While doing Married In Milwaukee research I’ve had the opportunity to meet some truly amazing wedding vendors in our fine city. They are creative, kind, friendly, fun and trustworthy people and I absolutely love sharing their story every time I write a Married In Milwaukee article.
I’ve also learned a few things I would do differently if I were currently in the thick of planning my Milwaukee wedding. I’d like to share these four things with you in hopes they’ll help as you and plan your wedding day.
1. Wedding Photography
This is by far the top thing I would do differently. We went the route of using a family member to shoot our wedding. This was her generous gift to us for our wedding so obviously it saved us a ton of money. We got some great photos, but you know what, I regret this decision for two reasons.
- Using family and/or friends to photograph your day causes them to not be able to be a guest at your wedding. Bummer.
- Hiring a professional wedding photographer gets you so much beyond just images of your day. Wedding photos are truly the one thing you have after the day is over to remind you of the little moments that made your day special. It’s what your grand kids will look at to remember you by.
Here’s a few “epic” examples of pictures you can get by hiring a professional Milwaukee wedding photographer:
Hiring an awesome wedding photographer is hiring an artist to capture your day. This leaves you with an awesome piece of art that you can hang on your living room wall to see every day for the rest of your life.
2. Shop Local – Wedding Dress
Planning a wedding presents a very unique opportunity to support local businesses. Buying larger ticket items for your day, such as your wedding dress, are an important thing to consider supporting local with your purchasing decision. Not only are you spending your money in the area’s local economy, the level of service is beyond anything you’d likely get at a chain.
I compare it to going to Applebee’s for a steak, versus one of the fabulous locally owned steak places in town. Don’t plan on asking the Applebee’s server which wine would be best paired with your steak.
But ask a place like Miss Ruby Boutique what accessories, that are locally made as well I might add, would look good with a particular wedding dress and I’m sure you’ll get thoughtful and useful advice.
Most, if not all, of your wedding purchases, such as men’s formal wear, cakes, DJs, flowers and invitations, can be made from local vendors. Local options are not always more expensive either.
I suggest you look into a place like Broadway Paper for invites before you jump online to place your order with an Internet chain. Little known secret, they have budget friendly options too.
3. First Look Pictures
The concept of a first look is something that I wasn’t aware of when I got married seven years ago. There are so many benefits to doing a first look beyond just the amazingly powerful images such as the ones featured below.
- Flexibility in picture taking. Getting your couple and group pictures out of the way prior to the ceremony can reduce or eliminate the time between ceremony and reception. Not only will your guests appreciate not looking for something to fill their time between the two, you can then start partying at your reception early!
- A private moment with your soon-to-be spouse. Once your guests are involved in your day, I promise it can be tough to get away. Doing a first look could end up being your favorite memory of your day.
Want to stick with tradition, but still like the aspect of having a private moment with your love? Consider a “First Touch.” Check out these moving images below from Tres Jolie Photo.
4. Overly Ambitious DIY
Many brides embark on multiple DIY projects when it comes to planning a wedding. It’s an opportunity to get creative in a way you never have before.
The thought of creating beautiful accents like what you see on Pinterest is exciting and really gets the creative juices flowing. But let’s be honest, the things you see on Pinterest take a significant amount of time, practice and most often a decent amount of money to create.
All too recently I was cleaning out my basement and discovered an entire bucket full of crystals, beads, vases, and a plethora of other stuff still in their packages from my wedding planning days. I had some great ambitions and ideas, but as the date got closer and time became more precious, I just couldn’t squeeze it in.
Wedding planning takes a lot out of you and trying to complete DIY projects along with everything else you have going on will often add to your stress.
DIY accents can be a great personalization to your wedding. Just be careful not to over-commit in both time and money. If you really want something DIY but don’t have the time, ask around. I’m sure you can find a local vendor to create an amazing DIY piece for your wedding.
While there are other little things I wish I would have done differently for my wedding, ultimately none of them matter. What matters is that I am now happily married and am enjoying my life with my family. Don’t ever lose sight that your wedding is just a day, marriage is the rest of your life.
Big thanks to the following photographers for the awesome photos in this article.
Some more gorgeous images from these amazing Milwaukee Wedding Photographers. Enjoy!