Two Checks on My To-Do List

After all of these informational and conversational posts, I finally have a “my real wedding” update to write about. That’s right – as of today, the deposits have been received and the contracts are set for my photographer and ceremony/reception location!

My photography criteria:

  • Able to be there for the entire event
  • Experienced photographer I could trust
  • Access to all my photos at no additional cost
  • Within my budget

I was able to score a great price on photography by choosing someone who worked out of her home. No overhead costs and I don’t want the extras that some photographers and studios offer (expensive frames, glossy photo books, etc.). I want to create my own exciting photo displays after the wedding, and having access to all of my wedding photos will allow me to do that. In the end, she will cost me $600 for six hours of photography, some edited proofs, and a disc of all the images taken.

My location criteria:

  • Space to fit my guest list
  • Historic or cultural appeal
  • Flexible with restrictions
  • Fit our casual lifestyle while still able to be spruced up
  • Within my budget

One way to cut costs was by finding a city location to use. This would have been a lot easier if we were getting married in the summer as a lot of the city locations available for weddings are outdoors. In my neighborhood, however, we have a community center that was originally built over 100 years ago and is on the National Register of Historic Places (as was my sorority house – Gamma Phi Beta, Nu Chapter). It’s not a perfect wedding venue, but it’s perfectly Sellwood and perfectly Portland. It wouldn’t feel authentic if it was too fancy – that’s just not us. It’s only 6 blocks from our house and just a block away from public transportation (something I’m hoping our guests use).

Additionally, because it’s a city space, there are virtually no restrictions for what we want to do in terms of food, decorations, etc. Can’t drill in the wall, have to clean up, etc. are a few of the simple ones they actually do have. See my previous post for what can happen and what to consider at a more traditional venue. Also, I feel great about my payment going to help the city of Portland and contribute to more people being able to share the space, learn, and have fun. And last, but certainly not least – there’s a playground on site! If on the off chance it’s a dry day in November, the many children that will likely be at our wedding will be able to enjoy the slides and jungle gym.

It feels great to have two big things taken care of already – now I get to treat myself to designing and creating our save the dates!


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