Advice from Past KS Brides

February 15, 2021

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I'm Katie!

I’m a wedding & senior portrait photographer from WI who loves big laughs, sunshine and puppy snuggles. I'm armed with coffee on the daily and a heart for capturing joyful moments.


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In my opinion, “brides-to-be” are a tight knit community. There are ten thousand and one wedding-related things they can talk about together at any given time, bounce ideas off of each other, exchange stories of what went right during their day (and what didn’t!) Although I’m not personally wedding planning anymore, it’s still a very fun atmosphere to be a part of!

Being a wedding photographer that has had so many couples become a part of my life, I thought I’d bring a few of them together for you and share a little bit about what they had to say when it comes to their wedding day and planning experience!

My hope is that if you’re in this same season, you’ll find a little bit of relief in knowing that these beautiful girls were in the very same boat not long ago, and have some great suggestions and pieces of advice for you!

So, meet Erin, Alyssa, and Flannery! Three absolutely beautiful and sweet KS Brides!

Erin | Wedding date: September 4th, 2020 | Venue: The Carriage House

Alyssa | Wedding date: August 22, 2020 | Venue: The Osthoff Resort

Flannery | Wedding date: August 1, 2020: Venue: Jan Serr

A lot of brides struggle with choosing colors – what were yours and how did you decide?!

Alyssa: “I knew I always wanted a wedding that was light, bright, and airy. I had always envisioned elegant but yet simple at the same time. I went with a “cashmere/champagne” color dress for all my girls. I thought it came together so beautifully especially since our wedding was in August.” 

Flannery: “Our colors were lilac and blue. The girls wore lilac dresses and the guys wore deep blue suits. We picked the colors because our wedding was in the spring and my husband has great blue eyes so we wanted to highlight those. It also wasn’t a black and tie event so we wanted to have fun with some colors. I chose lilac because honestly, none of my friends had used it in their weddings and I thought it would go well with blue and a spring wedding.”

What traditions did you stick with, and did you do anything outside of the norm? Something unique to you guys?

Erin: “I found my bridesmaid’s dresses on an online boutique and they only cost the girls around $60. I liked the idea of non traditional bridesmaid dresses  but something that still felt very appropriate for a wedding! I chose to do hoop bouquet’s for the bridesmaids which I was hesitant about at first since this isn’t very “traditional” but SO happy I did. I think they really helped make our day unique to us and they were then also able to be turned into center pieces for the reception! Jackson and I did a first look before the ceremony and we took that time to read our personal vows to each other, this was special to us to be able to do in private and have a few minutes alone together before the wedding started! Also- getting married in the middle of a pandemic is definitely outside of the norm!”

What was your favorite part of the wedding planning process, and why?

Flannery: “My favorite part was probably picking out the food for the reception. We used Saz’s catering company and they invited all their couples plus 4 others to a buffet style event where you could try drinks and almost all the food options. I love food so it was spectacular. The other favorite part was taking the engagement pictures and seeing the final result. It was fun to get in the moment and it was a period of time were I actually got excited for the wedding day instead of feeling stressed out.”

Did you do anything to de-stress before the big day that you found helpful?

Alyssa: “I did a lot of walking before the wedding which helped clear my mind. Also my husband and I have the greatest family and friends so being with them helped so much!”

Flannery: “I took two days off prior to the wedding. The Thursday before I planned relaxing/de-stressing activities. I went for a run, read a book, met some friends out for a drink. It was a great way to mentally prepare for the long weekend ahead as well as have a one day barrier to try and forget about work before getting married

What specific resource was the most helpful to you and why (blogs, Pinterest, magazines, friends & family, etc.)?

Alyssa: “Definitely Pinterest/Instagram and my Mom. She was amazing and had the same vision as I did when it came to the wedding.”

What was your favorite part about being a KS Bride?!

Alyssa: “The whole process of hiring Katie was perfect. From our engagement shoot to the wedding. Everything was so easy. My favorite part was not feeling like I had to do anything when it came to the photos. I hired Katie and she just made it happen. Also getting the pictures back the next week was so great because we were on our honeymoon and that was an extra treat to receive those so we could look at them together!”

