Jenna + Luke | Creekside Farm

Jenna + Luke were such a fun couple to plan with! They happily shared their engagement pictures with us that we utilized on social media [gladly because they were A D O R B S!]. Lead planner Kellie loved finalizing their details with them for their wedding at Creekside [one of our favorite venues], and finally, the day was here!

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Their wedding was themed “Alice and Wonderland” and featured fun decor throughout the wedding that followed this theme, including their tablescapes, programs and signs [“Eat Me” dessert sign, “Toast Me” s’mores sign] – love! They had colored votives and loose jewels spread throughout the guest tables, paired with black charger plates. As Rustic Elegance prepped decor around the B E A U T I F U L barn, the ladies & gents got ready for the big day!

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When it was time for the ceremony, the bridal party featuring the 3 bridesmaids, 3 groomsmen and 2 sweet little flower girls got ready to walk down the aisle. The S T U N N I N G bride walked down the aisle to “Cannon in D”, to meet her groom who was just seeing her for the first time [so C U T E]. Their unity symbol was a lock, signifying their love for one another no matter what the circumstance. And just like that, they were M A R R I E D! The happy couple recessed out of the ceremony to “So Happy Together”, the most fitting song for the occasion!

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Cocktail hour featured appetizers from This Little Piggy [absolutely L O V E working with them!] including meatballs and bruschetta – both are fan favorites. After guests were seated, the wedding party made their grand entrance to “I’m a Believer” by The Monkeys. Following this entrance was the buffet style dinner by This Little Piggy – Y U M! After speeches, Midwest Sound DJ Entertainment started the dancing. The first dance was adorable, and then the father daughter dance to “Brown Eyed Girl” was very fitting as the bride has brown eyes. Rustic Elegance helped cut the sheet cakes for dessert and set out the s’mores station which had a few chocolate options – Y E S please!

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Jenna + Luke – Rustic Elegance had an amazing time being a part of your wedding day as your coordinators. We love the L O V E that you two have for one another, and can’t wait to see your marriage grow for years to come! Shout out to the amazing Justin Mark Photography for sharing these photos with us! [We L O V E working with you]!!

VENDORS
Venue: Creekside Farm
Catering: This Little Piggy
DJ: Midwest Sound DJ Entertainment
Photographer: Justin Mark Photography
Videographer: Two Hearts Film & Photo
Desserts: Kowalski’s
Transportation: Ivy Farms Party Bus Rentals
Hair: Hairsmiths
Dress: The Wedding Shoppe
Coordination: Rustic EleganceDay of Coordinator, Jenna + Luke, Creekside_1113.jpg

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Megan + Justin | Rum River Barn and Vineyard

Megan + Justin tied the knot on a cool September day at Rum River Barn and Vineyard. This couple was so F U N to plan with. On the morning of the wedding, the ladies prepped their hair and makeup with SoCoJo Artistry, while the boys stepped into their tuxes. While the wedding party got ready, the florist [who was a family friend of the couple], worked on prepping the guest tables under the tent. The tables were set with stunning white linens, and white plates, paired with brightly colored florals – L O V E this look! The couple & wedding party of 10 [plus a cute ring bearer flower girl crew] took some time pre-ceremony to take photos with Kokal Photography. We’ve Got It Covered draped the barn ceremony backdrop which looked S T U N N I N G. Rustic Elegance also helped prep the decor in the barn for the ceremony, and finally, it was T I M E!

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The ceremony began with the wedding party processing up by the stairs, and then the bride and her dad made a G R A N D entrance through the back barn doors, while “Marry Me” by Train played. It’s safe to say that at that point, there was not a dry eye in the room! The couple opted for a traditional candle unity symbol. Sealed with a kiss – they were married.

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Then, it was time for cocktail hour followed by dinner. We absolutely L O V E working with Custom Catering by Short Stop – they are so easy to work with and offer such Y U M M Y food choices. . Dinner for Megan + Justin was served family style among the guests to enjoy. After dinner, the cake was served to guests by Short Stop. Then – it was time to get the party started with Blue Water King Band [whom we A D O R E!]. The weather cooperated and the couple’s wish came true – having their first dance out on the barn deck! They danced to “Say You Won’t Let Go” and after that, the rest of the guests gathered to dance the night away.

