Wedding Planning

Wedding Planning: 8 Planning Tips from Minnesota Wedding Photographers

Do the words “wedding planning” give you goose bumps? Then this one’s for you!

To make you have a successful wedding and to spend this exciting journey, the best Minnesota wedding photographers are excited to share 8 essential tips on smart and easy planning and photography.

We really trust these guys and you should too! After all, they have seen it ALL throughout their careers, and know what it takes to create the ideal big day.

1. Perfection Takes Time

Perfection Takes Time

If you want to look perfect in your big day, ask your makeup artist and hairdresser to give you a rough working time. Since you need to look picture-perfect on your big day, and pros don’t like to hurry, add half an hour more to what they tell you. Better safe than sorry, right?

2. Decide the Dynamics of Your Morning

Decide the Dynamics of Your Morning

If you are ready to take pictures, you can let your family or the closest friends surrounded you that make you look happy. This choice will also influence on your energy that day, so it’s totally up to you! Just make sure your photographer knows all the details, and if your groom and groomsmen want their morning photographed, too.

3. Know the Church Rules

Know the Church Rules

There are churches which have restrictions regarding photography. Some impose rules about the spots where the shooter may stand during the ceremony, while others do not allow photographs at all. Ouch! Some churches are forbidden to hold ceremonies, so before booking your church, you should check carefully whether they are allowed to hold ceremonies.

4. The Perfect Light is Key in Outdoor Ceremonies

The Perfect Light is Key in Outdoor Ceremonies

Choosing to have your outdoor ceremony a couple of hours before the sun sets is smart. Since the light will be falling evenly on everyone’s face, your photographer will not deal with shadows so much. Shooter’s heaven!

5. Have the Photographer with You at All Time

Have the Photographer with You at All Time

It is a good idea to hold your photographer before the ceremony with you in the same car, and even when going to your reception venue. Some of the best and most intimate shots are taken during these short “breaks”, so make room for one more in the car! Once again, make sure your vendor has a detailed schedule of your day to avoid any delays or mishaps.

6. Take Enough Time for Portraits

6. Take Enough Time for Portraits

Your portrait session is one of the most important glimpses of your big day, so let your Minnesota wedding photographer guide you every step of the way. However, you must cooperate, too. Be patient and open-minded. Oh, and allow at least one hour for the shoot!

7. Have Your Dearest Immortalized

Have Your Dearest Immortalized

Family and group photos should be taken right after the ceremony. Ideally, someone who already knows all your guests will help the wedding photog organize everyone for the shoot. Personal attendant, anyone?

8. Lighting – an Essential Ingredient

Lighting – an Essential Ingredient

If you are having an indoor reception, there will never be too much light for the photographer. Use candles, lamps, and DJ LED lights to create an intimate feel.

An alfresco dinner also requires extra lighting. Fairy lights, lanterns, sparkly chandeliers, or candles in mason jars will add to the dreamy atmosphere. No matter what kind of lighting you have to avoid the use of black background, Because it does not seem very happy mood.

Once you have all the above under control, leave it to your Minnesota wedding photographer to create magic with the camera. Do not mind the unexpected (hey, sometimes it may even lead to memorable shots!) and try to be as spontaneous as you can.

Cake Toppers

Naked Wedding Cake Trend : Naked Chocolate with Golden Center Tier Cake


Take a look at this fall-inspired wedding cake.

While the jury is still out on the whole “naked wedding cake” trend (since we do love frosting), this naked chocolate cake with the golden center tier is stunning.

Naked chocolate cakes seem a bit more dramatic than a naked white cake and the addition of a gold-foil embellished center tier adds some glitz and glamour to a rustic-looking cake.

The center tier is fully frosted with just a touch of gold foil – and you really don’t need much else on the cake. The addition of some greens is nice, but you could also add some seasonal blooms instead.

Cake Toppers

Wedding Idea : Rustic White Wedding Cake for Fall 2016


This wedding cake is perfect for Fall.

So today, we’re talking about a lovely white wedding cake. Boring? No way.

Check out this beauty.

I love the “rough” look of the icing on this two-tiered cake. It takes it from a standard white (ho-hum) wedding cake to a rustic-yet-elegant white wedding cake.

While the photo doesn’t showcase any sort of embellishment on the cake, I think a dark colored fresh bloom would be ideal on top. Just a slight punch of color.

This cake would be perfect any time of year, but it seems like an ideal fall wedding cake.

