Nix these Six Wedding Traditions Without the Guilt

If you’ve started planning your wedding, you may know by now that a lot of people have opinions about it.

“You have to do this.”

“You should definitely do that.”

“Don’t forget about yada yada…”

It gets to be a lot. But this is your time! Not anyone else’s. Well, except for your fiancé of course!

There are so many wedding aspects out there that people may expect you to incorporate into your day. If you feel strongly about any of them, then absolutely go right ahead and you do you. But I’m going to share with you 6 common wedding traditions that I have seen many times that can totally be nixed to make your life easier. 

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1.    You really don’t need a receiving line after the ceremony. 

Despite what you’ve heard or experienced at other weddings, a receiving line is completely unnecessary. In case you aren’t sure what it is, this is where you and your wedding party and parents all line up after the ceremony and greet each guest as they exit. It’s honestly a little awkward for your guests as they try to come up with what to say, and you’ll just hear “congratulations, beautiful dress” a hundred times. The receiving line also eats up a lot of portrait time and just moves the reception back later. You can totally skip this tradition and just catch up with your guests at the reception!

2.    You don’t have to wait until the aisle to see each other for the first time.

This is a hard one because it was a beloved tradition for a very long time. But the good news is, it’s no longer taboo to see each other before the ceremony. So many couples are opting to set up a first look earlier in the day in order to get wedding portraits done and out of the way. This allows you to get to your reception much faster after the ceremony and get the party started. Your guests will thank you!  


3.    Skip the aisle runner. 

Save your money and don’t bother with an aisle runner. They almost never look as nice as you imagine it to and they get all wrinkled, torn and crooked usually before the bride even makes an entrance.

 If you want an aisle runner, make it extra special and have it rolled out just before the flower girl walks down the aisle so it’s pretty and fresh for the beautiful bride!

If you want an aisle runner, make it extra special and have it rolled out just before the flower girl walks down the aisle so it’s pretty and fresh for the beautiful bride!

4.    You don’t have to choose between your friends. 

You have narrowed down your friends and selected the most special people in your life to stand up with you, and now feel pressured to put them in order of importance and choose a best man/maid of honor. Unless there’s an obvious choice, you really don’t have to choose between friends. Let there be two. Or only have bridesmaids so they can all work together to make you feel extra special. And my favorite suggestion…do some sort of friendly competition and let someone win the title! There is no point in making anyone feel less important than someone else simply for tradition’s sake. If you don’t want to choose, then don’t. 

5.     A Ceremony Exit Is Not a Must. 

While these can be fun and cool photo ops, a ceremony exit is sometimes kind of weird. This is because most of the time, you still have some portraits to take so you aren’t actually leaving. Here’s what happens. All of your guests stand outside with their rice or bubbles or whatever and wait for you to come out. You come out all excited, walk through the crowd, get to the end.. and then look around wondering what to do now. It’s pretty anti-climactic if you aren’t actually leaving. So unless you’re legit exiting the ceremony to hop in the limo and head somewhere else (an idea I love), maybe just forego a special exit. 


6.    Throw Out the Seating Chart 

One of the biggest stressors couples seem to have is mapping out a seating chart. The solution, let people sit wherever they want. What you can do instead is place a “Reserved” sign on a few tables near the head table and let your immediate family know to sit there. Everyone else is perfectly capable of choosing a seat. Side note, if a seating chart is important to you and you choose to make one, don’t forget to include seats for your vendors! 


Thomas Wedding {Sneak Peek}

Monica and Dave first got in touch with me earlier this year for engagement photos. I asked a bit about their wedding plans and as she explained it, I was a little envious of whoever was their wedding photographer. Well, as luck would have it, they wound up asking me to also shoot the wedding! And it did not disappoint! It wasn’t super traditional and encompassed both Monica’s personality and Dave’s. There was glitz and glam, rockabilly hair, and a retro flair. And there were bikes, leather vests, beer and buds. It was truly a beautiful compromise that made one heck of an awesome wedding day and most importantly, the perfect beginning to their marriage. These two were made for each other and that was very obvious to everyone in attendance last Saturday.

This was fun sneak peek to put together; I hope you enjoy it!

Prins Family Sneak Peek

After weeks of nothing but rain, the sun decided to show up so we could take this family’s indoor session outside! It was fun getting some shots while they huddled up cozy on the couch, but nothing beats natural outdoor light. It was so great meeting the Prins family and seeing the love they all have for each other. And I’m going to have to bring fruit snacks to every shoot from now on because they saved the day for the littlest member of the family! It was a great time and I can’t wait to share their photos with them.

Van Kampen Session Highlights

Devoted wife, Christian woman, lip boss, entrepreneur, bar owner, true friend, workout addict, loving mother of 2...however you know Mindy, you know she is one heck of gal! I have loved getting to know Mindy and her beautiful family over the last few years. It's been a joy to watch her family grow and see her personal growth into all of these new roles and absolutely power through everything that has come her way. It was not easy to narrow down my favorites from their family session, but alas, here they are! 

Retirement Surprise Shoot

Becky contacted me to set up a surprise photo shoot for her mom, as part of a retirement celebration! The photo shoot was specifically for grandma and her 4 handsome grandsons. How sweet right?! These boys were seriously the most kind and respectful teenagers I've met...maybe ever. It was such a pleasure capturing the Marlowe family and I truly hope retirement has been nothing but a blessing! 

Back from blog hiatus with the most fun family!

Full disclosure. My blog went on a 4 month hiatus. I was thinking about deleting it altogether because, to be totally transparent, it's hard to keep up with! But, I also really want to share my recent work with everyone and dote on my amazing clients, and a blog is the best way to do that. So I apologize for the lack of updates and I vow to do better! 

It's been overwhelmingly busy this year (fantastic problem to have!) so a little break from blogging was actually a good thing because my turnaround time for client photos has been on point. But now I have A LOT of catching up to do! Starting with the Wheeler family (from earlier this April) They were so amazing though! A very close family with hilarious chemistry, madly in love grandparents, a little break for a quick yoga session and a couple of the cutest kiddos! Perfect excuse to start blogging again. Enjoy a few of my favorites from their shoot! 

Happy Half Year Kate and Jason!

When I first met with Kate I knew immediately that I wanted to be there to photograph her wedding. So I crossed my fingers extra tight hoping she felt the same way! She was down-to-earth, kind, intelligent, and completely in love with her best friend. I could see it in her eyes how excited she was and how positively sure she was that she wanted to marry Jason. This is what I love about being a wedding photographer. It's the people who are so genuinely excited for their wedding to come, not for the party, but for the actual marriage that follows. Kate and Jason chose a time of year they loved at a little place they loved with the people they loved most in the world, and of course, each other. One of the most memorable details of the day was Kate's wedding dress. She combined her mother's wedding dress with her grandmother's dress to create her very own. It turned out absolutely perfect! The whole day was intimate, beautiful, sentimental and the start of a very long and happy marriage.