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What Not to Do: Leave Videography Out of Your Budget

Everyone deserves to have a wedding video.

When I was a little girl, the one movie I wanted to watch over and over was my parent’s wedding video. The ceremony was shot with a single camera in the back of the venue. The reception was outdoors at the Marine training base in southern California. You can hear the jets flying overhead during their first dance. I still think it’s the best “movie” ever made. Seeing my parents when they were so young. Seeing family members that have passed before I was born. Seeing the family that I only get to see when we have a great reason to. Weddings. That’s what they are all about. Families coming together and celebrating. And that’s exactly what I wanted my wedding to be. But I almost missed out on the best part… The wedding movie!

We were extremely blessed, and lucky, with how things came together for our wedding. One of those examples was videography. I did not budget for it. I wanted it, so badly, but couldn’t find room in our budget to afford it. So we bought 3 small flip cams and several SD cards to hold hours of amateur video filmed from our family and friend’s point of view. One of my favorite photographers did this with an 8 MM camera, and I cried when I watched her wedding video.

The thing is, do you know where all that video is sitting right now? On those SD cards. Because it will take me a good chunk of time to go through and create something digestible.

Thank goodness for my sister-in-law’s best friend Rachel. We asked her if she would be a second-shooter at our wedding as we were worried about our photographer being in two places at once (Edgefield is a big place!). She graciously accepted, and brought along her fiance to shoot some video footage. Never could I have imagined the incredible result! Below is the beautiful film created by RP Imagery, one of their first wedding films they created. I think they’ll be producing many, many more in the near future 🙂

Videography: RP Imagery
Photography: Mint Photography
Venue & Catering: McMenamins Edgefield
DJ: Thunderstruck Productions
Personal Flowers: Blüm, Design in Flowers
Centerpieces: DIY Methot family projects
Design, Planning, Invitations & Paper Goods: DIY
Day-of Planning: Alex Engel
Chair Rentals: The Party Pros

9 Months Out: Reality Setting In

Now that we are less than a year out from the wedding date, it’s no longer cupcakes and giggles. It’s time to get down to business. Before I start a big girl job and don’t have time to do any wedding planning for the first few months. Ah!!

Here’s what I we have accomplished over the last few months:

Engagement Photos|Round Two:

We met our new photographer last spring at a wedding show we randomly went to with my mom and brother. My mom’s instinct was right, she takes good photos! I was instantly drawn to how passionate she was about us and our vision (not a vision of her own). Trust your gut when you are hiring a wedding photographer. They are the person you end up spending the most time with on the day of your wedding!

Credit: Mint Photography

Save the Dates:

They arrived today!! I am super excited to get them addressed and mailed out. I designed the images on Illustrator using a photo from our engagement shoot and a template from the Staples Copy and Print center for a postcard. I figured cheapest postage, cheapest cost to produce, why not do a postcard?? I was tempted by some beautiful ideas on one of my favorite blogs, Oh So Beautiful Paper, but decided to stay true to our budget vision and make some rockin’ postcards. Pics to follow after all the friends & family get them!

Tip: I ordered them through Staples Copy and Print, was able to fully customize the front and back, full bleed on matte recycled paper (my preference- glossy also available) for only $42 for 100 with shipping! Just add postcard postage & some circle stickers for the address and voila! Save the Dates for under $75.


Booked! I met him at one of the weddings I was assisting at as an intern this summer and he was a HUGE life saver the whole night. Plus, I loved the way he mixed the music (like a real DJ with turntables!) and acted as a subtle MC through the evenings events.

I highly recommend being able to actually see your DJ in action before you book him (your actual DJ- not the owner!). It’s not always a standard in today’s wedding market, but I feel like it should be required! Some of the newer wedding show concepts have DJs actually spinning at the events; a great way to test a potential DJ!


