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Journey of Belle Bride Hollydawn – an affordable wedding photographer

So many emails that I receive make me smile, but when I see an email from current Belle Bride Hollydawn I know that it is sure to brighten up my day.  Today’s post is no exception to this as our girl takes the wedding planning rule book and throws it out the window to plan the wedding that she and her fiance want including an affordable wedding photographer in France.

Hollydawn: “After a brief hiatus, including my first trip home in 3 years and a month long snow holiday, I would like to begin by wishing everyone a very happy and prosperous 2013!  The New Year never fails to remind me how old I am.  While I aim to lie about my age so often that I eventually forget how old I am (my granny was one of ‘those’ women), sadly this year I still know I will be 30.

Which means if you were to talk to my five-year-old self, I am 3671 days overdue for a wedding (and in grade 24).  Though my cheeks have yet to loose their baby fat, I recognize that I am not the same person I was at age 5.  Yet, I cannot help but wonder if my childhood wedding dreams will mesh with my soon-to-be wedding reality?

I grew up surrounded by boys and Barbies which is a bit like having split personalities.  On one hand, I was a tomboy and a feminist.  My motto: anything boys can do, I can do better.  On the other hand, I was notorious for being lost in a daydream dipped in sparkles and fairy dust.

basketball bride

Image © Duane Cochran Photography

Needless to say, I had extravagant plans for my wedding day:

  • A dress to rival Disney’s Belle (with added shoulder pads)
  • Princess Leia style buns
  • A chapel length veil reminiscent of the Sound of Music
  • A bouquet free-throw competition (tosses are for sissies)
  • Thirty-one flavors of ice-cream a-la Baskin Robbins

Looking back, it is glaringly obvious that I was always missing the most important part: my groom!  With his welcome addition, I can happily let go of my single girl fantasies and embrace our couple’s sensibilities.  Bringing us back to reality: how exactly is our big day shaping up?

As you may remember, dress and venue are check√. The dress, sans shoulder pads, fits perfectly.  The venue, recently visited in person by G, holds promises of sunshine (though no basketball net means no bouquet free-throw).  We have even hired a photographer. Yes, you read that right.  Despite my original proclamation that wedding photographers were both kitsch and insanely overpriced, we will have a photographer (maybe I’m getting soft in my old age?).

With the disclaimer that I still believe the previous statement to be true, I realized that assigning the task to my guests was perhaps too burdensome.   Begin yet another vendor search.  G and I decided our photographer’s language was not an issue, but our budget most definitely was! We settled on a very meager price-tag.

Anyone who knows anything about the wedding industry (believe me, I am only just learning) knows meager and photography don’t mix.  With our budget set we discussed what we wanted.  This ended in a Friday night google-athon of awful wedding photos.  If my bridal party collectively jumps at any point in my wedding, or if my shoes pose for their own portrait, I may have to leave.  Then I stumbled on the ‘petit announce’ of a Parisian photographer. 

And while I cannot quite remember the exact words (old age strikes twice?), she definitely used the word ‘kitsch’.  We exchanged several emails discussing her style and our wishes.  Then I broke the bartering commandment: never reveal your real budget.  The funny thing was it helped, a lot! In exchange for food/lodging/local transport, our photographer agreed to work within our budget. With that, I bring you our first wedding words of wisdom: use what you have!

For us, logistics for 51 people is as simple as logistics for 50.  And lets face it, if my memory keeps fading at this rate, I will need photos as I friendly reminder of whom I married.

affordable wedding photographer

Fear not, even in my old age I have not forgot my promise to show you photos of my dress reveal.  On my mother’s 60th birthday I snuck into my room, planning my big surprise.  Then, every girl’s worst nightmare, I could not do up the dress.  Rewind to my 5-year-old self, I panicked and called for my daddy.

After twenty minutes of his trying, I broke down.  At which point he admitted the dress fit, he just couldn’t see the clasp to do it up.  I have never been so happy to hear my father is aging! One mirror, and five minutes of the awkward elbows-up-neck-twist jiggle later, my dress was on.  My mom cried, as did I.  Daddy did his duty and captured this shot for you.  Yes, I strategically chose the one that shows you the least of my dress (and makes my mother cringe the most).

budget bridal shoes

As an added bonus, I found my wedding shoes at a Boxing Day Sale. I have no intention of wearing them any longer than absolutely necessary, so it’s fitting they only cost $30 (Canadian dollars).  Now I have to admit; I think Princess Leia buns would really complete my bridal look.”

To read more of Hollydawn’s wedding planning journey click here and if you would like to join Hollydawn and share your wedding planning journey see how to apply.

Monique xx

Hollydawns photographer:

Email: pianetafrancesca@hotmail.com
Website: www.lamarieeamoureuse.carbonmade.com