wedding tips

5 Common Mistakes Couples Make While Wedding Planning

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5 Common Mistakes Couples Make While Wedding Planning

Congratulations!!!! You’re engaged and everything is so exciting in your life right now! If this is your first time being engaged and planning a wedding…this process can be lots of fun…but you’ll also find out soon enough that things can get overwhelming and even stressful. There are so many details that need attention and decisions that need to be made…not to mention all of the money those details and decisions will end up costing you.

You’re going to probably reach out for help at some point to friends, family members, Facebook groups, Pintrest, Youtube, and Google…all of which can offer help and inspiration. This blog post will let you take advantage of a very different and UNIQUE source for helping you plan your wedding. That source is ME! I’ve been photographing weddings for almost 14 years…and in that vast amount of time, I’ve seen pretty much everything. I’ve seen almost every possible way a wedding can go wrong and I’ve condensed all of that in to the 5 most common mistakes couples make while wedding planning. I’ll go over each one with the hopes of preventing YOU from making the same mistakes I see couples making over and over so you can have a fun-filled, stress-free wedding day!

So let’s get to it!

Wedding Planning Mistake #5: Inviting too many guests

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This may seem like it doesn’t need mentioning, but you would be surprised how many couples make this simple mistake. When planning your guest list, make sure the number of guests you plan on inviting fits within the capacity limits of both your ceremony and reception venues! If your reception venue can fit 200 people and your guest list is 350…DO NOT send 350 invites out assuming that only 50-60% will rsvp YES. When your wedding day rolls around and you have 50 guests too many…it would be absolutely horrible to have to turn those guests away... some of whom may have travelled a great distance to be there for your wedding! Most venues simply can’t add 5 more tables at the last minute. Fire codes limit the maximum number of people allowed in the venue. A safer guideline would be to assume that 80% of the people on your guestlist will reply YES. Safer still is not sending out more invites than your venue can hold. If your venue can hold 200 people…do not send out more than 200 invites. Trust me…the last thing you want on your wedding day is to have to turn away a group of people who took time out of their lives to be with you on your wedding day because you sent out too many invites!

Wedding Planning Mistake #4: Not having a rain plan

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If you are planning an outdoor wedding and simply hoping that it won’t rain…you will be a nervous wreck the entire week of your wedding (especially in ND and MN)! Don’t waste your whole wedding day worrying if it’s gonna rain or not and ruin everything you’ve been planning for the last 6-12 months! Instead…have a solid “Plan B”. If the venue you are having your outdoor ceremony at doesn’t have an option for an indoor ceremony in case of rain…It would be a smart idea to start looking into companies in your area that rent tents. You may not want to put money down on renting a tent and lose that money if it doesn’t rain and you never use that tent, but the alternative is…not spending the money renting the tent and then it rains and you have nowhere for you and your guests to take shelter. Think of putting money down for a tent as insurance and a piece of mind (which, on your wedding day, is priceless). If you are planning an outdoor event, start looking for tents to rent 6-9 months in advance so you can be sure some will be available and you can budget them in.

Wedding Planning Mistake #3: Hiring a friend instead of a pro

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You’ve spent countless hours planning, not to mention thousands of dollars on your dress, venues, food, etc…and there will be no “Do Overs” on your wedding day. It’s vital that you hire professional wedding vendors, who know what they’re doing, to make sure your wedding day goes off without a hitch. Even if you are on a tight budget…your wedding day is NOT the time to let your friends “practice” their hobby. Your friend my have 10,000 followers on Instagram…but that doesn’t mean they can handle photographing a wedding. Your cousin may put together the best playlists ever and keep house parties bumpin…but that doesn’t mean they’ll make an awesome wedding DJ. INVEST money into hiring professionals for the most important day of your life and let your friends enjoy the day with you.

