies can be so special.

Book Late in the Season

This one is a gamble, but a lot of vendors are more likely to offer lower rates or include more coverage if the date is just a few weeks away and they are still available.

Get Married in the Off-Season

Again, this might not be as popular as weather in Northern Michigan can be so unpredictable, but if you are getting married November-May, you might have luck in booking the photographer of your dreams!

Hire One Photographer

A lot of photographers offer two photographers with their packages. Many will not part from this format, but others love shooting alone. It’s might be worth it to see if your photographer is willing to work alone.

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I have been photographing weddings in Northern Michigan for 16 years now and have found some spots really stand out.  I have compiled a list of my favorite locations and would love to share it with you to help in planning your Northern Michigan wedding!

My Fave Northern Michigan Wedding Venues

Nerves be gone!  I'm here to help your day feel joyous and stress-free.

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