Llena Vida Media • Trinity grau

Fun Ways to Enjoy Wedding Planning

Let me guess. 

Your engagement was one of the best days of your life, yet suddenly wedding stress has descended. How can you make it fun again? 

While it may be pretty common for wedding stress to be a part of the wedding planning process, it’s time to say no to accepting that. Yes, wedding planning can be fun. If you’re not sure where to start, look no further. Here’s a few helpful tips! 

But first, a bit of background. 

As a bride-to-be myself, I’ve been trying to navigate the world of wedding planning. This is one of those events none of us were prepped for growing up. Despite being a type A bride, the sheer volume of information, marketing, and customization is overwhelming. I got engaged almost a year before our planned wedding date, but the amount of info to organize such an event is a lot. And as a wedding photographer & videographer, I understand how important it is to be on top of wedding planning. So where to start? 

Bridal expos.

There’s difference conferences that are either free or priced at a reasonable price across the country. I personally have gone to three in Southern California. In fact, if you’re looking for a list to help you find some near me , check this one out. So here’s some important takeaways and some of the most significant ways those experiences have shaped how I operate as a bride-to-be and as a wedding industry professional. 

Firstly, one of the most important things to note is that like anything else, the wedding industry is just that. An industry. And as someone who works in the industry, I know the value of great photo and video. But as a bride-to-be, I noted that the industry is driven by trends. It can be easy to get caught up in all of the fun add-ons (photo buses, personalized disco ball lights, and engraved tumblers were only some of the offerings I saw), but the important part of any wedding day is whether you can live with the investment 5 years down the line.

For me personally that has looked like realizing that I’m not into big weddings. As an introvert, I want to invest in authentic moments with people and memories well-captured. Not every bride will come to the same conclusion and that’s ok. Your wedding is a once in a lifetime moment; it’s ok to splurge on feeling like the star you are. While some of the fun wedding trends may not be for everybody, this is the time to make those Pinterest boards come to life. 

 

So now that we’ve established that bridal expos are one of the best sounding boards and places to collect ideas, what else can you do to enjoy the process? If you haven’t found some of the perfect vendors while attending a bridal expo, this is the chance to shop around via social media, Google searches, and friend’s recommendations. 

If you can, try to make the experience of vendor/supply shopping into an in-person experience. Gather members of your bridal party to go to multiple bridal boutiques so you have more chances to look for a gown that will best suit you. Go to florists yourself to talk with the stylists and plan hair+makeup trials with artists to test the experience. 

Planning doesn't have to be a battle

If shopping in person just isn’t an option to you, consider using Cultivate, a Safari plug-in that works with most e-commerce platforms to help you find local vendors and support your nearby community. The best part is that the plugin helps you to find comparative prices so that you’re not missing out on a great deal. 

I’ve been using it to find supplies with my fiancé and making a date out of  planning together. That brings us to the next part of my recommendations for engaged couples. Use wedding planning as an way to intentionally date one another. What’s more romantic than getting together to enjoy a good cup of coffee, charcuterie board, or whatever treat you fancy while talking about planning the future together? Wedding planning doesn’t have to devolve into a shouting match. In fact, actively involving your partner in the planning process can help both of you to feel united as you get closer to wedding day. 

My last tip is to document your process by taking a photo as time goes by through the planning process. If you have a Polaroid, this is an even more fun way to have physical tokens to commemorate each step of the process. You can take these each consecutive day/week/month until you’ve reached the big day. 

All in all, the important part to keep in mind is that wedding planning doesn’t have to be a battle. Every decision that you and your partner may differ over should be met with an attitude to compromise and create a wedding day that will be the most enjoyable for both of you. Keep a mindset of sacrifice – it is one that will carry you through the wedding day and beyond in your marriage. 

Past brides or current brides-to-be – what’s one tip you have for enjoying the wedding process and making it a memorable part of the journey to your wedding day? 

Planning is part of the wedding experience

5 Easy Ways to Personalize Your Wedding

You’ve got the ring on your finger. You’re excited. You may have even picked out the wedding day! Now’s the time to buckle down and start planning your wedding. 

One of the biggest ways I encourage couples to do this is through the use of storytelling. You may be asking yourself, “what does storytelling have anything to do with my wedding?” As a GenZ wedding vendor I have two words: Main. Character. You – yes you – are the main character of your wedding. Every conflict has led to this moment, finally getting to say yes to the person who you’ve done so much life with. Every detail should be about telling that story. How you got together, who you two are, and what you love aren’t just pointless asides; they’re the building blocks that can help you to make your wedding day truly memorable. 

So here’s 5 tips that you can use to personalize different details and start creating something authentically you. 

1. Use Your Wedding Date to the Fullest

One of the most unique ways to use your wedding day is to pick a date that is significant to your relationship, to your family, or even to your culture. For example: as a bride-to-be myself (as of writing this post), my fiance and I picked our wedding date to land on the day that would be 4 years to the date of us meeting. If there’s no significant date to your relationship, consider going the route of picking a holiday that is special to your family. You might find a Dia de los Muertos wedding perfectly encompasses you and your partner’s values of celebrating your family. 

