How Much Does Wedding Photography Cost in Vancouver, BC in 2024

Vancouver Wedding Photographer Vivian Ng Photography at UBC Rose Garden, capturing a photo of Bride and Groom embracing and holding onto a floral bouquet, sunset glow from behind the couple, red roses all around

Hey there, lovebirds!

How much does wedding photography cost? How much should I spend on my wedding photographer? These are some of the most common questions at the beginning of planning a wedding.

Planning a wedding is exciting but can be a lot to think about, especially when it comes to budgeting for all the different aspects of the big day.

For many, it is their first time getting married and they have no idea how much things cost.

This might be you.

If so, read on!

First, I want to debunk a couple of popular myths.

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Two Most Popular Myths of Wedding Pricing

Myth #1: Wedding Tax

The “wedding tax,” often perceived as vendors charging more for weddings, is a myth with some truth. While vendors generally charge based on time, effort, and resources, weddings tend to demand meticulous attention by all who are involved; they are considered by most as “high stake” events.

Responsible photographers and vendors may charge more to cover their significant investment in material, equipment, and expert skills for creating your irreplaceable memories.

Expert photographers do not merely “click buttons”, but will have ensured they are fully equipped to provide you with an exceptional experience, artful documentation, specialized advice and counsel, beautiful heirloom keepsakes, and also secure backup.

The belief in a flat “wedding tax” oversimplifies the nuanced considerations involved in providing high-touch wedding services.

Myth #2: The 10% Photography Budget

The idea that you should spend about 10% of your overall wedding budget on photography is a common but not necessarily fitting rule. The cost of wedding photography varies based on factors like your preferences, the photographer’s experience, style, and extra services. Each wedding is unique, and there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to how much you should spend.

Opinions on the impact of photography on memories vary.

Some prioritize lavish decorations over hiring an expert photographer, not realizing that a skilled photographer can elevate even simple decor to look more high-end. Some couples prioritize photography and may invest more for the best experience, as well as someone who will focus on capturing their most memorable moments and best expressions. Others choose a lower cost option if photography isn’t a top priority for them.

There is no right or wrong in the amount you spend, though how much you spend on anything is generally based on what you value and maybe what you don’t value (as much).

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How Much Should I Spend on My Wedding Photographer?

First and foremost, keep in mind that your photographs are the memories you’ll be looking back on for years to come!

How much you can expect to spend on a wedding photographer in Vancouver, BC really depends on your preferences, what you value, as well as the following:

  • LOCATION: Your wedding location and/or photographer’s location
  • EXPERTISE/ARTISTRY of the photographer
  • EXPERIENCE of the photographer
  • STYLE (Ex. Trendy, timeless, etc) of the photographer and the photography
  • HEIRLOOM offers (Ex. physical prints, albums, wall art, etc.)

Disclaimer: There may be amazing photographers within any price range. One cannot presume we can determine whether a photographer is “legit” based on price alone. This post is not meant to undermine any photographer, but acts as a general guide for couples to consider just how much wedding photography might cost.

Hop on a 15-minute call and let me help you find your ideal photographer (even if it’s not me)

So let’s start exploring some pricing.

Below is a List of Price Ranges in the market of Vancouver, BC, based on the photographer’s experience and level of service:


Luxury wedding photographers are masters at capturing the opulence and grandeur of a wedding event. They are known to capture each wedding with artistry and precision.

Opting for a luxury wedding photographer is to invite yourselves into a world of unparalleled and exclusive experience marked by meticulous attention to every nuance of your love story. It’s a promise of personalized service, attention to every exquisite detail, and a commitment to delivering unrivaled quality. Luxury wedding photographers may charge anywhere from $10K, $15K, $20K, $100K or even higher.

How you might feel: Couples who embark on this journey can anticipate not just satisfaction, but sheer enchantment. The resulting images are not mere photographs; they are heirlooms, preserving emotions and cherished memories, offering a tangible connection to a day that is nothing short of extraordinary.


With an eye for art and an appreciation of real human connection, a wedding photographer who is an expert artist will transform your beautiful moments into cherished memories.

Their main focus is on capturing genuine emotions, telling your true-to-life story, while also giving homage to the detail and effort of beautiful, luxurious weddings – all without too heavily relying on pure opulence to create stunning imagery. Even the mundane can be enhanced into something extraordinary.

Established expert wedding photographers are marked by a commitment to excellence, meticulous craftsmanship, and unwavering client satisfaction

Your investment is not only in “snapshots” or mere clicks of a button, but you are investing in an elevated experience, tailored services, and authentic connections captured through high-quality gear.

Potential starting prices of established wedding photographers with expert artistry may range from $5000 to $7000+. At these starting prices, you are not only opting in for just “one day” with this photographer, but for an entire journey and experience beyond the wedding day. These photographers may offer pre-wedding planning guidance, continual advice, and post-wedding memories refined into artwork like heirloom albums and wall art.

How you might feel: Engaging with an expert artist who pays attention to detail and cares about your vision and happiness beyond a transaction should give you much confidence, as they not only preserve precious memories but also make a personal connection. You have much to look forward to!