You’ll find this cake here. It was created by Debi’s Cake Studio.


Wedding Idea – Branch Photo Frame to Decorate Your Fall Wedding


It’s the second day of fall, which means that we can now talk about all things fall weddings including fun wedding favors! My wedding anniversary falls in October so I’m a huge fan of fall weddings.

And I love it when you add just a slight fall feel to your big day, like with these branch photo frames.

The frames can serve a dual purpose as both a place holder if you’re planning on assigned seats at your reception, and then guests can take the frames with them!

Another fun idea – a photo booth at the reception (it is a party, after all) and then you send a photo home with guests in their fun frame.

Either way, the frames are an inexpensive way to add a touch of fall to your reception.

You’ll find these branch frames here.


Wedding Idea : Top 10 Wedding Color Schemes for Summer


1. Citrus Squeeze: Tangerine, Orange, & Yellow

Nothing says summer like fresh, juicy citrus fruit! Dress up your “I do’s” in tart and tangy hues, including tangerine, orange and yellow, to evoke images of these timeless icons of summer.

The Bridal Party: Since orange can be less than flattering on some, lean on sunny yellow to outfit your ‘maids. To reflect the easygoing, playful nature of the palette, try a breezy style with a relaxed fit like the After Six 6753 bridesmaid dress in sunflower.

The Rest: With super-saturated, eye-popping shades like these, you want to be careful not to overwhelm guests with too much color. Let an all-white backdrop provide a neutral base, with accents of bright blooms like buttery begonias and deep orange gloriosa lilies doing the heavy lifting. For an extra pop of color, offer an OJ-infused signature cocktail.


2. Summer Sky: Pale Blue & Yellow

For the perfect summer wedding color scheme, simply look up at the sky. Pale blue and sunny yellow make the perfect pair for a chic midsummer affair.

The Bridal Party: Opt for a buttery yellow for your main gals to really amp up the cheery ambiance of the day. Pair a lightweight, relaxed style like the Social Bridesmaids 8159 dress in buttercup, a pale shade that flatters most, with a bouquet of roses, hydrangeas and other yellow and pale blue buds.

The Rest: Add unexpected touches to keep the mood lighthearted and fun, like glass hurricanes filled with lemons (perched atop a rustic lemonade stand, perhaps?), or a naked yellow cake with cascading pale blue blooms.


3. Peachy Perfection: Sage, Peach, & Gold

For an outdoor wedding, find inspiration in the blooming trees dangling their fresh seasonal fruits. Blend light, leafy sage with dainty peach for a Mother Nature-inspired feel, with pops of gold for added glamour.

The Bridal Party: Since you and your gals will be partying outdoors, go for a short, airy style with movement, like the Social Bridesmaids 8138 gown in apricot. The peachy shade is sure to really pop against the backdrop of natural greenery.

The Rest: Fill the room with lush greens and perfectly plush peach roses, and you’ll be able to keep the rest of the décor sweet and simple. Add just the subtlest hints of gold for an elegance touch, like metallic table numbers and towering golden candlesticks.


4. American Spirit: White, Navy, Dusty Blue, & Deep Red

If you’re hosting an Independence Day fête, let the holiday’s own patriotic scheme be your wedding muse. The trick to doing it tastefully without going full-blown Captain America is to keep it understated with a mostly white and navy palette accented by subtle hints of lighter dusty blue and deep red.

The Bridal Party: Since the Fourth of July is traditionally associated with laid-back BBQ vibes, outfit your ‘maids in navy frocks with relaxed, mismatched necklines, like the Jenny Yoo JY518 and JY517 bridesmaid dresses in midnight.

The Rest: Keep tablescapes mostly white with just a few pops of color to avoid overdosing on patriotic pride. Have a little fun with the food, too, with elevated versions of American classics like mini franks and grilled cheese during the cocktail hour, and cherry pie for dessert. Rather than throwing rice, cap the festivities by having guests wave sparklers for a stylish send-off.


5. On Island Time: Fuchsia, Aqua, & Sand

If a destination wedding isn’t in the cards, bring the tropics to your special day with island-inspired brights like bold fuchsia and ocean-inspired aqua against a backdrop of neutral sand.

The Bridal Party: Keep with the beachy theme and opt for a relaxed knee-length style with tons of movement, like After Six 6695 in azalea, a shocking pink shade that’s flattering on most and easy to wear again.