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Megan + Justin: we are so T H R I L L E D for you two to start your life as a married couple. We loved being your day of coordinators and are so excited to see what the future holds for you both! Shout out to Kokal Photography for sharing the A M A Z I N G pictures with us for the blog!

VENDORS
Venue: Rum River Barn and Vineyard
Catering: Short Stop Custom Catering
Bartending: With a Twist
Decor: We’ve Got It Covered
Band: Blue Water Kings Band
Photographer: Kokal Photography
Desserts: Cold Spring Bakery
Transportation: Trobecs
Hair/Makeup: SoCoJo Artistry
Coordination: Rustic Elegance

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Laura + Will | Kamp Kenwood

Laura + Will met through the “Coffee Meets Bagel” app [how cool is that!] and felt an instant connection. Their love for one another grew quickly, and then Will popped the question – and that meant it was time to plan the big day! Lead planner Kellie met with Laura and her mom, Sue, throughout the planning process and loved talking with these two ladies about their wedding ideas.

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Their wedding took place at Kamp Kenwood – a gorgeous outdoor rustic venue located in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. It featured a S T U N N I N G lakeside ceremony site, and large dining area for the reception. Since the couple met via Coffee Meets Bagel, the company contributed money to their wedding, which bought adorable camp cups as guest favors! One [of many] unique touches the couple added to their day was a directional sign that featured locations of where guests had traveled from to get to the wedding [we loved this idea]. The couple also honored past family members by displaying photos and special items on top a vintage upright piano. The couple also used a canoe to house beer & soda for the guests [how fitting with the camp theme]!

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The ladies got ready for the day with the ever so talented Luminous Beauty Studios doing their hair and makeup, and the guys prepped in their separate cabin. The couple did a sweet first look in the woods, with Abbots Lane Photography, these pictures are P E R F E C T! After the first look and a few wedding party/family photos, it was time for the ceremony. Laura + Will tied the knot [literally] during their unity symbol that featured tying two cords together and included their parents. After the ceremony, the wedding party and family enjoyed a champagne toast and passed apps during cocktail hour. Yard games were played by all and included kube, bags and spike ball.

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The reception was hosted in the dining hall. Table decor consisted of butcher paper, table numbers that were pictures of different countries the couple had traveled, tea lights, coffee mugs, and copper containers with flowers and greenery spread throughout the room. The wedding party did their grand entrance to “Space Jam” – so fun! Dinner was buffet style and catered by Yankee Jacks Premiere Catering which was delicious. Desserts were home made by family and friends, served on mismatched vintage plates [SO sweet]. Instant Request DJ started pumping the tunes and the rest of the night was spent dancing and laughing with the newlyweds.

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Laura + Will – we absolutely A D O R E your love story + planning your wedding day was so much fun! We hope that married love is amazing and can’t wait to see your love grow in the years to come. Shout out to the amazingly talented Abbots Lane Photography for the photos featured in this blog!

VENDORS
Venue: Kamp Kenwood
Catering: Yankee Jacks Premiere Catering
Rentals: A1 Rentals
DJ: Instant Request DJ
Photographer: Abbots Lane Photography
Transportation: Chubbs Party Bus
Hair/Makeup: Luminous Beauty Services
Coordination: Rustic Elegance Day of Coordinator, Will + Laura, Kamp Kenwood_1067.jpg

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Jenna + John | Redeemed Farm

John + Jenna – where to even start with these two lovebirds! This couple booked their package a little bit later than some. Kellie and Kristin met with the couple only T H R E E weeks before their wedding date! Although the planning process was short, lead planner Kristin noted how sweet & laid back they were. The couple planned the wedding at Redeemed Farm in their beautiful vineyard. Kristin headed to the farm on Thursday evening to assist with their rehearsal – 70 degrees in J U L Y!

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Finally, it was F R I D A Y! The ladies prepped for the morning in the bridal suite and were looking stunning. While the wedding party got ready, the mother of the groom was making C U T E + personalized brown-bagged lunches for everyone with their names on it. The gentleman sported different colored F L O R A L ties which added a super fun touch to the day! As everyone got ready for the big day, Kristin and Angie prepped the decor. Studio B Floral added some G O R G E O U S greenery to the ceremony arch – we loved that added touch. One of Kristin’s favorite decor pieces was the Rustic Elegance ladder featuring the couple’s grandparent portraits.

