“At Home” Wedding Planning

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April 15, 2020

Planning a wedding during Covid-19? These little tips and tricks can help you make the most of your quarantine status!

Our hearts absolutely go out to each and every bride and groom struggling to plan a wedding during this time of uncertainty! We’ve been busy helping clients plan for worst-case scenarios while dreaming of everything going back to normal SOON!

If you’re like us, you’ve been stuck at home for quite awhile now, and it may seem like you’ve run out of ways to plan your wedding when you can’t tour venues and have in-person meetings with your dream vendor team. Nathan and I took some of our extra time today and put it to use finding some fun ways you can continue to plan what we KNOW is going to be a fabulous wedding day from the comfort of your living room! Here’s to gorgeous weddings to come, and please know if there’s anything we can do to help, let us know!

“Online shop” for outfits for engagement sessions, bridal showers, rehearsal dinners, and other wedding related events! Even though you can’t physically go to the stores and try on all the clothes, there are lots of really great online options to choose from! Our clients have had success with retailers such as Lulus, Saved by the Dress, Pink Blush, Etsy, Nordstrom/Nordstrom Rack, and Amazon. You’d be surprised with both the quality and the price of a lot of the options Amazon has throughout their site. Our biggest tip is to ALWAYS look for clothing items with real client reviews containing pictures. You can get a pretty good idea of how the sizing actually works that way. We’ve also had a lot of success with Rent the Runway. It’s a great way to “borrow” designer fashions for an epic session or event!

Create a list of must-have and do-not-play-under-any-circumstance songs for your ceremony and reception! This is also a great time to narrow down your song choices for key events like the first dance, parent dances, processional/recessional, cake cutting, and bouquet/garter toss. If line dances like the wobble make you cringe while your partner enthusiastically wants to join in, it’s safe to say you’ll want to work out some compromises that you can both live with!

Learn to dance! Utilize YouTube videos and other online options to choreograph and practice a first dance that is all your own. We’ve had some pretty creative couples in the past, and we LOVE it when couples really make the dance floor their own. There are videos for every skill and comfort level. You might even find you ENJOY dancing together!

Research honeymoon destinations! Talk to travel agents, check out online sites like Expedia, ask your family and friends for suggestions, and then spend a fun evening narrowing down your options. For our beach lovers, we can’t say enough good things about Sandals Resorts! Nathan and I honeymooned at Sandals SouthCoast, and it was an experience we will never forget. The staff was phenomenal, the resort was lovely, the food was great, and we were never bored. If you’re headed to Jamaica, our favorite travel tip is to check out Club Mobay. We’ve utilized this awesome option several times now with zero regrets!

Write your own vows! This was one of our FAVORITE wedding day preparations. Our vows were fun, personal, and really reflected our love story as a whole. We really encourage our couples to consider this route when planning for their big day, but if custom vows aren’t your thing, take this time to write letters to each other to be exchanged on your big day!

Pick “getting ready” outfits and gifts for your bridal party! Etsy and Target have great selections whether you want robes, pajamas, or rompers for your favorite crew! Consider doing “personal” gifts for each bridesmaid or groomsman instead of one generic gift for all. Your bridal party will really appreciate the thoughtful, extra touch!

Have a “cake tasting” party with just the two of you in your home. Ask cake designers you are interested in if they have the option for porch pick-up or contactless delivery of various kinds of cake and icing for you to try, much like you would at an actual tasting. Pair with a fun beverage and enjoy the sugar rush! We recommend keeping an open mind and trying cake and icing flavors you wouldn’t normally try, especially if the baker recommends them. One of our favorite wedding cakes was a caramel apple cider cake with cream cheese frosting! Unusual, super fun for fall, and WAS IT EVER GOOD!!!

Work on training your pet(s) so they can participate in your engagement session or wedding day! We are a super pet-friendly team, and our enthusiasm for including your pets has zero bounds. Research cute bow ties, flower garlands, and pet friendly locations too. There are even services like Furever & Fur Always who specialize in helping make sure your pet can be present on your wedding day in a stress-free way!

Work on that seating chart! Come up with fun and meaningful table names derived from things like favorite books/movies, vacation spots, places you’ve traveled together, relationship highlights, years of your lives complete with pictures, favorite songs, and etc. This is also a great time to decide how you’d like to display your seating chart and where you’d like it to go! We put each guest’s name on a special drinking glass with their table number and displayed them on a special cart at the entrance to our reception. They were a huge hit with our guests!

Get to know each other even better than before! This is a great time to sign up for online premarital counseling, read books on creating a solid marriage, plan imaginative in-home date nights, and take the time to really dive deep into your hopes/dreams/expectations for marriage. We’ve learned that a lot of arguments start because one partner or the other has an unfulfilled expectation (one that they often didn’t even realize they had) for what married life is like or what they expect from their partner. Communication is key, and there’s no better time than the present to work on that all-important issue!

Set up phone calls or video chat sessions with vendors you have a serious interest in working with! We want to hear all your wedding day plans, and to be honest, most of our couples book us without ever having met us in person. We’re here to help however we can, and we have a lot of great resources to help with your planning process

Consider pre-wedding dress shopping with salons such as Love it At Stella’s who are offering virtual try-on experiences. While it may not be quite the same as trying on that beautiful gown in person, it can really help you narrow down your options ahead of time and you may come out of the experience with a better idea of what you love or don’t love about wedding gowns! Check out the Stella’s Virtual Experience at loveitatstellas.com/the-stellas-virtual-experience

In closing, we want to leave you all with a gentle reminder that this too shall pass. Take the time you need to grieve long-cherished plans that have changed, lean on each other for support, and BE KIND to yourself. When your wedding day finally arrives, it is going to be the biggest celebration, literally filled with SO MUCH JOY! Nathan and I can’t wait to celebrate with you!

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We’re Lindsay & Nathan Varner

A Florida WEDDING & PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHER

Fueled by equal parts caffeine and passion, I spend my days capturing the kinds of images that make you stop, smile and ask time to please slow down. Your story, your love, is beautiful and I can’t wait to capture it in images you will treasure for years to come. 

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