WHEN SHOULD I BOOK MY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER?
'Tis the season of engagements and wedding photography inquiries! I love January for so many reasons -- it's a time of fresh beginnings, a time to reflect and plan for the inevitably busy months ahead, and the time where I typically meet/e-mail with the most brides seeking wedding photography services. I guess I'm thankful January tends to be a bit slower (wedding-wise) than other months, because it allows me to be most focused for all of my potential clients + vendor friends.
And one of the things that makes me most sad is when I receive an inquiry for a date I'm already booked. In the industry, this is bound to happen, but it still stings every time. I've had a couple book as far out as two years in advance, and as soon as one month in advance. While these may be outliers of the general trend, there is certainly no wrong or right time to book a wedding photographer --- however, it WILL affect your options.
Which brings me to a bit of advice I have regarding booking.
When Should I Book My Wedding Photographer?
Truth be told, book your wedding photographer as close to the date of securing your venue as possible. Some vendors, such as a bakery, florist, or even a Hair/MUA may be able to schedule more than one wedding in a day, or in a weekend, as their services are not necessarily from start to grand departure. Photographers, on the other hand, don't typically schedule more than one wedding in a day (and, I would argue, shouldn't). Because of this issue, once a photographer is booked, they are booked.
I suggest booking your venue approximately 9-12 months out from your wedding date, and your photographer approximately 7-9 months out from your date. Some photographers will not book for weddings past a certain date (due to fluctuations in travel schedules, pricing changes, etc.), and if you're looking to book rather soon, a lot of photographers may already be booked. The 7-9 month time range is usually a nice middle ground to have plenty of options, meet and chat with potential photographers, and weigh your pros and cons before making a final decision. Plus, the less rushed the booking process is, the better you're likely to adhere to your budget. <3
In terms of timing, October, in my experience, tends to be the busiest wedding month, so if you're looking to get married in the changing leaves on a beautiful October afternoon, perhaps look into booking everything that much sooner.
I hope this helps!!