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John + Jenna opted to have married couples paired up to create their wedding party processional versus just the traditional friends on each side. As a super family oriented pair, they felt that they wanted to begin their marriage surrounded by the successful + loving couples in their lives [L O V E this]! While the processional occurred, the Lovers of Vitamin String Quartet played. Both the bride and groom were escorted down the aisle by both of their parents, which was so heartwarming to witness.

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After the ceremony was completed, everyone headed into the machine shed for cocktails and yard games. Dinner was promptly served in the barn after guests had a chance to mingle and enjoy the beautiful grounds at Redeemed Farm. After the wonderful dinner by Vincenzo’s Catering, guests [+ the newlyweds] enjoyed Sebastian Joe’s Ice Cream Sandwiches which were a huge H I T! Midwest Sound DJ kept the music pumping and the night going – we didn’t want it to end! It was T R U L Y a wonderful day, surrounded by friends + family of the couple.

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Jenna + John, we loved helping coordinate your special day! Thank you so much for including Rustic Elegance! We hope that married life is the B E S T ever.

Special shout out to Abigail Berge Photography for sharing these A M A Z I N G photos!

VENDORS
Venue: Redeemed Farm
Catering: Vincenzo’s Catering
Bartending: LiquidMotion
Rentals: Rustic Elegance
DJ: Midwest Sound DJ
Floral: Studio B Floral
Photographer: Abigail Berge Photography
Dessert: Sebastian Joe’s Ice Cream Sandwiches
Hair + Makeup: 139 Hair by Heidi
Dress: Bridal Aisle Boutique
Coordination: Rustic EleganceDay of Coordinator, Jenna + John, Redeemed Farm_1047.jpg

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Tips + Tricks | Different Types of Wedding Planners

In the world of weddings, there are many different types of planners that can be hired to assist with your special day! Not to mention many different types of planning packages. In order to better understand the world of planners, we decided to write a T I P S + T R I C K S article on the different types of options out there!

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FULL SERVICE WEDDING PLANNING
A full service wedding planner usually coordinates and plans all aspects of the day, down to the tiniest details. Communication during the planning process can begin as soon as you get engaged and normally will include unlimited communication. A Full Service Wedding Planner will help create the wedding concept and offer overall design assistance. They will book and communicate with all vendors (venue, caterer, officiant, photographer, videographer, DJ, florist, beauty, desserts, transportation etc.) and they may even attend these vendor meetings and help keep track of when payments are due. They will also offer assistance in keeping on point with the budget. This type of planner may assist in ordering invitations and keeping track of your RSVP’s. They also usually perform all the tasks listed under the Day of Coordinator as well (see below). Of course, A L L companies will vary in the services/packages that they offer, but normally this is a “fully loaded” package, which includes everything you can think of.
Who should  hire a Full Service Wedding Planner:
This might be a good option for someone who lives in a different state/location from where the wedding will be held. A Full Service Wedding Planner package could also be a good option for someone who wants a perfectly planned wedding, but doesn’t have the time, interest or know where to start with planning.
Cost Range: $5,000+

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DAY OF COORDINATOR/PACKAGE
There is actually no such thing as just a “Day Of Coordinator”. Although many planners use the title “Day of Coordinator” when describing their services, they are really more like “month-of planners”. Communication with a Day of Coordinator, will usually begin about 30 days before the wedding date. Most of the details will be planned out already and the planners main focus is on executing the details you have set in place. They will help create a timeline of the days events, and execute this timeline to ensure everything runs as planned. They will lead the rehearsal and help make sure the ceremony runs F L A W L E S S L Y. They will act as the point of contact on the wedding day for vendors, guests and the wedding party. They can also help with any last minute problems that arise, setting up decor, pinning on boutonnières and corsages, handing out gratuities and final payments etc. A Day of Coordinator may also help with clean-up at the end of the night (although this may incur an additional cost). Their main focus is making sure the day runs smoothly so that you and your family can enjoy every M I N U T E.
Who should hire a Day Of Coordinator:
To be C O M P L E T E L Y honest, we think everyone getting married should hire a Day Of Coordinator. There is S O much time and money is spent on the wedding day, and we believe that every couple + their family should be able to enjoy the day in low-stress. It is a huge help to have one contact person on site, who knows all the moving parts and can ensure everything goes according to the master plan. Most importantly, hiring a Day Of Coordinator lets the couple and family enjoy the entire wedding without getting bogged down with planning details and questions. Let the planner handle this so more time can be spent with guests.
Cost Range: $1,250-$2,500

