Welcome Friends to the Wedding Planning Series! I fully recognize that planning a wedding day can be overwhelming, exhausting, and kind of like a part time job at times. There is A LOT that goes into a wedding day. But here’s the thing friend, it doesn’t have to be.
Planning your wedding should be:
And leave you feeling full and loved!
I want to help you make this process as enjoyable and seamless as possible. I want to help you love your wedding planning process. I want you to enjoy this beautiful season of life. You can feel good about your wedding planning process and choices! So let’s do this!
If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you know I have been hosting live videos focusing on different aspects of the planning process and different vendors each week. My goal in Spring 2018 is to walk you through a planning a wedding day like a pro! Once a week I’m going live and talking about a different part of the planning process from picking photographers to vendors to caterers to florals, etc.
There is a lot of material to cover, so let’s get started. First up…
When trying to pick the perfect date for you I would consider the 5 following things:
Are there dates that are significant to you as a couple? Are there dates that are important to your family? Your anniversary? Parents anniversary? First kiss? etc.
If there is a date that means a lot to you consider it for a wedding date! Do keep in mind that your date of importance may not fall on a weekend date, but that’s okay, you do you!
If this is how you are picking your wedding date you’re done! Congrats! You can stop reading now. 🙂
This is a big one! This matters so much, and will vary a lot depending on where you are getting married. What do you envision for your wedding? Do you envision a Spring wedding with lots of florals? A Fall wedding with bright orange and red leaves? A Winter Wonderland theme? What is most organically you and your partner? Go with what you feel most connected with!
If you’re getting married abroad or having a destination wedding do a little research! Make sure that you know what weather to expect at your destination wedding.
Are you working on a tight budget and really thinking of ways to save money on your wedding? Then you should think about ‘off seasons’! ‘Off seasons’ will vary depending on where you live. Seasonality can play a big role in terms of cost on a wedding day.
For example, I know that not many couples get married in Georgia outside in December or January because it’s pretty cold and not many people want to do that. Of course you CAN do this and I’ve had friends do this and have beautiful weddings! But because this is a slower season in Georgia often venues will have reduced rates to rent the space at that time.
So…if you have a dream venue you have your eye on, but you’re not sure you can afford it, see if they have a pricing change during their ‘off season’. This can help you narrow down a date!
Holidays can help you pick a date or help you deter from dates!
Help – You can plan your wedding on a weekend where there is an extended day of the week for a holiday (i.e. Labor Day or Memorial Day). Since most people have an extra day off that weekend, it allows you the flexibility to plan your wedding on a Sunday and still give your guests time to relax that Monday!
Or perhaps a particular holiday means a lot to you…like St. Patrick’s Day! That’s great! You can plan your wedding around that date and celebrate your favorite holiday with all your favorite people!
Deter – There may also be some holidays you may want to avoid. For example, if lots of your guests have children or may be flying from out of town to your wedding and you want your wedding on December 23rd, that might not be the best choice. Many of those people will want to stay at home with their families over Christmas. So think about your guest list for this one! Will planning your wedding around a particular holiday make it difficult for your guests to attend?
If there is a venue, photographer, planner etc. that you really want to work with chances are they may be booked up way in advance. If you must work with them, figure out when they are available and book them!
Have questions regarding anything about wedding planning? I mean it…ANYTHING? Leave a comment below and I’ll be sure to address this in our series!
Having beautiful detail shots of your wedding day are not only stunning, but they help tell YOUR wedding day story. I believe in the power of telling stories through your photos. Your wedding photographs should tell a story of YOUR relationship and YOUR day. Your details are unique to you and your style, so here are some tips to ensure your details add to your story!
Tip No 1 – Give your photographer time during your wedding day to capture your most important details. Pick details that are important to you! Whether that is your dress, shoes, invitation suite, flowers, or your grandmother’s necklace; add a little time in your photographer’s timeline to capture those well! When I arrive on a wedding day, I spend the first 45-60 minutes capturing a couple’s details and getting ready shots. This gives ample time to style the details and time to really make sure that I capture YOUR story in an unique way.
