The past 2 weeks have been an enjoyable time for shooting beautiful photos on a relaxed schedule. I’m so thankful for a our friends Britt and Jon Anderson who graciously hosted us during our stay in Oahu.
When working with our brides and grooms we’ve found that a key ingredient to beautiful photographs is choosing a good venue. Here’s a few images from a great venue we were recently at. The Longaberger Golf Club was a great location.
Congrats! You just got engaged! You’ve told all your friends. You posted it all over facebook, but NOW you have to plan your BIG day.
Two years ago I was 2 months away from my wedding day. My engagement was 3 months long and it was not much time to prepare. I had to FOCUS. (No “Five Year Engagement” here) Three months ended up being good for me because I didn’t over think. Most brides have longer engagement periods to prepare. Whether yours is long or short there’s going to be a long TO DO list. I have a tendency to feel overwhelmed when there’s SO much to do. When planning the wedding the best way to start off is by making a TO DO list. Looking back I wouldn’t change anything about our engagement. Joe and I had long distance relationship and I just wanted to be together. The night of our engagement I couldn’t go to sleep due to the long TO DO list in my head. I was thankful to know friends who had connections. My friend Julia Burr had been married about a year earlier. She gave some great recommendations. I also used wedding sites such as WeddingWire.com to get ideas as well.
Before you start your list decide how many people you want in your wedding party. Also don’t wait too long to decide how may people you want to invite to your wedding. The amount of people you have will dictate which wedding venue you choose.
1. First things first: A dress? It wasn’t first for me. The first thing we did was looked for a venue. After checking out about 3 or 4 locations we settled on the Upcountry History Museum in Greenville, SC. It was pretty awesome. http://www.upcountryhistory.org/rental/
2. Ok maybe second was the dress (and bridesmaid dresses). I suggest bringing a friend with you especially when you go your first time. Maybe bring them if you decide to show your mom the dress. It doesn’t hurt. If your friend happens to be a bridesmaid, see if she can try on the bridesmaid dresses. It helps to have an opinion.
3. Photographers: I knew a lot of photographers but in my case I decided to with someone I originally started shooting with (Micah Merril). Being a photographer I definitely valued photography for my wedding day! I actually knew a lot of photographers but I didn’t have a ton of time to talk to all of them and narrow possibilities down. Being sure you make out an itinerary and go over it you’re your photographer and wedding coordinator.
4. Wedding Planner: I highly recommend a wedding coordinator. They help the day go smoothly. They iron out details and eliminate stress on the wedding day. As a photographer I love having a wedding coordinator to work with. With out a coordinator the photographer or DJ end up running the schedule of events. The coordinator makes sure everyone is at the right places and at the right time. I went to Sharon Smith for my wedding. She also did my flowers. Look up ontopofthetable.com. It was a perfect situation. Sharon had coordinated other weddings at my venue and had also worked with my caterer.
5. Flowers/Color Theme: When I was picking out my bridesmaid dresses someone at the store suggested I choose Calla Lilies to go with the pool blue dresses. I went their suggestion and I’m glad I did!
6. Music: The music I chose for my wedding ceremony included a guitar, cello, keyboard, a female vocalist, and male vocalist. I enjoyed including my friends. My friend Laura Kaufmann was a on the cello and my close friend Jessica Libor was my female vocalist. They both did an excellent job. At some point you will need to choose songs that you like and have your musicians practice at some point before the wedding. Also, if you are going to have a DJ this would be the time to connect and pick out songs for dances.
7. Invitations/List of Guest: Invitations aren’t easy. I decided to use an online company and they did a great job. I also would recommend Jolene Kaufmann at http://www.jolidesign.net/. She does beautiful work.
8. Catering: Once again, if you have a friend who can give a good recommendation go with it. I used Linda Abrams as my caterer. She did fabulous work. I loved her assortment of cheeses, desserts, fruit, and drinks.
9. Cake: My plans for the cake fell through the week before the wedding. The original person who was going to make the cake could not bring it in at the right time. Fortunately I had a back up plan and used Heather Tracy. She was very easy to work with. I’m thankful for her flexibility at the last minute.
10. Decorations: Have fun, go wild, or find a venue that does not need a whole lot of extras. I did a mix of both.
11. Officiant: Choose someone you know and trust officiate your wedding.
12. Hair for Bride and Bridesmaids: I chose a friend who is a manager at a salon.
We did a practice session before the wedding day. I recommend bringing pictures of some styles you like when you go in to see your stylist.
13. Make up: A friend of mine Jessica Libor was my make up artist. I highly recommend a make up artist for yourself and bridesmaids. It makes a difference in pictures.
14. Buy Wedding Rings: Enjoy picking out wedding rings with your fiancé and buy something you really like.
15. Rehearsal Dinner: If you choose to have a rehearsal dinner you will need to find a location. I chose The Channel/Grille 33. They did an excellent job.
16. Last Minute Details: Plan to have some good friend of family help out with gifts, serving cake, punch, etc. Make sure you have an fun exit plan. This could involve sparklers, bubbles, or creative tunnel made by friends and family.
Also, some bride like to make programs for their guest. Usually this involves an order of events and a thank you to all those involved in the wedding.
Good luck with your wedding plans. Weddings take a lot work and a number of decisions. At the end of the day you will be married and those decisions will be gone. The bigger decision you made was choosing who you wanted to be with for the rest of your life. For me that was the easy decision. ☺ I look back with wonderful memories of my wedding day. It was a special time with those I love dearly. I believe having a professional to capture those moments is something you will not regret. It goes by so quickly. When it’s over the pictures that will be your memories to keep for a lifetime.
Photo Credit: Micah Merril with Antworx Studios and John Hatfield.