Monday, September 10, 2012

Wedding Photography and Invitations in Utah

Costs can vary greatly on photography.  You can spend as much or as little as you want, depending on if you have a friend or family member take pictures, if you use a mid-priced photographer, or if you use a high-priced photographer.  We used some of each (except we used what we thought was a fairly low to mid-priced photographer.)  Be prepared for the sticker shock.  We set our budget at $1000 and then hunted for photographers in that price range, which wasn't hard. I think we ended up at $850.

For Kari's wedding, we used photography for:
engagement pictures
bridal pictures
temple/reception pictures

Engagement photos.  These are necessary if you are going to put pictures with the invitation, but often can be done for a minimal cost, and it doesn't always require a professional. We used Kari's nineteen-year-old sister-in-law Stephanie Renfro, who has a great camera and a great eye.  She did a fabulous job at no cost to us.  If you're interested, try finding her on facebook.  Maybe you can talk her in to it. We ended up with about fifty pictures that we loved and used several of them to make a backdrop display at the reception. 

Something we learned: we had planned to only have one picture sent with our invitation, but because of the design of the invitation, which included a wrap around band, only ONE of the pictures would work.  We didn't want only the tops of their heads showing above the band.  Kari didn't feel that they looked very happy in that ONE picture, so we had to compromise and put three pictures on one 4 x 6 print.
Lesson: consider your invitation when taking engagement pictures, especially if you have a special design in mind.

Announcement with picture and band, just out of the envelope

Announcement taken apart.
So, let's talk about announcements for a minute.  Kari had a definite idea in mind for her announcement.  We found a place called Beautiful Wedding Announcements (website here) that offered all kinds of options.  They are located in Riverton, Utah and have a fabulous command center, I mean printshop, right in their basement.  They met with us and let us look through all their beautiful samples of all types.  We told them exactly what we wanted and they designed it right there on the computer and printed a sample that very hour.  The whole set was done within 3 days. We did have a couple glitches, which they immediately fixed after profuse apologies, but WE LOVED THEM and I would highly recommend this place.

We got 435 announcements on thick linen paper with a wrap-around band, insert cards for luncheon and temple, and envelopes for $245.  Just the announcements on regular thick paper, with no bands, envelopes included, would have been $115. Very reasonable. For us, $130 of the total cost was for linen paper and the bands.  We also got 250 thank you post cards with Kari and Kevin's wedding picture on it for free!

When budgeting for your announcements, be sure to include the cost of photo prints, if you are doing them separate from the announcements, like we did. We had the photos printed at for 13 cents, but since then have discovered, which is normally 8 cents each, but sometimes has sales for 4 cents each. A cheaper alternative would have been to choose an invitation with a photo or photos printed right onto it. It all depends what YOU want!

And don't forget the cost of stamps! (Stamps were $182 for 435 invitations). 
One other great place I found after researching and talking to a few experienced people was a 'mom and pop' organization out of Rexburg, Idaho that now sells through Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  They do a beautiful job for not a lot of money.

Another Lesson Learned:  We sent announcements to everyone in the ward that knew us, because I am the Relief Society president, and didn't want to leave anyone out.  Instead, I think I would only send them to people who have known us for quite a while, not the newer people who have no idea who Kari is.

Well, I'm off to order my 4 cent prints of all the wedding pictures, because the sale at expires today!  Next post, I'll tell you who did our wedding photography.

Please feel free to comment if you have other suggestions or other people and places in Utah that you have loved!

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