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Investing in Wedding Photography and Videography on a Budget | By Kara

January 9, 2016

Hey, I’m Kara!
Hey, I’m Kara! A wedding and family photographer based in Kankakee, Illinois! Whether I’m photographing your wedding day or everyday milestones and memories as a family, this job is my joy.

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It’s engagement season, and all of the love in the air has me thinking about the importance of wedding photography and videography. Think about your wedding day whether it was years ago, you’re engaged and planning, or you’re dreaming of your day… What is one thing you wish you could have had or one thing that you wish you could have?

It’s all too often that I talk with (newly) married couples, and they tell me that if they could change one part of their wedding day, they would have hired a professional photographer (or videographer) to document their day. This breaks my heart because I am so passionate about what I do, and I know that there are so many photographers out there that feel as though I do and have amazing talent to share. It truly saddens me that couples so often do not have a timeless documentation of their wedding days. 

Then, I have couples tell me that professional wedding photography and videography is the best investment. You see, they have had a wonderful experience and value the way in which their day was documented. They know they can relive their day whenever they want to for years and years to come.

As I write this, I am not writing as a saleswoman or as someone that is trying to attract more business for myself. I am truly writing as someone who was a bride once and someone who has a crazy passion for what she does.

Yes, I believe that everyone should have quality and professional photography and videography for their wedding day, but I also understand that that cannot always be the case. I do not believe that every couple can spend thousands of dollars on their wedding photographer, but I think it is important to look at wedding day priorities to see what is most important for the couple beyond becoming one. Look at what you are spending overall, and see what will work for you as a couple. Photographers all start somewhere and are at so many different stages of their journeys. You can work with a budget – whether is small or large – and have beautiful photographs and wedding day details. It requires a little work, but it is worth spending time researching, reading reviews, and looking at portfolios. You will be thankful so many years down the road!

Someday you will be able to share beautiful quality photos, and video, with you children, your grandchildren, and your family and friends. When I am photographing a wedding, these times are in the foreground of my vision to document your day. 

If you’re in the position of prioritizing your budget and making big decisions for your wedding day, read the thoughts of someone who invested. Deidre was one of my brides, and I was lucky to be her wedding photographer. She kindly wrote and shared this testimonial.

“A wedding is no small task, and it can be a pretty hefty expense. Looking back I don’t know that I would change anything in particular. Maybe I wouldn’t have upgraded our flowers and just taken what our package gave us. Maybe I wouldn’t have ordered the custom gold-foil Instagram hashtag sign. Maybe I wouldn’t have purchased three of the most beautiful (and kind of expensive) Stella & Dot necklaces, since I only wore two of them. 

Or maybe I would have? 

Hands down I can tell you the best two purchases we made in ALL of our wedding planning and execution. And, surprisingly, it isn’t the dress.  

After all the day is over – you’re left with a dress you will likely never wear again. You’re left with a ton of extra decor that you can either repurpose in your own life or sell/give away. You’re left with a custom gold cake topper – like for real, what am I supposed to do with that now? You’re left with pretty awesome jewelry that you can use to dress up an outfit or to wear on a special occasion. But, the best thing you’re left with? 

Your photos and your footage of the most perfect day of your entire life. 

If I had to do it all over again – I would likely have chosen a more simple (and cost-effective) dress. I wouldn’t have worried so much about the table decor and florals because the actual setting was more breathtaking than our reception table. But I wouldn’t change for a second the trusted and incredible photographer that I flew down for our event. And, I wouldn’t for a second change the fact that I hired a local, reputable videographer. I cry every single time I watch our wedding video. And, I find myself opening our wedding photo folders and just clicking through each and every photo. You see, after the entire day is over – you have taken down the reception and you wake up the next morning, married and happy, you realize how unbelievably fast your wedding day came and went. Great, quality photos that capture your day, your emotions, your setting… Those will be here for decades to come! And there is nothing like reliving your wedding day and your spouse’s vows to you through a fabulous highlight video.” 

Deidre & Howard on their wedding day.

So, I think it’s important to ask yourself… On your first anniversary or your twentieth anniversary, how do you want to remember and relive your wedding day? 


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Chicagoland wedding & family photographer based in Kankakee, Illinois