Browse through our list of some common questions and get some answers. Topics range from logistics and booking, timeline creation, travel, and more.




nyc wedding photographer frequently asked questions

Why should we hire *you* for our wedding?

What do your prices start at?

What goes into your pricing?

Do you have a second photographer you work with?

Where are you based? Do you travel?

Do you also offer wedding videography services?

Can we speak to past clients as references?

What is your editing process?

What venues have you photographed at before?

How long until we receive our full wedding gallery?

How many edited photos will we receive?

How do we download our wedding photos?

Do you watermark your photos?

Can we get the RAW/unedited images, too?

Can we order albums and prints?

Do you offer engagement sessions?

How would you describe your wedding photography style?

Can we send you specific shots we want taken?

What is the usual amount of coverage? (amount of hours)

Do you have insurance?

What happens if your equipment malfunctions? Do you have backups?

How long have you been photographing weddings for?

What kind of equipment do you use?

What is the payment process? Do you offer payment plans?

What is your cancellation policy?

What happens if you're sick and can't photograph the wedding?

When should we book you for our wedding?

Do we need to feed you/your team at the reception?

It's always nice to be thought of, yes. Being well-fed guarantees we're - for one - cheerful, alert, mobile, and not getting a head-rush every time we move. I usually try to pack some light snacks or eat a big breakfast beforehand, but no matter what, by the time 8-9pm rolls around, my body needs food. And it's super convenient if we don't have to go off-premises to eat! 

It is recommended that you book your wedding photographer up to 18 months in advance of your wedding. That's what's RECOMMENDED, but it's not always realistic. We find the sweet spot to book is around 8-12 months before your wedding. If you need some time to decide or get back to normal life (AKA not wedding planning 24/7), we'll hold your date. If someone else inquires, you'll be the first to know. 

Unfortunately this HAS happened to me before, so I know exactly how to address this. A few things -- 1. One time I woke up sick and knew I had to try to make it through the day, since it was just me on the roster; when I noticed I was feeling worse throughout the day, I called my backup/2nd photographer and she covered for me from cocktail hour through the end of the reception. 2. If I am sick several days beforehand and don't see myself getting better, I'll tap in my 2nd photographer and have a meeting with everyone to make sure we're all on the same page and comfortable.

If for whatever reason you, the client, need to cancel, all payments made with the exception of the non-refundable $1000 retainer shall be returned. Cancellation must be communicated no less than 7 days before the original date. After which, no refunds will be made. If you decide to postpone, your $1000 retainer is valid for up to one year from your original wedding date. After which, an additional $1000 deposit must be made in order to ensure availability and hold your new date.

Ready to book? Amazing. Once you select the package you want, all of the specifics will populate into your contract and invoice -- both are attached to all proposals we send out. Upon signing the contract, there is a $1000 deposit needed to hold your date. After that, the next payment will be 2 months before your wedding, and will be 90% of the remaining balance. The last 10% gets paid once you receive all your images/files; this is usually 2-3 weeks after your wedding day. If you'd like to adjust the payment options, we can work something out! You will also have access to your payment portal at any time so you can make smaller, more frequent payments if needed.

I've been photographing weddings since 2018. It's technically the only job I've ever had, and it still doesn't even really feel like work. I remember one of the first weddings I ever photographed was a 13 hour day. At around hour 11 I remember posting this to my twitter:

Luckily this has never happened! But there is sadly always a possibility technology can go awry. We always shoot with 2 memory cards in our cameras, and have tons of batteries on us. We usually also carry a backup camera body, and plenty of lenses. Once we get home and download the photos, one copy goes to our hard drive and another goes to Dropbox or Google Drive. 

We recently updated our equipment actually! We use some of the newest Canon gear, both bodies and lenses, as well as Fujifilm and Leica. I also recently bought some new 35mm and medium format film cameras, which I'm excited to use this year.

Why should I/we be your wedding photographer? Because we believe it's about more than just the photographs. The reason I wanted to enter the wedding industry in the first place is because of that very belief. Every single detail that goes into planning a wedding will be captured in the photos you receive.

All the days and nights you spent debating between linen colors, or first dance song choices. The anticipation you feel while you're getting ready, up until you breathe that sigh of relief when you can finally be with your partner. Happy tears, excitement, nerves, nostalgia -- all of those emotions should be felt in each image. 