Tip No. 2 – Set aside a little bag of all your most important details that you’d like to have photographed! This saves so much time! So, when I arrive I can just grab all your details and get styling instead of searching for all the items the day of! Some of the most common items people set aside for detail photos are: dress, veil/hair pieces, rings (ALL THREE), shoes, jewelry, perfume, invitation suite and save the date, bouquet and boutonnieres, and any heirloom items that may be important to you!
Tip No. 3 – This is my favorite tip! Get creative and gather EXTRA elements to be photographed. For example, if you’re having a wedding at Joshua Tree National Park maybe add in a park map, brochures from the park, National Park patches, etc. Find items that are unique to your day and help complete your story!
I hope these small tips help your wedding day run smoothly! If you have more questions on how to make your wedding day run smoothly, leave them below!
I am totally excited to share this blog post with you all! I met Madison several years ago through the Modern Pin-Ups at DanceFx. If you all know me, you know I’m crazy about these gals! Check out my previous post here to read about these awesome women. Madison has been a sweet friend that I’ve gotten to know through dance and our little network of friends, and I feel so incredibly lucky to have been present during this season of change for her.
When Madison reached out to me about being her wedding photographer I was elated to say the least! Madison is kind, caring, fun, and incredibly beautiful, so how could you not be excited! But the tables turned and Madison and Skylar eloped and moved away to Texas! I’m thrilled for this new journey they’re on and know they’ll have a beautiful marriage.
So, to celebrate we had a session together while they were back visiting family and friends in Georgia. Documenting these two during their beginning stages of marriage was so fun! Madison and Skylar, I wish you both the best and I can’t wait to see you again soon.
While your wedding day is all about you, your future spouse, and your relationship; I feel it is equally important to make your guests feel loved and apart of your big day!
Here are few details on how you can start making your guests feel welcomed, loved, and included on your wedding day:
By giving your guests details on what to expect for your wedding, they can show up prepared and ready to go! This will reduce the number of phone calls, emails, and texts about those little details that could be easily handled by a well thought out schedule. You want your guests to feel like they’re in the “know” and show up with no confusion.
If you have lots of guests coming from out of town, it might be nice to help them find somewhere to stay. Call a few hotels, bed & breakfasts, etc. and see if they offer a discounted rate for wedding guests. Lots of hotels do this! It can really help cut down the travel costs for your guests, and it allows lots of your friends and family to stay in the same place (making them feel more included)!
If you have lots of guests flying into town, it might be nice to make a pick-up and drop-off system. Making a sharable Excel spreadsheet where guests can enter their flight details is key! Then the guests can chat amongst themselves and share rides to and from the airport. This can help cut down on rental cars and gas costs! Plus, it will give your guests more time together!
Print out a copy of your wedding itinerary, add a few swag items, and write a small welcome letter! Add seasonal items too! For example, if your wedding is in the middle of summer, add a few water bottles, sunscreen, and snacks to help them make it through the day! This helps all your guests feel loved and like an integral part of your wedding day.
Wedding parties are so important on your wedding day. They’ve likely spent lots of time helping you plan and lots of money to be apart of your day, so be sure to shower them with some extra gifts and love. They’ll appreciate this gesture.
If you have fun and unique ways you’ve helped your wedding guests feel welcome please do share! I’d love to hear them!
Wedding days are hectic! There are loads of people around you, relatives to chat with, timelines to stick to, and the list goes on and on…
Here are SEVEN things that many brides end up forgetting on their wedding day! It’s never intentional… these things just end up slipping our minds. So here is a little reminder to help you remember these few things on your wedding day:
1. Clean those rings! Your rings are going to get photographed on the big day and we want them to look their best. Bring a few Bling Wipes with you in a pinch to clean them off real quick!
2. All three rings! That’s right…don’t hand off the rings to best man quite yet. We’ll need all three rings for your styling your photos. We’ll get the best man the rings after those detail shots.