After developing around 10 prototypes on the computer, and a few physical ones, I have finally held on to the current prototype without making any changes. A good sign it’s time to stop! I have purchased all the materials to produce them and have started assembly on a few items like envelope liners. We have to hold off on printing the invitations until we verify the start time with our venue.


I know it’s still way far out to register for most reasons, but I keep getting hounded with the question “Where are you registering??”. So I dragged Spencer to the mall to do some preliminary research. I think we’ve narrowed it down to Williams Sonoma, Bed Bath & Beyond, and maybe Pottery Barn.

Any horror/success stories on registering?

Wedding Season Comes to an End

Today was officially my last wedding of the summer. Quite the Indian Summer we had here in Oregon! It made it just perfect for all the August, September and yes October weddings I worked at. Thank you Mother Nature for giving us perfect lighting and temperature conditions! It made my job much more enjoyable.

If I had to sum up day-of wedding coordination in a word: Exhausting! Especially for me since I continued to work at my day job where I am on my feet all day, I feel like I haven’t sat all summer. I assisted at a wedding nearly every weekend since the beginning of August. The diversity and beauty was incredible, but such a whirlwind! The best part is seeing two people so incredibly in love. That part never gets old 🙂

Keeping Your ‘Maids in Mind

As I am crunching numbers for our budget, I can’t help but consider the burden of cost that our wedding will have on our close friends and family. Most of my friends and family are out of town, so I have to accept that some will be unable to make it simply due to the cost of a plane ticket from the East Coast (not cheap!). So we are doing everything we can to find ways to lessen the burden on our guests, like finding a venue with cheap hotel rooms, and that is close to the airport potentially eliminating the need for a rental car.

I found this great infographic by Mint that breaks down the average costs of being a bridesmaid (more on why Mint is a lifesaver coming soon). While some costs are completely unnecessary, there are many things on there that I hadn’t even considered yet! Pitching in by giving your bridesmaids their jewelry or mani/pedi as part of their wedding gift is a great gesture to show that you are mindful of their budget and really appreciate their support. This info will be helpful to me on how to keep costs down for my amazing friends!

Wedding Girl Gets Engaged!

That’s right, it’s official!

We’re engaged! For those interested, here’s my (lengthy) version of the proposal:

S insisted that he was taking me to the Zoo Lights display at the Oregon Zoo on the Monday after Christmas, before the weather got rainy later in the week. I had some minor suspicions that he was up to something, but honestly thought nothing of it that night as he was ready to bail due to the large crowds/freezing temperatures. We arrived at the zoo (one of my favorite places on Earth) and I immediately began running around checking out all the lights and animals that were still awake. My camera died as we were about halfway through the zoo, an event that I was bummed about but still had NO idea.

I was dying for some hot cocoa (due to the previously mentioned freezing temperatures/impending rain) and spotted a line out of the way that seemed shorter. Once we got our hot cocoas, S suggested we look over the balcony that overlooked the grass with a large light display.

S looking calm and cool... but what's that in his pocket???

At this point he set down his hot cocoa, and I immediately knew something was up!! He paused a few moments glancing at the people passing by behind us, then took a deep breath. The rest is a complete blur but I remember him saying something about how the last 5 years have been so wonderful and how he loves me so much, upon which time he got down on one knee, opened up a ring box (in my mind thinking “OMG this is it! It’s really happening! What should I be doing right now?!?”) and asked if I would marry him. I immediately said yes and ripped off my glove so he could place the ring on my finger.

The rest of the night, I couldn’t wipe the huge grin off my face and couldn’t stop shaking from excitement/freezing temperatures/now pouring rain. We decided to skip the 45 minute line in the rain for the train and get home to spread the news. Now I can’t wait to go back to Zoo Lights next year with a fully charged battery.

One of the (many) reasons I love my ring is that it’s not super flashy at first, but has a beautifully intricate design along the sides. Very me. I can’t imagine a different proposal, or a different ring or a different guy. I’m loving this whole “being engaged” thing… now it’s planning time!! (details to follow…. OF COURSE!)