Not only does everyone want their wedding to be perfect, but they also want their wedding to be captured perfectly. It’s incredibly exciting to receive the photos from your big day back from the photographer, and with any luck, you’ll fall in love with every picture that was taken! Here are a few tips to keep in mind. We’re not perfect and neither are you, so cut yourself some slack and have a little fun. Life is short and our expectations are often unrealistic, but these suggestions might help you stay focus on what matters to allow you to revere each moment of your wedding day. #liferevered
Practice Self-Care Now
To ensure that you’re feeling amazing when it’s time to take your wedding photos, start implementing small positive changes in your everyday life in the months leading up to the event. Real self-care goes well beyond drinking green juice and buying yourself a new pair of Lululemon leggings— it’s about checking in with yourself, both physically and mentally, and making adjustments to your habits and behavior as needed in order to feel your best.
Take up gentle exercise, like yoga or pilates, to help keep your body and mind in tip-top shape. Find your perfect skincare routine, and stick to it. Make a conscious effort to clean up your diet, and drink tons of water. If you feel as though you could be doing better emotionally, consider speaking with a mental health professional so you’re in an ideal frame of mind when the big day arrives. The more you do for your personal well being before it’s time to get in front of the camera and walk down the aisle, the more healthy and happy you’ll look in your photos!
For Brides, consider movement when saying yes to your dress. Similarly, consider two shoe options, one for looks and the other for practicality, especially if you’re not able to see them. If you’re feeling adventurous, as many of our couples are, we recommend a dress the bustles well. While you certainly want the dress to look beautiful, you’ll also want to make sure you can realistically sit, stand, walk, and dance in your dress for hours on end without getting too uncomfortable. The more at ease you’re able to make yourself feel while photos are being taken, the more natural the finished product will be.
Grooms, we recommend doing the sweat test. The last thing you want is to feel like a hot mess on your wedding day. Select breathable fabric and layers the prevent you from overheating. Do you hate it when you’re constantly having to tuck in your shirt? Me too! I haven’t tried them, but consider Tucked Trunks or something similar to have worry-free dress attire. We recommend purchasing your shoes instead of renting which allows you to break in your shoes in advance. I am a big fan of Taft shoes. Side note: We happen to really like kilts.
Reduce Unnecessary Stress
The last thing you would want is to have wedding pictures taken where stress is visibly etched on your face, making you look miserable and less-than-enthused about your new relationship status. One of the major culprits for this stress can be your financial situation. To rid yourself of this anxiety, it’s important that you make sure you’ve given your budget sufficient attention throughout the wedding planning process. That way, you can be certain that you’ve allocated funds in a manner that ensures that your wedding day stays on budget. If you’re not sure where to allocate your funds, ask people what they remember from the last wedding they attended. What are the things people remember? Spend time and money on these things, however, in the end, it will be your day and your memories are what matter most!
In the months leading up to the big day, keep a close eye on all of your expenses through wedding planning apps that monitor vendor payments or a mobile banking app that will provide a comprehensive overview of your finances. We personally use Mint for our personal finances. You’ll also want to be sure that you’ve prioritized the items in your budget so the components of your wedding that are most important to you— like great music or beautiful photography— have an appropriate amount of money allocated toward them. When you can be confident in the fact that your wedding money is going exactly where it should be, you’ll find it much easier to smile and relax on the day of your event.
Know Your Desired Aesthetic
When researching wedding photographers, some couples already have a clear vision in mind of what they want their photos to look like. If you belong to one of those couples, it can be helpful to seek out a professional who is capable of bringing your vision to life and whose photographic style aligns well with your wishes.
