Click Click Shoot-Wedding Photographr

There are many styles and types of wedding photography and photographers. To be truthful, there are too many for one blog and I am not familiar with all. I am going to break it down to three popular styles of photography and 7 types of photographers.

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PHOTOJOURNALISTIC
First and Foremost will be my favorite style, Photojournalistic. The name says it all. The photographer uses their art to tell the story of your wedding. They capture the intimate moments when your dad first sees you and his eyes well up with pride, when you stand nervously as your mom or maid of honor lace up the back of your dress, your deep shaky breath before you walk down the aisle, his look of anticipation as he waits. All those little moments you wish you could burn into your memory forever. The pros with this style are well…everything. You must ensure your photographer has a great instinct because you are completely relying on this to ensure those little moments are shot but overall it’s makes for a beautiful collection of memories.

CLASSIC
The second style I will be discussing is the classic style of photography. These are the ones you are use to seeing in older photo albums. The bride posed with nearly everyone at the wedding, typically around the cake table or at the front of the altar. I definitely feel there is a place for these timeless photos in every album. The cons of this style mainly lies in the lack of originality, and that they are extremely time consuming.

CONTEMPORARY/FASHION
The final style, Contemporary or Fashion photography. These make for very interesting artistic photos. There are many definitions to this category. I personally consider this style to be the style that utilizes beautiful backgrounds, available lighting, and professional posing in order to achieve a photo that looks more like art than anything. While very beautiful, I wouldn’t recommend just having this style as your only choice. What is fashionable now may not always be and this will not tell the story of your wedding day.

CHOOSING THE STYLE
What style am I hoping for? I am truly hoping for a mix! From the work that I have seen he does a great mix of all three. You want some poses with family members and bridal party, but not so many that they suck up an hour of your partying time. You want pictures of all those memories but still have ones that can be displayed in a photo frame. As for contemporary, you most likely want a few beautiful shots that you make you and your loved ones look as if you stepped off the pages of a magazine.

CLICK CLICK FLASH
Now lets talk about those creative creatures: the wedding photographers. Once again, this does not cover the full spectrum of photographers but I think this covers a large portion of what you will see when searching for a wedding photographer. I am a fan of list so I shall list this out starting with my preference of course!

1 The Learning Lady (or gentlemen)

These guys are artist just starting out. They may have a year or less experience. This could be dangerous territory but I honestly believe that photography is like any other art. When you have it, you just have it. Now don’t get me wrong. Experience will benefit these guys in the long run and they will get even better at their craft. The truly talented wedding photographers that have a ton of experience tend to have prices that reflect this. Check out their photos from previous weddings. You can get a good feel of what they have to offer. Look around you will see what I am saying. The great thing about these aspiring photographers is not only will you have a fresh eyed enthusiastic vendor but hey you are helping them too! I personally have a soft spot for business in their first 5 or years of business. I try to book these type of vendors when possible.

2 The Old Foggys

These guys have been around awhile. By awhile I mean 20-30 years ago. They come from a time when film cameras where used and photojournalistic wasn’t yet a household word. Now there is a perk here! Hellloo, they have 20-30 years of experience. That being said, typically the older generation photographer will prefer the traditional style of photography. If this is what you want go for it and if not it doesn’t hurt to ask if they would consider taking a different style of shot. It is a revolving art form and they may or may not have modernized their style.

3 The Pretend Photographer (Aka Fauxtographer or Shoot & Burner)

You’ll probably find this guy while perusing the quik quarter. The idea is they will shoot your wedding and send you a couple disc with the photos (not touched up or modified). They will be super cheap and if that is what you are looking for this would be your guy. The old motto you get what you pay for comes to mind. I know I know. They may be a super amateur photographer trying to get on their feet but so honestly, I think you are better off with Auntie Ann (See Below)

4 Auntie Ann and her little camera too.

Everyone has one. I’m speaking of that aunt with the pretty great eye and an even better camera. This may work well for family photo or maybe even engagements but let Auntie Ann be a guest. If she wants to bring her pricey canon and her artistic eye along, fantastic! She can capture pictures of family members and friends from her vantage point. The main problem is people tend to shoot people they know or favor. Even if she attempts to include everyone, your pictures will ultimately be focused on the people she is familiar. Someone outside the normal circle will have an objective outlook and photograph everyone to an equal ration. Any who… That is a huge pressure to put on a family member’s shoulders. Even if she doesn’t mind she should be joining in on the festivities.

