Archive for Wedding

Wedding Dress x 2

Does anyone out there Watch Say Yes To The Dress?

Awesome show right?

Well guess what, it doesn’t really work that way all the time.

But there was one thing that happens on that show that happened to me.

I bought 2 dresses.

Yes, count it, 2.

Crazy right? I thought so as well.

But before I tell the story of my dresses, I’d like to give some advice for those of you looking for a dress. (or for future buyers.)

  1. DO NOT BRING A BIG GROUP OF PEOPLE.

I cannot stress this enough. Bring 1-3 people. The more people you have there means more opinions. And guess whose opinion matters the most?

Yours.

2. Bring people you know that care about you and know what you want.

I know it’s tempting to bring your fashion forward friends, but you have to be true to who you are and what you are looking for in a dress. If you know that you have a friend (or relative) that will only bring you down, do not invite them. If it’s a really big deal for them to see your dress, schedule an appointment to show them the dress after you have picked it.

3. Do not try on a dress that is outside your budget.

I know this one seems like common sense, but you will see dresses that you HAVE to try on because they are so beautiful but guess what? You will probably fall in love with it and nothing else will compare to it.

I also broke this rule, but I am also a very frugal person so I had to say no.

4. Keep in mind of the total costs

If your budget it $2000, (No wiggle room whatsoever) then don’t go choosing a dress that is $2000. You have to keep in mind the taxes and alteration fees. And there will be alteration fees. Usually bridal stores don’t have bustle’s sown into the dresses so that is a cost you will have to keep in mind. The dress will also take at least 4 months to come in and that is a long time for your body to change.

5. Be willing to try on something you didn’t have in mind.

I’m not saying to try on everything your entourage throws at you, but be open to trying different styles or colours at least once. You may be surprised.

6. You don’t need to have a “Bridal Moment”

The tears might not come. That’s all.

 

And with that… let’s start the show!

I started shopping for my dress over a year before the actual date of the wedding. (I was ON IT) I was back home in Calgary during a school break and I wanted to buy a dress there. (Lower taxes!)

I brought along my best friends Melissa and Callie, and my mother. I knew that they would be supportive of whatever I wanted.11995417_10207846078619911_24122324_n

Such a flattering photo of us. NAT

Now before I went dress shopping for my own dress, I would watch a lot of Say Yes To The Dress. I would always tear up when they found the dress or when they were doing the highlights of the weddings.

I was SURE that I would fall in love with the first dress I try on. I was SURE that I would become a sobbing mess and yell “I CHOOSE THIS ONE!” And run around the store singing and dancing.

But that didn’t happen.

At the first store we went to, I tried at least 15 dresses on and they were all great.

 

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They’re so helpful. And socks and heels? I’m a fashion guru.

They all looked great on me. They were all pretty.

But I didn’t get that “bridal” feeling.

At the next store it was the same deal. I tried on a lot of beautiful dresses that looked great, but felt nothing.

Awkward video of the classic “Posing for a picture” when it’s actually a video. Still, notice that I’m not bursting with excitement.

I would walk out of the dressing room and Melissa, Callie and my mom would be like:

“It’s so beautiful!”

“You’re so beautiful!”

“I’m going to cry!”

And I was only thinking:

“We should go to Boston Pizza after this. I want Bandera Bread” (Bandera Bread is like crack to me.)

I don’t even remember how many shops we went to but it was the same thing over and over.

Even the dress I thought was “The One” after drooling over it for months wasn’t making me feel anything.

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The Alfred Angelo “Cinderella” Dress

At one shop, I thought I had found one that I really liked and had my grandmother and aunt come see it. But I wanted time to think about it. After that day, I never really thought about it again. Good thing I didn’t buy it.

I went back to Toronto dress-less. My bridesmaids and mom say it’s harder to pick a dress when they all look good on you. Which is a really ‘full of yourself’ thing to say, but sadly, true. But I also still had over a year to find a dress. No big deal.

My next dress shopping trip was my next school break. I stayed in Toronto and my cousin Kristen and Aunt Pam flew in from northern Ontario to shop with me.

This time, we decided to add the new Kleinfeld’s store to our list.

