To the Newly Engaged – Part 5

This is Part 5 of a five-part “To the Newly Engaged” series about making your engagement, wedding planning, and wedding as enjoyable and productive as possible! This is from my personal experience as a bride, and from my perspective as a wedding photographer as well. Check the bottom of this post for links to the rest of the series, and share with your friends who are engaged as well!

Nacogdoches photographer: To the Newly Engaged Series: detail ring shot of an engagement ring on yellow wildflowers

There have been a lot of posts in this series with tips on how to get things done. How to make things personal. How to make sure your photographer is the best fit for you. But this last post in the series is going to bring it back to the beginning. To having fun and making sure you enjoy it. This week is all about knowing when to stop.

  • Give yourself a cutoff deadline. The last thing you want to do is be buried in a to-do list and stressing about the details, when you could be enjoying time with your family, friends and fiancé. This is something I remember seeing my sister-in-law do, and I made sure to implement it with our wedding as well. I decided that when all of my family started to arrive from out of town, that would be my cue to try to just let go of any tiny loose ends that probably didn’t need to be tied up anyway.
  • Be realistic with your deadline. Give yourself a deadline that is more than 2 hours before you walk down the aisle. But also make sure you don’t set a deadline of a month ahead (unless you really can keep it – and if you can, that’s amazing!). Think 1-3 days before the ceremony. And also be realistic about things that really can’t be done prior. For example, if you’re arranging your own flowers, you probably won’t want to do that a few days before, but you can also choose to make it a fun, enjoyable process.
  • Stick to the deadline! Seriously, when it’s time to stop, just stop. I know it’s hard to imagine, but stressing over the tiny details that you (and your guests) may not remember isn’t worth missing the enjoyment of really being in the moment with your people. If there’s a major to-do list item or issue that needs to be resolved, by all means, go for it. But if you’re still trying to decide which tables should have flowers, and which should have candles – just choose and move on. You’ll appreciate that time you give yourself, I promise.

I hope this series has been helpful for you, and that your wedding planning is fun, organized, personal and rewarding. And more than that, I hope your marriage is leaps and bounds better than your wedding day. Because the wedding is a day, but your marriage is forever.

You can find the rest of the To the Newly Engaged series here:

To the Newly Engaged – Part 4

This is Part 4 of a five-part “To the Newly Engaged” series about making your engagement, wedding planning, and wedding as enjoyable and productive as possible! This is from my personal experience as a bride, and from my perspective as a wedding photographer as well. Check back next week to catch the last part of the series, and share with your friends who are engaged as well!

Nacogdoches photographer: To the Newly Engaged Series: detail ring shot of an engagement ring on smoke gray beaded jewelry

Today’s installment is all about the beauty in the details. There are so many opportunities to incorporate meaningful details into your big day, and I think weddings with those personal touches tend to be the most memorable and moving! You don’t have to stress about every detail having some sentimental connection to you and your fiancé, but finding at least a few key opportunities to infuse meaning and emotion will be such a great return on your investment. So here go with a few tips for your wedding day details:

  • Re-read point 2 from Part 2: Don’t let Pinterest take over your wedding!!! Sure, those adorable table numbers may be something you just HAVE to HAVE, and that’s fine! Go for it! But you also want to be able to look back at your details and see YOU, not a version of someone else’s wedding. Be smart about what ideas you incorporate from Pinterest. Try to use it as a springboard for finding your own twist on those images/ideas.
  • Be creative. I know this isn’t everyone’s strongest area, but maybe you have a bridesmaid or a mother who comes up with great ideas? Bring them in on the planning! Think about things that mean the world to you – and then think about if there’s a way to incorporate that into your details.
    • Example: are you going to have photos of your parents, grandparents, etc. on their wedding day displayed at the reception? Find out what each of those brides’ favorite flower is, and put 2-3 in a small vase near their photo. Keeping them all in the same color palette or in your wedding colors will make things sweet but seamless! Imagine a table of polished silver vases with black and white wedding photos, small pale mint vases with one holding white peonies, one with white white hydrangeas, one with white tulips, and one with white roses. BOOM!! Your wedding just got pinned by thousands of other family-focused, soon-to-be brides looking for great ideas.
    • Another example (from my own wedding): My bouquet was gorgeous and it ended up being one of my most treasured details from my wedding day… but I admit flowers weren’t my #1 top priority. Why is the bouquet a stand-out for me even though I didn’t focus on flowers? The meaningful details it contained!! The wrap on the stem of my bouquet was the lace trim from my mother’s wedding dress. My sweet, thoughtful aunt (and God-mother) bought my bouquet as a gift to me. I had jewelry wired into the blooms that my late grandfather had given my grandmother who wasn’t able to make the trip out from California, so they were both with me as I walked down the aisle.