5 High Dollar and Quite Luxurious

Remember when I said “you get what you pay for”. Well high dollar upscale boutique type photography definitely fits the bill. These are the photographers that probably started out as those very talented learning ladies and gents but have blossomed to a whole new level. Their work is absolutely stunning and their services are impeccable. You can even say they would pamper you. It’s like staying at Ritz Carlton vs a Hilton. Both are wonderful but one leaves you feeling like a queen and one more like a duchess. The only drawback here is the price. They are usually closer to, if not in, the 10’s to 20 thousands. As you can tell I absolutely love these guys. I love drooling over their work. Neither my budget nor my pocket book quite agreed so I opted for a talented guy in category A.

6 I have a specialty but its not wedding photography Photographer

So these guys are pretty great too. The problem is their work may or may not translate well. Meaning, they may take FANTASTIC portrait work or landscape photos but not be able to capture the essence of the wedding. Some (particularly photojournalistic or fashion) may be able to pull of the wedding photographer thing even if this is not their specialty but it MAY be a gamble. If you are considering using this type of photographer I would view their work and get a good sense of where they are coming from. You may get a fantastic price and a fantastic album. You may get a bunch of awkwardness mixed with a handful of great shots. Remember it is an art form. I wouldn’t want a rock band to play Cajun music. They may be similar but that doesn’t mean they are the same. Then again that rock band may rock the crowd with zydeco tunes. You will never know until you check’em out.

As mentioned earlier, this is not an all inclusive list of type of photographers and photography out there but I hope it helps you get more familiarized for when you start that search. There is at least one positive for each and like anything else in your wedding it falls back to what you prefer. Honestly, if you take ANY advice from me it is this. THIS IS YOUR WEDDING SO LET IT BE YOUR WEDDING. You can get help with decisions but ultimately go with your gut. You may make comprises. Trust me sometimes it’s needed as a peace wager. That being said, ultimately there are two people who need to be happy with it and on that day they will share the same name! Happy Planning!

NEXT POST: VIDEOGRAPHER-A MUST HAVE OR A MAYBE NOT?

Happy Planning!

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Stevi

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“Put them together, and what have you got? Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo.” _the wedding planner

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So let’s talk about that the wedding planner (or as I no longer secretly refer to her in my mind, my fairy godmother)

So I recently read a post regarding the rough side of being a wedding planner (http://www.valmariepaper.com/blog/). It made me sad. Really truly sad. It also made me wonder if I at times come off as ungrateful. Britany if you’re reading this, I AM SUPER SUPER GRATEFUL. Back to the subject at hand, the mistreatment of people (professional or not) does not sit well with me and it makes me wonder why some people think its okay when planning a wedding. Seriously, if I become that self absorbed and hateful bridezilla please oh please tackle me, slap me a bit, then slam my head into the ground until I get my wits back. Just kidding, please don’t do that. If you know me you know this is probably not your best course of action. You do have my permission to poke me in the arm and tell me what’s on your mind as I give you the death glare. I guess what I am trying to say is treat your wedding planner and all your vendors with the respect they deserve. At the end of the day, they are people with feelings and families outside your wedding. She’s not actually your fairy godmother but she’s the closest you’ll get to one! Imagine if Cinderella told her godmother off for the clock striking too early and her shoe not fitting properly. I’m pretty sure she would have been the one turned into a pumpkin. Things may or may not go as planned and your planner will do everything she possibly can to make things go as they should but don’t forget she doesn’t have a magic wand! Even Cinderella’s godmother couldn’t control EVERYTHING.

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Now that we’ve covered how NOT to treat your planner, let’s discuss the type of planners out there.

FULL SERVICE

Who Needs’em?
The Ladies that need someone to (sometimes literally) hold their hand from the ring to the walk(and a little bit after)

Sets you back: Depending on your location, their experience, and their packages (amongst other things) this will probably cost 2,000 and up.

So what exactly is “full service’?