The Rest: The bolder the better, so set tables with heavy doses of color, like hot pink table runners and straw chargers beneath bright aqua plates and napkins for a serious seaside feel. Add small bundles of tropical blooms, like hot pink lilies, white orchids and aqua gerbera daisies, throughout the space, and offer coconut-infused signature cocktails with tiny umbrellas for a taste of the tropics.


6. Beachy Bohemian: Ivory with Bright & Pale Blue

If you and your hubby-to-be dig sun-kissed skin and salty hair, then a relaxed beach wedding is the way to go. Tap into the natural tones of the aqua sea, pale blue sky and fluffy white clouds with a color scheme that includes ivory and shades of bright and pale blue.

The Bridal Party: For your best gal pals, opt for a beachy halter style with breezy layers like Alfred Sung Style D720; mix and match shades of blue, like coastal and cerulean, for a laid-back boho vibe. Let guys enjoy the relaxed feel, too, with sand-hued suits and undone collars (no ties!).

The Rest: When it comes to coastal-inspired accents, the options are aplenty. Scatter aqua sea glass and white faux starfish across tablescapes; nest tall ivory pillar candles in beds of tiny seashells; and accent white and pale blue floral arrangements with coral-like pieces.


7. The Color Purple: Bright Purple & Pale Lilac

A perennial favorite, purple never disappoints. While there’s a place for the popular shade no matter the season, lighten it up for your summer wedding color scheme with a blend of bright purple and pale lilac.

The Bridal Party: A monochromatic scheme presents the perfect opportunity to play with mix-and-match shades. Stay toward the lighter end of the spectrum with After Six 6730 in regalia and passion to keep the look appropriate for summer.

The Rest: Nothing says summertime like seasonal lavender, so sprinkle a few fragrant sprays throughout the space, alongside cascading arrangements of fresh and modern Picasso calla lilies, hydrangeas and dendrobium orchids. End the day with a festive ombré cake, with increasingly saturated tiers from top to base.

8. Vintage Grape: Blush Pink & Burgundy

For the wine-loving couple, exchanging vows amidst the vineyards is an easy choice. Draw inspiration from the lush surroundings by pairing summer-friendly blush pink with notes of deep burgundy, which really pop against the gorgeous greenery.

The Bridal Party: Stick with the lighter hue for your ‘maids to avoid venturing into dark autumn territory, complemented by pale pink and burgundy bouquets. Choose an elegant, ultra-feminine style like Jenny Yoo JY516 in blush.

The Rest: Pepper cream and blush floral arrangements with gorgeous burgundy buds like deeply saturated dahlias for bold pops of color throughout the space. An all-white cake gets the same treatment when dressed with cascading rosé- and merlot-hued blooms. As a finishing touch, incorporate decorative wine bottles into the décor in the form of table numbers and unique vases.

9. Brazilian Bash: Red, Orange, & Hot Pink

Draw inspiration from beautiful Brazil and its signature jewel-tone cities with punchy pops of color ranging from bold red to tangy orange to hot pink.

The Bridal Party: Reflect the carefree party vibes of the Brazilian coast with a fun two-piece in juicy tones. Pair Dessy Collection T2974 cropped top in ivory with a lightweight tulle skirt like Dessy Collection S2977 in tutti frutti, firecracker, and ginger for a perfectly mismatched party.

The Rest: With such vibrant hues taking center stage, be sure to keep the backdrop neutral and light – crisp whites and blond woods will do just fine. Accent with pops of color, like beautifully fragrant blooms in the theme’s vivacious shades and a fruity signature cocktail.


10. Cool Contrast: Blush Pink & Navy Blue

Contrasting shades of blush pink and navy blue – basically the summertime version of black and white – come together in a cool, classic combo that never goes out of style.

The Bridal Party: There’s something to please both the guys and the gals with this versatile summer color palette. Balance the gents’ masculine navy suits with a ladylike style like Dessy Collection 2963 in blush, paired with bouquets of cream and light pink blooms.

The Rest: Lean soft and feminine with your décor to keep it seasonally appropriate, with blush as your main color dotted with accents of the deep blue hue. Dip navy and white striped sippers into spiked pink lemonade for a signature cocktail that’s spot on with the palette, and offer dishes of strawberry ice cream with fresh blueberry garnish for dessert.


There’s no time like summer for a little bit of creativity and a whole lot of color, so embrace one of these bold, bright color schemes for your warm weather vows!

