Kelsey & Justin, your wedding day at Grace Bible Church was beautifully full of the best mix of prayer, love & joy. You were so much fun to work with, and Max and I truly enjoyed getting to be by your side as you became husband and wife!
One of my favorite things is the personal touches throughout a wedding day, and I loved how Kelsey & Justin brought in their past & their personalities into the day in various ways. Kelsey & Justin met at bible study, so their relationship began with a foundation in Christ. They started their ceremony with a moment of prayer, and it was really moving to see the two of them standing in front of family & friends to bow their heads together in a conscious moment of again grounding their lives in Christ.
As the celebration kicked off, they danced for the first time as husband and wife, surrounded by their family & friends as John Legend’s All of Me played. Justin explained to me that they had heard that song all throughout their first vacation together in Boston, so it was a natural choice for their first dance. Then after John Legend faded out, a second dance began. A much different dance…. a mash up of a wide genre of songs accompanied by some impressive dance moves! At the end, amidst the applause, Kelsey said to their guests “You all know me… The only person in the entire world that could get me to do that is Justin!” And that, y’all, is what I love about love. That when you find the right person, they push you to be whole in ways you didn’t know you needed, and they’re right there by your side while you do it.
Kelsey, you were a stunning bride!!! That dress was just perfection on you!
This is just one of the reasons why I love first looks!!
Always one of my favorite moments of the day – when the groom gets to see his bride walk down the aisle!
Kelsey & Justin, you two are just perfect together, and I pray that you have the type of marriage that is a beacon for others to come closer to those they love and closer to Christ. May you have many happy years together!!
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!
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:
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!
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.
- 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: