T-Minus 3 Weeks

In early 1994, Ed and LeAnn were only a new couple learning what life together would be like. Marriage was barely a thought between the two when LeAnn’s mother Verna broke the news that she would be leaving to serve a LDS mission in South Carolina for 18 months. Verna was assigned to report in just three weeks’ time from when she opened her call.

LeAnn’s father had passed away the previous year, and in that moment, it was clear to her what needed to be done. “If we’re going to get married,” she said, “we have to do it before she leaves. I’m not getting married without either of my parents.”


Ed and LeAnn outside the Idaho Falls LDS Temple, Feb. 26, 1994 

At 37 years old, this was LeAnn’s first marriage – and she didn’t want to wait any longer. This was Ed’s second marriage, and even with his own children to consider, he agreed that it was the right step to take. So, even with all the rush and limitations, Ed and LeAnn were married three weeks later on February 26th.

LeAnn is a wedding cake decorator by trade, so she did the cake and other desserts herself. She chose to wear a white Sunday dress as opposed to a formal gown at such short notice. The reception was held in the church cultural hall, free of cost.

It was a small event. Because of the short notice, Ed’s brothers from out-of-state were not able to attend, but the small guest list made the wedding feel intimate and personal. It wasn’t easy for many reasons, but the couple were happy to be able to start their life together as soon as possible.

Many brides and grooms choose to have a short engagement for reasons such as this. Maybe family circumstances require a closer date. Sometimes it’s a voluntary choice – why wait to start the rest of your life with someone when you’ve already committed to it?

According to the Wedding Paper Divas blog, only 4% of couples surveyed were married in 6 months or less from when they first got engaged. It may seem that a whirl-wind engagement is stressful, which it can be, but it also can be a blessing in disguise. For Elizabeth at Teaching Sam and Scout it was good because it gave “instant gratification” to the planning process. If planning gets stressful, it at least will be brief, instead of drawn out over 13 months (the American average for engagements). Elizabeth also adds that having fewer options makes the decision-making of planning easier, and helped to keep the process moving quickly.

So if you are planning or hope for a short engagement, you may need some advice to prepare yourself for the challenge. Here are some ideas to consider:

8 Tips for A Short Engagement

  1. Keep it Simple. As my college journalism teacher always says, “Cut the fat, leave the meat.”  When it comes to weddings, there is often a lot of “fat” – unnecessary details that are included out of whim or obligation. Consider what’s really important. This may mean cutting your guest list to a far fewer number than you may have dreamed of. Things like favors often are wasted, and can suck away your time and money. Remember that simple is beautiful. Like Seriously Sarah says, “you aren’t going to remember the little details. Your guests might comment on how cute they are, but no one will care.” Consider what’s going to really be memorable about your day.
  2. Keep a Short List of Alternatives. With various vendors to schedule, you’ll have to make the calls and check availability. An idea to try may be to keep a sticky note or list with 2-4 options of a certain vendor (i.e. venue, photographer, etc.) on a board or your notebook, and to eliminate the options you’ve researched until you find one of these alternatives that can work with your timeline.
  3. Be DecisiveWedding Wire suggests that, “with a shorter engagement, you won’t have as much time to make decisions. So when it comes to planning your wedding, be quick and decisive, and don’t sweat the small stuff. And once you’ve selected your color scheme, your attire, your flowers, your menu, or anything else, own your decision and stick with it.”
  4. Contact Your Guests ASAP. With a shorter timeline, its even more crucial to communicate with those who will be attending. Send announcements as soon as possible and take advantage of a wedding website that you can utilize in communicating all the details of the event with your guests. One platform for a wedding website that I recommend would be Joybecause it is free, available online and mobile, and is one of the most user-friendly, aesthetically pleasing platforms to communicate all the necessary details.
  5. Stay Organized. With everything to think about and not much time to think about it, it’s even more crucial to keep a planner with all the details of vendors, budget, guest list, etc. It will aid the efficiency of your projects if you keep them organized on a timeline and in a certain place.
  6. Get Help. Consider hiring a wedding planner who is more experienced with the process of planning if it seems like a daunting task. But Wedding Wire also suggests, “Hiring a planner is a major plus, but don’t forget about your family members and friends when it comes to providing assistance. Whether it’s having your mom research florists or one of your bridesmaids stuff invitation envelopes, your nearest and dearest love you and want to assist in any way that they can! Don’t be afraid to ask for help and delegate, delegate, delegate!”
  7. Be Flexible. With a short engagement, things may not go exactly according to your vision. You may have to compromise the date, the vendors, or anything else based on their availability. That’s a reality that some brides struggle to accept if they’ve always had a very specific vision. If this is the case, you may need to reconsider a short engagement.
  8. PrioritizeBrides worked with Julie Savage Parekh, founder and creative director of Strawberry Milk Events, who said, “‘Start with the big items first— save the little items and details until last,’ … That means venue, food, and photographer come before those cute DIY table numbers and monogrammed cocktail napkins. ‘If they don’t get done because you don’t have enough time, it won’t be as big of a deal.'”