Now, if you have money to spend, I highly suggest going there for your dress. Everyone there was so nice to us and we had a lot of fun.

It was there that I had my first kind of “bridal moment”. (How could you not? That place is Disney World for brides!)

I tried on a lot of beautiful dresses, and some not so beautiful dresses.

This one being the not so beautiful:

My cousin made me try this on. She wanted to see what I would look like in a mermaid style dress. Obviously I look like a duvet covered sausage. I also couldn’t move in it. I literally waddled when I walked, and see that podium in the picture? I could even step onto it. But as I said, try everything at least once!

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I think my face says it all.

Just when I had thought that I’d seen it all, I tried on this beauty:

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Beautiful right?

11998014_10153633580691170_1090022408_n11997970_10153633569041170_1885978346_n11995706_10153633568831170_1684545305_nCan you believe my cousin took these on her phone? (Kristensabourin.com)

It truly was a beautiful dress.

And out of my price range. (Only by $1000 which is pretty good considering they had a dress on the floor that was $15,000. That’s half of what our car costs!)

And I kid you not, I started crunching numbers in my head for it to work. (We don’t need food at the wedding right? And the guys can just wear jeans.)

And if we ever re-do our vows in the future, I AM GETTING THIS DRESS.

So I broke one of my rules.

But, I also knew that we couldn’t afford it at the time so I had to let it go. (After making an appointment to see it the next day because I secretly hoped we’d walk into a bunch of money overnight. The lottery was at 30 million that day, who knows!)

The next day we started our search again and at the last store we went to, I tried on a lot of beautiful dresses again. I actually really liked 2 of them and decided to Skype my mom to get her opinion.

It came down to this dress (which was the cheaper of the two)

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And this one:

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Which was more expensive.

Now here is where I made my big mistake.

While Skyping with mom, she told me that she liked both of them. So I got into the more expensive once more to see what she thought of it again, when I heard it.

I heard my best friends laugh.

That’s when I realized that my best friend Melissa was Skyping with us as well but my mom didn’t say she was there and didn’t put her on camera.

I hadn’t seen her in months and I missed her SO MUCH. It was hard trying to choose a dress without your Maid of Honour. (Even if it really wasn’t her thing)

Once my mom turned the camera to her, I started to cry.

“I’m having a Bridal Moment!” I thought.

I stood there blubbering, mistaking my sobs for happiness of finding the dress, and signed the papers for it immediately.

For the rest of the week, I was so happy. I’d found my dress! That was one more thing off the list!

Then I started looking at the pictures of my dress and I thought about it more.

It was everything I said I wanted. A-line/Princess cut. Sweet-heart neckline. (They were going to alter it for me) It had lace, beading and tulle. And most of all, it was WHITE.

So why was I having doubts?

To top it all off, my grandmother surprised me by paying for it.

As my doubts grew, I started to feel awful. But I didn’t say anything to anyone. It wouldn’t be fair to my grandmother, nor would it be fair to my mom who LOVED the dress.

Everyone loved it but me.

I bottled it up and forgot about it by focusing on my studies. But when I went home for my next school break, I found myself worrying about it again.

Just when I decided to suck it up and just wear it, regardless of if I liked it or not, I went shopping for my moms dress for the wedding.

There were wedding dresses at the store and even though my mom said “You don’t need to look at those!” I couldn’t help myself.

I found a blush coloured dress with a little bit of lace and beading and that’s when I knew.

I didn’t want my dress.

I begged my mom to let me try it on and after much protesting she finally relented. “Ok fine”

So I got into the dressing room to put it on.

It wouldn’t fit over my butt. My butt was so big that it wouldn’t go the rest of the way down.

Now I was feel super body conscious AND I hated my wedding dress!

I walked out of the dressing room without it on and my mom said “So you decided not to try it on after all?”

That’s when I broke down.

I told her that I hated the dress, that I only bought it because I missed my friend and had mistaken that for wanting it AND that I was fat and never wanted to eat again. (Of course, 2 hours later, I was stuffing my face full of cinnamon buns made by my grandma.)

She was shocked to say the least and she didn’t say much about it until the day after.

She called me into the kitchen and said we needed to talk about my wedding dress.

