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We are aJan and Josie, a mother-daughter team tucked in the heart of rural illinois. though we are located in rural illinois we always love photographing new places and new people. so grab a dessert and coffee (or tea in our case) and take a look around at the moments we have captured. we are so glad you are here, make yourself at home!

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10 Wedding Planning Tips

Hello Bride-to-be!!! This is such an exciting time for you! I’m sure your mind is racing with all that needs to be planned. It’s all very exciting , but it can also be somewhat overwhelming. You’re planning the day that you’ve been anticipating your whole life and yet you only get one shot at it! By the time you get the hang of it, the planning is over!  So we wanted to write up some tips from our industry experience… so here is what I came up with–hope it’s helpful 😉
Liberty, IL Wedding Photo by Creative Touch Photography

1. Determine What’s Important: There are so many traditions and timelines and faux pas that at some point, the wedding industry decided we all have to accommodate and include when wedding planning..From cake cutting to first dances to garters and bouquets to party favors.. lets be real– none of these things are really detrimental to the real purpose of the day (for you and your groom to get married!) but they can certainly add an element of fun, but only if they mean something to you. To make this process more focused and meaningful, we tell our clients to list the three things that are important to them on their wedding day. Dancing? Photography? The perfect venue? The amount of guests attending? The dress? Whatever it may be, don’t feel bad about it! It’s your day and you and your fiancé get to choose what is a priority 🙂 Let those things get the majority of the wedding budget, time and effort, and if there’s room for the other stuff, great! But focus on the stuff you’re excited about first!
2. Hire Vendors That You Like: If you’ve been in a bridal party, you know that a bride and groom spend a majority of their wedding with their vendors. Like choosing the friends you want by your side on your wedding day, you want to choose vendors whose company you enjoy, who you trust, and who will help your day be more fun and less stressful, rather than the other way around.
3. Splurge on a New Perfume for your Wedding Day: Every time you smell the fragrance after the wedding day you will be reminded of the great memories that day!  Not to mention we love to shoot your perfume bottle as part of your detail shots. 🙂
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4.Getting Ready: It’s the morning of your wedding! Hopefully all of the little details are taken care of and you’re relaxing with your best friends while your hair is being done. Here are a few things to consider about the “getting ready” portion of the day.

1) Have your bridesmaids put all their stuff in a condensed corner of the room—I call it a “crap corner” 😉 This way there aren’t neon bras and Mcdonalds cups in the background of your beautiful photos.

2) As you get ready to put your dress on, refrain from putting any jewelry on. We love shooting all of those final steps once you’re in your gown!

3) Speaking of the gown, if your gown is on a plastic hanger, try to make a note to bring a wooden hanger along for picture sake.

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5. Keep The Moment Sacred: As a photographer, one of the things that breaks our heart is when we are shooting the bride during her ever emotional walk down the aisle with her Dad, and we see a dozen bright screens of cell phones and an iPad or two leaning into the aisle to snap that personal photo for Instagram. These screens will not only be an ugly distraction in the peripheral of the photo and will make the photo look dated in the coming years, but most importantly, it takes away from the special moment of the bride walking towards her groom. If this is something that would bother you, consider having an “unplugged” wedding.  Some brides have officiants make an announcement, other have cute signs by their guest book mentioning that the bride and groom had hired a wedding photographer for a reason, and for them to just relax, enjoy, and take the experience in with their eyes, not their iPhones.
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6. Don’t Forget To Eat And Drink: When we’re stressed and/or busy, we forget to eat. Am I right ladies?? Make sure you are drinking water and eat lunch when your bridal party does, or else it’ll catch up to you. As for at the reception, if you’re worried about missing out on special moments or not getting the chance to see everyone, keep in mind, that you’ll be fed first, and that when you’re done eating, the guests will still be sitting at their table and you and your husband can visit each table and greet all of your guests. Don’t rush! Enjoy your meal! You certainly paid enough for it 🙂
7. Coordinator: Hiring just a day-of coordinator or having a friend step in to be your personal attendant is SO important!! Brides realize very quickly that if they do not have some- one in charge of the coordination of the day, that responsibility will automatically fall on the mother of the bride, the photographer or the BRIDE! All of our most stressful wedding situations were caused by a lack of organization and coordination. It’s so important to make this a priority.
8. Bridal Bouquet: There are so many expenses when it comes to wedding planning. Many brides have to prioritize what they want to invest in. We just want to give a little tip that can save money and make a huge impact on the way your images turn out. If you’re having trouble making a decision about your florals, here is what we suggest. We recommend making your bridal bouquet a big priority! When we’re photographing a wedding, if the bride has a gorgeous bouquet, we can make the entire day look like there were beautiful florals everywhere! We can use the bridal bouquet to spruce up bridal details, reception details AND even bride and groom portraits as well! The bridal bouquet is a focal point for me when it comes to your photography, and so we highly recommend getting your DREAM bouquet and investing less on the bridesmaids bouquets since they will not be photographed nearly as much!
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9. Hair & Makeup Trial: Make sure to schedule a consultation with your hair and makeup artist before your wedding and work out the kinks to make sure you look exactly how you want. Keep in mind that even if the makeup feels cakey and more dramatic than the way you usually wear it, it will photograph well.
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10. Remember What’s Really Important: Here’s the deal, weddings are one day…marriage is what’s forever. Can I get an Amen?? It’s not about the process of “getting married”, it’s about the fact that at the end of the day you will “be married”, and that’s what is really beautiful. Soak up the day and take a lot of mental snapshots- it goes by quickly. But if you make it truly “you”, it will be the most special, magical and glorious day of your life!
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