Looking back, LeAnn sees many things about her wedding she wishes could have been different; but under the circumstances, she can’t look back in regret, because in the end, she got what she wanted – the man of her dreams. Whether your engagement is brief or drawn-out, consider what your priorities are and make decisions you won’t regret.


The Stewarts’ Sentimental Ceremony

You’ve probably been skeptical about dating websites, they’re proliferous and infamous for catfish schemes, but for some, they fill their purpose.

juliann and lawFor Juliann and Lawrence, Match.com is what tied their fates together. They immediately connected on many levels. Both have deep roots in family, culture and their home of Northwest Washington. So when they decided to get married, they wanted to share those deep roots as an integral part of the celebration.

Juliann and Lawrence were married in scenic Port Townsend, Washington. It was a beautiful day at the Northwest Maritime Center, which sits right on the water.

The ceremony took place in the courtyard adjacent to the marina beach. Juliann’s father walked her down the stairs to meet her new husband.

To personalize their ceremony, they did a few things to include their close family and culture. They honored those who could not be present, either because of death or illness, by handing out deep pink roses to that individual’s  closest family member, which they took down to the beach to toss out to sea. The emotion in watching family honoring those gone before was tangible.

roses port townsend beach

They also honored the Scottish heritage they both share with a tartan handfasting, a cultural tradition dating back to the Pagan Celts that has been adapted for Christian ceremonies over the centuries. Lawrence also bestowed a sash in his own Stewart family tartan upon Juliann to initiate her into his family clan.

stewart tartan

Juliann and Lawrence’s wedding ceremony is a perfect example of how you can include your family and culture in your special day. Diane Kolanović-Šolaja from Dee Kay Events said, “From having Grandma’s pecan pie at the dessert table or having henna delicately painted onto your hands, your culture is your heart. Celebrate it!” There are ways to incorporate family and cultural traditions that will connect you as a couple to the guests joining you on your wedding day.

An article from Bridal Guide details ideas to include cultural traditions in your special day, but they first offered this advice: “Stay true to yourself and don’t be afraid to make cultural customs your own. ‘With some thought and planning, you can give even the most traditional cultural elements a modern twist,’ says Cathy O’Connell from Celebrations of Joy. Tonia Adleta from Aribella Events advises combining different sensory elements, such as interactive food stations and a steel drum band or a bagpiper, to create an experience that guests are unlikely ever to forget.”

Explore what your heritage has to offer in wedding traditions. Jewish weddings traditionally include a chuppah, a canopy meant to provide sanctuary from evil spirits, and represents the couple’s home together. In France, instead of wedding cake, the traditional wedding dessert is croquembouche, which is essentially cream puffs stacked into a conical pyramid shape and emphasized with spun sugar. Brides from many cultures wore colors other than white – various Asian cultures wear red or another bright color, Irish brides traditionally wore blue. Also in Ireland, the traditional wedding ring is a claddagh ring, with symbolism that represents friendship, loyalty, and love. (You can find more traditions here at Business Insider and Bridal Guide.)

Something that everyone at your wedding can appreciate is a family favorite dessert. It can be a sentimental touch to include your family by inviting them to add to your menu. Ask an aunt to make her famous cookies, or a mom to whip up her special lemon bars. Include a little card with the dessert that details what it is and who made it.

If you have a relative with special, professional talents, consider asking them to contribute their gifts. An example could be a cousin or sibling with musical talents performing on your wedding day.

(For more ideas, check out the article from Pop Sugar.)

You may also consider what your options are for the officiant of your wedding. Maybe a close, long-time friend from church would be willing; maybe someone close to you is a judge and could perform a courthouse wedding; or maybe even a family member who has the authority could marry you. It may depend on your religious/civil preferences and options, but don’t discount the idea.

Your culture, your family – the things that have shaped who you are – can be an essential and sentimental part of starting a new life with someone. Don’t forget to include them when beginning a new life with the person you love.

Juliann and Lawrence have now been happily married for nearly 5 years, and they’ve added two young sons to their family who will carry their family history with them the rest of their lives – who would’ve thought that it would have all started on a dating site?


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Lea and the Dress Timeline

Lea and Johnathan met in January at a game night with friends. A week later Johnathan took Lea to a country dance and asked her to be his girlfriend. By April, they knew they wanted to get married and Johnathan proposed. What followed afterwards was not anticipated by either of them.
Lea and Johnathan ended up remaining engaged for two years after the initial proposal. For one reason or another the date kept getting pushed back – but they both knew one thing – nlea and johnathan 6o matter what, they wanted to be sealed for time and all eternity in a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints temple. Planning a wedding became a struggle, because they had 4 working wedding dates in the two-year engagement period. When they finally settled on August 28, 2015, they still had the challenge of planning a wedding from three different locations – Lea and Johnathan were finishing their current semester of school in Wyoming, Lea’s mom and sister were planning the reception with Lea’s long-distance guidance in Idaho, and the temple sealing itself would take place in the Bountiful, Utah LDS temple.

The reception took place in her grandmother’s garden in Idaho the day after the ceremony. The family went to work setting up tables with white tablecloths set with glass dishes filled with red, blue, and silver pebbles. They used red and blue balloons to add whimsy and color.

Lea bought her wedding dress early into the engagement, but over the two years, she didn’t regularly try it on again to assure the fit and style – which became a challenge the week of the wedding when her weight had fluctuated enough that the dress did not fit. Lea’s mom worked quickly to let out the panel for the corset back, but with all the stress of the wedding details to be organized, the dress could have been one less thing to worry about.

Getting the wedding gown is one of the most exciting parts of planning a wedding. There are so many things to think about – style, cost, venue, season – when purchasing a gown. Many brides have a vision of what they want to look like on their wedding day. But purchasing a gown can be a challenging step for long or short engagements.

In the case of long engagements, a bride needs to keep in mind what Lea experienced – the human body changes, and regular fittings are important to assure the dress will fit. In most cases, a bride should not order a wedding dress more than a year ahead of the day, according to Bridal Guide’s article “10 Mistakes Brides Make When Dress Shopping.”

“It’s important to have the rest of your wedding details in place before you can truly shop for a gown, since many factors can influence the style of the dress. Consider your venue: ‘An ornate gown with tons of embellishments and a sizeable train might look stunning in a ballroom but completely out of place at a beachfront ceremony,’ said Tolu Ogbechie, one of our real bride bloggers. Also, the colors you choose for your bridesmaids and décor can influence whether you choose white or an off-white shade” (Bridal Guide).

A specific vision for your wedding when you go to buy the gown at the right time, and getting regular fittings will be the saving grace for a long engagement.

On the other hand, in the case of a short engagement, you really need to act quickly to get the dress. “Traditionally, a wedding dress must be ordered at least six months before a wedding… However, for the bride short-on-time, there are other alternatives” (About.com – Weddings).

Tali Gallo, a blogger for Solutions Bridal Designer House planned her wedding in five months, and assures her readers, “Five months is enough time to order a wedding dress. There is no need to panic, but my advice is to act quick. The more time you give the seamstress the better.” For three months or less, however, a bride most likely will have to compromise and purchase a gown alternatively to the traditional method.

Sample sales will have gowns you can purchase off the rack, dry-clean, and have altered quickly, but some stores’ samples will be limited in size and number – so getting “the one” is a slightly higher task. A bride should also be aware that samples have been tried on, and are bought as-is, so they have to pay special attention to any defects, like stains or rips in the fabric, because fixing these problems will add to the already costly bill.

Other options to consider: “Visit a large bridal emporium like David’s Bridal, where they have a wide range of sizes in stock, ready to be worn. Consider using a dress not intended to be a wedding dress or bridesmaid dress, including prom dresses. Also, JCrew now carries a line of dresses suitable for brides and bridesmaids looking for a relaxed style” (About.com – Weddings).

Whether you’re getting married in 3 months or 12, the dress is an important decision. Maybe it’s an overwhelming decision and process for you as a bride – but do not fear! There are so many resources for you to refer to. The Knot has a great article that breaks down a timeline just for the dress. Martha Stewart Weddings has 18 great tips for wedding dress shopping. And, always, have fun – enjoy looking at photos of gowns, enjoy trying on the dreamy dresses; make the process of planning and making decisions an opportunity to be creative and unique to you and your style. Your wedding is your story – tell it your way.


unsplash wedding dress

Photo from Unsplash.com

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Katie and the Wedding Personality

As a child, I grew up next-door to Katie, playing dress-up and telling stories. In high school, Katie’s family moved, which was sad for us, but both of us were glad that she would still attend the same school. Moving 10 minutes away, however, changed Katie’s life forever. There in the rural outskirts of town, she met Jacob. Jacob was a year ahead in school, and wasn’t connected with the same circles as Katie, which meant they never had reason to know each other previously. As neighbors though, he noticed her quickly, and made an effort to ask her out on dates. Jacob graduated and served voluntarily as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The pair wrote each other diligently for two years and each kept a stack of letters from the other.

Now, four years later from first meeting each other, and all grown up now, Katie and Jacob have decided to spend the rest of their lives together. They were married in Provo, Utah on April 21, 2016. She was a beautiful bride, glowing in her mother’s white bridal gown.

I felt so happkatie and jacoby and privileged to help make their day possible, even in the smallest of ways, by setting up the reception. One of the highlights for me as an amateur wedding planner was unboxing the decorations and feeling like I was unboxing a little of Katie’s personality.

Katie is a horticulture major, and has always loved plants. She chose to highlight that passion in her reception décor with ferns, pinecones, acorns, tree cookies, and white lilacs. Katie has also always been a reader and loved to write, so choosing the event room at the local library was a perfect choice in venue.




As we set up the trees, birch arch, photos and centerpieces, I was overwhelmed by how lovely it all was – and it was because I knew it was Katie’s wedding. Not her mother’s. Not her aunt’s. Hers. This is an essential principle that every bride needs to understand, accept and embrace as they plan their wedding. Your wedding should reflect who you are as a couple.

Arizona Foothills Magazine put it very well: “Wedding planning can be such a whirlwind of venues, dresses, flowers, and food that you can forget to incorporate one of the most important details- YOU, darling! Integrating your personality as a couple into the details of your wedding is essential and it can be more than just choosing your favorite colors and favorite food. When your wedding reflects who you are not only will you enjoy your wedding more, but so will your guests.”

There is an endless sea of wedding inspiration on Pinterest, blogs, and bridal magazines and with so many ideas, it can be really hard to define what you want your wedding to look like. Julianne Hough, famous for her roles as a professional dancer and actress also writes a personal blog, and she also expressed the overwhelming decision she faced even before getting engaged about what style she wanted to express on her wedding day. She used a mood board to define each of these styles, a method that many brides can benefit from. (This is the site she refers to for more information about mood boards) See her blog post here.

But it’s not only about deciding who you want to portray or what style of dress you want to wear. It’s about bringing in the little details that make a day special. Repetition of small details can be what completes an experience. Why do you think Disney Theme Parks use “hidden” (aka “subliminal”) Mickeys?

PopSugar talked with celebrity wedding planner Mindy Weiss “about ways to add some personality to your big day.” She shared her expert advice to make your wedding “unmistakably ‘you.'” Before a brief summary of some of PopSugar and Weiss’ tips, keep this in mind: “When infusing you and your partner’s personality into the wedding, ask yourself: what is something about the two of you that people would recognize as soon as they walk into the room — that would make them go, ‘Oh, this is definitely fill-in-the-blank’s wedding’?”

  1. Your venue – whether it’s a sentimental location to you as a couple (the place of your first date, etc.) or if the event itself can reflect the setting and culture of another place important to you, places mean a lot and can hold a lot of sentimental value that typify you as a person and as a couple.
  2. Include hobbies, careers and passions that each of you have. Whether you’re sports fanatics or book worms, there are ways to incorporate the things that are important in your everyday life.
  3. Themes and details from a favorite book, television show, or movie can add personality to your wedding that will make your guests smile knowingly.
  4. “Pick wedding traditions that are unique to your and your partner’s cultures and history, and ditch traditions you don’t feel connected to.” If you don’t want to stand in a receiving line, don’t! If it’s important to wear another color besides white in your cultural heritage, don’t be afraid to wear something bold. Be creative and true to yourselves.
  5. Ask your friends what they did to personalize their weddings and take note when you attend weddings about what from their personalities they were able to communicate through the details.

I know I took note when I helped with Katie’s reception. It can be so motivating and inspiring to plan a wedding when it includes things you love personally for yourself, your fiancée, or your family. Design it for you, not social obligations.

Looking back on that special day now, Katie is so glad that she did her best to not stress about tradition and people’s expectations. The most important thing for her was to be surrounded by what she loved most in this world. In the end, it’s not about what others say, this day should be about love; that applies to the design of the event, who is chosen to be there, and the couple. A wedding is not just a hallmark for the extended family, but as a couple promises to love each other forever, a new family is created. This is greater than any social traditions or expectations.

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Halley’s Story & The Importance of a Day-of Coordinator

halleybrideAs a young woman, Halley decided on a whim that she wanted to study abroad the second semester of her junior year in college.

“It seemed that all of my friends were either going abroad or had some big plan, and I wanted in on the action. It was down to two choices, the University of Helsinki in Finland and the University of Limerick in Ireland. The day I went to the study abroad advisor’s office to give my answer, I hadn’t a clue which I would choose. When the advisor asked, I answered, ‘Ireland.’ It felt like the right answer, so I stuck with it. I’d always loved everything Irish and felt like it just made sense.”

When Halley moved to Ireland, she met Eoin at church. Eoin made it clear from very early on how he felt about Halley. There was a “to-and-fro” relationship between the two while Halley was Ireland, which ended after Halley returned to the United States to continue her studies and have further adventures independently.

However, “Even when we weren’t together [Eoin] made sure to let me know that he was there for me, no matter what turns our relationship took. It took me a little longer to realise how much I really loved him, and he definitely helped his case by keeping himself in my life, no matter how small. Sometimes the end is really the end. In our case, the answer was, ‘Just wait a little while.'” 

halleyandeoin2Eoin and Halley decided to get married on August 10, 2012. Their first priority was to be married in Kansas City, Missouri, near Halley’s hometown. “The second thing we knew was we wanted to make it a relaxed but fun affair. Kind of a BBQ, but better dressed. We definitely accomplished that. We had our reception at a beautiful hall near my favorite lake. We danced and chatted, and ate our weight in cake and watermelon. I remember my feet hurting like mad by the end of the night and Eoin carrying my shoes for me; looking after me from the very start.”

Getting married over such a great distance offered it’s fair share of challenges. Eoin was 4,000 miles away until 4 or 5 days before the wedding. Halley had to find and purchase new attire for the groom and groomsman last minute because of a big jump in temperature in Missouri right before the wedding; a big curveball for a bride with little to no experience in menswear.

But in retrospect, the biggest thing Halley would do differently would be not to rely so much on family and friends to pull off the day. “It was great knowing we had so many people who loved us and wanted to do what they could to help pull off the day. But the morning of the wedding I ended up getting ready on my own as my parents, siblings, and best friends were all at the hall or working on the cake. It would have been nice if they had been able to sit back and enjoy the day as well rather than worry about tablecloths or food prep.”

Though I typically am an advocate for using your resources and connections, this should never over-balance the importance of hiring professionals – especially a day-of wedding coordinator.

Every Last Detail and Here Comes the Guide are both wedding blogs that offer detailed reasons why you should hire a professional instead of a friend. Both had similar notions:

  1. A professional has experience facing the pressures of this important day. They’ve planned for contingencies and won’t require the same level of direction as your friends or family would in the chaos of the day.
  2. Their focus is on your needs and their job. Here Comes the Guide says, “You can tell them what to do and they’ll carry out your directives. Friends and relatives are also guests, and might neglect their ‘job.’ Plus, working with a professional is a straightforward business arrangement, while working with friends and family can lead to awkward situations and damaged relationships.”
  3. You get what you pay for. Though you may save money by asking a friend, the quality of a professional’s work is undeniable. They have better equipment, training, and experience that all work together to deliver the best results. It’s the difference between Cousin Violet making the cake the morning of, only for it to sink and melt, or the professional baker who spends days preparing to deliver a masterpiece that is tasty to both the eye and the tastebuds.

One of the most invaluable professionals you could invest in, especially with Halley’s story in mind, is the day-of coordinator. The Huffington Post offered this insight:

“An often poorly understood concept, the day-of coordinator can be a lifesaver for couples who don’t have the budget for a full-service planner; couples who thought they could do it all alone and then realize, close to the wedding, that they were wrong; and couples who actually manage to plan it all alone, but then wisely realize that they shouldn’t leave the day-of nitty-gritty in the hands of their mother or maid of honor. Remember, your family and friends are your guests too, and you want them to be able to relax and enjoy your wedding.”

The Huffington Post interviewed seasoned planner Fallon Carter to discuss what a day-of coordinator is, and what to expect when working with one.

“We coordinate the logistics of your wedding day to make sure that everything that you have spent months planning runs exactly how you envisioned. From the arrival times of the florist, limo pickup and drop offs to packing all your gifts and goodies at the end of the night, the day-of coordinator will take care of it all.”

This means that having a wedding coordinator the day-of will free up the bride, her friends and family from the stressful responsibilities that limit the time they have to be truly present with each other on such a special day. A day-of wedding coordinator will reduce stress, offer professional leadership in the execution of individual vendors and the overall design of the event, and will be able to think of and focus on details that may have been forgotten.

In telling your love story, I hope you remember the people you were with on your wedding day, not the stress of last-minute coordination. That’s a professional’s job – not the bride’s.

Thanks to Halley and Eoin for sharing their story, and may there be many more happy years to come for them both.


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So You Want Photos from Your Wedding

A little over a year ago, I was sitting down at a friend’s house, happily looking through old photo albums, admiring how beautiful she was as a bride. But as we looked through the photos of her wedding day, we noticed they were few in number, and not professional-quality. This is her story:

“The reason I don’t have the pictures I want is down to my own lack of wedding planning know-how. My photographer was a friend – who didn’t want to actually do the job because it is such a high pressure event – in that, you have to get it right for the bride and groom. She was right – I should have hired a professional. I should have not penny pinched so much. I shouldn’t have worried about guests so much, and should have concentrated on making our day special for us! I should have listened to the world less (the world telling me that ‘this is your day,’ when in fact it should have been our day) – it didn’t help that my groom didn’t care how it all happened.”

There are generations of stories about love, weddings, and wedding missteps. Every couple has a story, whether it is present, past or future. There is something to learn from every couple’s story. There are key things that every prospective bride and groom can learn from my friend’s experience:

  • Of all the elements of a wedding, photos last the longest.
  • Don’t sacrifice time taking photos for your guests’ benefit.
  • The cost-benefit ratio still favors a professional wedding photographer.


A picture is worth a thousand words is the time-old adage, and no bride and groom should forget it. Years from now, photos will be one of the only mementos from the most special day of your life. Pablo Picasso once said, “Every now and then one paints a picture that seems to have opened a door and serves as a stepping stone to other things.” Though Picasso was a painter, the art of photography delivers the same promise. Photos can metaphorically transport you back to that day, and sometimes, on the hardest of days (or the best of days) you’ll want to be able to relive those emotions you experienced. That’s why so many couples and professionals will tell you that wedding photography should be a major priority in your planning.


A professional photographer is key to capturing some of the best snapshots of your big day. Brady Puryear, a professional photographer said,

“Over the years I have come to learn something about wedding photography which is that when the client is paired with the right photographer the photos come out AMAZING, but when the vision of the bride and the style of the photographer don’t match up, nobody gets what they really wanted.”

Photographers shoot in a variety of styles, and what style a photographer prefers can be one of the defining attributes in choosing your photographer. Styles are typically described as traditional, editorial, or photojournalistic, as Puryear explains on his blog

Your Perfect Wedding Photographer is a website that has a plethora of information about photographers, advice for couples planning a wedding, and real-life weddings and photography. They featured an article that outlines “How to Choose Your Wedding Photographer in 8 Easy Steps”, which may be a resource for you to further explore how to go about making this important decision, as they explain principles like experience, consistency, testimonials and trust.


I emphasized the importance of a professional photographer first because it is the wisest, safest, and typically best-quality option for weddings. However, the rise of social media has offered new ideas on how your guests can interact with your wedding by using the amateur photography skills they use everyday. Here are just a few ideas:

The Wedding #Hashtag – Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook all are #hashtag enabled. Instagram in particular is built for photo collection using your smartphone camera. By creating your own #weddinghashtag (ex: #EricAriel2016) and inviting friends and family to post candid snapshots on their Instagram accounts with the #hashtag, you can easily collect photos that a photographer may not get the chance to capture.

These Instagram posts with your special #hashtag can be transferred to a Dropbox file here.

Social Print Studio will print your Instagram photos into a calendar, a book, or displayable prints.

There are also private smartphone apps like Wedding Party that can connect the couple with their guests, including any photos that guests take on the day of.

Another popular idea is to provide your guests with a polaroid or disposable camera. Polaroid photos pasted into a blank album have become a popular alternative to a guest book, and a disposable camera is an affordable option that can easily be developed after the wedding.


No matter what your approach to wedding photography is, remember, it’s all about telling YOUR story as a couple in a way that you’ll remember fondly for generations to come.


I hope you’ve found some creative ideas here. Don’t hesitate to subscribe, comment, and share! Happy Wedding Planning!