Nov 24 2007

Our wedding: The photography


Wedding photography can cost a fortune. I once had a summer job at a photography place. Wedding packages were in the 4-digit price range, and often didn’t include every photo taken. Yikes!

Having great wedding photos is crucial. In the whirlwind of the day, you probably won’t be able to take in all of the action going on around you. Hopefully, your photographer can capture most of it for you.

If you go with a regular photo studio, see if you can negotiate the package to fit your needs. Will they allow you to have all of the digital files of the photos so you can make your own prints?

If you go with a freelance photographer, be sure you’ve seen his or her work. If you don’t know the photographer well, ask for references.

And: Sign a contract.

If you live near a major university, check to see if the school has a photography department. Some budding photographers might want to build their wedding portfolio, and they’ll often be able to give you a great rate.

Or, seek photographers at the campus newspaper and yearbook.

Since I have a journalism background, I knew I wanted my wedding photography to be more photojournalistic in style.

Be sure to discuss the specific types of shots you want taken before the big day.

I hired an extremely talented photographer from the paper/yearbook. Everything went well, and a few days later, he gave me all of my photos, burned to DVDs.

As part of our agreement, I made my own prints.

I saved thousands of dollars for going this route. The photographer made some money and added to his portfolio, and I got a great deal on my photos.

Above is a photo that’s one of my favorites. My husband says it looks classic–like it could have been in a magazine in years past.

Check out my dad, wiping a tear from his eye with his handkerchief. We were about to go up the stairs leading to the church sanctuary.

I saw the photos immediately before this shot. They were average–Dad and I were talking, he started to reach for his handkerchief, I turned to look at the girls… and this image is priceless.

Great photography means anticipating the moment and being ready to capture it in a partial second.

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Nov 12 2007

Our wedding: Hair and makeup


Having a great hairdo and makeup is important for a bride. She’s gotta look great for her groom, and don’t forget all of those pictures that will be taken!

I typically don’t wear much makeup, but that look just wouldn’t be right on my wedding day. I wanted to look great, but I knew my budget wouldn’t let me spend much on hair or makeup.

I mentioned to one of my friends (thanks, Rachel!) that I was considering going to get my hair done at a beauty school, since their rates for updos were affordable.

She told me that she has a friend who does hair very well. AND, said friend has a roommate that does makeup. Woo!

It turns out, they’re wonderful at it.

The hair stylist gave me a very excellent deal, including a trial hairdo and makeup application, and she did my hair on my wedding day AND the hair of my four bridesmaids.

As part of my gift to my bridesmaids, I paid for their hairdos.

What’s even cooler, is that she came to us. We all met in the church basement early in the morning on my wedding day, and she and her lovely assistants did our hair very quickly. It was really nice not having to drive to a salon.

And I’m glad I didn’t do my hair or makeup myself. For one, it would look terrible. And two, I was far too nervous and preoccupied to even try doing it myself. Leave it to the pros.

Some tips for getting lower-costing hair and makeup on your wedding day:

  • Ask around! Surely you have a friend who has a friend who’s neighbor does hair. Everyone does, whether you know it or not. You might find someone willing to do yours for a reasonable price.
  • Call the local beauty college and find out what they might charge, and if you can have a practice-run with the same stylist.
  • Call a moderate or high-end salon to get a price quote. Be polite, and then when you hang up, laugh at how much they wanted you to pay.
  • Always get a practice hairstyle. This way, your stylist won’t be rushed. She’ll see how your hair responds to the style, and be able to make adjustments as necessary. You’ll see how long the style holds, and you’ll have a sense for how long it will take to style.
  • For makeup, ask your hair stylist if she has any recommendations. Or maybe you have a cousin or friend who would love to help you out.

Pictured is me with my um…”little” sister. I was wearing flat shoes, she was wearing heels. But still, she’s a tiny bit taller than me. If you’re curious, I’m 5’10”.


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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife and mother of 3. I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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