I got the sign that I was looking for to help me make my photographer decision. Patrick called and left a very nice follow up message and also offered to add an extra hour onto his services. His portfolio originally caught my eye first and then I kept going back and forth second guessing myself. He captured some really great moments in his pictures. He has a photojournalism style that I was looking for. Very artistic and candid. I will get the basic posed group shots but everything else should be candid. That extra hour will help us to fit more shots in with hopefully less rushing. This is a special day and I don't want to motor through it.
For $1495 the package includes 2 photographers which will be great for maximizing time. We get four 8 x10's, ten 5x7's and a DVD of all images with reproduction rights. I don't even want to buy an album because I think it will be way fun to do my own with Walmart or Snapfish. I created one already as a gift to Mj that documented our first nine months together before he fled the country. I had a great time doing it although it took me forever because I wanted to get everything just right.
I don't really think "engagement" photos are necessary. I have tons of pictures with Mj. None professional, but we are about to have a bunch of professional pics so maybe it's something we can save for a year when we are not already spending thousands of dollars on a wedding. Do we really have to have that poster size shot engagement shot of us sitting on an easel at our reception? I think it might be just as nice to have some candid shot of us during the time we were dating and falling in love with each other. I have such fond memories of that time so why not?
I am thinking of doing our couple shots before the ceremony starts. It means that he will see me before I walk down the aisle. I am not sure that I like that idea but I think we might get better shots if we have the chance to do those without all eyes on us . We will feel more comfortable and relaxed. This way we can go straight into bridal party and family shots right after the ceremony and hopefully make at least some of our cocktail hour. That's when the drinks are free and unlimited [well, we are paying for it but you know what I mean] and I would like to mingle and enjoy it.
Huge sigh of relief that this decision is made. I was about ready to lose my mind. I am still on track budget wise too! Now that the DJ and photographer are booked I can relax a little bit.
All that is left cake and It won't be too hard for me to decide on that. I want to order and get the invitations out and THEN deal with that. I am hoping that a co worker can do the bridal party flowers. We probably will not be using flowers elsewhere as they are just too expensive. If I can come up with something creative for centerpieces that involve flowers I will but I will likely be buying them wholesale and just kinda doing it myself. We shall see. I have decided not to hire an officiant. Instead I will enlist the services of one of our friends for that. I think it will be more special that way and of course save us about $200-300 dollars.
Dress shopping tomorrow! One of my bridesmaids will be there and my mom is coming down to help me decide.