You and your partner are your own unique love story. So, it's my job to adapt to you -- not the other way around. We'll have a collaborative relationship. You won't be forced to do stuffy poses. I'll (gladly) help you plan out logistics and wrangle family members for portraits. And most importantly, I'll make sure every important moment is documented in a thoughtful, emotional way. 

For a full day with me as your photographer: $5000. For a full day with an associate OR half day with me: $3800. I like to customize each package depending on your wedding day needs and specifications, but think of those numbers as the "building blocks." We can always tweak if needed.

In general, the average cost of a wedding photographer, particularly in New York, ranges quite a bit, though. So always make sure you ask! 

Beautiful photographs and hard work behind-the-scenes come at a price.  There are no "set" or guaranteed rates when you're choosing a wedding photographer; we are all basically free to set our prices at whatever we want. A fair way to do it, though, is to make sure you are factoring in the worth of the experience in a way that's reasonable for the average market price in your area. 

Since opening this studio back in 2018, our overall value has increased because of: the number of weddings we have photographed, the cost and maintenance of our equipment, the customer experience we provide, and our cost of doing business. 

I'm happy to answer any and all questions you may have about rates/pricing structure etc. Feel free to email me your queries! 

Yes! When you book us, you don't have to worry about us just hiring someone random off a photography network website (which many studios do if they're very large). I, Melissa, have two photographers that I will tag in for second shooting. You will always know who is going to be at your wedding at least one month before the big day. Usually, I secure the second photographer when the date is booked. 

Based out of Manhattan, and trust me when I say no distance is too far. If your wedding venue is within 1.5 hours of NYC, no worries about a travel fee. If we are traveling for more than 2 hours/need overnight accommodations, you'll see the exact price of the overnight stay reflected in your package as an add-on travel fee. Nothing extra. Maybe just get us coffee for the ride home?

We've traveled internationally before, and will gladly do so again. Just let us know with ample time to arrange flights and hotel.

Yes, as a matter of fact we do! You can request a photo and video package OR add video to your photo package any time after booking with us. We promise you won't regret having this service on your wedding day. 

We're happy to bundle photo & video together, or give you an individual quote for videography services.

I definitely understand why this would be a request. However, I believe any and all public reviews and recommendations would be all the social proof you need. Plus, I know I wouldn't want my contact info given out to just anyone who asks for it. 

Yes, of course. Engagement sessions are included complimentary in every wedding package. They can also be booked individually/a la carte. I always recommend an engagement session because it is an excellent way to get to know the photographer and get used to being in front of the camera. I find that with engagement sessions, the awkwardness lasts about 10-15 minutes. From there, it's a breeze. And with the busy schedule you'll have on your wedding day? You'll trust us to be flies on the wall. 

A super common question that's asked during the booking process is: "have you worked at xyz venue before?" If the answer is no, don't be discouraged. I can't speak for others but for us, we personally visit each venue at least 1-2 weeks before your wedding, even if we've been there before. It's important to know the way the light will behave on the day of, if there are any areas of the property we should explore for portraits, etc.

That being said, here are some venues we have worked at before, in alphabetical order:

Of course. We encourage everyone to at LEAST order a print or two. Seeing your wedding photographs in the real, three dimensional world is just so much different than seeing them on a computer screen. There's tons of album options for you to choose from, and we always give a little discount when you order through us. 

I like to personally design all the albums. You get the final approval, of course.

You'll have a link with 50-100 sneak peek photos within 12-24 hours of your wedding day. Sometimes I even airdrop a few favorites while you're on the dance floor.

You can expect your full edited gallery within 2 to 3 weeks of your wedding. Roughly 75% of my day-to-day during the week is editing in between weddings. I try to get them done right away, this way I don't fall behind. 

Also, every photo is edited individually -- after all the best ones are culled from the thousands I've taken.

The average is usually a final gallery of 50-150 photos per hour of wedding day coverage. Let's say for example I photograph a 10 hour wedding, by myself. The final gallery will likely have around 1000 images.

Here is a link to a full wedding gallery from a 10 hour wedding day: BRYANT PARK GRILL WEDDING

Hell to the no. Watermarks are tacky, IMO. You already paid for your photos, why would I slap a logo on them?