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DECORATORS + STYLISTS
Not to be confused with wedding planners, but usually are, decorators and stylists are there to help you envision the space on your special day. They can offer in depth help with choosing the style, color pallette, decorations, and overall feel of the wedding day. This type of planner can often come in and set up the morning of your wedding, but isn’t a logistical planner that will execute the wedding timeline and details. They are more focused on making things P R E T T Y.
Who should hire a Decorator or Stylist:
Consider hiring a Decorator or Stylist if you are short on time, have no idea how to decorate your house let alone your entire wedding or if you would like to incorporate new, fresh and creative ideas into your day but are not sure how to do it. Also, you may want your wedding to look A M A Z I N G, but really have no interest in figuring out how to do this – these would be your people.
Cost Range:
Price varies on how involved you would like them to be. They can charge per hour or by one lump sum. $350-$2,000

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VENUE COORDINATORS
A venue coordinator is employed by the venue to assist in the big picture details of the ceremony/reception location. The Venue Coordinator will most likely be the main contact when booking the venue and will offer help with general questions about the layout, room flips, food and beverage menu, timing and decor restrictions, etc. Being the expert at this specific venue, most of their focus will be on venue related questions. They most likely do not help with decor ideas, set up, timeline, rehearsals, clean up etc. Venue Coordinators usually do not cost extra and for most “traditional” venues will be included in your price (we say “traditional venues”meaning hotels, golf course, country clubs etc. Most barn or rustic venues do not include a Venue Coordinator – even better reason to hire a Day of Coordinator).

As you can see, there are P L E N T Y of different types of wedding planners and packages out there. These are the most commonly used terms to describe planners, although we at Rustic Elegance don’t fit perfectly into just O N E of these categories. We like to think of ourselves as a crossover between Full Planning, Day of Planning and Decorator. We have picked the most helpful parts of each package and put them into one. If we had to label ourselves, we might be considered Logistical Coordinators. We help with everything listed in the Day of Planner Package, but can also start working with you right from the moment you get engaged and want to make sure the final outcome is decorated to fit you! We specialize in tent, barns and backyard weddings, digging deep into the logistical aspects for wedding day. We also act as the “host” on the day so you, your family and friends can enjoy every minute of your special day. Ask about our detailed price list for more info on how we can assist with the logistics of your day!

Since you have read this far, you must be considering hiring a planner, We recommend doing your research on what different companies include in their packages, as many packages can differ within the same planner type. We D E F I N I T E L Y know how stressful wedding planning can be, and hope this helps when debating on which type of wedding planner is right for you!

Special thanks to Jeannine Marie Photography for the photos used in this blog post!

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Emily + Jason | Carver Lake Park Pavilion

O H what a perfect hot wedding day we had for Emily + Jason! This cute couple were S O sweet through the planning process – we loved getting to know them.

The day began with the wedding party prepping for the B I G day in their separate places. The wedding party was intimate, including the maid of honor, best man, ring bearer and flower girl [so S W E E T!]. Emily’s flowers were P E R F E C T – Kowalski’s did a fantastic job with her bouquet. These lovebirds were married at Central Park in Woodbury, in front of their closest family and friends. The ring bearer started out strong – carrying the Rustic Elegance rental “Here Comes the Bride” sign – and made it to the aisle R I G H T before the chairs started, and then did a hard turn and circled back inside [it made for a giggle from all and was pretty cute]. Matt Berdahl officiated the ceremony with such personality and ease – very S W E E T! You could see the L O V E and support the guests had for the couple – it made the day so S P E C I A L!

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Guests then headed to Carver Lake Park Pavilion in Woodbury for the reception. The setup was S T U N N I N G – featuring Rustic Elegance farm tables + vintage chairs for their sweetheart table. The Rustic Elegance team of Kellie + Lynse set up the reception site including Rustic Elegance burlap and lace table runners, along with wood slices, flowers and candles – so G O R G E O U S. The couple also made their own J A M as guest favors – pairing them with a sign stating to “Spread the Love” [she also gifted Kellie + Lynse one – so D E L I C I O U S !]. Guests arrived at the reception venue and were able to enjoy a picnic style buffet provided by Kowalski’s. For dessert, the Rustic Elegance team assisted in setting up a s’mores station [featuring a flame holder made by the groom]. It was such a fun idea when a bonfire wasn’t an option at their venue!