3. Designate someone to help the guys with their boutonnieres…they always need help, and we don’t want any crocked flowers falling off during the ceremony! Trust me…just assign them a helper! 😉
4. If you want those beautiful outdoor portraits you might need some Heel Stoppers! These little friends will help your heels not sink into the dirt as we walk around photographing your beautiful portraits!
5. Pack snacks! I’ve seen so many brides feel faint, and it’s because they get so busy that they forget to eat. So pack yourself some goodies and…hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Take care of yourself!
6. Bring a spare invitation suite with you to the wedding day. It’s nice to have an extra invitation suite to use for photographing your details.
7. Bring comfy shoes! You’ll want to pull those heels off eventually and you surely want to give your feet a rest when you leave the venue. So pack a pair of comfy shoes!
I hope these tips help you during any last minute wedding prep! Happy Planning Friends!
Sharing a wedding day with you all is such a privilege! To be able to document a day from beginning to end and share the story with you all is one of my favorite things to do.
Elizabeth was one of the calmest bride’s I have ever met. I admire her for approaching her wedding day with so much confidence and joy. Elizabeth has such a beautiful spirit that is contagious. Spending the day with her just lifted me up!
Getting Ready – She got ready in this beautiful home with her mom, sister, and a few close friends and family. Everyone was thrilled and had mimosas in hand ready to start celebrating the day! This family was so generous and loving during every single step of the wedding day. It was so nice to see Elizabeth so supported and loved on during this day.
First Look with Dad – Some brides do a first look with their groom, but Elizabeth decided to do a first look with her Dad. This was such a sweet way to start off her day. This small moment before the day got going was such a beautiful way to set the mood for the whole wedding day. And…isn’t Elizabeth just stunning here! Her vibrance and energy in every photo just shine through!
The Ceremony – Elizabeth and Brady had an intimate ceremony with their families at Greer Park in South Carolina. Elizabeth walked in to a beautiful violin piece and had the biggest smile on her face that you could imagine. Elizabeth and Brady exchanged sincere and loving vows while smiling at each other with joy during the entire ceremony.
The Reception – Elizabeth and Brady invited all their friends and family to cut cake, eat good food, drink champagne, and dance the night away with them! I don’t think you could ask for a better way to end your wedding day!
Elizabeth and Brady I wish you both the best of luck in your marriage! I had a wonderful time capturing your wedding day and couldn’t have asked for a sweeter couple to work with.
Hello Friends! I am thrilled to be sharing some of this beautiful botanical styled wedding that was put on by some amazing creatives here in Atlanta. The space was beautifully curated with organic designs and lots of beautiful white space. Cue an Amanda happy dance! Natural white spaces are my jam!
This space was full of simple details. The simple beautiful details, the imperfect ones, are my favorite. The imperfections carry a weight of history and time, I love that. The exposed hardwood floor and white walls were the perfect space to celebrate this beautiful day.
These two brides are beaming in every image, yet they invoke such a feeling of calm and grace. I love that about them. Their beauty radiated throughout this whole space. #BrideGoals I don’t think there is really anything I can say to explain how much I loved the design and feel of this day.
As creatives I think it’s important to spend a little time in a design process and trying new things. It’s in those times that we explore where the most beautiful things are created. I think this stylized wedding IS one of those times.
P.S. – You can’t get any better than a board full of beautiful neutrals.
These gold silverware sets are my new favorite thing!
This tablescape is one of my favorite to date! I love all the white and natural elements here. It feels so peaceful.
But these two beauties really stole the show. Their grace and natural beauty really shines through in these images.
I’m so grateful to have had this opportunity to work with such wonderful creatives who helped make this DREAM day possible!
Photography: Amanda Olivia Photography | Host: Four Corners Photography | Design & Styling: Simply Charming Socials | Venue: Ambient Studio | Florals: Gold & Bloom Floral Design | Furniture: Presentime Rentals | Cake: Peche Petite Boutique | Bridal Shop: The Sentimentalist | Hair & Makeup: Jade Jamrozy Hair & Makeup Artistry | Paper Goods: Minted | Rings: Trumpet & Horn | Talent: Kristin Brock with Salt Agency | Plates & Glassware: Blue Eyed Yonder
You don’t have to tell me that weddings are expensive! There are so many expenses to make a wedding day happen and they add up fast. I know that many brides are sticking to tight budgets and have to prioritize what they want to invest in.
