Marble Rye Photography Serves Up Soulful Wedding Photos

Serving all of California for just $3,200.

WHO: Melissa of Marble Rye Photography

WHY: Melissa’s photos aren’t glossy and perfect. They’re deep and soulful, and a little worn in the elbows like your favorite jacket. Which is basically how I would describe Melissa herself (less the worn in the elbows). A loyal APW reader since 2009, everything about Marble Rye Photography was created to reflect you and your values. So while Melissa is one hell of a talented photographer, her work is never focused on perfection… even though she gets pretty damn close. At this point, eighty percent of the weddings Melissa shoots are APW weddings, because she just gets you (and I don’t have to tell you how important that is).

WHERE/HOW MUCH: To keep things simple, Melissa offers one package, which has way more stuff than any wedding photography package should have, but there you go. For $3,200 you get eight hours of coverage with both Melissa and a second shooter, a hardcover album, an online gallery of high-resolution images, and an engagement session (that’s transferable to absolutely anything—a boudoir shoot, your welcome dinner, or your grandparents’ anniversary gift). Marble Rye Photography offers free travel throughout the whole state of California (though she’s based in Venice, California) and for everywhere else in the country, travel is simply at cost.

The first time I met Melissa of Marble Rye Photography, she was in my living room listening to Meg, myself, and a few other APW sponsors give a workshop on building your business. She had been working two waitressing jobs to save up money for photography equipment and classes, and then traveled all the way up from LA just to hear us talk. Fast forward three years, and Melissa’s portfolio has changed and grown so much I almost wouldn’t recognize it, but Melissa is the same old Melissa: all hustle and kindness, which is basically the two qualities you want in a wedding professional. Here’s what Melissa had to say about how her relationship with APW has grown all these years (it made me cry, so do with that what you will):

I found APW in 2009. I caught the tail end of Meg’s wedding planning and watched a community full of strong, sweet women grow within the comments—roots digging into soil beneath her writing and reader weddings. I wasn’t planning a wedding then. I just came by every day to read smart female-driven content and the conversations it created. And I’m still here.

I found my ideal clients—APW couples—long before I became a wedding photographer. My values as a business owner, and as a wedding vendor, have been profoundly shaped by the thoughtful perspectives I’ve come across on the site. The way I see it, weddings are for standing up and celebrating your commitment to your partner, first and foremost. And they’re a day for you to graciously thank your community, and for your community to graciously give you their support, and love. Lots of times they’re a day for a dance party (and sometimes, of course, they’re not).

This wedding of yours? It’s happening once. I’m here so you can see what the people you love are witnessing—a big promise being made between you and your Person. And I’m here so you can see what is happening all around you—the people you love celebrating with each other. Dancing like crazy. Crossing cultural divides. Squeezing each other, whispering “I’m so happy for them,” and “I am, too.” These are the moments I’m after.

Melissa, on top of being someone you want to make friends with, just she gets weddings. She understands that they’re about moments big and small. Which is why her calling card isn’t in details of the traditional sort, but in the details that exist in moments like this:

Photo Sep 20, 5 18 26 PM

But part of the reason her package includes a second shooter is so that you don’t sacrifice the bigger picture for those details:


Melissa isn’t just here for the photos though. Everything from her business philosophy to her package pricing is rooted in making sure your experience working with her is the best experience it can be. She says:

Most importantly, I want you to know that I come to the table with a deep respect for customer service. I’m going to anticipate your needs. I’m going to anticipate the needs of your partner, and of your wackiest family member. And if you start to feel overwhelmed or stressed by the excitement of the day, I am going be able to calm you down. It’s just something I know how to do. It’s probably the part of who I am that I am most proud of.

I’m consistently impressed by how far Marble Rye Photography has come since my living room. But it’s growing into something beautiful that I’m proud to have been a part of, and it’s only getting better with each year. Plus, you’ll be hard pressed to find a wedding photographer this good, offering eight hours of coverage with a second shooter and an album for $3,200. In fact, I don’t even know why you’re still here. Go hire Melissa yesterday.

Marble Rye Photography offers full-day wedding coverage throughout the whole state of California, for just $3,200. Click here to get in touch with Melissa today!

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