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Do or Don't

Do or Don't: iPod DJ

Posted by Casey Harrison October 23, 2013 08:26 AM

I shoot all kinds of lovely weddings - from huge events at hotels in the city, to forty-person shindigs at barns in Maine, to three-person celebrations at city hall. For some smaller weddings, it doesn't make sense to hire a ten piece band or even a DJ. In those cases, I have seen couples choose to make a killer playlist on their computer or iPod, and play it through the dancing part of the evening. I've seen it done well and I've seen it done not-so-well.

I say it's a DO, but you have to some forethought. It's important to pay close attention to the order of the songs, and to include a few slow songs in the mix to appease the older guests and allow people to rest their feet. If possible, try to shorten the pause between each song to avoid awkward silences and breaks in the dance party. Appointing someone to keep tabs on the computer or iPod is also a must. Someone needs to be in charge in case anything goes wrong, or to change up the order of songs if the dance floor doesn't seem interested in what's playing.

You can't replace the expertise of a professional wedding DJ, but for some smaller events it just makes sense to DIY. Just make sure to play "Shout." Can't go wrong with that one. ;)

Do or don't...Wearing your hair up with a strapless dress…

Posted by Becca Olcott October 2, 2013 08:00 AM

Are you wearing a strapless dress for your wedding? I do cherish that old style myth that if you're wearing a strapless dress you have to wear your hair down. This rule is absolutely out and makes no sense if you're trying to flaunt it. I say go for it! Wear your hair up in a fun hairstyle you found on Pinterest. And if you'd like to temper your look a bit, try a low side bun. Bottom line: be comfortable and confident out there, and pay no mind to the prim and proper guidelines of a bygone era.

Do or Don't: Getting Ready Photos

Posted by Casey Harrison September 11, 2013 10:15 AM

My packages all include an hour of getting ready photos, but some couples wonder if they want photos of themselves getting ready. Guys, especially, tend not to want any photos of them getting ready. However, I think getting ready photos are great to have! It's fun to capture the candid moments of you hanging out with your bridesmaids, sipping champagne and getting your makeup done. It's easy to get photos of the guys getting ready as well - straightening their ties and running a comb through their hair is about all it takes.

And if you're the modest type, don't worry! I am always very careful to keep things PG-rated while you are getting your dress on. But it's great to capture the memory of your mom or maid of honor zipping up the back of your dress for you. Trust me, you'll want that one!

Danielle Greg 12.jpg

Do or Don't: Non-Saturday Weddings

Posted by Casey Harrison August 28, 2013 11:41 AM

Weddings are expensive, and it's easy to be tempted by a lower price to have a wedding on a Friday or a Sunday. However, this is another one of those times when you need to keep your guests in mind. With Friday weddings, people likely need to take a day off of work to make it to the wedding. With Sunday weddings, people won't be able to really enjoy the party because they will be heading home to rest up for their week ahead.

I think non-Saturday weddings are a DO, but with a caveat. If you have your wedding on a Friday, consider having a later ceremony (think 6:30 or 7:00) so that people might be able to make it to the wedding after work, or at least work a half day. If you are having a Sunday wedding, consider having everything begin and end earlier (perhaps by 9:00) so that guests can hit the dance floor and still make it home before it gets too late.

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Do or Don't: Pinterest Planning

Posted by Casey Harrison July 31, 2013 06:11 PM

In this digital age, many brides can feel totally overwhelmed by wedding inspiration. Blogs, magazines, and now Pinterest are constantly bombarding you with bouquets! and dresses! and DIY projects! It's easy to get buried in all of the wedding beauty.

Pinterest can actually be an awesome way to keep track of ideas without going completely overboard. With all of your inspiration photos laid out cleanly, it's easier to curate your ideas and make sure that everything looks cohesive. It's also really helpful to share your Pinterest boards with your vendors! Planners, florists, stylists, photographers, and makeup artists can all benefit from seeing your vision laid out before the wedding. Also, Pinterest recently unveiled a new "secret boards" feature that makes it easy to keep your ideas under wraps. You don't want your guests to know what your dress options are, or to see the cute favors you want to surprise them with on their way home!

