Friday, December 10, 2010


I've only been home for just over 24 hours, but wedding planning with my parents has already been happening.  Here's an update with some of the highlights:

The Touch of Magic in East Grand Forks (the venue which I indicated as my first choice for a wedding reception in a previous blog post) is closing at the end of 2011.  Looks like I won't be having my wedding reception there!  ***Sigh...***  Moving on to my second choices, I guess.

One of these second choices was the Hilton Garden Inn.  I called the Hilton today, and I found out they seat up to 200 people in their reception hall.  My mom and I went to visit with their event coordinator this afternoon.  After visiting with her about prices and options, my mom was absolutely sold on the venue.  I think the Hilton is a great venue too, so I will be scheduling a taste-testing of the food once Lee gets back into Grand Forks.  We'll look at the Hilton's reception hall again at that time and make our final decision!  Even though I can't have the reception at my favorite choice, I'm really happy with how things are working out with the Hilton.  I think it is meant to be!  After all, the Hilton is the place where Lee and I first met.

I also called the North Dakota Museum of Art (NDMA) today to check prices for the ceremony venue.  The NDMA charges TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS to rent the building for a wedding ceremony.  The price is absolutely disgusting, and definitely not within my budget constraints.  Also, policies at the NDMA do not allow wedding ceremonies to take place during museum hours.  Even if I could afford it, I don't think I would want an evening wedding.  It's time to start considering plan B for the ceremony venue, and I don't think the answer will come as easily as it did for the reception venue. 

Major point of dissension between me and my mom: photography.  Having a good (strike that, not just good, but talented) photographer is really important to me.  My mother disagrees.  She thinks one photo is just like the next photo and suggests I hire someone I know to take pictures.  I really don't feel comfortable hiring someone who is not a professional photographer.  I know photography can eat up a large portion of the budget.  However, I don't think I want to settle on this issue.  

Dress shopping is in the near future!


  1. That's too bad about Touch of Magic. :(

    I would say photography is a big deal. Don’t settle.

    The day goes by so fast, photography is the only way you remember everything! It is important to have someone who knows what they are doing, or they will miss important moments and group pictures would take FOREVER. Pictures can be frustrating enough without an armature wasting your family and friends’ time.

    It is possible to find reasonable professional wedding photography. Our entire contract was $1400 including 2 hours of travel, taxes, and rights to all the photos. Our photographer was only on her second summer of weddings. My advice is to find someone who is up and coming. Find someone who has the artistic skill you require, who is definitely sticking to the business, and by 2012 they will have enough experience with weddings. There should be a lot of people in Grand Forks and Fargo with the schools there.

    You can also save a lot of money by having a smaller contract. We only had our photographer for 6 hours. This is plenty to cover pre-ceremony, ceremony, after ceremony, and a few pictures of the reception décor. …especially if you don’t have to have a really early afternoon wedding like I did! You can ask someone you know to take pictures at the reception. At receptions most pictures are dark or candid so people look goofy anyway.

    No matter what, pick a photographer that will give you full digital rights to all your photos! There are so many that do now a days, the ones that don't have their heads up their butts!

    Also, you spend just as much time with the photographer on your wedding day as you do your friends; make sure your photographer is nice, energetic, and fun. You don’t want some beyotch following you around all day, haha!

    Don't be scared to negotiate. A friend of mind had her heart set on a fancy twin cities photographer who turned out to be way out of their $3000! Her fiancé called the woman and worked out a 4 hour contract for 1/3 of that! Theirs was in the fall, so it was off season, but still! I also negotiated my contract down by getting rid of things we didn't need. Why would we need prints if we were getting full digital rights?

    Well I am obviously bored, sorry I wrote a novel. But it is possible to have affordable professionally photography. Don't settle if it's important to you.

  2. Caroline-
    That's so great you have gotten a start on the planning! I think everything happens for a reason and it's going to work its way out to be an amazing wedding, even though right now it might feel like there are some set backs. I do agree with you about the photographer. The pictures are the things that you'll have FOREVER and you want them to be good when you look back on your wedding. Thanks for keeping up posted!