Emily + Jason – we hope that married life is treating you well! We L O V E D being a part of your special day and enjoyed taking a trip down memory lane to blog about it. Also special thanks to Michaela Shanae Photography for sharing these fantastic photos of their day with us!

VENDORS
Ceremony Venue: Central Park, Woodbury MN
Reception Venue: Carver Lake Park Pavilion
Linens: We’ve Got it Covered
Officiant: Matt Berdahl
Photographer: Michaela Shanae Photography
Desserts: PJ Murphy’s Bakery
Catering: Kowalski’s
Florals: Kowalski’s
Coordination: Rustic Elegance
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Janine + Kendra | Woodland Hill Winery

Janine + Kendra – where do we even start about these two lovebirds! These two ladies were the sweetest couple to work with. Their wedding was set for 2014, but ended up being delayed another year, due to an illness, which meant more time getting to know them + we L O V E D every minute of it.

This sweet couple spent the morning prepping for their big day, while the Rustic Elegance team of Kellie + Angie prepped the venue for guests. The ladies featured Rustic Elegance rentals including table numbers, s’mores set up + dessert hutch. The ceremony was set at Woodland Hill Winery right next to their G O R G E O U S vineyard, while their reception took place underneath a tent nearby. The ceremony was short and O H – S O sweet. After the couple said their “I Do’s” the happy newlyweds walked down the aisle and hopped on a horse and carriage ride around the vineyard to enjoy their first minutes together as a M A R R I E D couple! Guests were later able to enjoy rides on the horse + carriage themselves [which was a H I T!].

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When the couple arrived back to their reception after a little time to themselves, they gave a champagne toast while in the carriage. The horses L O V E D being front and center and were so well behaved – shout out to the amazing Independence Horse and Carriage! Appetizers + wine were served during cocktail hour by the winery while guests mingled prior to dinner. Guests then enjoyed the buffet style dinner by Distinctive Catering, featuring freshly grilled food onsite – so Y U M M Y! After dinner and some sweet speeches, it was time for the first dance. The couple danced to Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran, and Janine did a voice over to the song. She talked about their past and how much Kendra meant to her – there was not a D R Y eye in the crowd! As the night continued, guests were able to spend some time by the fire and enjoy a S M O R E [or two!]. When it was time for the couple to leave – they were whisked off into the night by a W H I T E stretch limo – so F U N!

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We absolutely L O V E the L O V E that these two have for one another. Their wedding day was sweet + perfect, and we were so happy to be a part of it. Thanks for including us in your day Janine and Kendra!! Special thanks to Ashley Berry Photo for sharing these sweet photos of their day with us!

VENDORS
Venue: Woodland Hill Winery
Photographer: Ashley Berry Photo
Rentals: Ultimate Events
Coordination + Decor: Rustic Elegance
Draping: We’ve Got It Covered
Catering: Distinctive Catering
Bartending: With a Twist
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Chistine + Jeremy | Backyard Wedding

Christine + Jeremy had the sweetest backyard tent wedding and we had to throw it back to touch on this one. The Rustic Elegance team of Kellie and Danielle started setting up for the day featuring Rustic Elegance rented farm tables, benches, and our cute W O O D bar. As Rustic Elegance prepped, so did the wedding party – with the ladies + gents getting ready in their separate spaces. The bride R O C K E D some super cute cowboy boots – which we were O B S E S S E D with. The wedding party consisted of the couples 2 daughters and 3 sons and made for the C U T E S T pictures by kolorblind Photography. It was then time for their intimate ceremony, featuring a smaller group setting with only family. The day was G O R G E O U S – bright and sunny and perfect for a wedding.

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Christine + Jeremy opted for an open house style reception, featuring drinks poured by With a Twist, and wood fire grilled pizzas for dinner [S O – F U N] from Red Rover Pizza. They grilled the pizzas right on-site and even tossed the pizza dough up in the air, not skipping a beat, as guests were W O W E D. Since the bride and groom are “horse people”, they were creative with their guest book, and incorporated a old saddle for people to sign. While guests continued to mingle, DJ Skoolz kept the tunes playing and the dance floor full of energy! Guests enjoyed the laid back feel of the night and celebrating the love of Christine + Jeremy.