Are you and your partner more of the dark and broody type, staring into each other’s eyes with the intensity of a thousand suns? Or are you more lighthearted and silly, laughing in the sunlight with all of your friends and family? Whatever your preferred style may be, with enough research, you should be able to find a photographer who is able to fulfill your desired aesthetic and leave you with high-quality photos you’ll love for years to come. Katie and I have been capturing weddings for over 10 years (that ages us a bit), but we’re still hip… people still say that right? We shoot weddings for our clients like we would want them shot for ourselves. Our approach and aesthetic are simple and we lean towards classic and clean images that have a timeless feel from two different perspectives. We strive to capture raw emotion and focus on making our couples and their wild and fun friends feel as much like themselves as possible.
Your wedding photos are something that you and your spouse will flip through fondly for the rest of your lives, so you should try to find a photographer that will help you take pictures that showcase the true nature of the relationships you have with each other and with your loved ones— the good, the unpredictable, and the funny.
Don’t worry about looking perfect in your pictures— focus instead on having the most fun you can at your wedding and letting the joy you feel at marrying your significant other pour out of you. The professional you’ve hired will take care of the rest! Not only will the photos be artistic and well-composed, but they’ll also capture that joy, excitement, and any other range of emotions you experience over the course of your special day, making them feel all the more real and meaningful to you as your reminisce.
Weddings take a lot of time, energy, and resources to plan and organize. You know this very well as a groom-to-be. Fortunately, you have people who will offer their help and support with preparing the wedding. For you, the groom, it’s your groomsmen who’ve got your back through everything. And it is part of the wedding tradition to gift them with something to show your gratitude.
Giving gifts may not seem enough to express your full appreciation, but it’s a tangible way to say thank you. And you can always return the favor when it’s their time to marry. With that said, here are a few awesome groomsmen gift ideas for your buddies.
You can’t be the only one looking dapper on your wedding day, so why not gift your groomsmen with a fancy grooming kit? It’s a present your buddies can put into good use for sure. Plus, there are a wide variety of grooming kits to choose from. For the best fellows who like to keep their facial hair neat and majestic, a set of beard grooming kit would be perfect. A shaving set would suit the one who likes to keep themselves without the five o’clock shadow. But if you want to take it up a notch, get your best buds an entire grooming set, complete with barber tools, manicure kit, hygiene products, pomades, oils, and whatnots.
Classy Suit Accessories
Why choose between a cool gift and a practical one when you can choose both? A set of classy suit accessories is the perfect mix of cool and practical. Typically, a set consists of a stylish tie with a matching pocket square, a shiny pair of cufflinks, and a sleek tie bar. Customize the set by engraving an initial or an original design on the cuff links or tie bar and choose matching designs for the tie and pocket square so you and your groomsmen are coordinated.
Handy Multipurpose Tool
Say thank you to the outdoorsy and DIY-loving groomsmen by giving them a high-quality multipurpose tool. A multipurpose tool, or multi-tool, is like many gifts in one. Most multi-tool has a knife, a bottle opener, a screwdriver, a wrench, and a handful of other tools. A multipurpose tool isn’t only useful to outdoorsy or DIY-loving fellows. It can be an invaluable tool for completing everyday tasks, such as opening a packet of food, popping open a bottle, or cutting a loose thread. During an emergency, a multi-tool might be a lifesaver too.
Pop and Stand Cooler
A pop and stand cooler is an essential travel companion on a beach trip, a camping adventure, or a barbeque party in the backyard. It’s lightweight and foldable, so it’s easy to carry when traveling and store after use. Anyone, including your groomsmen, would appreciate receiving one as a gift.
If your buddies love traveling, they can bring the portable cooler wherever they go and enjoy a cold drink or hot food during their trip. Some coolers also double as organizers with pockets for your keys, wallet, and phone.
As a bro pleaser, pick out a box set that includes a flask, and a handy knife. Sometimes you just need a little pick-me-up to survive a harrowing day or get through a stressful situation. For some, it’s coffee; others, it’s booze. It’s not all the time that you can find a convenient place to get a fix of your preferred stimulant—exactly why you should give your best buds personalized hip flasks as groomsmen gifts. Throw in a handy knife great for hunting, camping or even for regular use.
