Wedding Tips

Planning a wedding is an overwhelming experience. Brides turn to their friends, family, Pinterest–any place they can for advice and ideas. With so many couples getting married for the first time there are many unknown pieces of the puzzle; how much time do I need for photos, what are the traditions I want/don’t want for my wedding, how many favors should I actually order and so on. It’s important to trust in your vendors and ask for advice! That is why today we are giving the advice that we should have been given while planning our own wedding–DO A FIRST LOOK!


We knew it was bad luck to see each other before the wedding but we didn’t know why. We also heard about that one special moment when you lock eyes with each other down the aisle. Here’s the real truth behind it all. The superstition of not seeing each other before the ceremony came during a time of arraigned marriages. The families didn’t want the couple to see each other prior because they would be more likely to back out–this was during a time when the bride was often traded for money, animals, and so on. Lovely right? Now let us move forward to that ‘one special moment’ that everyone talks about. That moment is completely overwhelming. I was so beyond excited to see Alex looking dapper in his suit at the end of the aisle–but all I wanted to do was hug and kiss him, ask him if he liked the dress I picked out, and I wanted to fix his tie. Instead all I could do was stand there quietly in front of our family and friends and say I do. Having all eyes on you is already awkward enough and then add in all the emotions being built up inside.

Shortly after our wedding we started planning timelines for our wedding clients. We saw the importance of doing a first look/reveal and want to share the reasons why they rock!

  1. Emotions are high enough on wedding day. It’s nice to get the crying out of the way in advance. This doesn’t mean you won’t tear up during the ceremony, it just means you won’t be a blubbering fool.
  2. Your hair and makeup is flawless! The day has just begun and you are rocking the bridal look. Plus, if you do cry you have time to touch up your hair & makeup on the way to the ceremony.
  3. It’s so much more romantic to see each other for the first time when you two are alone versus standing in front of everyone at the ceremony. It gives you two time to be with each other and take in the fact that soon you’ll be married.
  4. You’ll have more time to be with guests! Typically on wedding day it goes ceremony, 2+ hours for photos, and then finally reception. That 2+ hours your guests are waiting around. By doing the first look/reveal and photos prior to the ceremony you can go directly to the reception with your guests.
  5. It’s more relaxed! By doing photos in advance the pressure seems to lift away. You can just relax, focus on getting married, and enjoy your reception with your guests.


To us it seems like a no brainer–first looks are amazing! Now at least when you decide the timeline of the day you know there is options. We hope this helped you out and made you consider doing a first look on wedding day.



They planned for a winter wedding, but their March wedding was treated to 75 degrees and sunshine. The streets were alive with people out enjoying the sun. Inside the Grand Hotel in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota the bridal was prepping for Annie & Matt’s wedding day. They started their day by doing a first look/reveal down near the lobby of the hotel. The small room had big personality! Faux animal heads, wrap around couches, and dramatic lighting. It was a dream to photograph in! Next the bridal party joined up and we all headed off to explore downtown Minneapolis together. The city backdrop was just what Ann & Matt were looking for! They had cars passing by honking in congratulation, people shooting out, “you’re beautiful!” to the bride as she passed, and onlookers watching the fun. After all the photos were complete it was time to head back to the hotel and get ready for the ceremony. The room was simply decorated but still made a statement. The red curtains blended in perfectly with the red bouquets of the bridesmaids and the detail on the groomsmen’s ties. The ringbearer (their son) and flower girls ran down the aisle and made the guest erupt into laughter. Their ceremony was filled with love, laughter, and special moments. Afterwards guest were treated to cocktails as the room was quickly flipped to the reception space. Between the centerpieces, cupcake bar, and candle light the space came to life. Guest enjoyed the food, drinks, and sweets while watching the speeches. Next it was time for the first dances. It was beautiful to watch the love that Ann & Matt have for one another as they danced their first dance. The night carried on with party music and a packed dance floor. Meanwhile we snuck the couple away for a few minutes. Not only was it perfect to be able to cool off a little, it was also a chance for us to grab a few more ‘wow factor’ images at night. Annie & Matt’s wedding day came together beyond beautifully. And even though it wasn’t winter anymore–I’m sure they weren’t complaining. Thanks again Annie & Matt for allowing us to capture your special day. Enjoy!

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Ceremony & Reception venue: The Grand Hotel

DJ: Pat at Double Trouble DJ’s

Floral: Pristine Floral

Cake & Cupcakes: Angel Food Bakery




We love being able to capture same sex weddings. There are always filled with so much joy, love, and color! Take this amazing wedding for example; Jen and Dannah had an explosion of seafoam green and coral, their loved radiated in every photo, and it was the best day ever!

We are totally jazzed that Equal & Forever thought so too and featured it on their amazing blog. Come check out this amazing same sex wedding that began in Green Bay, WI at a bed and breakfast and ended in Marquette, MI at a brewpup. Cheers to the beginning of many more adventures. Click here to see the full feature.

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If you haven’t been over to When Geeks Wed blog it truly is a must see. It has weddings and engagements filled with all sorts of wonderfully geeky things. Comic books, Doctor Who inspired touches, and for this incredible engagement it was a literary themed outdoor session.

We loved the set that Panache Decorating created for these engagement portraits! It was exactly what Colleen and Greg wanted for their unique session. You can see more from their session by clicking here. Enjoy!

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We’ve been on small shopping trips to the mall, coffee with friends, and the occasional lunch out–but this was truly one of the first family adventures we have had with our daughter. We took advantage of the sunny weather and explored The Village in Traverse City. The Village Commons has quickly become one of our favorites spots to adventure around because it has something for everyone! The Village has trails, beautiful buildings, shopping, food, drinks, an indoor farmer’s market, and it is all family friendly! What is not to love about that? We grabbed a bite to eat at ELF and day dreamed about all the adventures our daughter would soon be having there. ELF is a must for any family! Next we enjoyed the sunshine and a short walk to Higher Ground Coffee, which has quickly became a spot we love to grab a coffee and tea at. Seriously grab a chai tea there, you won’t regret it.

Thank you Emma at –et images for capturing our family photos in Traverse City. We absolutely loved the experience and adventure!

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We can’t help but laugh on how perfectly the lips on the coffee mug lined up with our sleepy baby.

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