Kansas City Wedding & Portrait Photographer

Planning a Wedding on a Budget (Without Ruining Your Wedding)

IMG_9974This week I’m giving you guys at least two wedding planning tips.  Today’s tip and my usual “Wedding Wednesday” tips.

Regardless of where you hail from.  Some couples prioritize photography more that others.  But according to Cost of Weddings.com the average couple will allot 10% of their wedding budget to photography.  In Kansas City, area the average couple invests just over $3000 on wedding photography.  That doesn’t include albums, prints, or an engagement session.  That’s just for photography!  The venue, flowers, catering, and other vendors can add up too.

All Tips aren’t Created Equal

There are all kinds of blogs that feature tips that cut expenses by trimming your guest list or finding cheap vendors.  Sure that will save money but those tips will ruin your wedding.  Less guests and an iPad for a DJ means no one dances at your reception.  Also, you didn’t need a blog to tell you not to have an open bar all night.

I’ve aimed to give you the less obvious tips.  Not only will these tips not ruin your wedding, they will actually ADD something to it!  I’ve put together a few tips to help you save on your investment without sacrificing AMAZING photos.

4 Budgeting Tips That Will Rock Your Wedding


IMG_0764Get Your Dream Bouquet!

Sounds counter-intuitive to invest more in your bouquet to save money but hear me out.  Usually the difference between a good bouquet and your dream bouquet isn’t incredible.  Whatever your floral budget is make sure it includes your dream bouquet.  Even if you must have less flowers elsewhere.  The bride’s bouquet will be featured in a lot of photos.  If you go all out on that bouquet it will look like you had beautiful flowers everywhere!

Beautiful photos mean awesome wedding album.  That means awesome family heirloom.  It’s an investment worth putting a little extra into.  Don’t crunch your budget on the flowers that will be on almost every page of your album.

Do a First Look

Also not an obvious budget decision.  Having a first look actually means you can get a lot of family and bridal party photos done before the ceremony if you want to.  Less downtime before means the reception can follow the wedding sooner.   That means you get those unforgettable moments sooner and you can get more action into your timeline.

Have a Well Planned Timeline

This really expands on the last tip.  Having an efficient timeline means you get more for your money with all your vendors paid by the hour.  You’d be surprised how much a well-planned timeline will save in the long run.  It also always leads to more FUN on your wedding day.

It also can mean BETTER pictures!  So many weddings put portraits outside at noon when the lighting is harsh and unflattering.  Sunset portraits with bride and groom instead?  Yes Please!  This is where a day of wedding planner is worth their weight in gold.  It’s also why I LOVE wedding planners and why I give all my brides a bridal guide.  I’ve put together a sample timeline in my bridal guide.  It’s fairly easy to adjust that timeline for any time of the year.

One great way to get your timeline worked out is to start from sunset and plan your bride and groom “Just Married” photos an hour before sunset.  Plan the reception right after that and work backwards to plan your family portraits, ceremony time, pre-ceremony photos, first look, getting ready, and detail pictures.

IMG_0149-2Faux Grand Exit

This tip can easily save $500 or more.  A lot of the time the grand exit is 2 hours after the last major event of the reception (usually the bouquet toss). During  those 2 hours the same people dancing the first hour are still dancing and a lot of people leave.

Doing a faux grand exit with the bridal party and a few family members after the last major reception event will mean you get great photos while more people are there.  Most people won’t even know you stepped out for a minute.  This also means you can save yourself whatever your photographer charges for the time you save.

I hope these tips were helpful!  As always comments are welcome and have a great week!