Phinding a Photographer

Sorry, I had to do it. Cheesy alliteration achieved.

Possibly before we even got engaged, I knew who I wanted our wedding photographer to be. You see, Monsieur P and I attended friend V’s wedding back in 2011, and their photographer was V’s friend from high school. She and her second shooter were so great throughout the wedding, making sure to take photos of each couple as they milled around the property for cocktail hour and throughout the reception, as well as getting all the “standard” shots. But what really won me over was when I saw the photos that V posted a week or so after the wedding. Now, V’s wedding was pretty, but these photos were so fabulous; everything was OMG, magazine-worthy.

And after the rain stopped, the sun and clouds were amazing. / Tressa McCune Photography

She made this gravel path look magical. / Tressa McCune Photography

And she can make a photo op out of something as simple as a bale of hay. / Tressa McCune Photography

Their venue was similar to ours, and this is so gorgeous. / Photo via Friend V, credit to Tressa McCune Photography

So it was no surprise that Tressa McCune Photography was my first choice for our wedding photographer. I emailed her to get a price quote and was blown away by her prices. Under $1,000 for a full day of photography, two shooters, edited images, and a disc of all the photos taken with full printing rights. MIND. BLOWN. It was perfect!

But it couldn’t be perfect, oh no. You see, I have always wanted to get married in October. The mister was indifferent, so it was decided that we would get married in October in order to have the pretty fall wedding I had daydreamed of (in the few times I ever tried to picture my wedding).

City and far-away brides, this is about to get weird for you, so I apologize in advance. You see, Tressa is not only a part-time photographer, but like a lot of guys and gals in Western Pennsylvania, her hobbies include hunting and fishing. One of her rules is that she doesn’t photograph weddings after the start of archery season, which is in late September. Therefore, if we had an October wedding, we couldn’t have Tressa.

And so, it was back to the drawing board.

Now, there are definitely other photography options in our area.

So freakin’ glamorous, I can’t handle it. Kristy & Jimmy do great work in the Burgh! / Limelight Images

MOH PT used Limelight Images, who were fabulous to work with on the day of and presented fabulous photos. Kristy & Jimmy are great at finding cool and dramatic backdrops.

MOH PT and her hubby in their 50 Shades of Grey pose / Limelight Images

Another Pittsburgh photographer, LeeAnn Marie, takes absolutely stunning photos as well. I love to drool over them on my Facebook feed.

pittsburgh wedding photo bridges

Stunning. Love Pittsburgh bridge photos! / LeeAnn Marie Collective

pittsburghs best wedding photographers

This venue needs to use this on their website! So gorgeous. / LeeAnn Marie Collective

But ultimately, I couldn’t see spending $1,000 or more on wedding photos. Even though photos are important to me, as in, I want to have them, and I want them to be nice (not just guest photos taken with point-and-shoots or cell phones), we’re not so big on pictures that we wanted to prioritize them in our budget.

So we discussed our options and decided to take a risk! We moved our wedding date up from October to September and crossed our fingers that Tressa would make an exception and book our September wedding for us. It was still over a year away at that point, and the hunting schedule wasn’t out yet, but Tressa agreed to go for it anyway. And it worked out—our wedding falls before the start of archery season, and we got our choice photographer for the big day! WHEW.

Did you have to deal with any strange circumstances when booking your wedding? Are you looking for a photographer on a budget? Is anyone else crazy and moved their wedding to accommodate a choice vendor? Please tell me I’m not the only one”¦


Miss Parisian

Pittsburgh, PA
Wedding Date:
September 2014
Gallery of the Day: February 19, 2014
Highway to Happiness: Up with the Sun
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  1. milkcow Member
    Mrs. Milk Cow 215 posts, Helper bee @ 8:18 am

    Ahhh you got such an incredible deal. Her photos are amazing – I probably would’ve moved my wedding date, too. I can’t wait to see your photos.

  2. Member
    blueteacup 170 posts, Blushing bee @ 8:35 am

    I’m 98% sure that the last photo is in Frick Fine Arts, I had a few classes there in college and studied in that little court yard place a lot. I’ve never seen it look that pretty though.

  3. parisian Member
    Miss Parisian 588 posts, Busy bee @ 10:25 am

    @Miss Milk Cow: I wanted nice pictures that wouldn’t break the bank. I definitely think we’ll get it. :) I’m so glad it worked out that she agreed AND she doesn’t have to miss hunting!
    @blueteacup: Wow, I had no idea! That’s really cool. I haven’t seen it look that pretty either but I didn’t know it even had a courtyard!