Invitation Suite with Florals Photo taken at Vancouver Wedding at Paradox Hotel_0001


Typically, photographers in this price range are either part time, or high-volume full-time. They either may not have a lot of experience, or they have to take on a high volume of weddings per year (some may shoot 40 to 60+ weddings per wedding season), which result in less dedicated attention for you and your wedding. They may not have the time to truly get to know you or cater to your vision. Their prices may start at $3000 to $4500.

You may see more cookie-cutter posing, or images that may not fully capture the essence of your relationship or the special connection you have with your future spouse.

Research into whether they can handle different lighting scenarios during a wedding day.

They are unlikely to offer quality albums or printed art within this price range.

How you might feel: Not much personalization or customization of services, less connection with you, may see some cookie-cutter posing and images.

Caution is advised when considering photographers charging higher rates based on a portfolio of gorgeous styled shoots. Ensure their expertise aligns with real wedding events rather than only controlled environments.


With prices at approximately $1000-$2000, you might find newer photographers who have shot some weddings either by themselves, or shadowed a more experienced photographer in the past. They could also be a more experienced photographers who are offering this low price for only a couple hours of coverage and a small package of digital images.

If the photographer is offering these prices for full day coverage, keep in mind that the more affordable it is, the more likely they may be inexperienced or may lack the skill that is necessary to full capture your wedding day.

How you might feel: Risky. You might feel unsure if they can pull it off. They may or may not have enough experience or the ability to make you comfortable and be natural in front of the camera. Research into whether they can handle different lighting scenarios during a wedding day.

Coquitlam Vancouver Wedding Photographer wedding day wedding rings


Very new photographers may charge $0-900, looking to build their portfolios and having low prices to attract couples. They often offer lower rates starting at a few hundred dollars. Caution is advised, as they may lack experience, professional equipment, and a full understanding of wedding photography.

Consider if: You’re on a very tight budget and willing to take a risk for at least some photos.

It’s important to find someone who cares about you and your memories. I’m here to help you find a great fit, whether it’s me or someone else.

Schedule a free 15-minute call and I can point you to you a photographer who might be a good fit for you and your family!

So… How much should you spend on your wedding photographer?

Bride and Groom happily about to embrace and kiss, Vancouver Wedding Photographer Vivian Ng Photography at Swaneset Bay Resort

Consider what’s most important to you – if photography is a top priority, it may be worth investing a bit more to ensure you get the best possible experience and end results. If you’re on a tight budget, there are definitely still options available to capture your wedding memories.

Whatever your choice is, look forward to much exciting times ahead!

Happy wedding planning!

For the curious…

WHY might a photographer charge what they charge…

Firstly, and foremost:

Weddings pose high stakes for photographers, where there are no second chances, necessitating responsible and ethical practices. To avoid potential memory loss, especially in low-light situations, it’s crucial for photographers to use dual-memory card slot cameras, employ backup methods, and have the proper gear. With a skilled and experienced photographer, you ensure a seamless coverage of your event, and co-create a comfortable, trusting atmosphere. This professional invests time not just on the wedding day but also in pre-event support, enhancing your overall experience. Recognizing the value of their time, such expertise naturally comes at a cost.

Secondly, but still important:

Most photographer are small businesses. If you’re curious, here’s a brief summary of what a photographer has to consider when they’re building their pricing, if they want to have a viable business that can sustain their livelihood, and so that they can continue serving real couples year to year.

It boils down to time, expertise, gear, and business maintenance/sustenance.

Here are some examples…

Regarding time associated with one client (spoiler alert, it’s not just showing up on your wedding day for your hired # of hours):

  • # hours spent in emails, phone calls, and meetings pre- and post- wedding, answering your questions, providing you information, coordinating session times with you, etc.
  • # hours spent travelling and shooting engagement or prewedding session
  • # hours spent in editing, refining, and delivering engagement/pre-wedding photos
  • Time (minutes to hours) spent designing engagement album
  • # hours spent on helping you with timeline prep and any pre-wedding planning, including preparing the gear necessary to photograph your wedding
  • 8-13 hours of wedding day coverage, not including travel, set up, photo transfer and backup
  • # hours sorting through out-takes, eye-blinkers, and editing your wedding day photos
  • Time spent backing up and uploading said photos to an organized online gallery
  • Time spent designing your wedding album

Easily 70-100+ hours of just labor per wedding before expenses. It is expensive to upkeep a business. A photographer generally own their own business, which means their income does not equal what they will actually get to keep in their bank account.

Regarding main expenses directly associated with your specific wedding:

  • Cost of second photographer
  • Cost of album and printed artwork

Regarding time and business expenses associated with general business maintenance, whether the photographer does it themselves or outsource to other professionals, to name a few:

  • Marketing, including updating social media and website, meeting with potential clients
  • Educational resource creation
  • Accounting
  • Equipment and gear maintenance and upgrade
  • Continuous education
  • Research and sampling photo labs for printing quality work
  • Online gallery subscriptions
  • Photo editing software subscriptions
  • Vehicle maintenance and gas with all the travelling involved driving to and from photo sessions and weddings
  • Website hosting subscriptions
  • Yearly business license renewals
  • Liability insurance
  • Gear insurance
  • Business taxes
  • Time spent refining and improving their customer experience
  • and more…

Hopefully that gives you a better understanding as to why “wedding tax” is a myth, and what people actually mean, unknowingly, when they use that term.

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