These gals*or guys* do it all. They will help you dream up and execute your vision down to the little details and the not so pretty business stuff. I cant speak for what each planner will do but typically the list would be something like this
· recommend and work with all wedding vendors
· accompany you on your appointments
· Handle wedding vendor contracts
· manage the guest list and RSVPs
· create a workable wedding budget
· plan a variety of wedding parties (engagement, showers etc.)(sometimes this is at additional cost. Don’t expect this without asking first)
· help create the theme and style of the wedding
· provide ongoing telephone and email support (sometimes daily)
· be there on the wedding day to make sure it all happens as planned…and hold the bride’s hand!
If you opt for this type of planner –well honestly ANY planner- chemistry is the key. Ya’ll have to like each other. If you don’t, keep looking. She may be perfection but if the chemistry is off it’s no bueno.

DAY OF/MONTH OF

Who need’s em?
The lady who has it all together and down to a science but needs her right hand lady to help make sure the day goes as planned.

What will it set me back?
Once again, there are multiple factors but I know in my area this type of planner started around 750 and went up from there.

What do they do?
Ideally, they come into a planned wedding about a month before and touch base with all those lovely vendors and make sure the proverbial wheel is greased and ready to roll Mainly they swoop in last minute(ish), make your sure you’ve dotted those I’s and T’s and manage your wedding day schedule. Don’t let the day of title fool. They usually put in at least a week of work before hand to make that the day of isn’t a hellish chaotic endeavor. They will usually meet up with you a couple times prior as well as correspond via email/phone. I tip my hats to these ladies. Truly I tip my hat to all planners but this one is in the game of risky business. Could you imagine coming in this late in the game when the bride has made a faux pas! Gasp.

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HOURLY

Who need’s em?
The bride who doesn’t have all the answers but just has a couple questions. For example, I need help wit this budget or I cant find a band.

What will it set me back? In my area the lowest fee I found for these service was around 200$

What do they do? Whew. What cant they do? Take the full service planner and cut it up into a bunch of little sections and you have this guy! I’ve seen a few specialty packages where the planner will help you get started, help you budget or help you wrap business details up. Basically, you would be paying for professional help, a push in the right direction and one step closer to well planned low stress wedding. If this is all you have room for in your budget this is still better than nothing!

Just remember, whatever planner you choose you better be nice or Ill get you. JK *evil laugh.

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Happy Planning!tumblr_lsxj4wa7i11qferclo1_500
Stevi

RSVP: WON’T MISS YOUR SPECIAL DAY

So you’re invited to a wedding.  During engagement time, this is like a kid getting let into a candy store. You know all the hard work that goes into it and you can not wait to see all the details and the pay off. You also know you will be making mental notes the whole time.  That’s all fine and dandy but you must remember you are someone’s guest! There are rules of etiquette that apply to being a guest and here they are

BE ON TIME: DON’T BE LATE, DON’T BE LATE! TIS A VERY IMPORTANT DATE!
First and foremost, respect their time. They have spent anywhere from 6 months to 2 years planning this. The least you can do is show up on time.  6:30 on the invitation does NOT mean you can show up at 6:35 or 6:30 for that matter. She is making her entrance at this time and you should not be joining her. I understand traffic happens, coffee spills as you are walking out the door, and when you are rushing there is always something you forget on the counter but think about the bride. Imagine this scene, you’re getting married and all eyes are on you. The groom is in a trance and the room is still and quiet minus the sounds of your wedding march. Tears are welling up and it’s practically magical. Then BAM the doors swing open and someone runs in heaving and sweating running to their seat. Okay, maybe it won’t be so dramatic but in the brides eyes she will see you as rude villain barging in on her wedding. Not exactly the role I personally would like to play in a wedding. If you are running late for the ceremony and it’s in a large church I would give it 10-15 minutes. This should be enough time for her to get down the aisle. Then slip in a SIDE door and QUIETLY find your seat. Doing your very best to attract little to no attention. If it’s in a tiny chapel (like my wedding) keep your behind outside.  I am not joking. Park it on a bench and wait for the ceremony to end. There’s no stealthy entrance in a chapel built for 80. I personally will not remember if someone didn’t make it to see my ceremony but I am pretty sure I will distinctly remember the A hole who showed up late and marched in mid ceremony.