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We absolutely adored being a part of Christine + Jeremy’s day, and wish them the best in their married life endeavors! Huge shout out to kolorblind Photography for sharing pictures with us from their special day.

VENDORS
Venue: Backyard in Plymouth, MN
Rentals: Ultimate Events
Florist: Costco Floral
DJ: DJ Skoolz
Bartender: With a Twist
Photographer: kolorblind Photography
Officiant: Fred Henderson
Catering: Red Rover Pizza
Coordination and Decor: Rustic Elegance

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Barbara + Jesse | Barn at Dunvilla

Another T H R O W B A C K wedding for you all – we just can’t get enough! Barbara and Jesse had the sweetest church wedding followed by a barn reception. The Rustic Elegance team of Kellie and Kelly worked this wedding together and spent the night in Detroit Lakes [they L O V E getting away for little road trips which include quality time paired with A M A Z I N G weddings!].

The day started out with the ladies + men preparing separately before the first look. The bride and groom laid eyes on each other for the first time at the Barn at Dunvilla [also the reception location] and it was S T U N N I N G! Full of nature and greenery – we couldn’t get enough of this sweet couple! After the pre-wedding pictures with Abby Anderson Photography, the wedding party headed over to Rollag Lutheran Church for the ceremony [the cutest church E V E R!]. The groom’s niece and nephew played their parts as flower girl and ring bearer [+ were O H so adorable]. Then, the bride was escorted down the aisle by her mom and dad, where she met her groom. After they said their “I do’s”, everyone dispersed to the barn for cocktail hour, featuring an appetizer buffet including, wings, cheese + crackers, and salmon [Y U M]! Cocktail hour also featured the guest favors – can koozies with the couples name on it – pink for girls and camo for the gents!

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When it was time for the wedding party to do their grand entrance, the song “Jesse’s Girl” [how fitting!] played as the bridal party joined the rest of the guests for dinner. Dinner included a plated salad, accompanied by a buffet dinner from Quality Catering. There was even a special buffet for the K I D S including mac and cheese and chicken fingers. For dessert, Kellie + Kelly cut the cake and served it to the guests + had a B L A S T doing it! Then, it was time for D A N C I N G! Royalty Entertainment got the party started and guests were dancing the night away. For the late night snack, Zorbaz brought in a pile of pizzas – guests were loving it!

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Barbara + Jesse, we L O V E D reminiscing on this sweet day as your Day of Coordinators. The love you to exemplify is why we keep doing what we do! We hope married life is the D R E A M + all is well with you two lovebirds!

Also, Special thanks to Abby Anderson Photography for sharing these o so S W E E T photos with us!

Vendors:
Church: Rollag Lutheran Church
Reception: Barn at Dunvilla
Florist: Hombaches
Music – Ceremony: Amanda Backstrom
Officiant: Jim Greene
Catering: Quality Catering
Late Night Catering: Zorbaz
Photography: Abby Anderson Photography
Bartending: Rothsay Powerhouse
DJ: Royalty Entertainment
Transportation: Anderson Bus
Coordination: Rustic Elegance

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Tips + Tricks | Booking Your Photographer

In continuation of our vendor T I P S + T R I C K S blog from last month on booking your DJ, we wanted to touch on another I M P O R T A N T vendor – your photographer! Photography is a H U G E part of weddings in this day and age, mainly because pictures can last a lifetime. Although your special day is one that we G U A R A N T E E that you won’t ever forget, pictures can bring these memories back to life every time you look at them! In order to learn about the Tips + Tricks that photographers have on booking a photographer, we reached out to our F A V O R I T E photographers for their advice [bet you never would have guessed that!].

PORTFOLIOS // WEB SEARCH
For most couples in the beginning of their vendor search, the W E B is the place where the search begins. Many photographers will have their work shown throughout their site, or have a portfolio that you can review. As Joanna Carina from Carina Photographics notes in her blog, you should be drawn to the picture style of the photographer, including the posing, expressions, lighting, etc. Extra T I P: to take it one step further, ask to see a full wedding album from beginning to end, not just a few portfolio images on their website. That way, you can see if this photographer would capture E V E R Y T H I N G that you’d like them to. You can also use social media [all hail I N S T A G R A M] and search hashtags to find wedding photographers in your state // area. Last but not least in your search, ask friends + family. They can be a G R E A T resource when looking, especially if they were an actual client of the photographer! Also, consider the editing style of the photographer – do they just add a T R E N D Y filter to it and call it a masterpiece? You may notice when researching different photographers that their edit style may have a blue tint, or a warm overlay. If you’re a fan of this look, make sure you are confident you will L O V E it 10 years down the road!


