Choosing the perfect photographer for your big day

Choosing the right photographer for the wedding day is very important. The pictures taken at the wedding are the memories you’ll have for the rest of your lives. There are some key steps to take to finding the right photographer. According to an article by The Knot,( “10 Steps to Finding a Great Wedding Photographer”), when choosing a photographer, you should focus on style, doing your homework, interviews, past examples and consider your  personalities and those of the photographer.


To start, first decide on the style of photography you want. There are different classifications, such as documentary, portraiture, fine art and edgy-bold. Deciding on this first will help to narrow down your choices to a particular photographer.


Make sure you do your homework in selecting the right photographer. Do a good amount of research to see if you can find someone that will fit your style. According to The Knot, “Carefully review potential photographers’ websites and blogs to check out photos of other weddings they’ve shot, which will give you an idea of their style.”


Interviews with a potential photographer are also very important and not something to take lightly. Talk to as many photographers as you feel is necessary. “This is not a decision that can be made on looks alone,” The Knot said.


When meeting with a photographer, make sure to not just look at a few single shots. Ask to see a full wedding album. This will allow you to see what style they use and what your album could potentially look like. While looking at the albums, also take notice of what types of shots they decide to take as well. “Did they get photos of both the bride and the groom when they locked eyes for the first time?” The Knot said.


“Don’t underestimate the importance of liking and bonding with your photographer,” The Knot said. It is crucial to make sure both the bride and groom’s personalities go well together. Ask lots of questions and make sure the photographer listens to you.




Deciding on the right music for your wedding

Choosing the right genres of music for a wedding can be difficult because guests have widely varying tastes. According to Liz Moorhead’s APW article, “How To Pick Your Wedding Playlist,” there are a few things to remember when choosing the music. The article stresses the importance of starting the planning early on, choosing from your existing playlists, break up the day with different music, and asking family and friends for their input.


Picking music for the wedding can be challenging, so start as early as possible when planning. It will probably be tough to get the choices down to make up a playlist that flows properly. According to the Moorhead, “Starting the playlist four or five months out was about right for us—it let us tinker with it sporadically, coming back with fresh ears after leaving it alone for a while.”


Most people probably think music planning is as easy as Googling wedding playlists; however, that will just provide you with unoriginal, played out songs suggestions. Instead, be original. “The music we had already collected was what spoke to us the most,” Moorhead said. So, if you search through the music you already have, you’ll most likely find songs you love and your partner love.


Create several lists of songs. The wedding should consist of the pre-ceremony, walking down the aisle, cocktail hour, dinner and the dance floor. This will help to break up what you have chosen into different sets.


Don’t forget to get some help by asking family and friends. Do this by putting a spot on your RSVP cards for the guests to make suggestions. If you do that, however, don’t be afraid to scrap any songs you don’t like. It’s your wedding!


Keep in mind that not everyone is going to care about the music as much as you do. “Thinking back to the weddings we’ve been to over the years we remember very few of the specific songs that were played—even for iconic moments like first dances,” Moorhead said. Also, not every song will appeal to everyone, so don’t be afraid to throw in some songs that you love. Once again, it’s your wedding!


Finding the perfect dress

Trying to decide on a wedding dress can be a difficult task but fun task. There are a few suggestions to remember according to Raquel Kelley, author of “What not to do when picking out a wedding dress,” when choosing a wedding dress. First, “don’t believe everything you see on TV,” Kelley said. When trying on dresses, don’t rush or stress, move around in the dress to test how it will react at the wedding and don’t forget to take photos to remember the dresses.


For anyone who’s ever seen TLC’s TV program, Say Yes to the Dress, don’t believe the myth that you must have this amazing moment where everyone is in tears and emotional. According to Kelley, “Cut to me finding my dress: ‘Yeah, it’s cool. I like it.’ That’s it. No tears, no angels, no tissues. That was seriously it.” Really, it depends on your personality. Some brides will get emotional while others will be reasonably blasé about finding the right dress. For me, personally, there were tears, and it was hard to catch my breath.


When it comes to purchasing the wedding dress, don’t get exasperated. Try to enjoy the process, but make sure to do your research. “If you think you’ve found your dress, go home and see when that designer is having their next trunk show. That way you’ll be buying your dream dress, but with at least 10 percent off, which will likely cover your sales tax,” Kelley said.


When you go into the store there is a standard drill, according to Kelley. “Stand on a podium, suck it in, smile, and try to picture yourself wearing that gown.” Keep in mind to move around. Don’t just stand there and stare at yourself in the mirror. Even though it is so exciting and enjoyable, remember that on your big day, you’ll be sitting, dancing, and of course, walking down the aisle.


Be sure to take lots of pictures from all different angles when trying on your dress. On the wedding day the photographer will be getting shots of you from every single angle. The guests will see you from all different angles too. As such, you’ll want to make sure you like the way you look from every angle. “You can’t pick and choose what glimpses people will get of you in your dress, so make sure your dress not only flatters your front, but your back, your sides, and every area in between,” Kelley said.


Planning the perfect menu for your wedding

When planning the menu for a wedding it is important to focus on the details. According to Libby MacCarthy, author of “How to Plan a Ridiculously Delicious Menu,” important details to remember include the budget, guest list, dietary restrictions, style and creativity. It’s also essential to plan ahead.


