Saturday, January 21, 2006

I want, I want, I want!

Argggh! There is this awesome photographer that I want to work our wedding- he did our friends' wedding in September, and the pictures are amazing. I spent hours looking through their photos online- yes, he provides you with your own website from which you and your guests can order whatever photos you want after the wedding. And because he worked their wedding, I'm reasonably sure he has no problem working a lesbian wedding. And he takes a ton of photos and has great candids- my favorite kind of picture. And beautiful albums. Most importantly, he has a wonderful perspective on his role at a wedding, hard to describe, but just the kind of courtesy and involvement I'm looking for. I really want this guy to be our photographer!
Problem? We don't know if we have the money for photography at all- and very iffy about having enough for reception photos- my favorite part. I have looked around and he's comparable to other photographers (slightly more than the average, but I think he's way more than an average photographer,) so we'd pay about the same for anyone to do the time and album prep I would like- from preparation before the ceremony through the first hour of dancing. I talked to him again today, and we can get a time-package of at least four hours (and he offered whatever other time we need, which is a great deal) for a 1000. No album in this package- which means without the book, 300 prints, several black-and-white-with-an-element-left-in-color pictures (I don't know what you call that), however many pages we want, etc. I want the whole package- the whole day of awesome photography and the album. So, my inner toddler is coming out right now. I waaaaaant it!
My question is: how do people pay for weddings?! Aqaintances of ours spent a rumored $35,000 on theirs. And they are not rich people! The average American wedding supposedly now costs $24,000. Where do people get this money from? Do they take out special wedding-loans from the bank? Do they charge everything on their credit? Do they take out second mortgages on their houses? Where does it all come from? Anybody who knows the answer to this mystery, please enlighten me- I'm mystitfied!

7 comments:

Trista said...

If I were you, I'd skimp on something else besides the photography. the fact is, most of that day is going to be a blur, and a lot of the best moments will happen when you're not looking, the pictures will be the only concrete record. And I'd get the album, or find some other way to get someone else to print all the photos and put them in a book, because the pictures will do you no good if they're in a box all unorganized somehere. Get a cheaper cake, make your own invitations (we did that, cost us about $50 and they were gorgeous), go simpler on the flowers, whatever, but GET the photographer. We didn't have a professional photographer at our commitment ceremony or reception because there are enough amateur photograhers on our guestlist to guarantee lots of good pictures (though maybe not as good as a pro -- and I do kind of regret that) but I wish we could have had someone put them in an album for us!

As for paying for weddings, I really don't know. Kristin and I paid cash, but then our commitment ceremony cost us maybe $1000 (for the whole trip) and another $800 for the reception. (Not counting the $200 for the live music that Kristin's sister paid for). Our San Fran wedding cost about $1500 for the whole trip. Of course, we bought our rings separately, and they cost about another $1500. Most of the expensive weddings I've attended have been paid for by parents or in chunks over time. (of course, I don't think I've ever attended a wedding that cost more than $10,000)

Brooke said...

Delurking in a moment of "I hear ya." My DP & I are in the midst of planning our May wedding & we are totally doing it on a shoestring budget. The biggest cost for us is the Inn where we are having both the ceremony & reception. We went with a morning (veggatarian) brunch buffet to cut down a little on that cost, and are doing our own invitations. We're lucky that my uncle has agreed to do photography & my aunt is making my dress. But we're sacrificing (at the moment anyway) a DJ/band. We have minimal parental contributions, but if we didn't have what we did, I don't know how we'd do this at all. My brother, however, was one of those people with the $30K event. Absolutely blows my freakin' mind. You couldn't buy a Hyundai for what we're paying. You MIGHT be able to buy a really nice bike. Best of luck to you both in navigating this pricey, pricey rite of passage :)

eryn said...

We managed to do ours for about $7,000. We kept it small (27 ppl). We made our invitations and didn't do too many excessive things. I DO regret not hiring a professional photogapher. I asked my friend, who does photography as a hobby to take our pics. It was hard for her to be witnessing the wedding and working it as the photographer. And the pictures did not come out as good as I thought they would. After our wedding I found a webiste you can order affordable flowers from (http://www.freshroses.com/). A good friend is using them for her June wedding and they seem to be legit. I wish I had know about this option!

J said...

Hi - Stumbled over from Brooke's.

We did our wedding for just under $7,000. You can see some pictures of what that buys at http://littlestpea.blogspot.com/2005/09/tasty-photo-treats.html

The photographer was cheap as he was an artist friend who is breaking into commercial photography, and gave us a (Great) deal for $200, and in return he can use the shots in his portfolio.

Shopping for what you want is crucial. Learn to say "no" a lot, and ask for what you want - ie: cheaper price, more, etc. You may get it.

Hi, btw. Nice blog.

Whimsy said...

Hi, I'm a new reader to your blog. Mine's Mommymama. My partner and I did ours for about 6000, 7000 if you count the honeymoon to spain (a friend got us the tickets). We did a totally DIY event for about 100 people. Family did everything from the cake to the chuppah to the favors to the rainbow beaded and ribboned votive holders on each table. It was pretty amazing. If you have a glbt community center try renting a space there- it's good karma. There are some things I wish we hadn't gone as cheaply with- I agree with trista- we counted on my father in law to be for photography and he totally flaked. We had a friend officiate, another do the video... This is a HUGE HUGE risk. Any one or ALL of the friends and family could have flaked. We were VERY VERY lucky. Be careful and delegate to people you trust, and you can have an inexpensive wedding for WAY under ten thousand. The fact of the matter is that you can have one for 100 dollars- it's just a matter of deciding what's important. Some people have perfectly elegant ceremonies that lead to champagne and cake, and that's THAT. Some people do huge catered affairs. We did a "structured potluck", meaning we only asked friends that we knew would make GOOD FOOD for large numbers. It was elegant and fun at the same time. Good luck, and feel free to email us for more recommendations.

Whimsy said...

I mean, I have lots of money saving tips. Some worked for us, some didn't, depending on time of year, style, etc...

Flowers are cheaper in the pot. They make nice centerpieces and then ppl take them home.

party b said...

our wedding was $7k and we paid for it with a little help from our friends @ amex. My SIL had a GRAND wedding for $50k - her new in-laws paid... other SIL did $15k and they paid. Our photographer was a GREAT guy, but we didn't do the album. We made sure we had all the negatives and got about 500 prints, a CD and a website for 6 months... all for about $1200 (including 6 hrs and upgrade to include b&w rolls)... photos before, ceremony, formals and reception. It was some of the best money we spent. The one in my sig = from him.