This. gets. hard.
I heard a tip that I loved that I think is worth sharing! Not only can this tip save you lots of money, but it can make a great impact on the way your photos turn out…
If you’re having trouble making decisions on where to cut expenses back and you’re having a hard time figuring out what to do with your florals then I suggest you invest in your bridal bouquet (and bridal party bouquets if you can). Don’t worry about all the other florals (centerpieces, aisle decorations, etc.) as much.
When photographing a wedding we can utilize the bride’s (and bridesmaids) beautiful bouquets in different arrangements and give the illusion that there were florals everywhere. Ummmm…yes please! Of course it would be nice to have florals everywhere, but I understand that for some budgets that is just plain unrealistic.
If you are able to invest in your whole bridal parties florals then you could recycle your bridesmaids bouquets and use them as floral centerpieces at your cocktail hour or around your reception. Get creative with your flowers!
The bridal bouquet can be used to spice up the bridal details, the cocktail hour, the reception, bide and groom portraits, and wedding party portraits! We can make those florals go a long way.
So if you’re in a budget pinch for flowers, I would definitely put more of your floral budget to your bridal bouquet since it will be a focal point (and should be!) for so many pictures.
Past brides, how did you utilized your florals to the max on your wedding day? Have any tips or tricks for brides-to-be?
Featured Image: Mentorship with @tulleandgrace | Location – @thegreenhousenorcross | Model – @chloe.m.hall | Make up and hair – @jennifercnieman | Dress – @marchesafashion | Details – @the_little_north_sea_studio @marbelladish @weddingstorywriter | Florals –@lindsaycolettaflorals | Film Processing – @indiefilmlab
Yesterday we talked all about the pros of having an unplugged wedding (Check out the details here)! Sounds pretty peaceful and intentional doesn’t it?!?! That all sounds great, but now we need to actually make a device free day happen.
Here are my tips to creating a device free wedding day:
Start it all off right by telling your guests what to expect on your wedding website. Your guests will use this platform to remember your wedding location, what they should wear, etc.; so why not give them tips on what you’d like YOUR wedding day to be like? Just write a simple and short note under the F.A.Q. section so guests can know to put their phones away before they even arrive on your wedding day.
I’ve seen this be done in a very tasteful way. Ask your officiant to remind your guests to be fully present during the ceremony. Remember, these people were invited as honored guests to watch you start your life together as forever partners! When you remind guests of how distracting their devices can be, they are more likely to tuck them away and focus on what’s happening in the now.
Here are a few examples of what your officiant can say:
” The couple invites you to be fully present during this special time in their relationship. We ask you to please turn off your cell phones and put down your cameras. I encourage you to celebrate this time with those around you and not behind a lens or screen.”
” The couple respectfully requests that you honor the sanctity of this ceremony by turning off all cell phones and cameras.”
You can tailor this message to fit your wedding day and personal beliefs.
Writing a short note in your program reminding your guests to turn off their phones can be helpful and effective!
Something along the lines of:
“Welcome! We are honored to have you here to celebrate the start of our marriage with us. As a guest, we want you to feel truly present today and live in this moment with us. We’ve hired an amazing wedding photographer to capture our wedding day and all the details involved so you don’t have to! Please take this invitation to enjoy our special day and to be fully present as we celebrate. We respectfully ask you to consider leaving all cameras and cell phones off during our ceremony. We will of course share our wedding photos with you afterward!”
Reminding your guests to live in the moment and to be fully attentive is a great way to start the ceremony off right.
You can make your sign funny or direct and to the point! Just write a short message informing your guests that this is an unplugged wedding.
