Friday, October 30, 2009

the big two killed my baby (read: making my wedding awesome)

Early on in this magical/tedious process called wedding planning, my fiance and I talked about our priorities -- what we liked about weddings, what we wish was better at weddings, and what we could totally do without. It has been so so helpful using that as a basis for our budget.

Our first priority was the music. The very first vendor I booked was the DJ, long before I signed a contract for our venue. I seriously heart dancing. If there's a live band playing somewhere, anywhere, I'm up dancing to it. If a store has good music, I'm shaking my butt. When I'm riding the Metro, I bob my head and do this weird finger pointing dance (especially if it's the intro for "Gold Digger"..). Mr. D isn't quite like that, but he'll get his groove on too! So, while I have no shame dancing to anything, most people do. They get all awkward and just sort of stand there -- it's sad really. Therefore, a killer DJ was needed.

I found The Flashdance through blogs. It's a collaboration between Michael Antonia, aka The Human Jukebox, photographers Max Wanger, and Jesse and Whitney from Our Labor of Love. I had been reading Weddingbee for a few months when Mrs. Meatball posted about her DJ. After I saw his videos, I was hooked.

how to make it hype pt. 2 from Michael Antonia on Vimeo.

Unfortunately, he was also local to LA. My wedding is in Indiana. Clearly it was hopeless.

Oh ha, it wasn't. We exchanged a few emails and I realized I could make it work in our budget, as long as I eliminated low priority stuff (like silly favors). This is also where having a small wedding becomes fortuitous: your budget just goes a lot further and you can do crazy stuff like fly a DJ to your wedding. Totally. My only concern now is how I'm going to get down and dirty in a big ass dress.

The second priority was photography. Ever since I read "Camera Lucida" by Roland Barthes, I've had a new, amazing respect for photography, not perfect pictures. I've written a few scholarly essays on this subject, so before this paragraph get too dry and didactic -- we really searched high and low to find a photographer that embraced the realness of the day. I'm so excited about who we booked!

I found Our Labor of Love through The Flashdance. I originally had my heart set on Max Wanger, but due to some date conflicts and budget worries, that wasn't going to happen. I started searching for Bloomington-area photographers, thinking I had already used up whatever budget wiggle room I had on the DJ. They were all competent, talented people, but nothing.. fit. So on a whim I contacted OLOL. While I ultimately decided Jesse and Whitney were out of my budget, they did refer me to someone else from OLOL: Heidi. Amazingly, she was the same price as my first choice from Bloomington, but far far far more fitting for us as a couple. Her photos are so amazingly saturated. Gorgeous. Behold, the wonders of Heidi!


Now, OLOL is based in Atlanta. Another long-distance vendor. Do you think I'm insane yet? Well, Heidi is pretty nutty too, because she's going to drive with her assistant to Bloomington! I can't wait to meet this woman. Damn.

Obviously, I've had to eliminate things from the budget to make room for these talented people. I kicked favors and a limo/schmancy car to the curb. I'm printing almost all of my paper products at home on an inkjet printer. We're putting off the big honeymoon for six months. I'm doing my own make-up. These are the sacrifices. But honestly? None of them feel that way.

What are you priorities for your wedding? Are you eliminating "required" wedding items from your budget?

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