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Check out this lovely article from Cheyenne Carroll from the Temple Square Weddings and Catering Department. Start your wedding planning off right with these wonderful tips!

Getting engaged is so exciting, from the proposal and the ring to sharing your good news with friends and family. The prospect of planning a wedding is something you’ve probably dreamed about your entire life, but when it comes time to do it, it can be very overwhelming. What needs to be done, and what should you start with?

 

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 Don’t worry, it’s not as daunting as it seems. Follow these five simple steps to get started and you’ll have smooth sailing all the way to the day you say “I do.”

Take a deep breath.
It might sound cliche, but you don’t want to start off this process in a panic. Enjoy the first few days after you get engaged and make the time to take it in: you really are getting married to the love of your life. Then sit down, breathe deep, and dig into your to-do list.

 

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Make a list.
Prioritizing the things that need to be done first and the things that mean the most to you is one of the best things you can do to make your process smooth. Temple Square’s wedding planning checklist can help you with this - it has every step you might need to take to get everything in place for your big day!

Create your budget.
It’s impossible to make any decisions without knowing how much you can spend. Work together with your parents and your fiance’s parents to find out how much you can spend overall, and on certain parts of your wedding. This is where your prioritized list will come into play. If you care a lot about your dress, but not so much about your food, you know where you can spend (or save) precious money.

 

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Pick your date.
This might seem like a given, but you can’t get anything set in stone until your date is finalized. If you’re looking to save money on a venue, try planning for a weekday, but if you want to make sure all your guests will make it, a weekend might work better. Talk with your fiance and both families to figure out a day that will be a win-win.

 

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Book your venue.
Some venues have rules and guidelines for food, entertainment, or setup, so you’ll want to book your venue first so you don’t run into a snag later with other vendors. Research a few different options so that if your first choice is taken, you’ll have something to fall back on that you’re just as excited about.

Once you take that leap and get started on wedding planning, everything else will follow. Above all, remember to enjoy the process. You only get to plan your wedding once! If you need ideas or don’t know where to go next, don’t forget to download our free wedding planning checklist. You won’t forget a thing with it by your side.

 

We adore this secret garden-esque wedding shoot. The lovely couple, the deep greenery and the bright pops of color make this wedding the idyllic summer setting.

 

Photography: Erin Brown Photography

 

 

 Here is a fun article from The Krakens blog featuring Melanie Mauer, an LDS photographer in Kentucky. Her work is beautiful and she has some lovely insight on working outside of Utah with brides and grooms from all walks of life. Enjoy!

 

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Melanie Mauer is a professional photographer with a unique talent for weddings. As Mauer says, “Photographers tend to focus on their favorite subject, whether it be vast landscapes or action-filled sporting events. I concentrate on what I find most beautiful – people and their loving relationships with one another.” Her work has been featured in Martha Stewart Weddings, Southern Weddings, and The Washington Post. She is from my hometown of Lexington, Kentucky and manages to make one of the most beautiful cities in America even more picturesque with her camera.

How did you get started with photography? Photography came as an answer to prayer – I’d written down what I hoped for my work to be (creative yet technical, flexible to accommodate family life) and the options as I saw them. I sought the Lord’s input and it became crystal clear. After that prayer and entering the fine art program at my college, I learned that my grandfather was a photographer and my great grandfather was also a photographer. We didn’t live close to my grandfather and I knew him as a retired business owner but it somehow feels woven on my DNA.

 

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As a Mormon shooting elaborate Gentile weddings in the land of tobacco and bourbon, what sorts of thoughts come to mind about marriage and weddings?  Don’t leave out the betting on race horses! I’ve had interns come from BYU-Idaho and it’s been a little startling to them! Because I photograph emotional moments, I’m looking for connection/commonality – and there’s buckets of it beneath the surface. I live in a region where love for family is exhibited through action. People stay near their families in the so many cases – also, only my immediate family is LDS so even within my family there’s a range of devotion to various religions.

Weddings (as well as births and deaths) are amplifiers – they bring emotions to the surface that stay tucked just underneath on most days. That amplified love is a rich experience to be surrounded with. I can’t remember a wedding where my own eyes didn’t well up because of a beautiful exchange. I’m also the sort that becomes transfixed by great art. Art is often in imitation of life and I see that unfolding right in front of me. Weddings are such an iconic time – it’s an intimate thing to share it beside a couple. And I see how good marriage is over and over again and love being with them again as their family grows.

How do you prepare? What do you bring? How much do you plan versus taking what comes? I love to prepare. Even if it’s for a trip, I’ll plan out stops for good food, places to visit based on recommendations from friends and even do quirky things like search hashtags on Instagram so I get a sense of what I’ll see.

Over the years, I’ve made note of all the questions I have with regard to a wedding and that goes out to a bride a few months before their day. We also formulate a schedule so everyone being photographed knows when and where we need them so it can run as smooth as silk and be super efficient. I catch up via phone a couple weeks ahead of time with my client and then let that great plan we’ve worked on play out. That said, it’s a frame work…we know we’ll create an image of the bride and her mom but within that plan I have lots of latitude.

I bring the expected gear (a variety of lenses, lots of batteries, a large reflector and scrim to modify light) as well as back-ups – and some less usual things like a handkerchief for the groom in case he gets hot and needs to wipe a brow, sporks for my assistant and me because we may get a plate of dinner but not get silverware until 15 minutes later and there’s not much time to eat, vintage stamps that may play well with their invitation…lots of random things that stay organized in a tiered container in my trunk.

What’s your favorite wedding story? Weddings are rife with great stories so that question is more difficult than you might imagine. Immediately, I think of so many. Four years ago, I was concerned about a particular wedding because the grooms’ mother passed away just weeks beforehand. I knew the family would still be in the throws of grieving and yet, while the air became thick with emotion when she was mentioned, the family was so ready for a happy occasion and the chance to celebrate.

The bride decided not to dance with her father in the typical father daughter dance and said she knew she’d dance with her dad many times that evening – but instead she sang to him and the entire tent was in tears because it was SO good. Her venue was their family farm that had been sold many generations ago by an uncle who wanted to travel the world and her grandfather would check in with the owners and say “If you are ever ready to sell this property, please sell it back to our family.” And they did about a year before her wedding. It’s like driving into a painting it’s so beautiful there.

Visit Melanie Mauer’s website.

Follow Melanie Mauer on Instagram.

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We love the simplistic beauty captured by this lovely bridal shoot. It feels like she stepped right out of her surroundings. Enjoy!

Photography: Breanna McKendrick

 

 

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