I thought “Well this is it, you’re going to be the only bride that wears a dress she hates on her wedding day.”

But instead of shutting me down, she said:

“I’ve made appointments with 4 bridal shops for tomorrow and 2 more on Monday. We need to find you a dress before you leave for Toronto on Tuesday.”

I cried again and didn’t think I could love my mom any more than what I did at that moment.

When I went dress shopping this time, it was just my mom and I. And after trying on a few more ivory and white dresses I knew that I DID NOT want a white dress. (I should have known this after getting so excited about that Kleinfeld’s dress that wasn’t white… but obviously I’m an idiot.)

And when I put on the the dress I finally chose, guess what?

Still no Bridal Moment.

But I felt beautiful. And it was a gorgeous dress. And a gorgeous price. And it was champagne coloured! NOT WHITE. I couldn’t stop smiling.

But I knew better than to buy it on the spot so I had my sales associate write down all of the info for the dress and her number on a card and I told her I’d call her if I chose it.

2 days later when I was back in Toronto and still dreaming of that dress, I called her.

I didn’t have a bridal moment. There were no tears. No thinking “This is the one!” I just felt awesome.

And the rest is history.

Sort of.

I’m still trying to sell my last dress. Ugh. It has never been worn and is a beautiful dress. It’s just too white for me. (I probably would have loved it more if it was blush or champagne. But alas, what did I know at the time? Nothing.)

So if you know anyone that is looking for a brand new wedding dress without paying the crazy taxes on top of it, let me know 😉

Ultimately, your wedding dress is YOUR choice. Not your mom’s, sisters, grandmothers or friends.

You need to feel beautiful and comfortable (with the dress AND the price)

And you don’t need to have that moment. If you are still thinking about a dress days or weeks after you try it on, it’s the one for you.

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I think I chose the right one.

Good Looking Men in Good Looking Suits

Ok here’s one for the men.

Sort of.

Actually it’s more for the ladies because who doesn’t love a man in a good-looking suit that fits him to a T?

As I’ve written in previous posts, my husband is 6 feet, 4 inches and skinnier than me.

No joke. He can eat twice his body weight and lose weight while doing it. How? Don’t ask me. His favourite past times are cooking, eating, video games, cars, and more eating. No time for working out. (To be fair he does work super long hours because he is a workaholic. But his workplace is AWESOME so I don’t mind.)

Anyway.

Finding him clothes that fit him are a constant struggle. Clothing stores seem to think that if you are super tall, then you must be super wide because all of his shirts could fit himself and me in them. But if we go down even one size smaller, then he will be revealing his stomach for the world to see every time he scratches his head. (But if any of you know good places to get him some nice looking clothes for not an outrageous amount of money, PLEASE LET ME KNOW.)

So finding a suit that fits him perfectly? Expensive, unheard of and not going to happen. 

But he needed a suit for the wedding and I wanted all of the groomsmen to match so I dragged them to Moores to see what they had for rental suits.

We decided on a charcoal suit that seemed nice in the photo. But because they didn’t have the suit in stock for them to try on there, they just put them in other suits, pants, etc. to figure out what sizes they needed.

I was pleasantly surprised by the cost too. It wasn’t a crazy amount and the people helping us were very kind and gave us a deal because we had a Moores membership.

But until a week before the wedding, I kind of forgot about the suits. I’d never seen them on the guys so I wasn’t super stoked about them like I was with the bridesmaids dresses. (Still so proud of myself on that one.)

So once Matt and I arrived in Calgary 5 days before our wedding, we had to go try his suit on and pick it up.

To be honest, I was dreading it.

Going shopping with Matt is so disappointing sometimes, because it’s not fair that we would have to get all of his clothes tailored in order for them to fit properly. So I didn’t want this suit to be another thing we needed tailored.

But when he walked out of the dressing room, my jaw dropped.

IT FIT!

And it looked good!

He didn’t have the whole thing on, just the shirt, pants and jacket to make sure they fit. WHICH THEY DID!

He looked great.

But I didn’t even know how much better things were going to get until the day of the wedding.

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This is them trying to figure out how to attach everything. Hee hee

But just wait….

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BAM!

My man cleans up nicely.