If you want your guests to be able to have some fun candid photos, consider asking them to wait to pull out their phones till the reception. After the cake cutting, first dances, and all the big things are over, you will have TONS of time to dance the night away…and take fun photos with your friends. This is a nice compromise that will allow your guests to A) be fully present during all the important moments B) not get in the way of your wedding photographer or be in the background of any photos and C) will give them the time to capture a few selfies with you if they want!
Have you had an unplugged wedding? What strategies did you use to help your guests be fully present? I’d love to hear about them!
I don’t think I have to tell any of you that cellphones create problems. We spend so much time scrolling through social media, checking our emails, taking pictures, texting our family and friends, and the list goes on and on and on…
Now don’t get me wrong, phones have a great purpose, BUT we spend so much time on them that they can distract from the present moment. We miss living in the now to be on our phones. I’ve seen parents at parks scrolling through their phones instead of watching their kids play and interact with others. I’ve seen whole families sit and stare at their phones instead of talking with each other at dinner. I’ve seen parents watch dance recitals from behind an ipad trying to record every moment instead of just watching and enjoying the performance in real time. I know you’ve seen similar situations as well. We see them all too often in my opinion.
And guess what…this distraction doesn’t stop at weddings!
It’s your big day and you’re getting ready to walk down the aisle, you look around and you see that everyone has their phone out snapping pictures and recording the moment. It’s a sea of phones!
I don’t know about you, but this isn’t the vision I want to see when I’m about to walk down the aisle. I want to see the face of my mom smiling with joy, and the look of awe from my soon-to-be husband as I’m walking towards him. I want to see these faces and remember these moments without devices polluting my vision.
While I appreciate the sentiment and the desire to capture the moment from every guest, this is so incredibly distracting and takes away from being fully present.
I encourage all my couples to consider an ‘unplugged’ wedding, where they advise their guests to be present and stay as device-free as possible! Now….I know this may not be for everyone, but just consider the advantages an unplugged day can bring!
Here are a few pros to having a device free day:
You’ve planned a wonderful day and have a whole timeline of events ready to go for your guests. Allow them to live in the moment and fully relish the day by enjoying your wedding without the distraction of Facebook and emails (those can wait till they get home)! You only get married once, and you want to make sure everyone enjoys your wedding as intended.
This is a big one! Often wedding photographers have to re-angle their shot because Aunt Milly decides to stick her arms into the aisle to capture the kiss with her iPhone. Phones pop up left and right during wedding ceremonies, and it makes it difficult for the photographer you hired to capture those special moments.
By having an unplugged wedding, your photographer will have an easier time capturing your day without having to move around guests, or crop out arms and phones.
Have you ever sat behind someone at the movies that was on their phone? The pitter pattering of their fingers touching the screen (even if it’s on silent) and the bright lights from the phone are distracting. I don’t know about you, but when this happens I can’t help but look in the direction of the phone even if just for a second.
You don’t want this experience during your wedding ceremony! Not only is that one guest distracted, but now they’ve captured the attention of other guests while you’re exchanging your vows. No thank you!
By eliminating devices during your ceremony, you can ensure your guests are focusing on what’s happening.
Again…the glow from phones is truly disturbing! Plus, you’ll have every aunt and cousin sticking their phones out down the aisle ,or above other guests heads to try and get the perfect shot. While I appreciate their sentiment, this creates a visual distraction for other guests. There’s nothing like watching someone’s hands and phone block your view as a the bride is walking down the aisle. No one wants that!
Weddings are often THE ONE event where all your friends and family will be together. Weddings serve as a meeting ground for new and old friends, for the bride and grooms extended family, and for the bride and groom themselves to meet their new spouse’s family and friends! Think of another time in your life when all your favorite people will be in one place…
Could you think of one? If you can, it’s rare right?
By having an unplugged wedding, you are giving your guests the opportunity to get to know each other and develop relationships. Let’s be honest, it’s much easier to scroll through social media than to talk to someone new. So let’s get rid of those distractions!
I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for all my favorite people to be in one room together. And when they’re all together, I want them to be fully present.
So how do you make an unplugged wedding happen? Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post on how to execute a device free wedding!