Wedding Planning Mistake #2: Getting trashed the night before the wedding

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Your wedding is tomorrow!! Yippie! You’re so excited and to make things even better…you get to be with all of your closest friends and family at the groom’s dinner! This is where many couples make a mistake they always regret! Drinking WAY too much the night before the wedding can turn your wedding day into a disaster. I’ve seen couples that hired me for 6 hours of photography coverage show up 3 hours late because they were sick from the night before. On top of that, alcohol makes your skin flush red which is VERY unflattering for photos. (sometimes…even Photoshop can not help). Coming in 3 hours late puts all of your hired wedding vendors behind and that can exponentially slow down your entire timeline…even bring it to a halt. If you were supposed to be a the salon at 9 am and didn’t get there until 9:45…that not only puts your hair and makeup back 45 minutes…but that compounds on top of all the other events on your timeline. Now makeup starts later, which means getting dressed starts later, which then means flowers get pinned on later, and so on and so forth! It can be a total disaster and I’ve seen it happen more than once. So have fun at the groom’s dinner the night before but skip the drinking if at all possible. You will have such a better wedding day if you avoid this common mistake…and you’ll have the entire wedding evening to have drinks with all of your friends.

Wedding Planning Mistake #1: Not Hiring An Experienced Wedding Photographer

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You may have been dreaming of your wedding day since you were a little girl. You’ll spend countless hours between now and your wedding day planning every important detail. You’ve spent hundreds (maybe even thousands) of dollars on your dream dress and thousands more on the venues, music, flowers, cake, decorations, and other key elements. It only makes sense that you INVEST in preserving all of those dreams, hard work, and money by hiring an experienced photographer who specializes in weddings!

Your dream day is not the time to hire an up-n-comer or hobbyist because you want to save a few bucks. Concerning photography, price is usually directly proportional to quality and experience (I.E…YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR). If you hand over the enormous responsibility of preserving your wedding day memories to someone who may have only photographed 1 or 2 weddings because they are super cheap…you will find out soon after your wedding WHY they were super cheap! And at that point….there’s nothing you can do…your wedding has already taken place. You can’t go back in time and do it again.

Think of it this way…you wouldn’t go to a primary care physician if you needed open heart surgery (would you?)…I bet you would search for the most experienced cardiologist around…someone who specializes in hearts and you can trust to give you the best care possible. Both are doctors, but one is WAY more qualified to help you with your special needs.

One Value that an experienced photographer who specializes in weddings offers you that others don’t is “PEACE OF MIND”…and on your wedding day….that is PRICELESS!


There you have it! 5 Common Mistakes that couples make while planning their wedding. Your wedding should be super special and the more you do in the preparation stage to squash any common mistakes…the more time you can spend having a blast on your big day! I really hope that these 5 tips helped in some way!

Want more info about MY wedding photography/video services?? Click below to reach out and say “HI!”

5 TIPS FOR FINDING THE PERFECT WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER FOR YOU

5 TIPS FOR FINDING THE PERFECT WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER FOR YOU

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Congratulations! You’re engaged! Now comes planning your big day! There’s so much that goes into wedding planning and it can definitely start to get stressful fast! This quick blog post is going to focus on hiring your wedding photographer and how to make sure you choose the right one for you and your wedding. Let’s face it…you’ve probably already searched for wedding photographers in your area via Google or Facebook and were overwhelmed with the hundreds of choices! If you are reading this, I’m guessing that you want your wedding to be the most special day of your life and that preserving those memories is VERY important to you. If your wedding photography is something you place a high value on, then finding an experienced PROFESSIONAL wedding photographer is a must.

