Wedding Photography

When it comes to choosing where to spend your wedding dollars, wedding photography may be one of the biggest decisions. If you decided that fine art wedding photography is the most important place to put a large portion of your wedding budget, choosing who to entrust with this job will be a significant wedding planning decision.

One of the things that can help you choose well is to know in advance what style of photography you are looking for. The most expensive, talented photographer in the world will still not produce wedding pictures you cherish if you don’t share his or her artistic tastes. Each photographer will have an individual look and feel to their photographic art. Being happy with your wedding pictures will largely depend on whether that look and feel is in harmony with your own personal tastes.

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Wedding Tips: Tissue Pom-Pom Tutorial

Well, I didn’t quite get this out on Wednesday, but here’s your wedding tip of the week.

I think the tissue paper pom-poms that are so popular right now would make lovely and versatile wedding reception decorations. You can do them in any color and hang, pin or arrange them in a number of ways. Much more elegant than streamers and balloons, but more affordable than bunting and garlands. Use them to add color to an elegant design or dress-up a more casual affair. The tutorial below was something I found on Pinterest and used for my granddaughter’s baptism feast. Enjoy!


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Wedding Tip Wednesdays: Family Time

I’m off in Hawaii visiting my sister, so just a quick tip for today:

Many brides and their families have a strong emotional desire to spend some special time together just before the wedding ceremony. Whether this be so that Mom and Dad can pray with their child before he/she takes this momentous step or just to give last minute hugs, 10 or 15 minutes of quiet, personal time before the bride walks the aisle is a very important priority for many families. My advice to all brides as a wedding coordinator is to put this 15 minutes into your wedding day schedule.

It may not just magically happen that you and your parents are together, alone in the busy moments before the ceremony begins. Many photographers get carried away with their art and forget to stop in time to not rush the ceremony. Some parents are busy rushing to and fro with last minute details and don’t realize they need to find their son or daughter.

If you want to have private family time before the ceremony, you will need to take steps to make that happen. Schedule it. Tell everyone you want present when and where to be. Assign your wedding coordinator to track these people down and bring them to a quiet room at the right moment. Plan photography to end early enough to allow for private time and have the wedding coordinator hold the photographer to the schedule. Don’t assume that because you and your parents want to be with one another that it will automatically happen. Also ask the coordinator to guard this time for the families, not allowing last minute interruptions from various wedding personnel. Be purposeful about making it happen. Then you won’t regret missing out on that special time.

I am not usually a very emotional person, but I remember having a little last minute panicky, butterfly feeling and really wanting my Dad. I felt much better when someone tracked my parents down and we took a minute to pray before heading out to stand in front of a church full of people. Planning time for this will not only create special memories, but make for a calmer bride and smoother wedding day. 


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Wedding Tip Wednesdays: The Getaway Car

You’re finally done with all the hubbub and you’re ready to “get outta here” and enjoy your honeymoon! You walk, run, skip or dance your way through an aisle of well-wishers who are probably throwing things at you and then hop in your car to drive away. Only thing is, you don’t recognize your car! Some humorous wedding party members have taped it shut, or covered it in balloons or tied a million streamers to your antennae and bumper.

Having a getaway car that screams, “We just got married: honk at us!” is a fun part of heading off for the honeymoon. However, sometimes an over-eager decorator can end up ruining the fun by doing permanent damage to your car or by simply decorating it in a way that you feel is inappropriate or uncomfortable. Here’s a few Wednesday tips on the getaway car: Continue reading

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Money, money, money

One of the first things you have to deal with as an engaged couple is money. How much will be spent on the wedding? What does the style of wedding you wish for translate into when it comes to wedding costs? Who will be supplying these funds? As a Christian couple, you also want to consider what does the Bible have to say about how you spend your wedding money?

Approaching these potentially touchy wedding money questions can be a bit stomach-churning for the bride-to-be. The chapter on the wedding budget in All Things Are Ready: A Bride’s Complete Christian Wedding Planner presents several tools for making money issues less stressful and more clear.

