After all the just-engaged-excitement settled, we began "wedding-talk". So many decisions! Since I am in the business of wedding photography, I always thought it would be so easy to plan my own. But oh, how wrong I was! There is so much beautiful inspiration out there, and it has been filtering through my mind for years. So my first step was to walk away from those Pinterest boards and wedding magazines, and let ideas come naturally to myself. TIP: you begin getting much more vision of the day and decor ideas after you find your wedding venue. But more on that one in a future post!
I will start by saying there is no right or wrong way of planning your wedding day. You get to decide exactly how you want it because it is YOUR WEDDING!
One important topic for us was TRADITIONS. There are so many wedding traditions! I have seen a lot of weddings, and have always been impressed with how so many brides create unique ways of including these traditions. However, when we tried to envision our wedding, neither one of us wanted to follow the "traditional path".
Our question was "do we have to include tradition, just for tradition sake?"
And the answer, friends? NO! Traditions are beautiful when they are meaningful to you as the bride and groom. So our first steps were deciding which traditions we wanted to include and which ones we would go without. Our vision for the day was to have a laid back atmosphere that felt like we had just invited a big group of friends over to hang out. So taking out some traditions that we didn't care for was key to bringing the vision to life.
TRADITIONS WE DECIDED TO INCLUDE:
- First look: now this is one I went back and forth on for a long time! As a photographer, I already knew the benefits of the first look. I even wrote a whole blog post on, which you can check out here. Up until a few days before I thought we wouldn't do this tradition, but then we decided that after the ceremony, we would rather go straight into socializing with all of our guests. So wee took the route of having a first look!
REMEMBER: Whether or not you have a first look on your wedding day is something completely up to you and what your heart wants! There are benefits and special moments that come with each.
- Writing our own vows: because how special is that! (plus, I am a sucker for those adorable little keepsake vow books)
Even though I am not confident in creative writing, we wanted our vows to be completely our own.
- Father/Daughter dance: This was a hard one for me, because I am not much of a dancer. And put me in front of an audience, and I definitely have two left feet! However I realized that this tradition is not just about me, and giving that moment with my dad was something I wanted to do.
- First Dance: Again, I DONT LIKE DANCING! but heck..... he always makes it fun!
TRADITIONS WE DECIDED TO EXCLUDE:
- Traditional Bridal Party: Although we originally chose to not have a bridal party, as the wedding planning developed, we decided it just wouldn't be the same without our crew around us that morning leading up to the wedding. And so we included our wedding party into our day and just opted for them to sit with the guests during the ceremony.
- Cake cutting and flower toss: we decided that we wanted a much more relaxed atmosphere to our reception rather than a program, and for us these were things we didn't care to do. Although at the spur of the moment we decided to cut the first piece of cake together, we didn't feed it to each other or make a big deal out of it.
-Assigned speech/Toasts: If you haven't caught on yet, we are not too keen on being the center of attention. So to ask people to make a speech talking about us felt a little un-natural. My brother-in-law did say a few words as people were finishing up dinner, and opened the floor up to anyone else who might want to say something. We were actually blown away by the way so many spoke from the bottom of their hearts and encouraged us in our marriage. This portion of the evening turned out beautifully, even though it was unplanned!