AND MY BIGGEST PIECE OF ADVICE
FOR COUPLES WEDDING PLANNING
It's a day that you've dreamt you would spend crying happy tears and laughing till your sides ache. It's a day that you're told will be one of the happiest days of your entire life. It's the one day you want to go perfectly. You want it to be everything you've ever dreamed of.
But it seems like as soon after your engagement comes the onslaught of opinions and questions from basically everyone you've ever known.
- "When's the wedding?"
- "Have you picked a venue?"
- "Did you pick a dress yet?"
- "We have to invite [insert name of family member you've only spoken to once]"
- "You HAVE to do [insert thing you really don't want to do] at your wedding"
Maybe it's from your parents, or your siblings, or your friends. Then comes the slew of trends from what wedding colors you should choose, to whether or not you should have 20 disco balls, trendy bridesmaids dresses you absolutely just have to have, the super expensive veil that you should just splurge on because it's going to make the biggest statement ever. And don't forget that you should absolutely have strong opinions about all of these! Because if you don't cry your eyes out the second you try on a wedding dress, then it's definitely not "the one".
It's a lot.
Soon enough, by the time wedding day rolls around, you've completely forgotten what it was that you wanted when you first set out on this adventure.
After 8 years of being a wedding photographer, THERE'S ONE THING THAT COUPLES HAVE TOLD ME OVER AND OVER AGAIN THAT THEY REGRET.
It's the number one regret.
Not sticking with what you had always dreamed your wedding would be and
letting others dictate your dream wedding.
And it breaks my heart every time. Because it's so easy to get lost in the cacophony of everyones opinions when wedding planning! With everyone telling you what you should do or want or feel, you forget what it was that you wanted in the first place.
"I wish we just did what we initially wanted and didn't get sucked into all of the bullshit."
So my biggest piece of advice if you're planning your wedding right now: Stay true to you.
I know what you’re thinking. “But I want to make my family happy too.” Well, I have some solutions for you.
Before you start shopping for venues and vendors, before you start making your Pinterest board, stop and sit down with your partner and write these things down. Like physically write them on a piece of paper and look back at it often while you're planning.
How do you want to remember your wedding day?
What things are most important to you about your wedding day?
What is it you've dreamt this day would be?
Once you know what this is, sit down with your loved ones and lay the foundations for how you want to move forward with your planning right from the beginning.
Because all great relationships are based around open communication. Let them know right from the start what your dreams are. Tell them why it's so important to you. By laying the foundations for how YOU want to move forward, you’re setting boundaries to help everyone. We don't want to hurt anyones feelings, we want to include them in such a special day.
We’re opening the lines of communication to foster creativity and love here. To create one of the most memorable days of your life.
There may be some strong opinions as you have this discussion. There may be some feelings hurt. That's why it's so important to have this conversation early on though. Because you absolutely do NOT want those feelings coming to a head on your wedding day, when you're mid-family photos and stressed because it dawns on you that you didn't want any of this in the first place.
Have those conversations early. Set expectations early.
And I know what you're thinking.
it's not going to be easy.
So feel what it is you really want your day to be. Because you only do this once. If you really want to say your I do's with just your closest loved ones in the quiet of a mossy forest, do it. If you want everyone you know and love to be with you on the dance floor until 2:00am, do it. If you want to wear crocs under your wedding dress or have a black wedding dress and eat pizza for breakfast, do it.
Whether you want 20 people at your wedding, or 200 people at your wedding, what you're going to remember more than anything is how you felt that day. Your family and friends will remember how happy they saw you. The love that you all shared. And what an amazing and unique day it was.
Take it from me, you won't regret having your wedding your way. Do what you love with your love.
(Super 8mm footage from when my husband Brian and I when we eloped in November 2022. Trust me, I get it. Can't wait to share our intimate Mount Baker wedding celebration coming in August 2023!) →