One of the primary pieces of advice I suggest is to start out your wedding planning with an open brainstorming session on wedding expenses.  Try to have everyone present who may be contributing to the cost of the wedding or who will be responsible for spending the money that is available. The goal of this discussion is to get everyone’s thoughts, desires, opinions and concerns out on the table. A courageous, frank conversation about money at the beginning can save many relational hiccups along the way.

If you find these kinds of discussion intimidating, the following list of questions Continue reading

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Wedding Tip Wednesdays: Guest Books

One of my favorite new trends in weddings is to be creative with the guest book. A traditional guest book usually finds it’s way to the bottom of the hope chest or top of the attic, never to be seen again. Today couples are coming up with all kinds of creative items to have their guests sign as a commemorative of their wedding day. What would you keep and display in your new home? My son and daughter-in-law were given a guitar which guests signed. Most craft stores carry picture frames made especially to hold an engagement portrait with wide borders for guest signatures. Another couple whose wedding I attended recently had a wooden chest which doubled as a card holder and signature item. Why have a book of names you will most likely rarely look at again when you could create a meaningful piece of art for your home with the love and well wishes of your friends and family? Use the guest book table as an opportunity to be personal, creative, and unique in your wedding decor.

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Wedding Tip Wednesdays

All Things Are Ready is filled with all the “big picture” tools and topics you need for creating your dream wedding. In my mind, every bride should have the opportunity to enjoy her wedding preparations if at all possible which means she needs to be organized, prepared and have a clear vision of where she is headed. All you need to accomplish this is provided in the planner.

Here on the website, I plan to take a moment every Wednesday (Lord willing!) to add to what the planner provides by sharing a quick tip or idea on a particular aspect of wedding planning. These tips will focus in on specific details of wedding design, decor and “how-to’s” and are meant to inspire your creativity and encourage you as you sort through the many little details of wedding preparations. Some of these tips will build on materials available in the planner, others will come from my experiences in working with particular weddings, some will be fun ideas I’ve found online or from other wedding lovers.

I hope you find “Wedding Tip Wednesday” a fun and informative addition to your wedding planning season!

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12 weeks! Are you crazy?

One of the working premises of All Things Are Ready is that an engagement only needs to be 12 weeks long. Certainly this kind of timeline isn’t for everyone. However, since most wedding planners on the market assume you will be engaged for years, not months, it seemed timely to provide helpful options for those with a different plan.

All Things Are Ready is laid out to work on any timeline. The lists, calendars and tools are not based on how many weeks or months you have until the wedding, but on what priority each task has in the overall wedding preparation plan. However, it does give suggestions and tips for keeping your engagement short if you so desire. I have found that many brides plan their wedding in about 12 weeks, whether they have just 3 months or 3 years to get ready. The remainder of their engagement gets filled in other ways. The only thing keeping many couples from enjoying a short engagement is the vague idea that a wedding just can’t be done in that amount of time.

In the planner, I provide a calendar showing how every detail of a wedding can be accomplished in 12 weeks and tools for making it happen. The following is from the introduction to All Things Are Ready and explains a few of the reasons why a bride might choose to consider keeping the length of her engagement to a necessary minimum.

Why Twelve Weeks?

