Category Archives: weddings western mass

engaged!! now what? 7 wedding planning tips from a photographer

Wedding planning tips by me, a photographer.

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Happy New Year and congratulations on getting engaged! It’s fairy tale romantic, until the gargantuan task of planning a wedding hits you. Fear not, what you perceive as big issues are just brimming with possibilities. You may not want to hear some of this, but trust me things will go more smoothly if you consider the following wedding planning tips.

  1. It’s not all about you and your dream wedding, at least not in every situation. Recently I had a bride who wanted to dress like a ‘boy’ but she didn’t, because she wanted to make her terminally ill dad happy by wearing a dress.

Let’s talk about moms. It is about them too, like it or not. They also want to look gorgeous, and they often have a dream of what the day will be like. Humor them. They love you more than you’ll ever know. Unless you have kids, then you know.

  1. Choosing a bridal party is often a sensitive task. Especially if you want a big group and you have a lot of friends. Personally, I think people will get over it. And in many cases, be relieved that they weren’t chosen. But don’t be surprised if someone outside of your bridal party ends up being your angel on your big day. There is always, always someone who comes out of the blue and saves the wedding day. It may be your sister or your maid of honor, but often it’s a random friend who sews your dress back together, who finds your earring, who decorates the last minute indoor setting plan B. Just appreciate it and know that angels do exist. Not wedding planning tips, but a fortuitous aspect to consider.

  2. Please please don’t fret about the weather. Just be zen about it, not just on the outside, but deeply. We all know that there’s nothing you can do to control the weather. I have been to dozens of too hot, too rainy weddings, and nothing was lost. Rain is like a special effect. So is fog and wind. Some of my prettiest pictures were from rainy weddings.

  3. Pick vendors you personally like. A snobby florist, a pushy photographer, and an inflexible caterer has no place in your special day. Save all your compromises for your loved ones, not vendors.

  4. Cut costs wherever possible, but realize that you will pay in other ways. Sanity, time and money. Pick two. Even if you’re uber-organized and can DIY like no other those projects are very time-consuming. If you love it, go for it! But beware of the dream that you can do all flowers yourself. Once, as guests were arriving at a wedding the bridal party was still arranging the centerpieces. Avoid that kind of hustling whenever possible. And know that everything takes more time than you think.

  5. Related to #5, don’t worry about every little detail. I hereby give you permission to dump those ideas you just saw on Pinterest. No, you don’t have to make cookies in a handmade bag as a parting gift for each guest. Before Pinterest, before the sea of wedding blogs, people still got married. Weddings don’t have to have a theme. I’ve gone to weddings where essentially nothing was done to the table settings. Just some nice cloth napkins and a simple centerpiece. And I’ve been to weddings that were more elaborate than the Taj Mahal. While it’s wonderful to have those special touches it’s not essential for a festive wedding.

  6. When things get stressful, repeat after me, HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHA! Don’t take it too seriously. Watch a lot of comedies on Netflix. I won’t go so far as to say your problems are first world problems, but they are. Remember what you’re doing, marrying that love of your life, that person who is on the same team as you, who will always go up to bat for you. Now knock it out of the park and happy wedding planning. Call if you have any further questions or would actually like solicited advice.

Bonus piece of advice. Dress for the season, and make sure your shoes are comfortable or at least broken in.

wedding venue northampton ma union station

When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie that’s Amore!

Wedding venue Northampton MA Union Station.

I’ve mentioned this before, but I wanted to re-iterate how very lovely Union Station is for holding an event or wedding. It’s the real deal, the original wonderful station for this original wonderful town. If you find yourself searching for a wedding venue Northampton MA this is one to consider.

Corey’s new there, and he organizes events. He’s professional and kind. You’ll very likely enjoy working with him.

The DJ for this wedding was also very nice, though his name escapes me. I think he said he’s on thumbtack.

Abbey Chappel at Mount Holyoke College is amazing as always. I do admit that that campus is superior to my alma mater’s, Smith. I do have a special love for Helen Hills Hills (sic) Chapel. But I digress.

Last but not least, the couple. Oh my goodness. Couldn’t have possibly been more lovely and nice to work with. The end of the night included an Italian music set. First, the noodle roni song, very festive. Then That’s Amore … the bride happened to be hugging her grandma, and when that song began, they held their embrace. The crowd noticed and formed a circle around them. It became an impromptu bride/grandmother dance. Just thinking about it gets me all teary-eyed. How people could not love photographing weddings, when things like this happen, is beyond me. These are the most important things to experience, and photograph. It’s what makes us human. I was close to both of my grandmother’s so this dance was especially sweet for me.

Speaking of sweets, I ate two cannolis (pictured) but could have easily gone for more. If you hire me, I make sure to put, “allowed to eat cannolis” in my contract.