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Bridal Shows for Photographers

A friend of mine from one of my FB Pro Photographer boards asked whether Bridal Shows were a good investment for Wedding Photographers.

As you can imagine – the answer is yes and no.

Or… depends.

Here’s what you need to know going into a bridal show…

The BREAK EVEN point for photographers is THREE weddings – NOT one.

Let’s take some hypothetical average numbers.

The average bridal show is $600.

The average wedding photography package is $2,000.

So most photographer’s go into a bridal show thinking that if they “book just ONE wedding” that they paid for the show.

$2,000 – $600 = after all… a $1,400 profit… right?

No… not even close.

For starters – a $2,000 wedding package means:

$600 in actual product the bride’s get – stuff like albums… proofs and prints.

So there’s really only $1,400 left.

Subtract fee for a second shooter… Subtract taxes…

Subtract the time shooting and the time it takes you to finish the wedding in Photoshop.

It’s not MY numbers – but the PPA’s numbers…

A $2,000 wedding profits a wedding photographer about $600.

Granted… the pro photographer also salvages some of that money if they do their own digital work etc…

But it’s safe to say that the profits from a $2,000 wedding is about $600.

So most photographer reason that the break even point on a bridal show is booking one wedding.

But that isn’t the case…

The FEE for entering the bridal show might be $600.

But you have consumables… that is – your rate cards.

You give away approximately $100 worth of printed material at a bridal show.

And you can’t go there with nothing to show…

So you estimate you’re going in there with a minimum of $500 worth of  new stuff – new albums. New enlargements, etc.

And that’s a very minimum.

So so far you’re at $1,200 for this show.

Add in $600 worth of your time. Your time going to the bridal show. Your time in prepping for the show.

In short… the fee for each bridal show is $600. However… the real cost is $1,800.

So the break even number for each bridal show you attend is THREE weddings – not one.

If you book only one wedding from a bridal show – you’re actually $1,200 in the hole.

Of course… YMMV – Your Millage May Vary…

You may go there and book one high-dollar package… and take care of this all in one swoop.

But you get the picture.

So my personal thoughts?

Yes… bridal shows do work. I love them.

But keep in mind the true cost in going to one.

Ask yourself NOT if you can get Four Weddings from this bridal show… but rather – ask yourself how does THAT money compare to other forms of advertisements.

For example – would you get more return from $1,800 worth of FB advertising or one bridal show.

The key is understanding that the $600 or so cost to enter the show is NOT the only cost.



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