Cake Toppers

Wedding Idea : Ombre Gold Wedding Cake for Fall Wedding


You know, Fall is coming, so if you are going to get married on Fall, you can take a loot at this wedding cake.

I’m beginning to think that I have gold on my mind. Which isn’t a bad thing.

Lately I’m starting to look for more rustic wedding cakes – I still love the over-the-top elegant cakes, but there’s something to be said for a simple yet gorgeous rustic cake.

Like today’s cake.

The two-tiered cake is just every-so-slightly ombre white and gold which gives it a lovely fall hue. The addition of the gold-painted hydrangeas gives the cake that extra pop of glam without making the cake too “fancy” to be rustic.

This cake would be gorgeous at a fall wedding … in a rustic setting.

You’ll find this cake here.

Cake Toppers

Wedding Cake for Fall – Gold and White Cake with Fresh Flowers and Berries


Fall is coming, and will you get married on Fall?

Which means it is time to start thinking about fall-inspired wedding cakes.

I love the idea of rustic cakes for a fall wedding, something with a unique twist.

Like today’s featured cake.

This white and gold confection is elegant with a touch of rustic in the mix too. Look closely at the gold-hued bottom tier. It looks like a gilded tree stump thanks to a wood-grain texturing.

The addition of fresh flowers and berries finishes the rustic vibe.

This golden cake would be ideal at an early fall wedding!

Real Weddings

10 Hidden Wedding Costs You May Not Notice

1. Wedding Band Equipment

Why It’s Hidden: The cost of the wedding band includes fees for the musicians’ time and the minimum amount of equipment needed. If your reception space is extra-large, additional speakers and microphones could be required to project the best sound quality.

The Cost: Anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars.

How to Avoid It: Before booking your wedding band or DJ, you need to clearly explain the layout of the space (or have them check it out, if they can) so the pros know exactly what they’re working with. If they want to add in extra equipment, have them explain why it’s necessary before signing a contract or agreeing to pay for anything else.

2. Postage Stamps

Why It’s Hidden: Stationers don’t advertise shipping costs; if they did, you might decide to go with simpler (read: cheaper) invites.

The Cost: Oversize, awkwardly shaped and bulky invitations will most often run you as much as $2 each to mail.

How to Avoid It: Skip the fancy boxed invitations and multilayer cards, which can bulk up quickly and cost a lot more than you bargained for.

3. Wedding Dress Alterations and Steaming

Why It’s Hidden: Most stores don’t include alterations (or steaming) in the price of the wedding dress, and they’re not doing it for free—it can take up to three hours just to alter the bustier!

The Cost: A simple hem can be less than $100, but completely rebuilding a bodice can send the price upward of $500.

How to Avoid It: Ask about what the store charges for every alteration you may need before purchasing the gown.

4. Overtime Costs

Why It’s Hidden: Your band, DJ, wedding photographer and videographer are booked for just a certain amount of time, so if your wedding runs a little longer than you expected, they’ll charge per hour.

The Cost: Starting at $250 per hour.

How to Avoid It: Factor in additional time for getting dressed and taking photos; that way, you can book your pros for a more realistic time frame. Get overtime costs in writing (they shouldn’t be more than 50 percent more per hour than the regular rate), so you’ll know what to expect if you decide to keep the party going.

5. Welcome Bag Delivery

Why It’s Hidden: Most hotels don’t factor in a welcome bag delivery fee when you block rooms. And they may fail to mention the rate unless you ask—they’ll just add it to your final bill. Inquire within; they may even charge you a fee for holding the welcome bags if you drop them off before the guests arrive.

The Cost: Up to $7 per bag.

How to Avoid it: During the booking process, ask about the hotel’s policy on receiving and delivering welcome bags to guests’ rooms. It may be free or cheaper if they hand the bags out at the counter as guests check in. If you don’t want the extra charge, you can distribute them at the rehearsal dinner.

6. Rental Transport

Why It’s Hidden: You’d assume the rental companies would include these extra fees in the per-item costs (do they honestly think you’re going to fit 150 Chiavari chars in your car?), but surprisingly they don’t.

The Cost: From $50 up to more than $500.

How to Avoid It: Ask the rental company what their shipping and packaging fees are up front—if the cost is too high for your budget, shop around a bit. You just might find that you’ll actually save some money by renting items from a more expensive company that includes delivery costs at no extra charge.