So how can you tell if a photographer is an experienced pro who you can trust with the most important day of your life, or an inexperienced hobbyist? Many sites online such as WeddingWire, The Knot, and Martha Stewart Weddings offer articles titled something like: 20 THINGS TO ASK YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER BEFORE HIRING THEM…or something similar. Then you read it and it’s all generic questions that really don’t help you weed through all the photographer to find the few good ones. You’ll see basic questions like: “How many weddings have you photographed?” “How long have you been in business?” “Do you have a portfolio I can view?” “Can I see a shot list?”…etc…

Couples who haven’t gone through this process before don’t really know what to ask a professional photographers so they ask these generic questions because that’s what Martha Stewart said to ask…when in reality…those questions don’t really help you at all. Let’s face it…you should be able to look at a photographer’s website and see their portfolio, how long they’ve been in business, blah blah blah. How does that help you figure out if a photographer is right for you?

IF your wedding photography is super important to you and you want an experienced trust worthy professional… if you follow my 5 pieces of advice below, you can easily narrow down your potential photographers and save yourself tons of time and stress.

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So…without further adieu…

A few key tips to help you determine if you should trust a particular photographer to photograph your wedding are:

  • Check for reviews  on places like Google Business, The Knot, Wedding Wire, Facebook…etc… Also check the photographer’s website for reviews and testimonials. See if past clients rave about trusting their weddings to that photographer. If there are no reviews…either that photographer hasn’t shot enough weddings to accumulate any, or the ones they DO have are negative and they don’t want you to see them.



  • Ask the photographer if they have liability insurance. A photographer who has liability insurance takes their business seriously. You can be sure that they are an ACTUAL professional and that they are aware that they need to protect their clients (and themselves) from any misfortune. What happens if 2yr old Timmy trips over a lightstand and gets seriously injured?? A professional who has insurance is one that gives you piece of mind on your wedding day and that’s one less STRESS you need to deal with.



  • Have they had their work published in print or on recognized wedding blogs? You can rest assured that if recognized blogs or magazines are willing to showcase that photographer’s work on their site or magazine, that they are a choice you can trust with your big day. Most publications have strict guidelines for submissions and they get thousands to choose from each day! If your potential photographer has their work published on wedding blogs or in magazines…it’s a sure sign that they know what they are doing.



  • Ask to see examples of Full Weddings (at least 75 pics) from 3 different weddings they’ve done and ask that at least one of those is an INDOOR WEDDING. You are looking to see how a photographer’s work looks when the lighting is challenging. Shooting outdoor weddings is a bit easier due to the abundance of natural lighting (from the sun). There is a lot less for a photographer to worry about and it’s easier to produce high quality, smooth, flattering images. But what if your ceremony, or reception, is indoors?  Church lighting is never ideal and reception lighting is almost unworkable for some photographers who do not have the know-how to use their own “off camera” lighting. Look for shots from inside a church during the ceremony and some from the reception (First Dances, Cake Cutting). If these images are not crisp and clean, then ask yourself if they can handle your wedding day.



  • Meet with them in person before hiring them to see if you “CLICK”. Whoever you decide to trust with capturing your wedding day memories will be by your side more than any other person during the day (quite literally). From hair and make-up to the reception dance floor, your photographer will be attached to you the entire time. So…this may seem obvious, but you want to make sure that person is someone you get along with, have shared interests with, makes you laugh, helps you through stressful moments, and is calm/cool/professional. Set up an in person meeting with them just to chat over coffee. If distance prevents meeting in person, set up a Skype (or Zoom) call. Think of it as a blind date. You are trying to see if this person is a good fit to invite into your life on the most important day ever! If they annoy you or butt heads with your personality, it will most definitely make spending 8 hours with them on your wedding day, miserable. AND…if any wedding vendor refuses to meet with you before you hire them, it should be a HUGE red flag! Save time, money, and stress and move on to the next possible person.

There you have it! 5 Tips For Finding The Perfect Wedding Photographer For You. Finding the right photographer for your wedding day should be fun and exciting…not a stressful frustrating hassle. Use these 5 tips to instantly narrow down the mine field of photographers to the select few that can be trusted with the giant responsibility of preserving your wedding day memories!

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If you would like more info on MY wedding photography/video services, just click below to reach out and say HI!