If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you’ve seen a few of my wedding photos but I’ve never created a full gallery or done a full recap. This will still, in no way, be a full recap but I want to share with you some things that were most important to me when planning my wedding and share some of my favorite images and details that came together so perfectly for my own country wedding.
Everyone has a different reason for choosing the location of their ceremony and/or their reception. It may be because it’s your family church, it might be where your parents got married, or maybe it’s just a beautiful location and you can just envision all of your photos coming together in a beautiful wedding album. For us it was the family farm.
Getting married on my grandma’s farm was an easy choice for us. For one, it was close, hey, we live on the property! We knew it would be meaningful and the photos would be gorgeous! I also knew I didn’t want any “getting ready in the church basement” photos and my parents live right across the field with a private road connecting the two properties. I got ready with my girls at my parent’s and Jeff got ready with the guys at the farm.
Choosing Your Photographer & Your Wedding Date
This should be #1 😉. But truly, your photographer is the one vendor who is not only there the whole day of your wedding but many times, before the wedding if you do an engagement session. Not only do you want to find someone who's work you admire but more importantly, someone you connect with. When we offer to meet with you were not trying to make a sale, we really want to get to know you and hear more about your love story and what you have planned! Take the meeting. If you end up not meshing, it's better find out sooner rather than the day of the wedding when everything should be going smoothly.
I knew my top choice was Amy Pawelk with Images by Amy Lynn. I had gotten her number from my photography instructor when I was in school and shadowed her. We became friends over the years and she’s been a great mentor. As soon as we got engaged we contacted her and snatched up one of her last dates for 2014.
Her schedule ultimately determined our date but it couldn’t have been more perfect. October 25th was one day before our 6 year anniversary and we wanted a fall date. We lucked out with a warm, sunny day! We are both bow hunters so the “we interrupt hunting season” sign was a fun detail. Jeff did have to give up that afternoon of hunting but he wasn’t giving up the morning! How many grooms can say they went out hunting the morning of their wedding?!
The First Look
If I can recommend anything it would be to do a First Look! This has become the most common timeline in the last couple years and for those questioning what a First Look is, instead of waiting for the bride and groom to see each other for the first time when she's walking down the aisle, a First Look is an intimate moment between the two of you. You get to take it all in and have a quiet moment before the hustle and bustle of the rest of the day.
My favorite part about doing a first look was that I got to send almost the whole day with my groom-to-be!! If we would have waited we wouldn't have seen each other until 4:30 that afternoon!
This timeline also allows for all family, bridal party and couple photos to be taken before the ceremony, instead of trying to gather everyone after the ceremony once again when everyone is ready to head to the reception and kick their boots up!
Personal Elements & Details
Oh the details! This is YOUR day, make it about you! If there's a tradition you don't care for make up your own. What elements of your life and personality do you want to include?
For us, we wanted:
A Country style
Hunting, including our bows
Our puppy Koda
A dress that wasn't strapless
Bonus tip: Be prepared to be flexible!
If you've looked at the photos you'll see I did in fact end up purchasing a strapless dress that I absolutely fell in love with! We also ended up having someone bring pumpkins. When my mom asked if that was ok, I said, "If that's the biggest issue we have today, I'm doing just fine." We ended up with the most perfect day.
Wedding Party Attire
Not only does the bride’s dress and groom’s outfit set the scene for the day, so does your wedding parties attire. We literally have unlimited choices these days. Do you want your bridesmaids identical, same dress but different colors, the same color but different syles?
Are your groomsmen in jeans and boots? (Is there any other look? 😉) With the informal county style we wanted our guys wore dark jeans, black button ups and custom made Max4 camo vests (my hubby's favorite pattern). They looked sharp!
For my girls I told them floor length, black dresses. It was a coincidence that they all ened up being strapless as well, even my stepdaughter's looked similar with a mesh top. We loved the classy, rustic look of wedding party.
Enjoy planning your wedding!! Make it about YOU and don't be afraid to ask your photographer any questions you may have.