Photography + Budget

budget and photography tips

Every bride wants their wedding to look amazing. You want to have the wedding you have dreamed of since you were a little girl. Unfortunately, we grow up and realize everything costs money. So we make sacrifices. But the one thing that lasts after the wedding - the photographs. So don't skimp on your wedding photography. As far as everything else in your wedding, here's some tips on what I think are important to make your photos look amazing with a limited budget.

1. Location - The location of the ceremony and reception is important. It's the foundation for the look of your wedding photos. You don't have to spend a lot on the location though. Scout federal and local parks and consider relative's houses (they will really have to love you to host your wedding there!). And don't forget, a good photographer will make the most of any location.
Manitou Springs Gazebo
This wedding was at the bride's grandparents house and it was beautiful.
This was my brothers wedding at a free park in Estes Park.
2. Decorations - Far too often decorations are overlooked for being too pricey and are cut from the budget. But they don't have to be expensive to make an impact. And they really can dress up a basic location too. Now that we have IKEA here in Colorado, there are a lot of cheap ideas you can use from there.
What to decorate to make your photos pop - the aisle of the ceremony site - ribbons, tulle, rose pedals, and lots more ideas out there for this one. The "altar" - the place you stand to get married. I've seen some awesome things with old doors, fabric and flowers. Up lighting for the reception to create a romantic mood.
Check out my Pinterest wedding board for more decorating ideas!
At this wedding for my sister in law, my MIL got some curtains for around $5/package at IKEA and we found a creative way to dress up the otherwise boring looking altar.
This wedding took place at the Black Forest Bed and Breakfast.
pretty light wedding kiss
wedding decorations photography


3. Flowers - Whether your flowers are real or fake (see my last Tuesday Tips for Brides on flowers), you can really make your portraits POP with the right bouquets and boutineers. Flowers used in ceremony and reception decorations are also amazing.
do it yourself wedding flowers

4. Bridesmaid Dresses - The two things I've learned about bridesmaids dresses: 1. you can buy them used on Ebay and no one can tell. And 2. if you don't care about everyone matching exactly, having your bridesmaids buy a short black dress makes the photos unique in style and makes it cheaper for your bridesmaids to find an inexpensive dress. Or any color really.

5. Bride's Dress - You can find some really beautiful dresses on the "as is" racks at David's Bridal. I don't often know how much brides spend on their dress. Frankly, most people couldn't guess. It's really about what it looks like and now how much you spend anyway. I happen to know that my sister in law bought her dress for $250 with no visible problem we could find. (not pictured)

6. Bride's Hairstyle and Accessories - jewelry and pretty hair can always can make a beautiful photo of the bride even that much more gorgeous. It's worth spending the money to get your hair and makeup done.

black and white wedding ph
8. Props can be so fun!  Consider parasols, signs, sparklers, mustaches, and more!

9. The wedding cake - it's usually featured in the cake cutting/smashing photos. Consider also, a cheesecake or cupcake option. I love the Cheesecake Artist here in Colorado Springs run by my friend Kami. Her cheesecake bites are delicious and affordable! I've also seen some weddings make their own cupcakes or even their own cake depending on your relative's talents.
gnome mushroom wedding cake