How much does wedding photography cost in MIchigan?


Welcome to the wild world of wedding planning!

It's a magical time filled with cake tastings, dress fittings, and the occasional meltdown over seating charts. But let's talk about one of the most important pieces of the puzzle: wedding photography.

As a couple planning for a Michigan wedding, you're probably wondering how much you should budget for this crucial element. Fear not, dear ones, for I am here to break it down for you in a way that won't make your head spin.

a couple enjoys their Winter engagement session downtown Traverse City, MI

Capturing Romance in Traverse City, Michigan: A Winter Engagement Session in 2024.

When it comes to budgeting wedding photography, it can be easy to get caught up in the numbers game.

Do you splurge on a high-end photographer or go for a more affordable option? Well, let me tell you, Michigan brides, the range of options is as expansive as your Pinterest board. But fear not, because I'm here to help you navigate the tricky waters of wedding photography budgeting.

First and foremost, let's talk about the "sweet spot." This is where you'll find an experienced professional who not only knows their stuff when it comes to lighting and posing, but who will also expertly guide you throughout the entire process. Trust me, having someone who knows how to keep things running smoothly and won't let any details fall through the cracks is worth its weight in gold.

Of course, you'll want to keep your budget in mind, but remember that your wedding photos are one of the few things that will last long after the big day is over. So, don't be afraid to invest in a photographer who truly understands your vision and style. With the right photographer by your side, you'll be able to look back on your wedding day with nothing but joy and gratitude.

Bay View Weddings Bride plays tambouring at her tented wedding reception

But how much should you expect to pay for a wedding photographer in Michigan?

Well, the truth is, there is a photographer out there for every budget, and every budget deserves a beautiful photography experience. The cost of wedding photography in Michigan varies depending on location, time of year, and the photographer's experience and reputation. If you're planning to get married in a city or on a holiday, you could expect to pay a premium.

The Price of a Full Day Wedding Photographer

Well, well, well, let's talk numbers, shall we? As a seasoned Michigan wedding photographer, I can tell you that the cost of an 8-hour day plus engagement session typically falls between $3,000 to $6,500. I recommend a budget of $350-600 per hour of photography coverage. Now, I know that may seem like a lot, but trust me, it's worth it.

When it comes to pricing, it's best to think about the perks included in the package. In Traverse City, for example, the $3000-$4500 range usually includes 8-10 hours of coverage, an engagement session, and a digital gallery. But, if you're looking for more features like albums or a second photographer, the price will increase accordingly. It all depends on what you want and need to capture your special day.

Now, let me tell you, every wedding day is unique and special, just like the couple we are celebrating. Some couples only need 2 hours of coverage by one photographer, while others may want 12 hours with 2 photographers. But, if we're talking about the average wedding day, I'd say 8 hours is the sweet spot. It gives us enough time to capture everything from the final touches on getting ready to those dreamy golden hour portraits we all love.

So, I know it's a chunk of change, but remember, these photos are going to be with you for a lifetime. They'll transport you back to that magical day whenever you need a pick-me-up. And, with a seasoned professional, you're not just getting a photographer, you're getting a personal connection, a focus on storytelling, and a commitment to creating a legacy for you and your family. 

Understanding the Cost of a Full Day Wedding Photographer

But why should you invest in an experienced photographer, you ask?

Well, my friends, let me tell you. A seasoned shutterbug knows how to capture every moment of your special day - even the ones you didn't know you wanted. They can handle the stress and pressure of capturing a once-in-a-lifetime event and knows how to navigate family dynamics and direct for each style of photography needed to capture a full wedding day story. They also have professional gear that can handle all lighting scenarios and backup 2 copies of each image as it's captured. They carry business insurance and have a good contract that protects both parties. Additionally, they have built a network of other wedding photographers and have the ability to guarantee that someone will be there to professionally document your day. They have also designed a fantastic customer experience for you.

Pricing & Packages

Recomended Budget

Average investment 2-5 hours

Budget: $200-$1500
Experienced Professional: $1000-$3500
Luxury: $2000 +

Recommended Budget

Average Investment 6-8 hours

Budget: $500-$2500
Experienced Professional: $3000-$6500
Luxury Market: $6500+

There is a photographer available for every budget.

Now, I'm not saying you can't find a deal with a newer photographer for $500 to $1,500. But, as with most things in life, you get what you pay for. A less experienced photographer might not have the skills or equipment to capture your day in the way you envision.

So, my advice? Do your research, check out portfolios and reviews, and schedule consultations with the photographers who catch your eye. Look for someone who makes you feel comfortable and confident - after all, you'll be spending most of the day with them!

Lovebirds snuggled up on their Northern Michigan wedding day at the Delamar Hotel.

Lovebirds snuggled up on their Northern Michigan wedding day at the Delamar Hotel in Traverse City, MI.

To help you budget for your wedding photography, make a list of your "must-haves" and "bonus" items.

Your "must-haves" are the things you absolutely can't do without, while "bonus" items are the extras that would be great to have but aren't essential. All wedding photography packages should include edited digital files, but some photographers offer extras that sweeten the deal or create an all-inclusive photography experience.

Some must-have or bonus items might include a second photographer, videographer, engagement session, boudoir session, anniversary session, fine art prints, heirloom albums, custom artwork, custom Photoshop edits, unlimited digital downloads, a USB drive with all images, guest and family gallery access, and more.

When choosing a wedding photographer, make sure to consider not only the cost, but also their style, personality, and values.

Capturing the Bride's Emotional Entrance at the Betsie Lighthouse Elopement

Capturing the Bride's Emotional Entrance at her Betsie Lighthouse Elopement

In addition to the budget...

When searching for a wedding photographer in Michigan, it is important to do your research and find the right fit for you. Look for photographers who have experience shooting weddings and have a style that matches your vision for your special day. You can start by checking out their portfolio and online reviews.

Another important factor to consider is personality. You will be spending a lot of time with your photographer on your wedding day, so it is important to choose someone who makes you feel comfortable and at ease. Schedule a consultation or engagement session to get to know them better and see if you click.

Once you have found a photographer you love, be sure to book them early to secure your date. Many photographers book up quickly, especially during peak wedding season. By investing in a professional photographer, you can rest assured that your memories will be captured beautifully for years to come.

You've got this!

At the end of the day, your wedding photography is an investment in your memories that will last a lifetime. So, it is important to choose a photographer that fits your style, budget, and personality. Remember, there is a photographer out there for every budget, and every budget deserves a beautiful photography experience. So take a deep breath, pour your favorite beverage, and let's make some magic happen!

Are you interested in finding out what we offer?

At Treehouse Studios, we believe in creating a personal connection with our couples and capturing their legacy and family. Our classic, romantic, and joyful style focuses on storytelling and creating value for our clients. We offer a range of packages that include extras like engagement sessions and fine art prints to make your wedding photography experience unforgettable.

Michigan groom carries his bride away over his shoulder as she shows off her ring

Love is in the air! This groom just can't contain his excitement as he carries his beautiful bride over his shoulder and runs away with her.