I often have a bride and groom come to me grateful for my relatively low prices, but still amazed at how high photographers prices are! There are several reasons for it, one being the nature of weddings (can't be reshot or rescheduled, so you'd better have a dependable and talented photographer!)
I found this post and thought it might be interesting for some of you to read. Why is wedding photography so expensive? I'll summarize:
1. Time. The photographer's day does not end when the wedding is over. I usually spend 3 hours editing for every hour spent shooting.
2. Equipment. I currently have three digital slrs (one for backup, one for studio), two flashes, 3 lenses, a reflector, a tripod, and about 45gb in memory cards for weddings. I also have a car as weddings require travel (and cars require gas). I have two computers and some not-so-cheap editing software. For studio shoots, I pay for an extra room, props, light stands, backgrounds, and the above mentioned equipment. Reality hit really hard when I realized I had $7k worth of equipment in my bag at a wedding... it's a huge financial investment!!
3. Website and Advertising. To keep my business going, I need a high-quality hosting service and website. I also pay for business cards and magnets.
4. Other costs: DVDs and mailing costs, cell phone usage to talk to clients, TONS of hard drive space to store your photos... Wedding albums and reception display frames are much more expensive than I would have expected also (included in some packages).
5. Education. While I didn't study photography in college (my major is actually music!), I have invested a lot of time for online photography learning, free assistance to other photographers, free photoshoots for practice of new techniques, about 40 hours of workshops and classes, and I plan to continue to take classes as there is always more to learn.