a Huntsville, Al wedding photographer , adventurer, foodie, coffee-drinker, and lover of light.

My secret superpower: spotting a Kate Spade bag from across the room. ♠️

i'm jessica

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Diaries of a Bride

So You’re Engaged…

My husband and I had a long engagement (646 days, to be exact).

Trust me when I say I KNOW what you’re going through. Amidst the Instagram #ringselfies (Guilty), intense Pinterest board-making, and excited phone calls—-you’ve just chosen to spend the rest of your life with another person. It’s exhilarating and impossibly scary all at once.

I’ve always been a very Type A personality. I feel at home with lists and timelines, and although the idea of throwing a beautiful soiree for our closest friends and family was exciting, it also came with a lot of variables. I’ve been a wedding photographer since 2009, and with years of photographing gorgeous weddings, it quickly became a case of TOO MUCH INSPIRATION. Between my own experience in the wedding industry and the birth of Pinterest, I spent the first few months of our engagement hunched in front of my computer planning my very own art deco/rustic/glam/gold/bohemian/destination wedding. Do you see the issue here? There were so many beautiful ideas, it was overwhelming (making it difficult to find MY style).

Over the next few months, I’ll be imparting some of my best tips for surviving  planning your engagement. You can look forward to several DIY adventures, how I chose my venue, reception tips, and honeymoon planning. Until then, here are a few things I learned:


1. Start a Pinterest board. Ok—I know this may sound completely contrary to my previous advice, but stay with me. Start your Pinterest board, pin-away, then LOOK. Are you seeing pins with the same color scheme over and over? Out of all the ceremonies you’ve looked at, is there something about that dreamy botanical-inspired wedding that just blew you away? What really helped me (along with my AMAZING planner Erica), was looking for that repetition. Eventually, that’s what helped me choose my overall style. Once you find a style you like, you can take the time to curate your boards.

Here are some boards to get you started.

2. Hire a wedding planner/coordinator. Please, please, please do this. I’ll go deeper on this topic in a future blog post, but planners make SUCH a difference for your big day. From vendor connections and styling to a wedding day warrior that will flat out get things done for you—this step eliminates SO much stress.

3. You are not an expert at everything. And that’s okay. Social media leads us to believe that we are all calligraphy/watercolor/seamstress/diy mavens but guys, THIS IS YOUR ENGAGEMENT. It’s the time to be present and enjoy this stage in your lives. If you’re awesome at something—by all means. But otherwise, save yourself the stress, time, and money and invest in the people that do these things for a living.

Stay tuned!

  1. I love this! Thank you! I want to post your blog with all your upcoming suggestions on my FB page to inspire other engaged couples. This can be a lot of help to those just starting out!

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