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Advice

The Key to Wedding Planning Perfection

Something Borrowed, Something True

Since I'm waist deep in my watching of the Olympics, I'm seeing the word "perfection" everywhere. It's an interesting idea that shows up a lot in sports, and also in wedding planning. There is an insurmountable amount of pressure on today's brides and grooms to have that perfect day. Your decor needs to be new and fresh, and you need to be over-accommodating for your guests. It can be incredibly difficult to balance. However, the greatest shift I've seen in our couples is that the perfect day to them means doing what makes them happy. Following happiness makes the planning process run so smoothly. At a certain point in our wedding planning, Shawn and I had to put aside what our guests would like and do what was best for ourselves. Naturally, we were still concerned with throwing a great party. But when we thought about what we enjoyed, the pressure from "perfect" vanished. We created our own idea of what was best for our day, and it made a huge difference. Seeing couples come to the same conclusion as us is fantastic. There is always the fear that, because of sites like Pinterest, the need to chase a flawless wedding is stronger than ever. Reading the positive advice fills me with so much joy. The key to wedding planning perfection is to throw out the idea of perfect. Focus on the fact that your happiness going into marriage will take you much further.   Marielle...

Guys, It's Your Day, Too

from Shawn

When it comes to wedding planning, it's no secret that most of it is geared towards the bride. The broad generalization (whether it's true or not) is that the female is the Creative, who has been planning the wedding since she was little, and is the most capable person. Everything involved with the wedding is making these childhood dreams come true, and the guy is just a lucky participant in this occasion. In fact, it seems to be a rule of the universe that most conversations about wedding planning include a passive comment like "It's her day, after all!" It might be the gentleman passing the responsibility of choice to his future wife, or it might be used by an in-law or friend to override an unpopular decision, but Britney and I cringe whenever we hear this phrase. It gets to be rather demoralizing for a male and helps feed this notion of "her day." Just in the process of our own wedding, I've had these circumstances occur: Filling out a form for a wedding expo which asked explicitly for "Bride's Name" but not mine. Getting a call from a vendor asking to speak to Britney even though I gave my name and number on the contact list. Having my name spelled completely wrong on a form with a potential vendor (they spelled Britney's name correctly). Being generally ignored in conversation while vendors make direct eye contact with Britney. Britney and I worked hard...

Timing is Everything

Something Borrowed, Something True

For the first of many installments in the bride-to-bride wedding advice series, I'm going to the most obvious of planning tips: time management. From the questionnaires I send out, timing is the most referenced topic. The thing that surprised me the most in the responses, though, is that timing means different things to a lot of people. It isn't always about giving yourself more months to plan (certainly that comes up) but there are so many other factors to keep in mind during the process. I loved reading all of the responses and I found that getting this type of insight from real couples -- no matter how big or small the advice -- was wonderful. Before I share what these fantastic couples have said, I first want to share from my own personal vault of advice. For Shawn and me, we planned a Friday wedding due to our dream venue being completely booked up two years in advance. The idea of the wedding being on a Friday stressed me out so much. I wanted to be able to have all of our family and friends there and I was afraid that no one would be able to get off of work. I even had an awful nightmare where I showed up to the venue and no one was there, and even Shawn couldn't get off work for his own wedding in this terrible dream world. Pathetic, but such a deep and real fear I had. My...

Should You Do a First Look?

Things to Consider

At this point, more than a few of the wedding planning sites you are on may be telling you to do a first look. They give a run-down of what it is and of all of the good that comes from doing one. Some of those sites may even say that your photographer will tell you to do one. Seriously, though, who am I to say "you must have a first look"? I would be a complete hypocrite if I demanded that; Shawn and I didn't do a first look, and even if we had the chance to go back and have one, we wouldn't. One of the things we both wanted from our day was for the first moment we see each other to be when I was walking down the aisle to him. We instead did an alternative to a first look where we held hands and said a prayer while separated by a door frame. I'm so glad that we did it this way because it was a moment I would never take back for anything. It was special and real and -- yes -- there were tears <3. We knew in our case a first look wouldn't work. Shawn and I talked about it, we made our photographer aware of our alternate idea, and we planned our timeline accordingly. I had where we would be during that last hour of light for sunset all mapped out. I think the most important thing, if...

Something Borrowed, Something True

A New Wedding Advice Series

As part of the process for getting to know our couples, I give all of our brides and grooms a questionnaire to fill out at their leisure in the weeks leading up to their big day. It has all of those technical questions about addresses and times, but the questions get a little deeper and more personal, too. One of my favorite things to read from the questionnaire are the tips that my couples give others who are in the beginning stages of wedding planning. Some of the tips are incredibly practical, like "make a budget and take one thing at a time." But some of the couples took the question to heart and provided a very thought provoking response, which made me start thinking about creating a series where I can share some of this amazing advice. My plan for this series is to focus on all of the great suggestions that my brides offer to help other real brides. Shawn and I have worked with all of these couples, and their heart really shows through in their words. My goal is to give you, my readers, some very useful information if you are -- or someone you know is -- in the thrilling journey of wedding planning! I'm so excited about kicking off this new series on my blog. I hope that it is informative and inspires people to evaluate their own planning process to maximize the awesomeness of their day. I plan on releasing the...