  • A short engagement usually results in a less expensive wedding. Taking a lot of time to plan a wedding usually drives up the cost and stress-level. After you budget, plan, and pay for the key parts of the wedding, it is time to have the wedding. If you find lots more time on your hands, you’ll probably start thinking of more and more things to add. Suddenly, you find yourself spending a lot of money and time on things you 1) would not have time to dream up if the wedding were sooner, and 2) you won’t care about six days after saying “I do.”
  • A short engagement leaves less time to obsess over details. The more time you have, the more absorbed you may get in the whole wedding planning world. With magazines, books, and websites telling you what you “must have” in order to put on a classy wedding, it is easy to get lost. You will be increasingly emotional and more vulnerable as your wedding date approaches. Tiny details will start to loom impossibly large during this intense part of life. This can lead not only to spending much more than you planned, but sometimes even to hurting relationships with those involved.
  • A short engagement provides fewer opportunities for sinful attitudes and hurt feelings. During your engagement, life will revolve around the wedding. Emotions run high. Weddings offer many opportunities for miscommunications, hurt feelings, and damaged relationships. It is hard for everyone to remember to live like Christians when they are so emotionally invested in this momentous event. Limiting the time frame limits the opportunity to sin against one another through selfishness, moodiness, unwise speech, and demanding attitudes.
  • A short engagement leaves less opportunity for unchastity. While many find this suggestion offensive before or when first engaged, by the end of their engagement they usually understand the concern. Engagement is a very intense time in a relationship and no matter how much we love the Lord, none of us is as strong as we think we are. Many temptations arise during engagement. You are ready to be married, and the marriage bed is where you want to be. This is a good gift of God. Showing restraint until your marriage vows will be increasingly difficult, and it is a mercy to not delay those vows. Scripture does not call us to be strong, but to flee sexual temptation (1 Cor. 6:18-19). One of the best guards to holiness is to avoid unnecessarily putting off the wedding date. If you are not ready to get married soon, don’t get engaged.

If you’re interested in more of the whys and hows of a shorter-than-average engagement, as well as considerations for why not to have a short engagement, read the entire introduction of All Things Are Ready.


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A New Name

“Now, in the Bible a name . . . reveals the very essence of a thing, or rather its essence as God’s gift. To name a thing is to manifest the meaning and value God gave it, to know it as coming from God and to know its place and function within the cosmos created by God. To name a thing, in other words, is to bless God for it and in it.” C.S. Lewis

The moment you said, “Yes!” and placed that sparkling bit of God’s goodness on your finger, you took on a new name. For a joyous, frantic, happy, stressful, delightful season you are a Bride. The opportunities and delights which accompany this new name and new identity is the theme of the introductory bridal note in All Things are Ready. The following is an excerpt from that piece.

“Even now, before you are named Wife, you have taken on a new name, identity, and work. Your name now is Bride. The question is, how will you wear this name? Will you be Continue reading

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Why write another wedding planner?

You got engaged; your daughter is ready to plan the wedding; you just got asked to be the maid-of-honor. A quick glance over the shelves of your local Barnes & Noble and an search for wedding planners ensues. Here you are, shopping wedding planners, looking for just the tool you need, and you’ve stumbled on this site. Now you’re asking, “Why on earth would anyone consider adding to the mass of material already available to a bride?” As if there weren’t enough options already! The newly engaged bride could get lost in choosing her planner before she’s even made it to wedding planning. What good reason is there to be adding to the chaos?

Well, a slightly altered search on presents a bit of a different point of view. When I typed “Christian Wedding Planner” into my search box, I got just 3 or 4 options that were actually wedding planning guides. Most of these were woefully outdated. There’s just not much available to a bride who wants to keep Christ at the center of her wedding preparations.

Until now.

All Things Are Ready is for the bride who wants all the organizational help, tools, charts and advice every bride needs to pull off the wedding-of-the-century. However, the real reason I wrote it is for the Christian bride who wants a little something more from her wedding planning guide. All Things Are Ready was written as a tool for my own daughter, and I put into it encouragements to living for Christ as a bride and creating a wedding that glorifies Him that I would want her to consider. How can a bride exhibit the fruit of the Spirit as she works through the busy, stressful time of wedding planning? What can she do to be a blessing to her husband-to-be and others helping with her big day? How can a wedding reflect the glory of God in Christian marriage? These thoughts and more motivated me to creating a new kind of wedding planner in All Things Are Ready.

Why write a new option in wedding planners? For my daughter. For the many brides and their families who want to keep Christ at the center of the biggest day of their lives. For those who need something more than a bridal devotional, but don’t want just a dry tool. My hope is that All Things Are Ready will bring together the best in wedding planning tools and advice with the peace and encouragement of approaching this season of life with Christ in view. Perhaps it will bring joy, peace, order and encouragement to your wedding journey.

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