The mood, lighting, and pose of this shot are P E R F E C T I O N – Carina Photographics knows what she’s doing when it comes to great wedding photography!

MEET IN PERSON
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of potentials to a reasonable number, meet your options in person! You will want to feel comfortable around this person, as they will be spending a L O T of time with you throughout one of the most I M P O R T A N T days of your life! You will want to ask about their experience in photography, experience photographing weddings, etc. Make sure they they aren’t just a hobby photographer, but a professional one. You’ll want to feel an instant C L I C K with this person, and feel confident in their ability to capture your wedding day P E R F E C T L Y. A rule of thumb, as stated by Scott from Midwest LifeShots Photography, is “If you look at a photographer’s work and say “I love all of this!”, than great, book them right away and don’t look back. If you look at the work and only like about 70-80% of their work, go elsewhere. Better for your sanity to not have to worry all day if they are taking something you’ll be happy with” [and we totally agree!]. Before you meet in person, ask if they can bring with them a physical wedding album [if this is something you’re interested in purchasing] so that you can see their work.

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Midwest LifeShots catching Kellie behind the scenes – we L O V E this shot!

PACKAGES
Most photographers will have multiple package options. These packages can include different number of hours covered, more than one photographer, etc. Find out what the cost of the entire packages is, including tax and any other expected fees, and really focus on what is included in the package. Packages can have T O N S of different variables, including digital prints, regular prints, both, etc. You want a package that fits your needs on your wedding day, to make sure that you have the memories that will last you a lifetime. You’ll also want to figure out how their payment process works: is it all up front? Do you pay half to secure your date and half at the wedding? Do they take cash // check // credit? Extra T I P from the great Jeannine Marie Photography: Sometimes if you pay in full or by cash/check, it saves the photographer money on credit card processing fees, so they may offer a discount! Photography is one area of your budget that you will N O T want to skimp on. If you find a photographer that you absolutely L O V E, but the price just isn’t right – try to do some negotiating, and let them come back with an answer to if they can accommodate your price range.

Day of Coordinator, Tips + Tricks, Booking Your Photographer_0947.jpgThis C U T E shot by Jeannine Marie Photography captured such a sweet moment – love it!!

TIMELINE // BOOKING
Photographers book quickly – potentially a full year [or even T W O] in advance. You’ll want to book your photographer as soon as you know that they are the right fit for you. If you are looking at a larger photography company, make sure you ask who the lead photographer is for your day before signing any papers, and ask to see their specific work. Also, as Bridget from Shots by Bridge states, “Let your photographer help with the timeline. They are going to know exactly how much time is needed to get all of the necessary coverage. And there is nothing worse than feeling rushed on your wedding day” [+ we agree!].

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Such a sweet photo of Angie + Brooks’ wedding by Shots by Bridge – such C U T I E S!

BLOGS
While we L O V E that you just read through our Tips + Tricks blog, we wanted to share these other A M A Z I N G blogs from our favorite photographers if you’re still looking for more tips on booking your photographer!

https://jeanninemarie-blog.com/?s=questions+to+ask+your+photographer

https://www.carinaphotographics.com/top-10-things-hiring-wedding-photographer/

REMEMBER…
On your wedding day, you are the M A I N event. All you should have to do is smile, be beautiful, get married, and have a blast with your family and friends. Hire someone who’s work consistently puts a smile on your face, and that you trust to cover your P E R F E C T day. Also, don’t forget that your mom, best friend, maid of honor, etc., want to enjoy the day too, so hiring a wedding coordinator to relieve the stress of all parties is H I G H L Y encouraged [hey – we do that!]. Special H U G E thank you to the below photographers who gave us their T I P S + T R I C K S on booking a photographer [who we also H I G H L Y recommend if you’re looking for G R E A T results!]!

Shots by Bridge
Midwest LifeShots Photography
Jeannine Marie Photography
Carina Photographics

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Face behind the camera: Shots by Bridge 

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Face[s] behind the camera: Midwest LifeShots Photography

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Face behind the camera: Carina Photographics