Groovy Groomsmen Gifts just so happened to send me one of these boxes, called the Triple Threat. This set is a combination of a cherry wood lined box with Spanish cedar, (that smells incredible too) a back stainless steel flash which comes engraved with your buddies name and the date of your wedding, just in case they were to ever forget the very night they gave the best best man’s speech ever! Thank you for liquid courage for making my job just a little more enjoyable! Thirdly, this groomsmen gift comes with a customized 7.5″ pocketknife. That might be hard to conceal during the ceremony. Depending on your crew, you might want to encourage them to leave this gift neatly tucked away in their watch box until after the wedding, however, this is one sweet looking knife. The handle is made from Pakka wood and includes a belt clip.
All that is missing is a few cigars. You might consider adding a few of those. It always makes for a pretty sweet photo.
Combat Duffel Bag
Equally awesome and practical, a duffel bag is a great present for your groomsmen. They’re just the right size to store things when going to the gym or traveling for a few days. They’re also less bulky than most backpacks, so they’re ideal as carry-on luggage. Duffel bags are stylish too and easy to coordinate with whatever you’re wearing. With a duffel bag gift, there are a wide variety of colors, materials, and designs to choose from. You can select the style based on the receiver’s lifestyle and preferences. You can also have the duffel bags stitched with your groomsmen’s initials to make the present more personal as well as unique.
Classic Pocket Watch
Bring back the nostalgia of a bygone era and gift your groomsmen with classic pocket watches. It’s a unique, stylish, and functional gift. Pocket watches blend classic and contemporary designs, making it a timeless accessory for anyone. Whether your friends are into vintage things or not, they’ll love the pocket watch gift for its Sherlock Holmes look and originality. Engrave each one with their initials so it’s personalized and extra special.
Your groomsmen deserve the very best. But with all the expenses for the wedding, you might not have a lot to buy everyone something amazing and fancy. Fortunately, there are lots of awesome yet budget-friendly gifts you can give to your groomsmen. From hip flasks to pocket watches, the gifts listed above consider both style and functionality, making them awesome gift ideas to show your gratitude to the guys.
Over the last 10 years, Katie and I have not only shot 200+ weddings, but we have also planned, designed, and officiated several weddings for siblings. DIY Weddings are not for the faint of heart. This last year, we held a wedding in our own backyard. For over a year we worked with my brother and sister in law to bring their dream to life. The reality is everyone can plan a wedding, but not everyone should. Logistically, emotionally, & financially it might not be the best choice for you, but let me share a few mistakes we’ve made, heard about, or experienced over the years.
Failing to Establish a Budget Beforehand
From the wedding venue and catering to flowers and photography, estimating the cost of a wedding can be complicated. Not the mention those last-minute costs that spring up suddenly and blow up your budget. But while you can’t be sure that cost will come up to exactly what you’re willing to spend, setting a realistic budget will still save you a lot of stress and hassles later. You can also use the wedding cost calculator available online to get an approximate estimate cost! Treat a wedding like building a home. Make sure that you have a 20-30% buffer in your budget for the unexpected. Set a budget based on what you can personally afford with the help of your family. What is most important to you? That is where you invest your money. What is going to help produce the most long-term happiness?
Looking for a Wedding Venue Before Preparing Your Guest List
In Wisconsin, we generally have pretty big families. Nebraska and Utah might have us beat, but regardless, knowing who you’re inviting will determine the venue, which in turn might determine the date itself. Start with the list. There are so many neat online tools to help collect the infamous guest list and addresses. We personally like Basic Invite. If you’re thinking of sending out printed save the dates and invitations we highly recommend their services. Ask us how you can save on your next order! You must prepare your guest list before you book your wedding venue to make sure your venue is neither cluttered nor does it have lots of empty space on the wedding day. The guest list will give you a ballpark idea of the number of guests and accordingly, you can finalize a wedding venue that comfortably accommodates all guests.
