The one and only thing that Justin asked to have the most input on (after the venue, naturally) was our wedding photographer. I came from the state of mind that I could edit my own damn photos, all 9,000 of them. And that my friend only paid $300 for hers so we could TOTALLY get something for $1500 or less that would just be absolutely mind-blowing.

What I imagine the bulk of our wedding photos to look like. (For the record, I know these people. I'm actually in there...)

What I imagine the bulk of our wedding photos to look like. (For the record, I know these people. I’m actually in there…)

But once I began browsing, $1500 or less was not even a close possibility. So what did I do? Have a minor mental breakdown and collapse face first into the couch crying, “WE CAN’T AFFORD ANYTHING.” For once I am not exaggerating. You guys, I had NO idea what we were dealing with when it came to photography prices. All I knew was that in 2007 my sister paid close to $3000 and that was expensive for the time. Now? That is average. Hence, the breakdown. Yes, there are photographers that are cheaper. But this was Justin’s one thing and it was going to be a “splurge.”

So, we did what any other normal, obsessive compulsive couple would do: WE MADE A SPREADSHEET. We decided on a price range that we were both comfortable with, and then went to town. I contacted no less than 50 photographers. Again, I wish I was actually exaggerating. San Diego seems to have approximately 2 million wedding photography options.

A SMALL sampling of said spreadsheet.

A SMALL sampling of said spreadsheet.

After falling in and out of love with the first most expensive choice, we found our one true photographer love — Next to Me Studios. You guys, I am not even kidding when I say that we completely stuck gold with this team.

via Next to Me Studios blog

Not only do we get unlimited time, but they also have a totally rad photo booth setup. And I know, just know that they are going to be the *next big thing* in wedding photography in San Diego and we are so incredibly lucky to have snagged them before we would’ve had to take out a loan to pay for their services. Look, just look!

Perfection, like for real. (via Next to Me Studios blog)

Last one, I swear. But can you even handle this? (via Next to Me Studios blog)

I am so overjoyed that we found such an amazing team and stayed within our budget. Research, spreadsheets, and patience are the key to survival. And also accepting the fact that wedding photography is absolutely a huge chunk of your budget (albeit totally worth it). Although I had some pains initially, once you discover your one true wedding photography love you will actually feel like a complete tool for crying hysterically on your couch about it.

Tiffany can best be described as a combination of Linda Belcher and Selina Meyer. She has a deep love for her fiance, her sociopathic feline, beer, and frequent and unnecessary vulgarity. She excels at pinning all the things, creating imaginary stories about strangers, and over-dramatizing common problems. She blogs occasionally at polkadottedcats.blogspot.com and shares witticisms via twitter @tiff_gee.
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