Our Budget Backyard Seattle Wedding Was as Perfect as the Fanciest Wedding

Two wedding photographers discover the heart of weddings

Mary, wedding photographer & Jonas, wedding photographer

planning our own wedding as Wedding photographers:

It’s strange to be wedding photographers and to plan your own wedding. You’d assume we’d be experts at this. But, planning a wedding and shooting a wedding are two entirely different beasts.

The Pinterest envy that some people experience with planning their day we’ve experienced on a whole different level. We’ve had the opportunity to photograph some of the most beautiful weddings you can imagine. Destination weddings in exotic locations. Weddings that are impeccably crafted with designer dresses and perfect details. Thankfully, we’ve also been able to capture some of the most amazing weddings with much more modest budgets like ours. Backyard weddings have been some of our favorites to shoot. One thing we’ve learned, when it comes to the sheer enjoyment factor of a wedding day, the amount of money spent on that day doesn’t really make the difference.

What was totally worth it:

When it came to our own budget, we knew we would end up spending the most money on photography. It’s funny… the question we were asked whenever we mentioned we were getting married was, “Who’s going to shoot your wedding?” For us, this was a no-brainer. We contacted Jenny Jimenez first thing, and we were thrilled when she told us she was available.

One thing we requested of Jenny was to see if we could pay a little extra for a full black and white collection. This way we would have two edits for every picture, one in color, and one in black and white. This is something we offer with our own wedding package. Personally, I’ve always loved black and white images. I envisioned us having our wedding album entirely done in black and white. When Jenny delivered our images, we were blown away. She truly captured the essence of the day, the joy we had, and all of the characters and personalities of everyone we love. I still get filled with emotion whenever I look at her pictures.

A few things that helped us along the way:

Initially, other than the photography, we thought we could do everything else ourselves. But, as the day was approaching we began booking one of our busiest years as photographers. We soon realized we had far too many weddings on our plate to spend time planning out every detail of our own. Our second most valuable investment came when we realized we couldn’t do it by ourselves. We hired Cozbi Jean of C J P & CO to help us with the florals, furniture rentals, and bistro lighting. She was a true savior. We described to her what we wanted and what our budget was, and she took care of everything else for us. She sent us mood boards beforehand to make sure we were all on the same page with a vision for the day. She ended up making our little backyard wedding look gorgeous!

The rest of our wedding was entirely pulled together by our community of family and friends. My brother and sister-in-law offered us their backyard for the day. Our friend (and favorite makeup artist for weddings), Megan Bingham of Offwhite Makeup & Beauty, not only did the makeup and hair for our day, but volunteered to officiate as well. Our awesome DJ was a friend whose wedding we shot several years ago. Also, by coincidence I had reconnected with a high school friend who just happened to be a wedding coordinator in Vegas. She volunteered last minute to fly up and be our day-of coordinator. She was amazing! Whether it was setting up tables and chairs, keeping everything organized, baking cookies for our dessert table, or tending bar, there was a friend or family member who had volunteered to do it.

Other things we’d like to share:

I think what took me most by surprise was how thrilling our wedding ended up being. I really love my job, but I think maybe I was half expecting my own wedding to be like another great day at work. That makes me laugh now. Seeing how our parents, family, and friends helped to make this day happen, how truly none of it could have happened without them, and seeing how happy everyone was to come together in celebration, it ended up being one of the most profoundly beautiful days of my life.


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