  4. mspalmtree Member
    Mrs. Palm Tree 1122 posts, Bumble bee @ 11:58 am

    Obviously I have mad love for Limelight and recommend them for anything but I LOOOOOVE what Tressa does, too. I don’t want to spoil anything too badly but I was totally and completely sold after your engagement pictures. Your wedding pictures are going to be FABULOUS, with the colors and the venue and just EEEEEEE. Swoonies. :)

  5. Member
    luluvohn 1194 posts, Bumble bee @ 12:01 pm

    We moved our wedding for our venue. I’d had my heart set on getting married on my parents’ anniversary, May 17th. We went to look at this venue and it was love at first sight. I loved it, FI loved it, my mom loved it, we were ready to sign the paperwork right then and there. The coordinator went to check her calendar and make sure our date was available in kind of a “ha ha of course it will” kind of way (this was about 14 months out) and it had already been booked. I almost cried, my mom asked her if she could change the other wedding, it was a hot mess. She told us the other dates in the same ballpark that she had available. One was Easter, one was Memorial Day, and one was June 7th. We went to have lunch and talk it over, we texted our officiant to make sure he was available for June 7th (clearly Easter was off the table, and the venue is next to Atlantic City, so Memorial Day would’ve been a disaster), we finished lunch and went back and signed the paperwork.

  6. parisian Member
    Miss Parisian 588 posts, Busy bee @ 12:06 pm

    @Mrs. Palm Tree: Our venues are definitely right up Tressa’s alley and obviously I have high hopes that they’ll be fabulous 😉
    @luluvohn: Well I’m glad we’re not the only ones who moved our date to work around someone else. At least you found a venue that you love enough to be so passionate about, that’s great! :)

  7. roadtrip Member
    roadtrip 803 posts, Busy bee @ 1:36 pm

    Oooh! Congrats on the photography score. I’m glad you were able to move your date and get the vendor you want at a great price.

  8. parisian Member
    Miss Parisian 588 posts, Busy bee @ 2:04 pm

    @Mrs. Road Trip: Thanks, you really can’t beat that with a stick! :)

  9. msfilly Member
    Mrs. Filly 65 posts, Worker bee @ 3:30 pm

    So great that you were able to get your first choice photographer! I think photography is so important – ultimately, it’s one of the only things that stays with you after the big day. So even if you had to move your wedding date, I’m sure it’ll be totally worth it once you get your photos!

  10. pyramid Member
    Mrs. Pyramid 104 posts, Blushing bee @ 6:30 pm

    That is a deal for photography, and you already have experience with her! Couldn’t be more perfect! Very beautiful pictures!

  11. Member
    xo_lovebug_xo 58 posts, Worker bee @ 11:13 pm

    @Miss Pyramid: I would love to know where your friend V got married. Mind sharing?

  12. jetsetter Member
    jetsetter 535 posts, Busy bee @ 6:18 am

    Great price for your photog, feeling good about your photos makes a huge difference once the wedding has passed. I didn’t care too much before, but now I look at our photos and remember every single moment of the day!

  13. parisian Member
    Miss Parisian 588 posts, Busy bee @ 6:20 am

    @Miss Filly: I’m not overly big on photography, but having nice (they don’t have to be OMG THE MOST AMAZING) pictures was important. I definitely thought Tressa covered all the bases and was perfect for us. I don’t think we’ll regret bumping the wedding up a month for her!
    @Miss Pyramid: She’s great, we were pleased. :)
    @xo_lovebug_xo: It is the Gathering Place at Darlington Lake. Very pretty place, but far out of the city so it wasn’t a venue option for us.

  14. parisian Member
    Miss Parisian 588 posts, Busy bee @ 6:20 am

    @Mrs. Jet Setter: I agree, it’s important. The fact that she makes it look even prettier than real life, well, that’s just going to be a bonus! 😉

  15. gondola Member
    gondola 1046 posts, Bumble bee @ 12:19 am

    Photography is so important to me- it will be the main way you remember your wedding day. I would have totally changed my date. I’m so glad you got the photographer you wanted!

  16. parisian Member
    Miss Parisian 588 posts, Busy bee @ 5:59 am

    @Mrs. Gondola: We’re glad too. It’ll keep me calmer to know how she operates and we know we can trust her. :)

  17. mswaterfall Member
    Mrs. Waterfall 1403 posts, Bumble bee @ 9:32 am

    I always find it so interesting to see what everyone’s priorities are. We were huge on photography, since that’s one of the only things that remain post-wedding. You got such a great deal too!

  18. parisian Member
    Miss Parisian 588 posts, Busy bee @ 9:38 am

    @Mrs. Waterfall: Yeah, we’re definitely oddballs when it comes to that. I want pictures, I want nicer pictures than can be taken by guests, but we didn’t care enough to spend more than $1,000 on photos regardless. :)

  19. Member
    Rnfitness 2 posts, Wannabee @ 6:41 pm

    Does anyone know more about the Darlington Lake venue? How much would it cost to rent the venue for about 100 guests? Any idea? Thanks in advance for any help! :)

  20. parisian Member
    Miss Parisian 588 posts, Busy bee @ 9:08 am

    @Rnfitness You should be able to contact them for info from the link I posted above. You could also peruse the venues’ reviews online to see if there are any posts about the cost. You probably won’t get any info right from this post, so I wanted to give you some tips!

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