Losing Sight of the Weather Conditions
A big wedding planning mistake anyone can make is forgetting to take the weather conditions into account when booking the wedding venue. If you are holding your wedding in summer, then your ideal venue might be one of the many Outdoor Wisconsin Venues. However, Spring and Fall Weddings it is always a good idea to have a backup plan. We crossed our fingers and hoped for the best with an August 18th wedding last year, but we recommend renting a tent, even if you don’t put it up, it is nice to have it just in case! It’s the Midwest. Anything is possible.
Going DIY or Hiring a Newbie
Did our siblings make a mistake in ‘hiring’ us to make their dreams come true? Maybe? But like I always say, the proof is in the podding and everything went off all three times without a hitch, but I wouldn’t call us newbies either. Our siblings are also super chill and down to earth and ultimately cared more about each other than the day itself. They wanted everyone to enjoy themselves and for their day to be stress-free. The trusted others who promised to take care of them and if in the event something didn’t quite go as planned, they would simply take care of it. They got to ditch their phones and just show up! Invest is someone who is OBSESSED with weddings. We have worked with many who are so good at what they do! Check out Trillium Event Co. The owner just so happens to be a high school friend who serves the Appleton, Wisconsin and surrounding Fox Valley area.
Sending Out Your “Save-the-Date” Messages Too Soon
Wedding planning is just as exciting as stressful it is and so, you may impulsively send your save-the-date messages. But what if you realize that you need to cut your guest list short and nix a couple of third-tier invites later? This is where things can get complicated because you would’ve already invited them. So it is best to wait till the number is finalized and then wedding venue is booked before you send out your paperless posts. Working with parents on your list can be stressful, but we strongly recommend getting your list FINALIZED at least six months in advance.
Missing the Point
I would say the biggest mistake couples make in planning their wedding is not investing in their relationship and ultimately their marriage. Sometimes the big things are not the most important and often we get caught up the excitement and the thrill of planning, that we forget the reason we planning the first place. Planning a wedding is a lot like life prep for couples. It forces two people to make decisions, communicate, create and keep to a budget, work with parents, meet each other’s friends, and agree and disagree. How is this going for you? If planning a wedding has been stressful or maybe you’re just getting started, focus on what is most important and keep that at the top of your list. Your marriage. We are a huge fan of marriage counseling. While your marriage hasn’t begun yet, the year(s) that lead up to it matter and it will set a foundation moving forward. Sure, you will hit some bumps along the way, that is normal, that is real life, but how are going to move past them? Are you able to compromise on your guest list? Can you agree on a venue? Are you getting along with your future in-laws during this process?
You can make every one of the mistakes above and still get married and even have a great wedding, but you can do everything perfectly and hire all the right people and miss the point altogether. Cherish the time you have and address issues you have when you see them. Don’t stay quiet for the sake of the other’s perceived happiness and don’t check out gentlemen when your bride and future mother in law are deciding on what color the napkins need to be. Your opinion matters more than you think. Brides, your groom wants nothing more than to give you the moon on your wedding day, but we’re not always sure its the moon you want. We want to be the thing you cherish most. We don’t want you to ultimately care about your dress, flowers, food, colors more than you care about the fact that we get to be the one thing you cherish most in life on this earth. While all of those things matter to us, because they matter to you, don’t make them the ultimate thing. Your dress might rip, your flowers might wilt, and your chicken might be dry, but I want to laugh cry with you when everything is falling apart and there is a hole in your kitchen roof and the water is pouring in because that is what marriage is all about. We’re stuck together. Thick and thin. Hell or high water and every other cliche you can think of. Marriage is is a commitment, a choice. That no matter what, I got your back and you got mine. Even when we disagree, I am still for you. Even when money is tight and the kids are sick, we’re for each other.
And in the good times, and there will be so many good times, we cherish each other and the moments because they are gifts we don’t deserve. #liferevered.
