Portland on a budget!!! DJ and photographer

I am planning a mid-July wedding in Portland. The wedding is small and simple with a total budget of $4000 but I'm trying to keep it as classy, romantic, and professional as possible.
I need a DJ for 4 hours- 1 hitting "play" on ceremony music and 3 for reception actually DJing the party. I had budgeted $250 for this.
I need a photographer for 3-8 hours. The photography is really important to me; I know it is what will really matter when we look back on the wedding. I would love to have the person all day but I had budgeted $500 so I'm trying to do the best I can. I don't care about having prints, just want nice images. The lighting may be a bit difficult so need someone with some experience.
Advice? Good experiences? Bad experiences? Anything would help.

Also, I'm looking for cake (budget=$100). That's less of a priority but if you have advice there let me know!


Re: Portland on a budget!!! DJ and photographer

  • edited December 2011
    Lamb's bakery is the most recommended place for inexpensive cakes and they are delicious!
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • edited December 2011
    maybe look at st. cupcake or cupcake jones, would def be cheaper than a wedding cake. as far as photography, i dont know if your going to find a decent one for $500 bucks...especially for 8 hours. can you afford to tighten funds elsewhere so you can invest more into photography?
  • edited December 2011
    Skimping on photography is not good. You really get what you paid for. If you find a cheap person on CL you'll probably get photos that are not that great and you will regret it later in life. These photos will be your memories of your special day.

    We went with Craig Mitchelldyer and loved him. He is so great to work with and he had our photos on a CD the next day! We love how they turned out and document our day. I can understand that he is out of your price range but for a small nr of hours you might be able to get a better deal. Another one I can recommend it Christina Gilchrist but she is probably a bit more than you're willing to spend too. 

    As for a DJ, could you ask a friend to do it instead and save money there? We hooked up an ipod to the PA system at our wedding venue and a friend was in charge of hitting play and pause at the right moments.
  • yummyravioliyummyravioli member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Lamb's bakery- awesome suggestion!! Thank you!
    Still looking for any ideas for inexpensive DJs who are competent, no frills, and experienced photographers who will shoot for a few hours and give me the images on a CD, I've been trying to increase the budget for that and I think I hit the limit at $800.
  • edited December 2011
    I think you can sometimes get photography students for much less so you would be able to have them for the full day, bt it sounds like experience may be more important. The guy we are using in Eugene is actually from Portland. He has a weekday half day special for $900, but I don't know what his rates are on the weekends. His name is Christian J. Stanley and his photos on the website are amazing.
  • edited December 2011
    Our photographer is Justin Koeppen at Sky Blue Iris Photography. He took our engagement photos and will be taking our wedding photos this weekend.
    He is $800 for all day I think. The website is www.skyblueiris.com
    He is just starting up his business but has been a photographer on the side for a long time so he takes great photos.
  • edited December 2011

    Unfortunately I have no suggestions for a DJ or Photographer..

    However, we've decided to go with a small pretty cake for us to cut ($50) and we're getting sheet cakes at Costco.  They serve approx. 48 people per sheet at $18 a piece.

    Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. - Dr. Seuss
  • edited December 2011
    I plan on forking over the dough for a photographer after hearing my MOH's horror story.  She told me that if she had to do it all over again, she'd feed everybody bologna sandwiches and pay out the bucks for the photographer.  I really really love Bunn Salarzon's work and am saving to put a deposit down for her.
    I've not decided on a DJ yet but I do want somebody experienced and who can act as a Master of Ceremonies.
    Cake-wise, we are thinking of getting a small 2-tier for a wedding cake and Costco sheetcakes for the masses.
    My wedding isn't until next year though so I have some time yet.

    Good luck! Laughing
  • edited December 2011

    Ditto the concept of ditching a DJ to save money.  We had a friend act as our "Master of Ceremonies" and he hit play at the appropriate times for our ceremony music and reception tunes.  No one missed a DJ, and the dance party was epic.  And we saved a ton of money.

  • edited December 2011
    were using David Stoltz www.djstoltzrecords.com , he is very nice and I have heard a lot of good things about him. He is traveling from Eugene to do my wedding in Medford, he is very resonably priced and only charges for when he is actually playing music ( doesnt charge for the time it takes to set up and clean up etc) check it out. Hope this helps!
  • edited December 2011
    We are also planning a budget wedding. We went with a recommended student photographer of a very good friend. We figure we are helping out this very young man and he is also helping us out. He has won several awards in college competitions. If you are willing to take a new photographer and understand that he is just a beginner and have only done 2-3 weddings then go for it. He offered us in the range of $400-500 for our ceremony and he does all the edits and he gives you all the original prints on a CD. He is a very nice and professional young man. Our wedding is in August so I cannot comment on the photos yet but I have seen his portfolio and they are very good. His name is Erik Nystrom and can be reached at (with his permission) [email protected]
  • yummyravioliyummyravioli member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Thanks ladies. I am considering the suggestion of foregoing the DJ to put more money towards photographer... and drinks because apparently everyone in my family thinks that anyone paying for anything at the wedding is out of the question... so no cash bar :(.
    The difficulty is that the location (both ceremony and reception) is kind of dim and oddly-lit, so I think I really need a very experienced photographer. I would love to give a student a chance, but this day is just too important; all of the wedding party is traveling from across the country or other countries and we'll be together just those few hours, so the photos really need to happen perfectly. But, with an entire wedding budget of $4000, I can't go beyond $800-1000.
    I decided to go with Lamb's bakery for the cake, and I'm not going to do music until after I get the photographer.. so any other good experiences with photos, let me know!!
  • yummyravioliyummyravioli member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Oh, and I forgot to say- I just want the images from the photographer (like on a CD), no need for prints.
  • velocitygrlvelocitygrl member
    edited December 2011
    Ditto PPs- ditch the DJ, get a cheap cake, and serve chicken instead of steak, but don't skimp on photography.

    We used Kate Kelley  for photography, and she was totally phenomenal.  But, we spent quite a bit more on our photography than you have budgeted. 

    We used Clint Kuper from Chad Dowling entertainment for our DJ, and he did a great job, but I think you could probably forego a DJ if money is tight.
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