IF THEY ARE INVITED THEY ARE LISTED ON ENVELOPE
There’s no “and guest” but I am dating a new hot guy and it’s just not right for me to leave him home.  Most likely, it is very right for you to leave him behind. Most weddings have a per person fee and you do not want to bring along a party crasher. It is proper etiquette to include all long term/steady spouses. The general rule is if relationship status is 1 year plus, living with, engaged or married they are invited. If you feel you absolutely must have your significant other I would hesitantly contact the bride (if you know her that well). If you don’t know her well enough to call her then I would just say no. Don’t do it.  It may seem a big put off for you to not have someone special in your life join you but consider the cost per person and the fact that YOU did mean enough to the couple to be put on that list. You are important to her. Trust me, I went over my list painstakingly and sometimes in tears.  There were many more people I truly wanted joining me but there was simply no way.

THE GIFT:  TO FOLLOW REGISTRY OR NOT FOLLOW REGISTRY
So I heard this rumor that the registry was “just a suggestion”. Well here is my suggestion, STICK TO THE REGISTRY.  You might think that cute gumbo plate is the perfect gift or those coasters with New Orleans pictures are perfect. Yet, They may have 2 dozen of those plates and think those coasters are ridiculous. In this day and age, most couples already reside together and have a ton of stuff. If they list it on their registry it is because they want and need it. I personally wish they had birthday party registries. That would make my life so much easier. They are telling you what they want. What’s easier that THAT? If you are worried about price, it is recommended that you put items in varying price ranges in order to accommodate all guest so they should have something in your price range. They may also have larger ticket items.  For a couple of my close friends’ weddings, I plan on getting with a few other people in order to split the cost of a more expensive item.  Worse case scenario, get a card and slap some cash in there. Trust me, the wedding couple will not mind.

THE ATTIRE: DRESS TO THE NINES
Here is my personal “biggie”! Let us cover what NOT to wear. Jeans! Seriously, this may be my biggest pet peeve. Jeans are for going to the movies, working outside and hanging out at friends. Would you go to a Mardi Gras Ball or a high class restaurant in jeans? I’d hope not.   Unless the bridesmaids dresses are say… camo, and the groomsmen are wearing hip boots and camo jackets there is no place for jeans at wedding. This is a semiformal to formal event. It may not call for a black jacket and tie but you should at the very least wear a button down/pair of khakis or a cocktail/sundress (gender specific of course).  Another big no-no is wearing white if you are not the bride. By white I am referring to every shade. Do not wear ivory, palest pink, lightest yellow or anything else that is so pale it could look white in photographs.

WHAT ABOUT THIS?-ALL THOSE LITTLE QUESTIONS
The bride is not the person you need to be directing all your questions to starting a few weeks before the wedding. She will be being pulled in a million directions and may be slightly frazzled at this point.  She doesn’t have time to point out the location of the powder room,  find a safety pin for Sue Ann’s dress strap, or band aids for little Tommy’s cut.   There are tons of people surrounding her who will most likely be more than happy to assist you.  My suggestions are The Planner (if available), The Maid/Matron of honor, the mother of the bride or the wedding site consultant/director.  

ENJOY YOURSELF
All rules and etiquette aside, have a good time.  Have a few drinks, dance and enjoy the night. After all, this is a party celebrating a near and dears now happily ever after!
CHEERS MY DEARS!

Happy Planning!

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Stevi

Independent Bridal Show

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So it’s time for a few introductions to be made, My two best friends Michelle and Sarah are getting married as well! I am one of the maids of honor for Sarah’s wedding and a bridesmaid in Michelle’s wedding. These two awesome ladies accompanied me (I won the tickets woohoo!) to the bridal show.

While I did not win anything at this bridal show, I found four of my remaining vendors from this show. I found my florist, my design team/rentals, the designer for my veil/hair piece and the company where I will be ordering supplies for the second line!

Root Floral Design (my florist)

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We had so much fun! We ate too much cake (btw cheesecake wedding cake is unbelievably delish), browsed the many stations, and took a ton of pictures in some super fun photobooths. Here’s some pictures from the show. I wish I would have taken more detail photos but will do next time

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Happy Planning!