For a guy who really doesn’t care what he looks like, he looked a freaking model that day.

Actually, all of the guys did:

Boys

 

What did I tell you? Good looking group of people in my wedding party.

Also…

These suits were SOFT.

Like, so soft.

I may or may not have nuzzled my face into it quite frequently and petted it every 5 minutes.

They were also comfy. (So says the guys… And the girls. It was cold out!)

Matt’s brother (and best man) actually didn’t want to take his off and give it back. He was in love with it. (As we all were.)

I mean, you always think that it’s the bride and her dress that outshine everyone at a wedding but I was happy to be just another part of this amazing group.

My dress, the girls dresses and these suits. Nothing was better.

So if you’re looking for some nice suits for your wedding, check out Moores Vera Wang Two Button in Grey here.

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Eight cheers for Moores!

So Matt and I are going to see how much it is to buy this super sexy suit and maybe splurge a little on him because he deserves it. Not because I want to stand next to him saying “Look! This belongs to me! He’s mine!”

Ok, maybe I want to do that a little.

But there is really nothing better than a well dressed man in a good-looking suit.

 

My Bridesmaid Dresses

I had a lot of people ask where I got my bridesmaids dresses, so here’s the story!

 

Bridesmaid dresses. They’re awful right? Whenever you’re asked to be a bridesmaid your first initial thought is “Oh my God, I’d love to be your bridesmaid!” (Imagine that in the high squeaky voice we all hate admitting that we do.)

But then you realize…

“I’m going to have to wear a bridesmaid dress. I’ll have to pay $200 for an ugly-looking dress that I will stuff in the back of my closet or burn.

Now, you have to believe me. I was more of a bridezilla about picking my bridesmaid dresses than anything else on the wedding. (Including picking my own dress.)

Ask my bridesmaids if you don’t believe me! Melissa and Callie went shopping with me and tried on just as many dresses as I did and I hated them all. (Not the ones I was trying on though, I loved all the wedding dresses!)

There was honestly nothing that I liked in all of Calgary. They were either not the right colour, not the right fit, or were just plain gross.

And I wanted to be a bride that picked out the best dresses for my bridesmaids. I wanted us to look hot. I wanted them to wear it again! (Because paying $200 for a dress you wear once is crazy… I say that as I’m looking at my $1300 wedding dress… oops!)

Finding the right dresses for my girls was a struggle. But then the heavens opened up and angels sang.

I found a website with the perfect dresses.

Now I know, I know. “Don’t buy dresses online! They won’t come in on time! Or they’ll be nothing like what you expected!”

But I gave it a try anyways.

I went to the Kennedy Blue site and found exactly what I was looking for. They had tons of different styles and best of all, you could pick dresses with the same colour and fabric but with different necklines.

So they look like a cohesive group but be unique! (Which is really what my girls are. They are SO different but got along like gangbusters.)

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It took 4 months for them to come in, so make sure you time it out right, but seriously people… THESE DRESSES ARE AWESOME!

My cousin literally tossed hers into the bottom of her purse before her 6 hour flight to Calgary and when we took it out? No wrinkles or creases. It was perfect.

Not to mention they’re so light and figure flattering. I want one. (No lie.)

So, be kind to your bridesmaids. Get them nice dresses. Regardless of where you get them, take their opinion into consideration! (But not too much of course… it is still your wedding.) But wouldn’t you rather have pictures of you all looking fantastic together than them looking…not so fantastic?

I mean look at us:

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That is one good-looking group.

Wedding Day!

I’m sure for most of you out there, you imagine your wedding day to be a beautiful, magical day with nothing going wrong at all.

For me, it was a beautiful magical day. But you can never really have a wedding with nothing going wrong.

Now, before I get to the actual wedding day, I have to tell you about what was going on in my life the week before.

I was finishing up my last term at school and we were in a production of “Spring Awakening”. It was so much fun but left me very tired every day. My last show was on August 8th, graduation was on August 9th, I left for Calgary early on the 10th and my wedding was on the 15th.

Crazy right?

I was kicking myself in the ass for thinking it would be a good idea.

My stress levels were through the roof the two weeks coming up to the wedding. My brain was going into overdrive. But I couldn’t even focus on the wedding because I wanted to focus on the show first.

