I love photographing weddings! What a happy and exciting time! When booking a wedding, one of the first things I like to do is get to know the couple. Through conversations I can gather ideas that are important to the bride and groom. Most brides have an idea of what type of pictures they want, but I also like to send a suggested list of moments that can be fun to capture as well. From this list, I can create an outline of poses and pictures the couple wants me to take throughout their special day. My favorite part is the candid moments you catch that are not planned. Some of these shots turn out to be some of the couples favorites.
Wedding receptions can reflect the spirit of the bride and groom. Whether fun and light-harted, romantic, rustic/country or just traditional, wedding receptions can be stressful to plan. Some of you may want to leave the reception up to a wedding coordinator, if you have hired one, but if you DIY you reception then here are some tips to keep in mind.
1. Don't forget your budget. Be willing to compromise on some things, that in the big picture, may not really seem as important.(This also pertains to letting a wedding coordinator help plan too.)
2. Recruit family and friends to help decorate for the reception. You do not want to be running around the day of the wedding trying to put your reception together.
3. Have a detailed plan of how your reception should look, including where everything goes. By doing this, you will be able to give this plan to the people you have recruited to help so that they can carry out your vision.
4. Give yourself plenty of time to make the things you want to do yourself so that you are not rushed at the last minute. Better yet, have your bridesmaids get together with you, and have a make it party. This is a great way to get things done, and enjoy time with your bridal party.
5. Don't be a Bridezilla! No one wants to be around, or help a diva. Enough said!
6. Spend some time checking out Pinterest boards, wedding planning websites, etc. to get ideas of what you want for your reception.
Enjoy this time. It only happens once!
Your wedding save the dates, invites, etc. should reflect you and your future groom's style. They give the guests invited a little peak of what they might expect when attending your wedding. You can choose to have an invitation that stems from your wedding colors, or from the theme of your wedding. The fun in picking an invitation is to think outside the box, and to be unique. You may even want to use some of your engagement pictures in the invitation. My daughter had a destination wedding where we invited just a few family members.(due to cost) She created a save the date note that we rolled up into a bottle with a few small sea shells and a small paper umbrella, and mailed these in a small cardboard box. She had a reception when we got back to celebrate with family and friends that she sent a turquoise and parchment brown invitation that had her beach theme reflected. We were also able to decorate the reception tables with her pictures from the wedding. Very fun and unique! I have a Pinterest board that has all types of ideas of wedding invitations and save the date invites to help get your creative juices flowing. Enjoy!
Choosing a wedding photographer is one of the most important decisions you will make when planning a wedding. These images are memories that tell your story that will last a lifetime. Your wedding photographer should meet with you several times throughout the process to insure they get the shots you want, and reflect your style. I have created a checklist for my clients to go over that have suggestions of pictures the bride may want of her special day. I encourage my clients to spend some time looking over the list to determine what is important to them and their family, and to add any shots they want to the list. I also give my clients a list of questions I have regarding the wedding, colors, people involved and so forth. A good photographer will want this information in order to make sure they capture the special moments of your wedding day. I have found several sites that have good advice for the bride-to-be when considering hiring a wedding photographer.
A Brides Guide to Hiring a Wedding Photographer
The Bridal Blog
How to Hire a Wedding Photographer
If I had to Hire a Wedding Photographer for my Own Wedding Today... (I really like this article because it is from someone who is already married that reflects back on what she would do differently.)
Whoever you choose as your wedding photographer, make sure it is someone you will be comfortable with because they will be spending a lot of time with you on your special day.
Once you have decided where you are going to have your wedding and reception, you will want to pick out a theme, or colors. You may have already done this when you selected your venue. Picking a theme and colors early in the planning will give you time to choose bridesmaid's dresses tuxes for the guys, and all the other details for your special day. Your theme, or colors may depend on the time of year. Red is always beautiful for a Christmas wedding. Pastels are pretty in the spring. I have created a Pinterest board that has a variety of wedding themes and colors. Some of them are really fun, where others are more traditional. What ever you choose, remember it is your special day so have fun and do something you will always remember.
Wedding Themes ( I linked this one a couple of days ago when I discussed venues, but wanted to link it again.)
How fun would it be to create a wedding website to communicate to all your friends and family what is happening! There a lots of free website makers available. Just choose one and get started! Information you could include could be date and location of the wedding along with directions, pictures from showers, possibly a blog of your wedding process, other important dates such as dress fittings, tux fittings, rehearsal dinner, etc. You can also post pictures after the wedding. With today's social media, using a website to communicate is a great way to share your special journey. Some great free sites are listed below.
The location of your wedding and reception can be one of the most important decisions. You need to decide if you are going to have your wedding ceremony and reception in the same location, or different. The location for your wedding can also determine your date depending on what is available. Choose a place that reflects you and your future husband's personality. My daughter, and her now husband decided they wanted their wedding to be somewhat hassle free so they had a destination wedding in Mexico. It was fun and very relaxing for all of us. Whether a beach, outdoors, or in a traditional setting select a place that will add to your special day. I have created a board on Pinterest that has ideas for different types of weddings and venues.
Questions you may want to ask when searching for a venue:
What is the fee, and what is included in the cost?
How many events do you host in one day?
Is there a coordinator available, and is this an additional cost?
What is the maximum number of guests you will allow?
Can your own decorations be brought in? Food? Other?
What sound equipment is available?
Are there certain areas of the venue you will not have access?
What is the time you can get into the venue, and when do you have to be out?
Can you choose your own vendors (food, band, photographer, etc.), or do you have to work with the vendors the venue uses?
This site has a downloadable list of questions to ask when looking for a venue. No matter where you decide to hold your wedding/reception make sure you have all the answers to your questions and have a signed contract well in advance.
Congratulations! You are engaged! For the month of March and April I will be discussing wedding ideas from decor to the little details. Now it is time to start the planning for your big day. No matter how much planning time a bride has, they still need a checklist. I have several links to sites that provide various types of wedding planning checklists.
Create Your Dream Day on a DIY Budget
Wedding Planning Checklist
Ultimate Wedding Planning Checklist
No matter which of these sites you use, or find your own checklist, please make sure you have a plan, and a budget.
I love to capture those special moments in people's lives through photography. I am constantly looking at a scene and thinking how could that work in a photo session, or what angle would work to capture the beauty that God has blessed us with.