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Welcome to our blog! We are a husband & wife photography team based in Madison, Wisconsin who document weddings & anniversaries for joyful couples who believe in marriage. This blog is a journal about real love stories, marriage & our own adventures along the way. We are so glad you're here — please stay awhile!




My Top Tips for Planning a Smooth and Stress-Free Wedding Day | Written by Real Bride Heather.

February 19, 2018

There are a so many elements that go into planning a wedding day.

Some of these elements we can control — like the perfect dress, a great venue, ensuring friends and family can be there, gorgeous blooms… The list goes on and on. Some we can’t control — like will I actually sleep the night before? Will it be raining or 95 degrees and 100% humidity (like our day!)? What if someone’s dress rips before the wedding? As a bride, we all want the perfect day and it can be hard to think about all the elements that are out of our control.

When I sat down to think about how our wedding day would go, the one thing I quickly realized was that everything had to be organized and planned exceptionally well ahead of time to be able to mitigate or help prevent the elements I couldn’t control. Despite the fact that it was miserably hot outside and I did not sleep for one minute the night before, we ending up having what I would consider the perfect wedding day. Maybe it was all the planning or the fact that I married my very best friend surrounded by the people we loved … or maybe a combination of both.

A few very simple tips for planning your perfect day

  1. Choose vendors you absolutely LOVE. This was the one thing that helped me rest easy. I picked vendors whose style matched exactly with mine. This took the “will I hate my wedding photos, cake, flowers, or hair?” questions out of my mind. A bonus would be finding a vendor that even fits with your personality. I will use Maison and Caleb as an example here. Their photos are beyond amazing. Looking at the weddings they photographed literally gave me goosebumps. Then I talked to them. They were so great – fun, energetic, and enthusiastic. After that moment, I knew I would never worry about my wedding photos for even one second.
  2. Create the ultimate timeline. Gather information from all your vendors regarding how much time is needed for each portion of the day. Start at the beginning of the day with hair and makeup, then ceremony, receiving line, family photos, dinner, first dances, toasts, and anything else you are including. And then, most importantly, make sure everyone has a copy of your timeline AND reads it. All my vendors wanted a copy. I also sent it to family, the wedding party, and anyone else helping that day.

A few helpful timeline tips

  1. Hair and makeup is a big one to make sure you leave enough time for or maybe even extra time. It is the first thing that happens on the wedding day. If it goes late, your entire day might start to run behind or feel rushed.
  2. Listen to your vendors! You might not think a certain part of the wedding day will take as long as they say, but what if it actually does and you didn’t allow enough time? You are not getting that time back … but imagine the feeling of having extra time if it runs short!
  3. Try to minimize any waiting around time. One thing I personally did was choose to arrive to the ceremony site right as I was supposed to walk down the aisle. I feel like this saved me a lot of time and some stress. I did not want to be hiding in a room at the ceremony site or having people coming to ask me questions about anything. It was so peaceful. I stepped out of our limo bus at 1:30 PM, right when grandparents were being ushered down the aisle.
  4. Plan an enjoyable and relaxing wedding day morning. Surround yourself with the ladies in your life you love in a comfortable space. Try to book vendors for hair and makeup that can come to you. And if you like the way your location looks, have the photographer and videographer meet there to do detail, getting ready, and bridesmaid photos. This will save some stress on travel time and organizing all the people involved. This is a really special time and was one of my favorite parts of the day.
  5. Lastly, enjoy the day once it arrives! You have done your very best to plan the perfect wedding. Forget about all the little things that might happen that day or may have come up at the last minute. You get to marry your best friend surrounded by everyone that means the world to you. It promises to be the most special day of your life thus far.


I had to share these two photos of Heather from her day because this was truly her joy ALL day long! 

For more posts in our For Brides Series, click here!

For Brides

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