2. Incorporate Your Culture 

Multicultural brides, this is your chance to stand up and embrace your rich heritage. If you’re a Latina bride like myself – embrace talavera dishware, bright pops of colors, papel picados and the like. If your soon-to-be-spouse is the one with a rich and varied background, embrace that by surprising them with traditional dress, traditions, and foods! 

3. Decor Can Say a Lot 

Personalize your wedding decor by using your ceremony seating or your reception tables to share the story of you journey to this wedding day. Put photos from your relationship on your reception tables. Place a photo of yourselves with your guests on their seats for reserved seating while prepping the ceremony space. If you’re a geeky bride or groom, incorporate elements from whatever fandom you’re in to celebrate the joining of two massive nerds. If you’d like to honor your family roots, consider using a collection of glassware collected from different family members for a mismatched vintage look. 

4. Give Your Bridal Party Room to Breath

One of the best ways to not only enjoy the wedding planning process but your wedding day itself is to choose a stellar group of people to surround you. Make your wedding unique by choosing parties with mixed genders. Brides, pick a color palette and let your bridesmaids choose gowns they love. Have your wedding party help you come up with ideas for your ceremony and reception events. 

5. Give Your Guest Something to Do 

Your guests may not be part of the ceremony but that doesn’t mean they can’t be part of the reception! Give your guests something to do by making your reception decor interactive; have mugs that guests can personalize with acrylic markers, create a station for kids to play, set up a paint by numbers station for guests to finish a painting that can go into your new home). Involve your guests in the building of your future by giving every table cards to fill out with advice or suggestions for relationship building activities. 

Your wedding doesn’t have to be the same cardboard copy of every Pinterest board you saved in 2010. You and your partner have a unique love story that can be told in so many different ways. And hey, if you’re still in need of some tips, peruse the blog to find more ways you can enjoy the wedding planning process and create the wedding day of your dreams. 

Heidi + Gabriel’s Long Beach Wedding

Heidi and Gabriel’s wedding day was a beautiful celebration of a relationship built over ten years, as well as a demonstration of close family ties. 

Heidi was the sweetest bride ever. With her organized type A nature, she helped ensure that the detail shots were taken care of and out of the way so we could spend more time with her bridal party and not run behind time. 

The day was running behind so we got to the first look right before the ceremony’s start. Heidi and Gabriel had both lost one of their parents, an event that clearly impacted their wedding day choices. 

Heidi’s mother was a key part of their day and she was included in their first look by giving her a ring to symbolize their new family bond. Gabriel also included his sweet fur baby in the day as a part of the ceremony. 

The ceremony itself was also a beautiful love letter to their families, their stories, and God. I was so happy to be able to work with them to create such a gorgeous wedding day. 

5 Things You’re Probably Forgetting for Your Family Photo Session

It’s the perfect time of the year to start getting those family mini sessions in. You’ve picked out outfits, you’ve booked your time slot, and now you feel ready to go. But wait! If you feel that itch in the back of your brain telling you that you’re forgetting something, don’t worry. Here’s a handy list of 5 things you need to remember before packing your littles in the car. 

1. Having Backups

Life is unpredictable and family photo sessions are no exception. So as a simple rule of thumb, always bring an extra change of clothes that fit in the color palette you’ve chosen.

2. Choosing a Theme

To help you pick clothing that you can easily pack backups of, choose a unified color palette. That can be as simple as choosing neutrals, or finding the color that features the most in your closets. Involve your kids in choosing the outfits so that they feel more comfortable! 

3. Snacks 

If your kiddos don’t have some munchies to keep them full, you might find your session devolving into a tearful mess. Always bring something to placate your children with to keep the peace. 

4. A Solid Plan 

If you can’t schedule a family session around your normal nap time, plan ahead to try and adjust your child’s schedule to make sure that they’re at their best. Dealing with exhausted kids spiraling out of control is no fun, so try to plan ahead. 

5. Props 

While a fun family session may include props from your photographer, plan on bringing a few things that your family can use to create organic moments. That can be as simple as a favorite stuffy, or a football for your boys to throw, or an umbrella to play with throwing leaves, snow, or whatever your kiddos can think of. 

Planning for your family’s photo session doesn’t have to be stressful. With a few last minute checks, you can be ready to enjoy a fun session and beautiful photos you’ll treasure.  

Mas de Mi

      Bienvenidos! If you’re new here, welcome! You’ve probably seen a lot of photographers and videographers who make you promises about how elegant and stylish you can look (HINT: that translates to hours of standing around trying to remember how to smile).  You’re here because you’re looking for an experience that makes telling your story simple and enjoyable. Luckily, you’re in the right place. 

        This blog WON’T be: 

  •      a place to SELL to you 
  •      a place to brag on ME
  •      a place with BORING content you’ll want to skip. 

         This blog WILL be: 

  •      a place to help you tell your UNIQUE life story. 
  •      a place to celebrate YOU and YOUR wins through life’s ups and downs.
  •       a place as quirky as your unique life stories with HELPFUL tips to plan the perfect wedding, family outing, grad night, and more. 

           If that sounds like this is the place for you, then yay! I’m so excited to have you and work with you to make something truly amazing. 

            If this intro has you  excited, then prepare to get even more hyped. If you reach out to me via the contact form, Instagram, or Facebook, just mention this blog post and I’ll give you 15% off your next booking! Don’t hesitate to reach out. Let’s gets get talking.  🙂