Event Planning 101: My short engagement

I am both a natural-born planner and worrier. Planning a wedding in 48 days was not in the plan and I was worried. I wanted a beautiful wedding without too much stress. Is that possible? I can tell you now that it really is.

My #1 piece of advice is to not worry too much about little details. Make sure your vendors are aware of your overall vision and then set them free. If everything doesn't turn out exactly the way you pictured it it's going to be OK.

I had three main priorities for my big day:
  1. I wanted to look fabulous
  2. I wanted a fabulous photographer
  3. I wanted all the key players in the wedding to feel more or less calm and collected on the day of the event (i.e., as low stress as possible)
I focused on these three priorities and let everyone who offered to help me out figure out the rest. My mother-in-law helped me pick out an amazing florist and made sure that I had the perfect bouquet. All the moms helped dress the wedding party. I just gave them each a color swatch and let them pick out the attire. One think that really helped was that I printed out a 4x6 color swatch (at Costco photo) for them to take shopping with them. This is what ours looked like:
If you are interested in learning how to put together a color swatch similar to this in Photoshop of Elements let me know and I will put together a tutorial.

Tips for Picking a Fabulous Photographer
I have always admired quality photography. I have come to appreciate it more as I have picked up portrait photography as somewhat of a hobby.
Our photographer Brandon Burk was nothing short of phenomenal. I found him through some images he posted on Facebook of my friend's wedding not to long before our engagement.
My first tip on picking a photographer is to meet with them ahead of time for a face to face consultation. We met with Brandon before our engagement was official. Even though he was the only photographer we interviewed I could tell that he paid a lot of attention to his clients. He had a notebook to write things down as he talked to us about what we were looking for. We discussed our family dynamics, which is very important for a wedding because even though it's the bride's day it's also important to make sure everyone else is comfortable too. We talked about how I love color and the Hot Italian likes rustic type things. He asked us about what type of unique things make us a couple and how we could incorporate them into our shoots. We ended up bringing our dog Milo to the engagement shoot. That turned out to be a huge hit! Can't you see that Milo was having a blast?
One thing that we all (the wedding party) recognized about Brandon was that not only was he extremely talented but he was also a conscientious business owner as well. My second tip would be to hire someone who is keen on the business side of their work and not just the artistic side, it will save you a ton of headache. Brandon kept in touch with us during the entire process. He gave us recommendations for our shoots about what to wear and how to stay comfortable during the wedding (e.g., drink lots of water the night before so you're hydrated but not a whole bunch right before so you have to use the bathroom during the event). And he got our photos back to us, all beautifully edited, amazingly fast. We had all of our images within a week of each shoot and about 10 days after the wedding. And we had over 1,000 images all together by the end of it!
Not everything worked out just as planned for our very short engagement, but we were not at all disappointed by the photographer.
Thanks Brandon!

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