Jun 2, 2008

So I started a new job last July, and as soon as my coworkers found out I was getting married, they all said I should use Reggie, another employee.  He is technically in Marketing, but he is a jack of all trades, including taking all the firm’s professional photography.  I found out he does photography on the weekends, and he’s also a pro with Photoshop.  Since he’s technically an “amateur”, he’s cheap, too!  For $500, he will be doing family and wedding party photos for at most 3 hours, then have a 3 hour break, then do the ceremony and reception for another 3 ½ hours.  We also get 1 8x10, 20 4x6, Photoshop editing, a website for everyone to view the photos, and full rights to the photos.  A smokin’ deal.  (Especially when a friend of ours recently paid more than $4,000 for her 2 photographers, which is more than half the budget for our wedding!)

So enough about my photographer. Instead of making guests wait for an hour or more between the ceremony and reception, we are finishing the formal shots beforehand. (Forget tradition, the groom not only saw my dress the minute I found it online, he helped zip it up when I was trying it on.) We originally wanted to get married at Descanso Gardens, which is a beautiful multi-acre garden with trails nearby. But when we discovered that at minimum it’s $5,000 just to rent the site, you have to use their caterer, whose plates started at $75 per plate!! Definitely NOT in our budget. But we still want the photos taken there. So for $250, we can have 10 people for 2 hours. We decided on us, photographer, 5 parents, maid of honor, and best man. We’ll take photos from about 12:00-2:00, and then return to his parent’s house for more photos with both families. And we’ll still have about 3 hours to get the backyard set up for the wedding.

Total Cost: $500

Added a few photos (unedited; can't find the right ones at the moment). Are we glad we went amatuer? Absolutely. Could we have gotten better photos if we had paid a professional? Most likely, but we're happy with what we have. It also helps that we have several amateur photographers on both sides of the family, so there were about 5-6 cameras around at all times. In fact, we have almost no good photos of the ceremony because you can find a photographer in every shot!!
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Daddy/daughter dance
Descanso Gardens (Japanese Tea Garden)
One of my favorites (in a series of 3 'action' shots that now hang on my living room wall).

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