Erin: “My favorite part of being a KS bride was how comfortable Katie made us feel. I found Katie on Instagram and instantly loved her style of photography. She made everything so easy and fun right from the beginning. She really listened and understood our vision for our wedding day and captured everything perfectly. Katie is so talented and I am so thankful she was a part of our day!”

Flannery: “Katie provides so much detail and advice that it takes a lot of thinking out of the equation for the couple. She provides a book with advice on picture taking/colors/clothes/location right after you put your deposit down so it takes a lot of stress away leading up to engagement pictures and your wedding day. Another big thing was she sent a questionnaire prior to the wedding so she knows exactly what you are looking for on the wedding day. Again, it takes away so much stress the day-of because Katie already has all the information so she is able to just do her job without you even thinking about it. Since pictures are what last from the big day it could otherwise be a big stressor – making sure everything is captured – but Katie just takes care of it so you get to enjoy the day.”

Can you give a few tips for how to know when you’ve found THE dress?

Erin: “I went into wedding dress shopping with a pretty open mind. I found “the one” at my very first dress appointment at Bliss Bridal and I think it was either the second or third one I tried on. I loved it right away and knew it was something special. I was indecisive and thought I hadn’t seen enough or tried on enough dresses so I walked away from that appointment and went to a few more bridal shops. I found dresses that I liked but always compared it to the dress from my first appointment. I went back to Bliss Bridal, put the dress back on and all the feelings came back from the first time I tried it on. If I could give any advice on dress shopping it would be that you don’t need to try on 100 dresses just to find the right one. Wear what you will feel beautiful in and what is special to you.”

Flannery: “I am not a very go with your heart kind of person. I like thinking things through and making sure things work before deciding. Therefore, before going wedding dress shopping, I made sure to have items or requirements for the dress to help reduce stress and being overwhelmed. Some requirements were – ability to move around in the dress as I knew I was going to be on the dance floor for the reception, shorter sleeves/straps as it was going to be a spring/summer wedding, no sparkle, no lace, on the traditional side and on the simpler side for the design. In the end I just wanted to look good too so a shape that flattered my body type. I had pictures of what I was thinking of so I could show the bridal shop. Also, when I called to make my appointment I told them my price point ahead of time as well as at the time of the appointment to avoid getting over my budget. In the end the dress I picked was comfortable, within my budget, ticked all my boxes and I felt good when I put it on.”

Is there anything you did that you would skip or save money on if you did it all over again?

Alyssa: “Personally, this might sound silly but I would’ve waited to buy all my jewelry til closer to the wedding. I bought some months before and ended up changing my mind on it. So I definitely could’ve waited til I knew exactly what I wanted my “look” to be.”

Erin: “I feel that we skipped out on quite a few things that are considered to be part of “normal wedding planning” and I have no regrets. We chose not to do wedding favors. That helped to save on money. We also chose not to do any cake cutting or a garter toss. I’m happy that we planned our day how we wanted it.”

Best advice for maintaining a healthy relationship with your fiancé during the stress of wedding planning?!

Alyssa: “Date nights! We got married on a Saturday and we decided to do one “last” dinner together as fiancé’s on the Thursday before our wedding. Friends of ours actually gave us a gift card and told us to enjoy this dinner before the wedding. Also I did a ton of walking before the wedding and that’s where I got most of my ideas for the big day.”

Erin: “Jackson and I read the book “saving your marriage before it starts” and went through the workbook together. That helped bring us back to reality during the craziness and stress of wedding planning and helped us focus our thoughts on our relationship and what we wanted in our marriage.”

Flannery: “For us I think it was making sure we were always on the same page and both included in the decision-making process. We both went to all the meetings with our vendors and went through our budget prior. We bounced ideas back and forth and made sure we both liked what the other was thinking. Even if I may have done more research/planning he knew what I was doing so when I got stressed out, he was very supportive and helpful, not out of the loop wondering why I was stressing out. We each had our checklists that were our own responsibility to take care of but touched base before making the final decision. It also helped to have date nights where wedding talk is not allowed, just enjoying each other’s company.”

Hey! I'm Katie!

This is where I share not only my work and show off my sweet couples, but also (many) pieces of my life. I'm an open book when it comes to talking about things I love, current obsessions, my cute pup, and my amazing hubby, so I hope you love reading about it! Also, you'll find quite a few resources for planning the wedding you've always dreamed of, so grab yourself a latte and start exploring!

-cheers, Katie

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