7. Taxes and Gratuities

Why It’s Hidden: Even though these aren’t exactly hidden—we all know there are taxes on almost everything—most couples don’t think about how much they’ll end up owing during the planning process.

The Cost: This will depend on the total amount of money you’re spending as well as the location of the event (taxes vary by state).

How to Avoid It: There’s no getting around paying taxes, but paying the entire bill in one lump sum can help lower the overall price. A safe bet: Tack on an extra third of your total costs to your budget for tips and taxes.

8. Cake-Cutting and Corkage Fees

Why It’s Hidden: If you use the cake or liquor provided by your reception site, the charge is typically wrapped into the cost. Going with an outside baker or your own wine can raise the price. Why? Because your venue’s workers are responsible for slicing and serving each piece, then cleaning the dishes—and this means more work for their staff.

The Cost: From $2 to $5 per guest for the cake; from $1.50 to $3 for every bottle the staff opens.

How to Avoid It: Be upfront. Ask about cake-cutting and corkage fees before you decide to go with an outside source for either.

9. Cleanup and Breakdown Costs

Why It’s Hidden: Many couples spend so much time planning the actual day that they forget to budget for what happens when it’s all over.

The Cost: While a full-service venue won’t charge for these things, if you’re paying a flat fee to rent only the space, anticipate additional charges for garbage removal (up to $250) and cleaning (up to $500). And even most full-service venues require same-day setup and cleanup. So if you’re getting married on a weekend, expect to pay time and a half for labor, and if your party goes into the wee hours of the morning, you may face extra charges for late-night pickup and cleanup.

How to Avoid It: Read your contract carefully—the setup and breakdown costs should be included in the labor charge.

10. Non-Approved Professionals

Why It’s Hidden: Some venues require you to use caterers or florists from their preferred pros list—and tack on a fee if you don’t.

The Cost: Usually an extra 20 percent or more.

How to Avoid It: Stick to the list, or choose a venue without one.

Real Weddings

Wedding Tips : Not To Include These 10 Things In A Father Bride Speech

Read our advice and make a perfect speech.


1. Do not use profanity

There will no doubt be small (and sensitive) ears in the
audience, so be sure to avoid excessive and extreme bad language.
2. Do not recall drunken nights together

Unless there’s a very good story involved, endless
tales of inebriated antics get boring pretty quickly.

3. Do not include any sexual anecdotes

We find the ‘Grandma Rule’ particularly helpful here: if you
wouldn’t be happy for your grandmother to hear that particular
story about you, then back to the speech-writing drawing board you
must go.

4. Avoid name-calling or any derogatory

If you’re a father-of-the-bride, childhood terms of endearment
are totally fine. The same applies for best men who remember silly
school nicknames. Aliases acquired from misdemeaners with partners
past? Not so much.

5. Do not speak ill of the family

An obvious one that needs little explanation.

6. Avoid racist remarks and jokes

Again: need we say more?


7. Refrain from long-winded stories that have no

A beginning with a few quick anecdotes, a middle with one
brilliant story, and a meaningful ending is enough. Also, if you do
one thing, be sure to avoid the wedding speech horror-of-horrors:
the open mike night.

8. Keep focus and aim not to blabber

Finding the perfect length for your wedding speech is one of the
trickiest aspects to nail down. If you get bored writing it, or
even reading it back, it’s time to cut, cut, cut. Stick to a
handful of brilliantly-chosen stories rather than rambling on
This Is Your Life-style.

9. Never mention any anecdotes of the couple

Talk about putting a dampner on a couple’s wedding

10. Try not to include incredibly embarrassing

A few well-chosen squirm-inducing stories are, of course,
encouraged, but anything truly defamatory should stay with you till
the grave.

Cake Toppers

Wedding Cake Recommended : Black and White Wedding Cake


Here’s a wedding cake recommended.

And if those polka dots look like tiny hearts? Well, that’s even better.

Today’s wedding cake is a study in fun – a stark white, three-tier cake adorned with black fondant hearts instead of black polka dots!

It is nearly wedding cake perfection.

To add just a hint of color the cake is adorned with pink poppies (made from gum paste). The white wafer-paper tulips are gorgeous too!

This cake would be perfect any time of year, and I’d love to see deep red blooms used in place of the poppies – just because I love the red, white, and black color combo.

You’ll find this cake here. It was created by Wild Orchid Baking Co.