Do you think you can control your marriage expenses and stay within budget if you plan your wedding by yourself? Katie and I got married on a shoestring budget over 10 years ago. While we weren’t in school at the time, balancing life while planning a wedding can be challenging to say the least. We recall having to write checks to vendors the next morning with money we were gifted at our wedding. While we had the help of our family, much of the responsibility was on us. If we could go back and do it all again and plan our dream wedding, without a doubt, we would hire a wedding planner.
Over the years we have worked with some of the most talented wedding planners and event stylists right here in Wisconsin.
- Sash & Bow Event Planning – Green Bay
- Et Voila – Events – Stevens Point
- Kase Styles – Wausau
- Green Bee Floral & Design – Medford
As photographers, we know that a wedding day well planned will allow us to do our best work and deliver the highest quality images possible. Time is the most valuable resource on a wedding day and planners not only make the day look incredible but help you be able to relax and just enjoy the day as it unfolds, knowing that someone totally has your back. Mom’s are great, but we want them to enjoy the day too!
A professional wedding planner can help take a huge weight off you and your partner and also help you save money.
Here are 4 ways a wedding planner can help you save money:
#1. Negotiation Skills
Wedding planners have been in the business for a while. Through experience, they know the best of vendors and have the necessary skills to negotiate with them. When you hire them, they will use their network and negotiation skills to get what you want at a price you could’ve only dreamt of.
Planners have built relationships that allow them to couple services and save you money. For instance, we work with planners to deliver both wedding video & Photography services. They often will help with contact, contracts, and invoices to ensure you’re well taken care of. They also work with florists to ensure your vision comes to life. Special thanks to Green Bee Floral and Design for allowing us to capture her creations and designs during this styled shoot. Check out the wedding video!
#2. Realistic Budget Planning
You may have meticulously planned your wedding budget, but is it realistic? Have you prioritized the items and allocated funds accordingly? A good wedding planner by your side scrutinizes the budget and advises you on:
- What you should be spending?
- What you should be cost-cutting?
- What you can do without?
Thus, helping you make the most out of your budget. Full Coordinator services we believe are the way to go. From scheduling to conceptualization, design, logistics, and more having someone’s feedback and professionalism every step of the way is a must if it can fit in your budget. Ask planners for examples of ways they helped save couples money in the past.
#3. Less Time off from Work
Hiring a wedding planner means you don’t have to take time off from work to plan your wedding. This also means that you’ll have no or less unpaid leave and more holidays to spend on your honeymoon. While many of our couples are either finishing up graduate school or working full-time, most are living outside of the area in which their wedding is taking place. This can really be tricky in planning vendor consults etc. Giving full creative freedom to your wedding planner will streamline your communication with just one individual instead of having to juggle conversations with dozens of individuals and businesses. In the past, we suggested task management software like ASANA and using a brand new email address set up for after your wedding. Similarly, a separate checking account that is linked to both parties personal checking. This can then become your joint checking account after your wedding. We use MINT to help us track our personal expenses.
#4. Cost You Less on the Emotional Front
Planning a wedding is a full-time gig. Comparing the prices and services, searching for a perfect venue, interviewing the vendors, making a to-do list, etc. take up most of your time. Everyone is different, we get it, but if you’re like us, you like simple and stress-free. No wedding is without a few stressors, but mitigating as much of it as possible should be one’s goal from the very beginning. How can you have one heck of a party that doesn’t lose all of its allure before the big day arrives? We’re a big fan of short engagements, so if you’re engaged and thinking of having a wedding two years from now, reconsider. Move things up! At the end of the day, what matters is that you marry your soulmate and of course you have beautiful photos and video to help remind you for decades to come!
A wedding planner frees you up from all your wedding planning responsibilities, thus leaving you less worried and stressed.
Although a wedding budget and your wedding planner will help you save money, they cannot guarantee the last-minute costs that may crop up during the final days leading up to the wedding. So, the best thing to do is keep an emergency fund ready to accommodate these last-minute surprises. Get MoneyTap’s marriage loan and keep the funds accessible to you whenever you want. You may have gone through the tips to plan your wedding like a professional. Written in partnership with moneytap.com.