Last weekend I went to Carmel, California, where in less than 140 days, Jamie and I will get married. I’ve been doing a lot of counting lately… days, numbers, dollar signs…

Make no mistake, weddings are extraordinarily expensive. If you are planning your own, you know very well how much a good photographer costs. Most people tend to splurge on the photos, since they’re the only tangible memories a bride and groom usually have of their wedding. Especially if said bride consumes one too many glasses of champagne at the reception.

What we didn’t plan for was a price average of $5,000 for photographers in the Carmel Valley. Don’t get me wrong, the one we met with is good. Really good. In post production he can make your tan lines/wrinkles/cellulite/drunk uncles disappear. The problem is, your money disappears along with it…and years from now, what would you rather remember? Stressing out over how to pay for it all, or how small your waistline looked in photo number 35? It’s your decision, and your wedding. So don’t feel pressured to go with the best, especially for a photo album that no one will want to look at besides you, your kids, and your most intimate friends and family.