You know how, when you read lists of tips on how to stick to your wedding budget, they often suggest that you prioritize the few elements that are most important to you, allocate "splurge" money for those, and be willing to compromise on other aspects? Mr. Octopus and I did that, and the elements of our wedding that were "big ticket" items were these: Heinz Chapel, the Children's Museum, and catering.
You know what that leaves out of the "splurge" category? Photography.
I know a lot of people's feelings are basically that pictures are the only real, tangible thing to take with you after a wedding is over, and the memories they preserve put them into the "worth a big investment" category. I can totally get behind that sentiment. On the other hand, as I'm sure everyone is aware, photography can get just mind-blowingly expensive. Photography really is important to both my groom and I, and we really did want beautiful pictures, but sticking to a budget also means making some very tough choices. The initial photographers I liked, many of whom would have claimed 30% of our entire budget, were out.
So, I initially set a budget of $1500 for a photographer. I'll spare you all the gory details, but after a month and a half of devoted research, the results were grim. We could not find anyone in that price range whose work we felt good about. True, we had decided that we couldn't spare a huge chunk of the budget on photography, but we also couldn't justify spending $1500 on people whose portfolios gave us nothing but lukewarm "that miiiiiiight be okay" types of feelings. It's not really a smart compromise if you're totally dissatisfied with the results, you know? We decided to shuffle the budget around a bit, and added some more money to the photography allocation.
And guess what? With a little bit more wiggle room in the budget and another few weeks of combing the Internet, the clouds parted, the sun shone through, and we found an absolutely fabulous photographer whose skills I am incredibly, incredibly excited to have booked for our wedding. I feel so lucky! We found an artist whose gorgeous work will fit in our budget AND live up to every one of our hopes about the pictures we'll take away from our wedding day.
Check it. The photographer we picked is great with colors.....
....and candids. Awesome.
All photos credited to Corey Ann.
Corey Ann Photography: gorgeous pictures, a super-responsive and friendly artist behind the lens, a thorough package that offered everything we need, and landing precisely within our target budget. SHWINNGGG!
How did you choose your photographer? How much of your budget did you choose to set aside for it?