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Stevi

The Bridal Party Attire

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From the moment I started thinking of who would be my bridesmaids. I also started envisioning what they would wear. After choosing my venue, date, theme and colors the look needed was evident. I was thinking something flowy, light, flattering almost ethereal. I opted for these empire waist, sweetheart neckline silk chiffon floor length gowns in a light buttery golden color.

It is the plum colored dress in below pictures 🙂

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Since my wedding is vintage themed, the moment I thought of flower girls back in October the first thing I thought of was tulle. I had a hard time choosing between two dresses and did a facebook vote. The one shoulder dress beat out the other with ease. (A word of caution: You do get opinions you don’t necessarily want. It’s the risk you will take asking the public for their opinion so if you think of making a decision in a similar manner be ready for the people who aren’t quite content with a simple 1 or 2 answer)

Here is the flower girl dress:
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I think this will be absolutely adorable on all four flower girls. Can you see the cuteness? It’s going to be like a mini tulle covered parade.

Regardless of what style you think of for your dresses there is a process in which I suggest.

~You must have location and theme/feel of your wedding in place.

~Ensure that you have chosen your party and your style in mind not only suites your wedding but also your ladies. These are your friends and family. You do not want them squeezed into something that will not flatter them. After all you are asking them to shell out anywhere from a hundred to several hundred dollars the least you can do is ensure they will not be uncomfortable.

~Look through Bridal magazines, Pinterest, and wedding websites in order to determine styles and designers you are interested in.
Go to local boutique websites and either look at their brand list or call and inquire.

~Make appointments at shops that have designers you are considering.

~Call, email or text the bridesmaids that you would like to join you. How few or many are up to you. If you have several overly opinionated bridesmaid I would just bring a few of the more agreeable girls. You do want to ensure it looks great and it is something they would be comfortable with but you do not want their voices drowning out your own.

~After you have found your bridesmaid dresses, find out the following information immediately; when dresses should be ordered, do they need to be ordered together to ensure all dress are uniform in color, is there a tailor that the shop recommends or do they tailor, cost of tailoring and dates they will need to be brought in for tailoring.

I have several surprises regarding wedding party attire so Ill get back to yall with those at a later date 🙂 (march 29 2014)

Happy Planning!

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Stevi

Organizing I Do

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THE BINDER AND THE BAG

The single most important thing you can do to organize your wedding is make a wedding binder. There will be a time during wedding planning when you will need everything at your fingertips. You do not want to have to hunt down papers, numbers, pictures, brochures etc. Your binder should be your go to place for all things wedding. Being miss super organized when it comes to my wedding I realized early on that a binder alone would not be enough. I designated a wedding bag that would hold several things. It holds my wedding planning organization binder, bridal party organization binder, an accordion file for contracts, clear page protectors, 4 empty manila folders and at least 4 pins. I also keep a mini note clipboard in my bag. This is courtesy of my wedding planner, Britany Brownlee of Southern Knots & Events. We were at a meeting with the wedding venue and oh hark the angels I forgot my notebook. I am the queen of prepared and for a moment there I felt like I was at sea without a paddle. Out pops the little clipboard and the day was saved. Apparently, it was a part of package deal with her and it could not have been received at a better time.

I made my main binder by using this tutorial
http://justlovelykatherine.blogspot.com/2012/06/www-how-to-put-together-wedding.html

This is what my second binder is comprised of

BRIDESMAIDS

CONTACT LIST-Spreadsheet with all of their important information
OUTLINE-Summary of wedding details
DRESSES- worksheet for their measurements, ordering information including designer, color style number and when to be ordered. Also contact info of recommended tailors.
STYLING- contact info for stylist, photos of desired looks

PARTIES

Bridal Shower – guest list, location, details mapped out, itinerary and list of responsibilities
Couples Shower- guest list, location, details mapped out, itinerary and list of responsibilities
Bachelorette-guest list, location, details mapped out, itinerary and list of responsibilities

FLOWER GIRLS

CONTACT INFO- parents phone numbers and emails
DRESSES- worksheet for their measurements, ordering information including designer, color style number and when to be ordered. Also contact info of recommended tailors.
STYLING- contact info for stylist, photos of desired looks

You can put them in whatever order you like. I strongly advise that as soon as information is received you put it in its respective place in your binder/bag. Another way to keep it organized is to purge your binder/bag at least once a month.

