not-seeing-each-other-before-ceremony feature

first look before your ceremony

It’s still a controversy. Do you see each other before your wedding ceremony? Honestly, most of our clients ARE seeing each other, about 70%. We find it’s usually the groom that doesn’t want to see his bride before the wedding. Go figure.

There are a lot of pro’s and con’s to this and we’ve talked about it before on this series here.

bottom line:

  1. Do what you want to do.
  2. Remember, sometimes it really helps to calm you down.
  3. Your vendors will setup an epic First Look. Just you and your groom/bride (and a photographer and videographer capturing the moment). Most of the time the groom’s cry, not the bride. See the photos below.
  4. Be flexible. Inclement weather and other situations may change your opinion about seeing each other.
  5. Almost every single one of our clients that saw each other, were happy they did. They enjoyed their day and their wedding reception so much more.

here’s a glimpse of real First Looks (this could be you!)

first look1 first look before your ceremony
first look2 first look before your ceremony
first look3 first look before your ceremony

photo credit: amy shepherd photography

Or you could not see each other but take some cute photos like the one in our featured photo with our bride Erin and groom Zach.

featured photo credit: elizabeth vincent photography

plan on!



wedding gifts for your groomsmen

On Monday we talked about getting gifts for your parents, so today we’ll talk about gifts for the groomsmen. Let’s face it, women are easy to buy for. Really. Monogrammed bag, jewelry, makeup, whatever … we are good to go.

best tip for groomsmen gifts:

Really think about your guys. Get something they would like and use. So many gifts end up in the back of the closet, collecting dust. Be creative and different, but keep it simple. For instance …

groomsmen gift wedding gifts for your groomsmen

This is a key chain, yes. But also a bottle opener. And let’s face it, your guys need to quit trying to twist off their import beers. This set can be purchased here: Set of 2 GROOMSMEN GIFTS Personalized Keychain Bottle by poptag.

chuck taylor groomsmen wedding gifts for your groomsmen

This is one of our grooms and his groomsmen. Chuck Taylors or any kind of shoe really (one groom bought Air Jordan’s for each of his groomsmen #baller) is a good idea. Because rental shoes suck and hurt your feet.

Are you having a challenge finding a good gift? If so, contact us, we’ll see if we can give you some ideas. staff (at)

featured photo credit: jesse and gena

plan on!



switching sides at the wedding ceremony

So here is something crazy to consider, because you KNOW we like to shake things up.

You know at the ceremony (if facing the altar), the Christian and non-religious tradition is to have the Bride’s family and friends on the left side and the Groom’s respective family and friends on the right side.

At one of our weddings at the beautiful West Baden hotel, something happen seconds before the families walked down the aisle. There was some confusion and gathering of a large processional. So when the mother of the bride and father of the groom were escorted, they accidently went to the “wrong sides”. The bride’s mother was sitting on the right side (front row) and the groom’s father was sitting on the left side (front row). However, like tradition, the bride stood at the “altar” on the left and the groom stood on the right.

SA 0899 550x366 switching sides at the wedding ceremony

Standing in the back, immediately I saw this and thought, DOH! I still had a ring dog and three wiggly flower girls and ring bearer to contain.

Oh well, that is how weddings go. No such thing as perfection … just roll with it.

But wait, as the ceremony began I realized, this mishap is kinda brilliant. You see, the bride’s mom can now watch her baby’s face during the ceremony instead of seeing the back of her head. The same for the groom’s dad.

SA 0906 550x366 switching sides at the wedding ceremony

featured and images: amy shepherd photography 

There are many speculations as to how this tradition started with having the bride on the left and groom on the right. My feeling it really comes from the right side traditionally being reserved for men as it is considered a position of privilege and power, (think Jesus is “seated” at the right side of God”. ) Perhaps that is why in Jewish ceremonies it is opposite.

I suggest, for keeping the tradition, but for the families, switching it up. Who cares where the parent’s sit? For us, the most important part is being part of the ceremony, the emotion and enjoying it. And as a mother, I would rather watch my son’s face while he takes his vows (15 years from now) than watch his new wife. Call me crazy.

What do you think? Love for you to weigh in … if you’re getting married, will you consider this shake up of this tradition?

plan on!



marriage tips for grooms…

I’ve been married for 19 years. N I N E T E E N  Y E A R S!

Considering my husband initially asked me to marry him in my parent’s bathroom, he’s lucky I’m still around.

So when I came along this little gem (thanks Rayna Ortwein with Always Planned), I had to share. Growing up with all brothers, I know that men like to get advice from other men.

 marriage tips for grooms...

image credit: Dan Pearce from

Please take a moment to read Dan Pearce’s blog post: 16 Ways I Blew My Marriage.

It’s honest, refreshing and great advice for everyone (NOT JUST THE GUYS)! Because you should be taking advice from people who have successful marriages and people who unfortunately, have not.

love on!



morning after pictures…

Is there a new trend for wedding photography? There may just be.

Have your wedding photographer come to your hotel suite for a potentially sexy “Morning After” photo session. Just the bride, groom and your photog. At least that is what the article said.

Intrigued to learn more, I contacted the photographer, Michelle Jonne. She gave me the low-down on this super cool concept:

“The Morning After” does not take place the night or next day of your wedding for multiple reasons: 1) we respect the wedding night and do not want to photograph any sexual acts 2) we do NOT want to photograph couples that are hung over 3) the photos are done in a tasteful manner and are meant to be implied, playful, sensual, edgy and tasteful all in one. The Morning After not only has to be for newlyweds but any couple in love and wants to capture it.  I think it can be used as a tool to re-ignite the fire in ones relationship, celebrate an anniversary.

I totally concur, Michelle. Now at first I was a little doubtful. But realize this is more of a staged photo shoot and is a just a beautiful reflection of a couple’s love. Whether you want it to round out the wedding photo album or frame on your bedroom wall around your anniversary.

Check out this love that Michelle captured:

morning after5 morning after pictures...

morning after3 morning after pictures...

morning after4 morning after pictures...

What do you think? Would you be up for it?

photo credit: michelle jonne photography 
featured photo credit: pfe iPhone

ps You should know that most wedding couples are usually so tired from partying the night before that the morning of starting new lives together is when they actually get to, er, consummate the marriage. Now THAT would be a whole different type of photography session. icon smile morning after pictures...