View More: http://korielynn.pass.us/holmes

  • Don’t keep your sentiments a secret. Make sure you communicate with your photographer about these personalized details so that they can get quality photos of them to preserve them forever (like mind did – thanks, Korie!)! Think about your granddaughter seeing those, hearing the story of the meaning behind the details, and choosing to do the same thing at her own wedding. Makes me teary-eyed just thinking about it!

So take your time to think about the things you love most, and try to find ways to sneak them into your day. Trust me, there’s nothing like having something extra special in each moment filling your heart more than you could ever imagine.

 

You can find the rest of the To the Newly Engaged series here:

To the Newly Engaged – Part 3

This is Part 3 of a five-part “To the Newly Engaged” series about making your engagement, wedding planning, and wedding as enjoyable and productive as possible! This is from my personal experience as a bride, and from my perspective as a wedding photographer as well. Check back for the next 2 weeks to catch the remainder of the series, and share with your friends who are engaged as well!

Nacogdoches photographer: To the Newly Engaged Series: detail ring shot of an engagement ring on bright magenta flowers

Part 3 is alllllllll about picking your photographer… Sure, I know I’m biased in thinking that this should be one of the major considerations in planning your wedding, but I promise it’s not ONLY because I’m a photographer. This was obviously one of my most important decisions because I do loooooove some great photography, but there are also a lot of other things to take into consideration as well.

  • Pick the photographer, not just the photographs. I’ve written a little bit about this before, but I really can’t stress this enough. Take the time to get to know your photographer. If they have a blog – read it. If they regularly post on social media – follow them. Make sure you like them as a person, AND make sure you like their work.
  • They are more than just another vendor. Following along with point number 1, you want to make sure you like and get along with your photographer. There are a lot of vendors involved in a wedding – cake, linens, DJ, caterer, officiant, etc. Most of those people drop off their items and leave, or they are part of a certain part of the wedding day. Your photographer will be with you all day long. They will be there as you gather with your mother and your bridesmaids as you put on that beautiful dress. They will be there as you wait at the end of the aisle for your music to cue the start of one of the most important walks of your life. They are there as you are introduced by your new name for the first time. There as you cut your cake. There as you exit one of the best parties of your life. They are there with you the whole time. Make sure they’re the kind of person you want around in all of those moments.
  • They are an experience, not just a product. As wedding photographers, we tend to also be there in those moments when things might not go as planned. There to help with a stubborn bustle right before your entrance into your ceremony. They are there to give the belt off their dress to help out a bridesmaid. They are there to re-pin a wild curl that’s come loose from your carefully selected wedding hairstyle. They are there to help you with what you need – and if they aren’t willing to do that, I’d say they shouldn’t be lucky enough to have the honor of photographing your day. Their primary role is to get gorgeous images, sure. But the best kind are there to make your day easier in the process.
  • Really think about the investment and what it means for you. If you’re just starting to look at photography pricing for the first time, you may have a little sticker shock. But trust that the money you invest in your photographer will be one of the most lasting decisions you make  – That decision will be the one providing you with visual memories to share with your grandkids in the future.

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  • BONUS TIP: Invest in Engagement photos! They are so much more than just getting sweet images of you and your fiance prior to your wedding day. They afford you and your photographer to build a relationship before your big day – you’ll have those jitters all worked out, so that when you take time for portraits on your day, you won’t have to worry about taking time to get comfortable with your photographer & their camera. (This is one of the reasons why engagement sessions are included in wedding packages.) You can also then have great (recent) images of you and your fiancé to display at showers, engagement parties, your rehearsal dinner and your reception if you choose!

 

You can find the rest of the To the Newly Engaged series here: