Wedding Planning Tips

Your Wedding, Your Story

In a Pinterest world, how do you make your wedding a unique celebration of your love? Something that feels like your own, not just a rendition of the most popular trends and colors for the year?

Clearly, the first step it to put the Pinterest away.  Don’t delete it, just put it on the back burner until your figure out the direction for your wedding.

Start with the basics: People and Places.

Who are the people who have invested in your lives?  In your relationship?  These are the people you want around you on your wedding day.  Specifically, when you think about your wedding party, remember that these are photos that will hang on your living room walls for the rest of your life.  Carefully consider the long-term friendships, the lasting relationships, and the family members who have meant the most to you.  These are the people that you will want around you on your wedding day and in your memories, photos, and video for the rest of your life.

When you think about your guest list, do you both enjoy a large group of friends or have large families that you wish to have around you on your wedding day?  Or would you prefer an intimate experience with just a few people, or even an elopement or quiet, private ceremony?

Your Wedding Story
Rentals can transform any space into the perfect wedding venue. Rentals by The Mustard Couch. Styled by Purple Dress Events. Photo by Marcellaneous Photography. 

When considering a venue, don’t start with the typical wedding venues in your area, or the prettiest church around.  Think about the places that have meaning to you.  Absolutely, use a home church if you have one.  Your church family and church home important parts of your life.  However, if you don’t have a home church, or your home church doesn’t host weddings, don’t choose a random church building with no meaning to you, simply because it is beautiful.  Think about the place where you got engaged, where you had your first date, where you first met. All of these locations could be beautiful places for your wedding.

Once you’ve identified some places that matter to you, it’s time to start the delicate balancing act to match a venue with your guest needs while staying within your budget.  If you’ve decided to work with a wedding planner, your planner can be a valuable resource at this stage in planning.  Any space can be transformed into a wedding venue with furniture rentals, facilities rentals, and transportation to solve parking issues.

Next up: Wedding Details

If you’ve hired a planner, they can usually take it from here.  Once you’ve provided the details of your unique story, most planners are quite skilled at designing meaningful ways to share that story with the details of your wedding.  In fact, for any pieces of your wedding that you are going to hire a professional (stationary, cake, florist, etc) the best thing you can do is to share with them the details, provide a few of your preferences and favorite things, then walk away.  Allow them the creative space to design something that is truly unique and custom just to your love story.

telling your wedding story
When Dana contacted Allison at Paper Hearts Invitations she shared the details of her day and said “I want the invitation to reflect the relaxed feel to our day. We are both artistic and creative people and we are trying to fill the day with little touches that reflect us.” Photo by Ryan Zarichnak Photography.

If you are going to be doing a lot of the details yourself, now is the time to pull Pinterest back out.  Use it with caution though.  Instead of pinning images that you hope to replicate, pin images with ideas that you wish to incorporate, and detailed tutorials on how to actually make things happen.  This is also a good time to sit down and decide which things are possible, and how they fit into your timeline.  Know that you aren’t going to want to be fussing with a lot of details on your wedding day, so even if you are skilled, things that must be prepared close to wedding time (fresh florals, cake, etc) consider hiring those out. For the items you will create on your own, be sure to complete them well in advance of your wedding day, just in case the easy 5 step tutorial turns into a 76 step Pinterest nightmare!

The Featured Event: Your Wedding Ceremony

This is by far and away the easiest place to tell your wedding story.  From your programs, your clothes and jewelry, the music you choose, to your vows, you have total control, and these meaningful things require no extra budgets to incorporate them.  The words you choose to pledge as your vows are without a doubt the one thing that will stick with you and your spouse forever; never underestimate the power of your words.

Your Story: Captured Forever

If you have spent this much time and money to make your wedding a unique and meaningful event, you want to remember it.  This is where your photo and video team come in.  At MotionWorks, we are really intentional about capturing the moments that matter for your film.  When you watch your film, we want you to remember the authentic emotions of your wedding day.  Pretty clips of couples running toward each other in slow motion are lovely to look at, but the last thing we want to do is stage a moment where you’re going watch your film and feel the awkwardness of a staged moment.

If you’re ready to dive into planning how to best capture your love story, we’d love to talk to you about it.

Thanks to Beth at The Mustard Couch and Allison at Paper Hearts Invitations for collaborating on this post, and to their photographers Marcellaneous Photography and Ryan Zarichnak Photography.

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