How To Rock Your Wedding: Money $avers (Part 1)

I have learned sooo much

about weddings over the past year, even I am surprised sometimes when I am talking with someone just how much I have picked up. You can ask anyone who has know me growing up, I was never what you would call girly, and I for sure never dreamed about my dream wedding when I grew up..in fact, I don't even remember dreaming about marriage at all. Pretty crazy for a wedding photographer, right?! Well let me tell you, I have definitely made up for lost time. But enough of my blabbing, the reason I mention all of this is for two reasons: 1. I want to be a resource for couples who haven't thought about these things before and would like some guidance and 2. I thought it would make a fun series on the blog.. so stay tuned in weeks to come for more wedding tips!

This week's tips- Money Savers!

Stay away from anything that says "bridal" or "wedding"

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if you can avoid it. This is very helpful in saving money when it comes to accessories and decorations.  If you look at places like Icing and Target, you would be surprised at what you can find that is affordable and just as nice as the expensive, marked up accessories at Bridal Boutiques. Example: For Julianna's wedding she got this beautiful hair ribbon with beaded embroidery from Icing for $22.50 vs David's Bridal version for $150. Now, that is not to say sometimes paying more for something you absolutely love isn't worth it sometimes, but for little things, especially like simple accessories, you can save a lot. This idea can also be applied to your wedding dress. There are some fabulous bridesmaid dresses and evening dresses that are in white. This will save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. You can get designer dresses (that just don't say bridal for a fraction of the cost of a full on bridal gown. Example: You can get a fabulous designer evening dress (in white) for $200-$600 at Saks Fifth Avenue or Nordstrom. Also be on the lookout for designers who make dresses you love also making an evening collection. I just found out my favorite wedding dress designer Monique Lhuiller has an affordable evening dress line at Saks..for anyone who isn't as nerdy as me...this means $250 instead of...well, just add a zero and then maybe double it.. you get my point. 

 

Second Tip: Call on your friends with talent! 

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I know this may seem intuitive, but you would be surprised how many people just want to help you out and are happy to lend you there services. If you know a musician or a graphic designer and you are afraid to ask a favor from them, just consider this, they might be grateful to help you out as a wedding present, or at least at a discount if you are a good friend. Julie had her friend Lindsey design her invites and I thought they turned out beautiful!  I have seen a lot of brides buy the design on Etsy.com and print them themselves with a lot of luck..and money saved!

Third Tip: Find a venue that isn't specifically for weddings.

Ok, this tip is multifaceted. If you rent out the top floor of a pretty restaurant or a gallery, you can not only save money, but you have built in decoration (which saves you from decorating it yourself). In the case of the restaurant, you also have food and alcohol covered with a waiting staff and all of your plates, chairs and linens covered!! My advice, find a place with nice light and an enjoyable ambiance and run with it!

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I will leave you all with this for now, but more to follow. When in doubt, save where you can save, but invest in the things that last and have the most impact, but more on that later. I hope you all are having a beautiful start to your week! 


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Brittany & Andrew's Chilly Walk Through Scioto Audubon Park (engagement)

We may have ended the session with frozen fingers, but it wasn't due to the lack of warmth between these two people. Since they booked over the phone, the Audubon Park was the first place we all actually got to meet. Right away I felt an ease with them, I loved Brittany's choice to wear a red dress (especially in March with everything not quite blooming and still frosted from winter) and I could tell they had so much respect for one another. When I asked them what they love about their relationship, they both said they appreciated the other's loyalty. We started off our session with a little something to keep them warm, my favorite, tea by the water.

A Kitty Lover's Engagement at Rockmill Brewery & Home

It's not too often I get the request to capture cat families, but when Kristin & Harmon invited me to their home to start their session with their five (yes, five) kitties, I was in for the adventure. These two have a unique kind of love and style that makes them so much fun to hang out with. Anytime a couple is comfortable with each other, it makes my job so easy..they laugh like I'm not there and don't shy away from snuggling up in front of the camera. I was expecting the cats, but what I didn't know was Kristin had set up an whole studio for us to shoot in their basement-eccentric and very them..and it was perfect. The more you get into personalizing your session, the more comfortable you are and the more personal the images feel.