Five Things Every Bride Should Know When Wedding Planning

In this awesome thing I get to call a job, I get to know our brides throughout the wedding planning process. Sometimes, I hear them mention things during our meetings or even during the wedding day, that explain why things about their wedding are a certain way. Many times, it's because they are following the checklist of what a wedding day is "supposed" to be, thanks in part to The Knot for creating checklists with 500 items or Pinterest (that's a whole other blog post for another time). For any brides out there that are just starting to plan your wedding day, I'm sharing my top five tips that you should know when planning your wedding. These will ensure you plan the wedding of your dreams, no matter how unconventional it looks to other people (because who cares what they think anyway?)! 1. Just because something is a tradition doesn't mean you have to do it. This includes everything from venue to the time of day of your wedding.

Wedding traditions often exist for reasons we don't even know anymore. Many weddings fall into the same mold, but if that isn't for you, don't be afraid to change things up. A few examples include:

Elopements - Is wedding planning completely overwhelming to you? Do you feel 100% uncomfortable when you're the center of attention? Guess what, on your wedding day, you will be the center of attention for at least six hours. If this doesn't sound fun to you, don't do it! Instead, think of alternatives to the traditional large wedding - including an intimate day with just family and close friends, or eloping! It's my dream to photograph an elopement along Big Sur (or really anywhere!).

Timing - Evening receptions are not required. The idea of a morning wedding is picking up steam in the wedding industry. And, who doesn't love breakfast food?! That's one way to mix things up instead of the usual almond crusted chicken and green beans. Picture it with me - a donut cake, waffle bar, fruit and mimosas. Doesn't that sound absolutely delicious?

This is my pep talk for you: plan a day that you will enjoy with your new spouse and don't let tradition dictate your wedding just because other people are used to the status quo.

2. There are more options than ever for dresses - think beyond the strapless staple we've become accustomed to.

Dress designers are more creative than ever. Because of this, new bridal boutiques are popping up to feature these indie designers who are on the leading edge of fashion. Six years ago when I was dress shopping, I would have loved to have options like the designs that are out today (illusion necklines, sleeves).

Some of my favorite bridal shops around Minneapolis include: The White Room, a&be bridal shop, Che Bella, and BHLDN

3.  Don't forget about your guy's attire! He wants to look his best, too, so get a well-fitting suit to make your groom dapper.

You'll spend a lot of time choosing your perfect dress, so why not give the groom some thought when choosing his attire? I think next year will bring back some formality into menswear, so sites like The Black Tux are a great alternative to the traditional rental stores. Check them out to see how easy it is to get your guy a dapper outfit for the big day. I'm also a big fan of tailored suits from J. Crew's Suit Shop - they know how to cut a suit. Along with some more formality coming back to weddings next year, I think the trend will go back toward darker suits or sharp tuxes (with black bow-ties!).

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4.  Don't be afraid of color and texture.

Don't get me wrong, I have loved the blush / neutral trend of weddings over the past few years. But, a little color can go a long way in setting the tone of your wedding! One of my favorite weddings this year was FULL of color, from the invitations to the amazing flowers, Bri and Tom brought color into their day perfectly. Looser, organic bouquets with flowy ribbons are also incredibly romantic. I am hoping to see lots and lots of ribbon at next year's weddings!

Color isn't exclusive to flowers - I love pops of color on nails (for engagement sessions AND weddings). Don't be afraid of lipstick with some color to it, either! This can really finish your look and take your makeup to the next level.

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5.  Be true to yourself and decisive about what you want. 

I know from experience that you get all kinds of unsolicited opinions while in the midst of wedding planning. I recommend taking time when you first start planning to really think through what type of day you want - is it a low-key, intimate gathering? Is it a big, traditional church wedding and evening reception? Either way, know what you want before you start looking at venues to make sure everything lines up with your goals. The key to pulling it off exactly how you've imagined is being true to your vision (and no one else's!) and be decisive about your decisions and opinions. This is the hard part of planning, but remember this is YOUR wedding day, so make it yours - even if it doesn't fit what everyone expects. You will be so glad you stayed true to your vision to create the day you and your husband have dreamt of together.