pinterest

Ahh, Pinterest! If I can give any advice regarding pinterest pins it is as follows, use pins as inspiration but not as literal how tos. The problem with using the exact pin is that there are hundreds of little weddings running around looking like your weddings clone. I know there are some similarities that will always be but you don’t want an exact replication of someone else’s wedding. If you do, that’s your preference. Personally, I rather not copy directly off of someone else. There are some ideas that I liked how they were executed and kept them mostly the same. I know someone else may do it and I am okay with that. I am just praying that it’s not a wedding of a friend or right before my own. That would just suck. Anyway, the advice that I am giving is make the pinterest pin your own and make the pin private. Utilize those privacy boards so your guest can be somewhat surprised. I am a very open book bride. I share more than most. I have recently learned a few flaws in this plan but ultimately I rather share this process with everyone and learn how to keep the things I feel I want to remain a mystery for now just that. Having a private board for the pins that I want to utilize for wedding helps keep things from being too out in the open. If you are utilizing pinterest more than most to plan your wedding, you may consider setting up a separate pinterest just for weddings.

I am going to give directions for organizing both ways

If you are using making a new pinterest, I suggest making following boards for each part of your wedding;

Paperwork/Legalities
Planning Process
Ceremony Décor
Reception Décor
Bridesmaids
Flower Girls
Groomsmen
Engagement Pictures
Wedding Pictures
Gifts
Little touches
Shower
Bachelorette
Wedding dress
Wedding looks

If you are making private boards on your current pinterest, I suggest making the following three boards;

Ceremony/Ceremony Décor _PRIVATE
Reception/Reception Décor_PRIVATE
THE EXTRAS (only things you are 100% sure about)_PRIVATE

Bridal Shower- (invite bridesmaids)(public)
Bachelorette- (invite bridesmaids)(public)

Yawn. Sorry about the super snooze inducing post organization is a super important part of wedding planning.

Happy Planning!

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Stevi

Now what?

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Determine which is most important to you and what makes most sense to you. The most important step in my opinion is HIRING A PLANNER. Even if it just a consultation or month of package I highly recommend one. Trust me it will save you a lot of stress later on. If you haven’t chosen a planner yet. I definitely recommend you do this now. I personally based the date of my wedding largely around my wedding planners availability. I had a planner in mind and contacted her immediately to find out what dates she was available.
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The very next step should be determining your budget. I can not say this enough. If you do not do this, you will be halfway through wedding planning and way over what you are willing to spend.
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Once you have determined your budget, you should then start thinking of “what kind of wedding do I want”. My advice is when you are thinking of what kind of wedding you want you also think what kind of wedding you are able to afford.

Truefully, my first choice of wedding would have been a nola soiree. There were two beautiful Catholic churches that I absolutely loved and I wanted my reception in a new Orleans museum. However, there were several factors including budget that made this not feasible. I researched what each wedding that I would consider would cost and went from there.

I found that I could have everything I wanted in my wedding within my budget if I chose a small Cajun village and had ceremony in village chapel and reception at same location.

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After you have chosen what type of wedding and where you would like it. It is time to start thinking about the vendors that follow.

After choosing planner and establishing budget, Location is the next important step. In order to secure other vendors you will need your date and location. Lucky for me, the caterer and bar came with location. Whew! Less to stress over.

I am doing a second line (look up New Orleans second line if you are not familiar) so my next step was finding my band. I contacted several bands and found a great Cajun band that agreed to do the second line parade from ceremony to reception. Since this was an important aspect of my wedding I took care of this immediately.
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I had a certain style of music in mind for ceremony so I found a musician next.

I then moved onto photographer, followed by stylist/makeup artist, videographer, reception décor team/rentals, flower arrangements supplier for reception, and florist. Being that each category of vendor typically has a process and i have advice on each I will make subsequent entries based on each step and how i SUGGEST you go about planning them. At this point I would also like to note that this “how to plan” is my suggestive tutorial. It is by now means written wedding law or what you must do. This is what in my limited experience I have found works. Thanks for reading and Ill be back soon.

NEXT (PLANNING ADVICE)POST:ORGANIZING I DO (GETTING BINDER AND PINTEREST BOARDS TOGETHER)

Happy Planning!

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Stevi