What do you think, brides? Do you use Pinterest, or are you thinking about starting now? I'm totally addicted!

Here's a peek at one of Becca's inspiration boards for a client:
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Do or Don't: Be Strict with your Color Scheme.

Posted by Becca Olcott July 24, 2013 02:11 PM


As a florist, this is of course one of my favorite topics to hash out. The answer may surprise you! While discipline comes in handy for other aspects of wedding planning, I find when couples are too rigid about must-have colors or shades, it can feel abnormal and set the wrong tone. But when the bride and groom are more flexible with their color scheme, the beauty of the day comes alive in a more organic way. If you're looking to highlight your consistency of style, I recommend choosing your look within a specific color spectrum, thereby allowing your highlight colors to pop against a backdrop of more natural tones.

Do or Don't: Separate sides for the ceremony

Posted by Casey Harrison July 17, 2013 08:39 AM

These days, people are thinking a little more outside-the-box about weddings. There's less focus on stuffy traditions, and more focus on making guests comfortable and making the wedding day representative of the couple themselves. One example I've seen lately is allowing people to sit wherever they like for the ceremony. While tradition typically has the bride standing on the left and her family on the same side, some couples are opting for unassigned ceremony seating. I've seen cute signs saying "Choose a seat, not a side" or something along those lines to let guests know that they can sit where they like. It's a good opportunity for families to mingle. It can also make it easier for guests to see the face of their friend or relative - if the bride is your friend and you're sitting on the same side as her, you end up looking at her back through most of the ceremony! I think having separate, assigned sides for the ceremony is a don't these days.

What do you think? Will you stick with tradition or allow guests to sit wherever they like?

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Do or Don't: Assigned tables

Posted by Becca Olcott July 3, 2013 10:48 AM

Although assigning tables can occasionally be stressful, it's also a crucial tool for the great challenge of tactfully herding your guests.

Of course Aunt Milly may grumble about her proximity to her snobby sister, but that comes with the territory when you're tasked with bringing family together. Ultimately, structure on your wedding day is your friend. You will be thankful you have it. Your friends will help you stick to it. And you can abide a gripe here and there, they are inevitable.

Keep in mind, assigning tables can actually be a really fun exercise with your partner. Imagine the weddings you've attended where you enjoyed interesting, unexpected conversations at dinner. That's the blossoming of creative seating arrangements. Think of it like thoughtful guest matchmaking. Then, once it's set, forget about it.

Do or Don't: Outdoor wedding in the summer heat

Posted by Casey Harrison June 26, 2013 01:22 PM

Now that summer (and wedding season) are in full swing, many brides and grooms are wondering what the best way is to cater to their guests on a hot day. While a summer wedding is obviously a DO, there are some important considerations to keep in mind. Try not to plan your wedding to begin in the mid-day heat. Sitting outside in direct sun can be really uncomfortable, and can be dangerous for older guests. An late afternoon or early evening ceremony will be cooler, and bonus: the light will be much prettier in your photos! It's also a great idea to offer cool drinks for your guests (lemonade is always a hit) upon their arrival at the ceremony site. If you want to be really considerate, you can even put out a basket of summer necessities for your guests. Think: bug spray, sunscreen, and fans. They will love you for it, and they'll have more energy to hit the dance floor at your reception!

IMG_8678.jpg Photo by Hello Love Photography

Do or Don't: Cocktail Party In Lieu of Formal Reception

Posted by Becca Olcott June 19, 2013 08:00 AM

Total Do!

Feeling the financial crush of a full fledged reception with dinner for all of your guests is a legitimate drag. The sense of obligation you feel is real, through probably unwarranted. It's your party, and your guests are there to celebrate you. I don't think they'll feel slighted if you spare them the chicken or fish dilemma. If you're on a budget, or you're looking to throw a rad party without shelling out too much, a rocking cocktail party is a great way to host your guests, and still celebrate your one and only. It's all about the spirit you imbue the event with. Make an iPod playlist of your favorites with your beloved. Rent a mic and speaker for toasts. Dance, dance, dance. The X-factor will be the way your guests embrace the evening. Their collective good will carry the night and then some.

Of course, in the absence of dinner, make sure to retain a chunk of your budget for extra passed h'ords!

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