November 22, 2011

Wedding Planning // Part One

It’s been a good 3 months since I got engaged and it just so happened that my engagement corresponded with the busiest part of my wedding season. And I just have to say, I have some of the sweetest clients ever. So many of my brides and grooms have spotted the ring and given me such an outpouring of congratulations, even though it was their big day. So sweet!

But I really haven’t had a ton of time until very recently, to really throw myself head first into wedding planning. After the initial amazing giddiness of being engaged, I settled into a warm happy bubble and would wave away all the questions that kept coming my way. I was engaged! All the planning stuff would come later. And then weeks drifted away and I found myself face to face with something I like to call the post-engagement-dear-caught-in-the-headlights stage.

This is the part where I started to freak out a bit. When, where, how?? You would think that being in the wedding industry, I would have all the answers figured out long ago. But no, when I hunkered down to do some planning I literally felt like every wedding I have ever photographed came flashing through my mind. Almost every wedding I photograph, there’s yet another cool element that inspires me, so that my wish list for my own wedding keeps expanding or changing directions. So many different types of weddings, so many different venues, which one was right for us? I’ve been lucky to photograph so many beautiful weddings, and shoot at some amazing venues. It was a situation where there were TOO many options.

I slowly figured out what I wanted our wedding to be and to represent. I knew the kind of atmosphere I wanted, how I wanted the whole thing to feel. But how to accomplish all that? The practicalities can be daunting. I soon came to find that out of the plethora of wedding resources out there, my FAVORITE online resource has turned out to be blog posts by wedding coordinators, other brides, and the amazing power of pinterest. I can’t tell you the number of times in the past few weeks when I’ve felt overwhelmed just *thinking* about planning the wedding, the budget, the guestlist, that I would read a blog post by another bride, or see some truly simple but amazing advice on a blog or a forum and felt like, “hey, I’m not crazy. I’m not alone in this! Other people go through this and there’s a solution for every problem.”

So out of gratitude to those bloggers and planners who freely share their experience, I feel motivated to do the same. And I’ll try and update about my progress as a bride in the hopes that this might help other brides, or if all else fails, just be entertaining for those who read it.

First off, a few wedding planners who I feel provide invaluable advice and share it freely on their blogs.

Amy Nichols – Planner extraordinaire from the Bay Area. She has a great series called “5 Quick Tips” with advice from some of the best planners and designers and other wedding industry folks. I read through pretty much every one of these quick tip posts, jotting down notes the whole time. It’s a treasure trove of great advice from across the wedding spectrum.

Kelly Oshiro – Swoonworthy is a word that gets tossed around a lot in wedding circles, but Kelly, a floral and event designer from Santa Barbara literally has the kind of style that catches your breath. What I found so invaluable on her blog was her Wedding Planning Tips cateogry, which goes over the tricky topics of budgeting for rentals, catering, etc and she also is a great venue resource if you’re planning a wedding in Santa Barbara. There’s lots of venue guides around the internet, but it’s nice to be able to get venue recommendations and some specific details from someone who has scouted out the venue herself.

Amber Events – From my hometown of Los Angeles, Amber has in my opinion the most refreshingly frank and upfront “voice” of a wedding planner and blogger. She has a wedding advice category on her blog that goes over nearly everything you could think of for planning a great wedding, including this post about How to have a raging Dance Party which every bride & groom should read!

And now to Pinterest, aka my new best friend. What was the world like before Pinterest? I can’t even remember. I am such a visual person, and I’m also somewhat scatterbrained. I often have a ton of ideas floating around in my head so that you’ll catch me just running around looking for a piece of paper so that I could write something down before I forget. I was a bookmarking fiend before Pinterest. Now I can codify all my thoughts and ideas into one place, and best of all, it’s VISUAL. Which is how my brain functions.

Everytime I look at my wedding Pinterest board, I feel absurdly happy. I don’t know how, I don’t know when, but it’s all going to come together like THIS.


And in addition to my wedding inspiration board, I’ve used Pinterest to keep track of the venues and vendors I’m interested in.

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Whew! I think this is the longest post I’ve ever made! There’s something about becoming a bride that makes it so that I just can’t stop talking about weddings and wedding planning. More posts to come soon. Next up: The Great Venue Search of 2011.

5 thoughts on “Wedding Planning // Part One

  1. Pingback: Wedding Planning // Part One » Los Angeles | San Francisco Bay … | My Blog

  2. April

    Hi Hannah,
    I know you from the DWF and I was just checking out your website/blog because I was doing some thinking about my own website and upgrading from a template to a custom site.

    Anyway, that’s not why I’m writing. I just saw this blog post today and saw that you just recently got engaged. Congratulations! I just had to comment because I’ve also been shooting weddings for awhile now and got engaged myself and totally ran into the some of the same problems of not knowing where to begin and thinking about all of the great weddings I’ve photographed etc…

    Anyway, I’ll have to come back and see how the wedding planning goes for another gal in the industry:)
    Congratulations again!

  3. Liz

    Hi Hannah, Congratulations! I just stumbled upon your beautiful website & blog!

    Those are some great blogs & resources that you shared! But one thing that really helped me and my hubby when we were planning was just start with the boring-er stuff and go down the list.

    Boring stuff for me is like…determining the budget, the date, logistics! I wish I had Pinterest when we were planning~ it’s really great to collect inspiration! I spent a lot of time on there recently!

    Anyways – I just wanted to say good luck and don’t forget to have fun and rest & relax together!

  4. Kate

    Hannah, I completely understand! being in the wedding industry has left me totally overwhelmed with inspiration. I change my mind all the time, and feel like I need five themed parties to get it all out of my system! Pinterest allows me to save everything, and to my surprise, I stared noticing some trends which became the basis of my own theme. I also share it with my bridesmaids who are in different states, so helpful! Long live Pinterest, haha :)

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