How to Plan a Wedding Day that Reflects Your Love Story

It goes without saying that as a wedding photographer, I’ve seen my fair share of weddings. Classic, rustic, modern; you name it! What makes weddings so great is that the sky’s the limit as far as which direction you could go with theme and style. Think about it: You get to throw the ultimate party for all of your friends and family!

So what’s the first thing you do to brainstorm ideas? Peruse bridal magazines? Browse Pinterest? Take guidance from your mother? Because let’s be honest, there are a million and one resources are far as wedding ideas go. More often than not, you’ll find yourself confused and overwhelmed by the sheer vastness of Pinterest, let alone the other avenues you could venture down.

So how do you decide where to start?


Rule number one: Forget what you know about weddings.

Your mom will tell you what she did on her wedding day, so she’ll insist it’s best you follow her lead. Your best friend will gush about the reception décor she used, and you can totally buy them off of her if you’d like! Your sister still has her wedding magazines from when she tied the knot back in ’09, so she feels she’s an expert resource and your official bridal guru.

Getting help and feedback from family is great, and your run-of-the-mill wedding traditions are wonderful, but I want to point out to you that there are no “shoulds” when it comes to wedding planning. A wedding is about two people in love who are vowing to spend the rest of their lives together. They want to proclaim their love in front of everyone they know. And then celebrate! So how do you make your wedding day unique? One-of-a-kind? Unforgettable and memorable? It’s so simple.

Make your wedding day about YOU. (And I don’t mean that in a weird, narcissistic way.)

Think of something you and your future spouse love doing together, and incorporate that one little nugget into your wedding day somehow. To what degree you infuse it into your wedding is completely up to you.

Need some inspiration?

1. Forget the traditional wedding march. For the processional and/or recessional, choose music that the two of you love.

2. Do you have a wanderlust? For reception tables, use names of cities or countries the two of you have visited together (or plan on visiting).

3. Is there a fabulous dessert that the both of you are nuts about? Rather than having a traditional wedding cake, serve your favorite treat! Brownies, ice cream, mini donuts, etc.

4. Is there a movie or TV show you’re fans of? Use that as motivation for boutonnieres, stationery, jewelry, first dance music, and attire.

5. How did s/he propose? Was it under the stars? On a picnic? At your favorite restaurant? Use this momentous occasion to add a little taste for how the two of you started on your journey. Your reception venue could be decorated with hints of how you were proposed to.

When it’s all said and done, there are a hundred and one ways to throw a successful wedding. What’s beautiful and remarkable is that there is only one you. The two of you getting married is what makes the day so special, so don’t forget to somehow incorporate your hearts and souls into this amazing day that you’ll remember for years to come. I promise you won’t regret it!

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emily@emilyswanphotography.comSioux Falls, South Dakota