Once I got back to Calgary, one of the first things I did was try on my dress. And guess what?

IT DIDN’T FIT.  *

*Note my other post about getting the dress a size bigger.

At this point I was so disappointed in myself. I had been going to the gym for an hour and a half every day and I had been eating nothing but clean foods. I was feeling great so I thought my dress would fit no problem. All of my other clothes were fitting better so why not my dress?

I decided to go on a smoothie cleanse. (With a small meal of protein and veggies for lunch)

And after I made myself a smoothie, I thought “It’s ok, I’ll fit into my dress after a few days of smoothies and working out more”. I felt unnaturally calm. Like, really calm. It had been months since I’d been that calm and my wedding dress didn’t fit!

On Wednesday night I put my dress back on after extreme dieting and working out for 3 days and it was still too tight. But then I realized…

It was only tight in my ribs.

How can it be tight in my ribs?

I’ve never gained any weight in my ribs

And I couldn’t lose anymore… there is literally nothing there except for skin and bone. (And lungs, but unless I want to remove a lung and a few other vital organs, this dress wasn’t going to fit)

But how could it be too tight in my ribs when the one at the store was the same size as mine and it fit perfectly?

The one at the store was stretched out.

We contacted the dress shop immediately and they gave their seamstress a call saying that it was urgent.

(While all of this was going on, I was still calm…almost really happy? It was strange.)

I finally got my dress back from the seamstress on Friday afternoon (the day before the wedding) and it fit perfectly! (My dress had an extra panel sown into it so all they had to do was take out a bit of it so I could breathe.)

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I  also had an appointment with my nautropath. (My immune system is shitty so she helps me get back on track with it :D) She had me do a test where she checks the levels of all my vital organs. All of my organs were doing fine except for my adrenal glands. They were super low. She laughed and said “Well either you’re just really calm right now or your body has been so stressed lately that it’s gone into shut down mode.”

Can that actually happen? I guess it can.

Because here is how my wedding day went:

The rehearsal dinner the day before was beautiful. The weather was great (it rained for a bit but cleared up just as we were ready for the rehearsal.) The ceremony was happening in my childhood friends backyard. So rain was unwelcome at my wedding.

But guess what happened that night?

Rain. Thunder storms. Lightening. Wind. Everything short of hail.

And it didn’t stop.

I got up the next morning it was foggy and slightly raining. I went to the hairdressers.

But back home, things were blowing up. Not literally of course. But I was told by my bridesmaids that everyone was freaking out.

“We have to go to plan B!” (The ceremony would be at the reception hall)

“Cassie is going to freak out!”

“WHAT ABOUT THE FLOWERS?” (There were so…SO SO many flowers at my wedding. My mom and the people hosting the ceremony had flowers in every square inch of the backyard)

And what was I worried about?

“I really want a bravissimo tea from David’s Tea. My throat is a little sore.”

bravissimo

“What about the rain?”

“Oh well, we have a back up plan. Where is my tea?”

When my bridesmaids, mother, and friends came into the hairdressers to get their hair done, they were all very wary of my reaction to the weather. And all I wanted is my damn tea.

Guess what? I never got it.

not impressed

 

Not impressed.

Onto the ceremony:

It was a half hour before the ceremony started and the rain wasn’t letting up so my dad gathered an army of helpers to bring over all of the chairs we rented and most of the flowers to the clubhouse where the reception would be. (Luckily it was only 5 minutes away from the original ceremony site)

I was still really calm about everything. I got into my dress, and headed over to the clubhouse. All of my bridesmaids were so nervous before we were going to walk down the isle.

“What if I forget how to walk?”

“Oh my God, this is actually happening!”

“Cassie is getting married!”

Then they looked back at me:

“I’m kind of thirsty.”

I was so SO calm.

Now before I enter to walk down the isle, I had my parents entering before me so they could wait for me. (To make it an even more grand entrance)

And what happens when my mom makes her entrance? She falls. And not just a little. Right to the floor kind of fall.

But that’s my mom. She decided to wear 3 inch heels after not being able to wear heels for a year and a half due to an injury and (as my friend Callie put it) she made her entrance as if she were entering with the Beauxbatons from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. (She was a bit of a bridezilla).