When planning a wedding, always plan out your budget first. Try to do it as early as possible. This way you can allocate how much to spend on each part of the wedding.


To get the best caterer that suits all your needs and desires, do not delay on reserving the ideal supplier. It’s important to reserve them as soon as possible because catering companies book far into the future at times. According to Libby MacCarthy, “Some [venues] will require you to use their caterer or will have a short list of wedding pros they work with exclusively. Even if you’re allowed to bring in your own chef, you may be charged extra, so request a tasting with the in-house one.”


Think about how many people will be attending the wedding. This will help you decide on a menu. Think of smart ways to cut costs. “For instance, by doing a pasta bar with interesting vegetarian mix-ins instead of a traditional carving station,” said MacCarthy. This will give you more flexibility to spend additional money on other aspects of your wedding.


Also, remember to plan for any guests who may have a dietary restriction or allergy. “Talk with your caterer about these challenges well in advance,” said MacCarthy.


Furthermore, when planning the meal, it’s important to design an option that will fit the venue and style of the reception. For instance, with a more formal wedding, a sit-down meal with multiple courses might be ideal. If the wedding is less formal, appetizers and finger foods or a buffet might be preferable. When determining the dinner style, the two major considerations include the budget and the food preferences of your guests.


Try to bring some creativity to the meal. According to MacCarthy, “Choose a caterer who cares as much about presentation as they do about taste.”

Choosing the ideal wedding venue

There are some key thoughts to keep in mind when choosing a wedding venue.  According to Anja Winikka, author of “Finding a Wedding Reception Location,” important considerations include the fit of the room, eating, drinking, partying areas, privacy, lighting, the view, color, outlets, acoustics, parking and a backup plan.


It is important to make sure the venue is “large enough to accommodate the number of people on your guest list,” Winikka said. When you’re at the venue be sure to envision every aspect and scenario from the dinner to the DJ.


Depending on your intimacy preference, you may want to consider how private you want your location. “If you’re having a daytime event in a public spot, such as a park, beach or botanical garden, be prepared for strangers to trek past your party.”


Picking a location with a great view is always a great option. It will be one of the first things your guests see when they walk into the venue. According to Winikka, “Whether it’s your city skyline, a stunning vista of rolling mountains or crashing waves, exceptional locations with a view are always a plus.”


Also, think about the wedding theme.  When choosing a venue, think about how your theme will match up with each location viewed. “For a classic wedding, consider an elegant room done in neutrals or black and white,” Winikka said.


It’s incredibly important to have a backup plan. Although you don’t want to imagine inclement weather conditions occurring on your big day, rain, cold, snow, overcast skies and other conditions are always a factor when choosing an outdoor wedding. As part of the venue decision, make sure there is an alternative solution for your wedding if the weather does not cooperate.


While Anja Winikk makes some great points, I do not agree with her on everything.  Some of these points may be difficult to incorporate if planning a wedding on a tighter budget.





Steps to finding the perfect wedding cake

When planning the perfect wedding, the cake is a big deal as it is both ceremonial and practical. Guests enjoy seeing the cake being cut and it’s a nice treat. Choosing the right cake designer is extremely important.


According to a Bridal Guide article titled ,“Choosing the perfect wedding cake”, “You’ll want to start your search for a cake designer about three to six months before the wedding.” It’s important to start looking early because designers tend to book several months into the future, and you’ll want to get on their schedule.


According to Jamie Beckman, author of the “6 tips for the perfect wedding cake,” “One cardinal sin is waiting until the last minute to design and order a cake. Special ingredients and decorations sometimes need to be ordered and, in some cases, created from scratch, which takes considerable experimentation.”


To decide on a cake designer, start by asking friends or family who are already married. They might be able to recommend someone they used or someone they found while doing their search. According to Bridal Guide, if you receive any recommendations, go and check out that person’s website, so you can get a better idea of their design style. “Is it traditional, simply elegant, modern, whimsical, or intricate?”


Also remember to taste test all sorts of different cake samples. Don’t just focus on the design of the cake. According to Bridal Guide, “Do not compromise taste for the look of the cake.” Taste tests are one of the fun parts of the wedding planning process that both the bride and groom will love.


Once you’ve decided on a cake designer, share as many photos as possible with the vendor. This will give the designer a really good idea of what you want. According to Bridal Guide, “Provide the baker with as much information about your wedding as you can, such as the location, the level of formality, your dress, the colors, the flowers, and the menu.” By providing the designer with more information, they’ll be able to create a cake that matches the image you had in mind.


Don’t forget about the budget! According to a HuffPost article titled, “How to choose the perfect wedding cake,” Marina Sousa said, “Have a general budget determined before arriving. If budget is an issue, just be upfront about it.” It’s important to set a budget for each item of your wedding, so you are able to keep the overall cost down.


Marina Sousa said, “Only bring the people involved in making the final decision to your consultation. I know cake tasting is the one wedding chore that you will surely get a lot of volunteers for! Too many opinions are distracting and ultimately complicate the process.” Remember… the two most important opinions are that of the bride and the groom!


Welcome to my wedding planning blog!  I wanted to create this because I am getting married soon. As such, I thought it would be fun to share some fun ideas for those of you who are also planning your own wedding, or if you are just imagining your future wedding like I used to do. I hope to provide you with some great ideas for wedding venues, food, dresses, music, and photographers.