Your photo gallery will be sent to you via a private gallery link. Once in the gallery, you can download photos individually or you can click the down-facing arrow in the top right corner. This will prompt you to choose between downloading the full gallery at its highest resolution or the web size (1600px long edge). You'll see the folder labeled "" once downloaded. When you decompress the .zip file, each section of the day will be in individual folders and labeled identically to the gallery.

The answer to this will likely be no. RAW files are *huge* and require either Lightroom, CaptureOne, or Camera Raw to open the files. You don't need to do extra work.

Mood boards and inspiration are always welcome! Keep in mind: if there is a shot you want to get and you provide an example from a different photographer, ours will still be done in our particular style. We'll be able to capture everything you want, but with our own flair. On the other hand, if something is not possible due to timing/logistics or stylistically, we'll communicate that with you. That way, you're not wondering "hey, where's the photo I asked for of xyz?"

Each wedding day timeline is different. With that being said, there is a kind-of formula that tends to work with the amount of hours you'll need a photographer for.

The average is about 8 hours. In that time, we'll be able to photograph: the last hour of you/your partner getting ready, the first look + couples portraits, family + wedding party photos, the ceremony, cocktail hour, and about 1.5-2 hours of the reception.

This 8 hour timeframe usually falls between the hours of 1:00 PM - 9:00 PM.

Having gone to photo school at the International Center of Photography, photojournalism tends to influence our shooting style the most, followed closely by editorial. Documentary/photojournalistic wedding photography is for those who want their images to tell a compelling story. The eye of a true photojournalist sees things slightly different than a traditional wedding photographer, and that may be something to take advantage of. Emotions and gestures first, composition later.

Editorial wedding photography is a great way to make you feel like a Vogue cover star. If your wedding day is a little bit more on the avant garde/detail-oriented side, this is the style for you. Editorial photography always makes for great detail shots, and the light/shadows never go to waste.

Editing trends may come and go, but theres one thing that will never go out of style: true to life colors. Sure, some photos are changed to black and white, and maybe the white balance needs a bit of correction. But the goal is to always keep the colors and tones as true to reality as possible. You didn't want your skin to look orange, I'm sure. And grass definitely isn't blue or gold (most of the time). 

We also are sure to weed out any duplicate photos, since everything is digital and you can just CMND + C. And if you're blinking, sneezing/yawning, or fixing your tie, those definitely aren't making the album (sorry!!). 

You bet we do.

If your venue requires a certificate of insurance (COI), just let us know and we'll send it over. Also, let us know if we need to add the venue to our policy.

Moxy Hotel
MyMoon Brooklyn
New York Botanical Garden
Park Chateau Estate & Gardens
Peconic Bay Yacht Club
Pelham Bay & Split Rock Golf Course
Pleasantdale Chateau
Ravel Hotel
River Cafe
The Roundhouse
Tarrytown House Estate on the Hudson
Tavern on the Green
The Tides Estate
Villa Medicea di Lilliano Wine Estate
The W Loft
William Paca House
William Vale
Windham Manor
Whitby Castle
The Wythe

1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge
501 Union
Asticou Inn
Bar Marseille
Bedell Cellars
Blue Hill at Stone Barns
Burden Kahn Mansion
Brandy Library
Brooklyn Botanical Garden
Bryant Park Grill
The Foundry
Garner Events Center
Icona Avalon
Il Buco
Larchmont Yacht Club
Liberty Warehouse
Loeb Boathouse
Lotte New York Palace
Lynddhurst Castle
Merchant's House Museum


Kind words from couples

She really listened to what we wanted regarding the photo style and important moments. A few weeks later, we received our entire gallery, and were so thrilled with the results! Further, it was super easy to order prints on her website. I cannot recommend Sava Weddings enough--Melissa is THE best choice for your important day!

Melissa is a true photojournalist. She captures the moment perfectly. She’s so fun to be around, responds immediately, gets you sneak peaks in less than 24 hours and honestly takes the best photos I’ve ever seen of myself, my family and friends.. What more can you ask for?

She and her team cruised through the evening capturing the most wonderful photos and video. My husband and I couldn’t be happier with all the beautiful work. I mean, I even woke up the day after the wedding to an email of about 30 sneak peek photos! Melissa’s work ethic is just unmatched.

Melissa and Michael felt more like collaborators that were working with us through the event, while other vendors felt like factors to be navigated. If you are looking for the highest quality photos with total peace of mind, look no further. You won’t find yourself in better hands for your most special moments!