And of course, the whole entrance was thrown off. Everyone was gasping and I ran in (in my 4 inch heels to boot) to make sure she was ok. My bridal party was trying so hard not to laugh but failing miserably.

Once we get to the front, my dad says “Good luck!” to Matt. Everyone laughed at that as well. (I’m not that much of a hassle am I?)

Matt and I faced the officiant and she starts her speech:

“Like a tapestry, woven with two threads…”

All I could think was “Huh, this isn’t the speech we chose. Ah well” I went along with it. Still so calm.

But guess what!? We rocked our vows we wrote for each other! Point us!

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Then we got to the rings. We didn’t go through in length what happens with the rings the night before and to be honest, I was a little zoned out. (A little to calm at this point)

After Matt put my ring on, I reached to get his ring from Melissa, who kind of zoned out too and spastically shoved the ring at me.

But I guess it wasn’t even time for his ring yet! Oops!

Then Matt stepped on my dress while we were walking to the signing table.

Then… to top it all off (This might be my favourite part) we were introduced, and waited for our music to begin, signalling the end of the ceremony and a joyous skip back down the isle.

But there was no music.

They forgot to plug in my iPod to the stereo!

So we grinned and walked down the isle in silence, laughing about how ridiculous the whole thing was.

So maybe my body was in shut down mode or maybe I was so happy to marry the man of my dreams that nothing could bring me down, but our ceremony was exactly how I wanted it to be. Sweet, calm, and hilarious.

So really, there is no such thing as a wedding that runs smoothly.

 

But I forgot one more little thing…

 

My mom rapped at the reception.

She wrote a rap and rapped at the reception.

And she tried to get everyone else to join in.

Audience participation.

No lie.

Mom raps.

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My face during the rap

 

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If a parent ever takes the microphone at a wedding you are attending and say they are going to rap… help a friend out. Tackle them to the ground, grab the mic and run for it.

No mom raps.

Cassie out.

*Drops the mic*

 

Advice for Weddings!

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Matt and I got married 3 weeks ago! It still doesn’t feel like it happened. But I’m sure lots of people can relate to that, it was a whirlwind!

I do have some advice I’d give to engaged couples out there.

First of all, if you live hundreds of kilometres away from where you are having the wedding, GOOD LUCK. Matt and I live in Toronto and wanted to have our wedding in our home town of Calgary. We thought this was a splendid idea. It wouldn’t be that hard to plan a wedding across the country right?

Wrong.

While we had over a year to plan the wedding, Matt still had to work 12 hours a day and I had school full time. (Sometimes I’d be at the school from 7:30am to 10pm) It was pretty tough.

We had an amazing team of friends and family back home to help us, so whatever you do, rope in as many people as possible to help you!

Brides, when you buy your wedding dress, get it a size bigger. Now, I know, I know, every girl wants to get it a size smaller right? More motivation to lose weight!

DON’T DO IT.

I can’t stress this enough! Many of the dresses you try on at the shop have been stretched out from so many people trying them on. Some bridal shops also take in their dresses ever so slightly just so you have to take them out ever so slightly. It’s always better to get the dress a size to big and have to take it in a bit, than needing extra fabric, thread, etc. to take it out.

Keep your bridal party small. We only had 3 bridesmaids and 3 groomsmen in our party and it worked our wonderfully. We made sure they got to know each other a little and everyone had a great time helping us with the wedding. Not to mention, they were a pretty good-looking group of people:

 

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Choose your photographers well in advance. Also make sure they are amazing. And try to get two. (I had two, one for me and one for Matt, that way I could get tons of pictures of the guy who never likes to get his picture taken… my husband.) Luckily for me, I had a very talented friend in photography who ended up falling in love and getting married to another talented photographer! It worked out well for them. (And me!) To check out more of their work click here:K&E Imaging

Seriously, they’re amazing.

I know it may seem crazy to pay so much for pictures of your wedding, but while your wedding day only lasts one day, the photos last forever. You can always look back on them and say, “Damn, I looked good that day.”

Or you know, “Look how happy we are!” Can also work too.

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