why wedding guests need to unplug …

Take a close look at this photo.

eau claire photographics

photo credit: eau claire photographics

Let me tell you, my fingers are twitching. In case you think it’s a fluke, here’s another one:

photo credit IQvideography

photo credit: IQvideography

The urge to break that iPad into a zillion pieces is overwhelming.

Here’s the PSA to all wedding guests:

While anyone can appreciate your zeal to capture a photo, the dear wedding couple who invited you to share their wedding day want you to be a guest, not the photographer or film maker. Especially during really important parts of the wedding: the ceremony, first dances, toasts, walking down the aisle, etc.

Why? Because the couple’s wedding that you are attending may have paid more than $10k for photography and filmmaking. That’s a serious investment. And if you are the jackhole that gets in the way of the professional at a crucial moment, then that’s what you’ll always be remembered as. And trust, your $80 gift from you and your significant other doesn’t make up for attending and ruining these shots.

We love social media, like our clients. And we embrace the trend to use hashtags for the wedding so couples can find their candid wedding shots after the wedding. The couple is looking for photos of guests or candids at fun moments throughout the day. Not the bride walking down the aisle with her father. Or the moment where the groom kisses his mother that he just escorted into the ceremony.

So please, have fun. Be in the moment. Be aware of your surroundings. Stay out of the way. Turn off your damn phone during the ceremony. Seriously off or in Airplane mode, we don’t want to hear the vibrating. Take photos of you and your friends. Or the food. Or a centerpiece. Leave the selfie stick at home.

featured photo credit: joanne fowler photography and it was from a #pfewedding!

plan on!

wedding guests going broke attending destination wedding?

Today on the Good Morning America show they talked about the costs associated with destination weddings for your guests.

On average, $490 per person ($980-$1,000) is spent by guests attending a wedding out-of-state, potentially more at higher-end resort destination locations. Many guests are admitting to going into debt trying to attend these weddings. They simply can’t afford to attend your destination wedding.

Personally, I have had people complain to me about their family or friends planning weddings that require them to spend a lot of money to attend.


The couple’s reasoning: “It will be a like a vacation for you”.

The guest’s reasoning: “I’ll go on a vacation when and where I want, your wedding isn’t a good time for me to spend all this money”.


#realtalk alert

They won’t complain to you. They will complain behind your back.

tips for couples planning a destination wedding

1. Don’t be upset when guests or family cannot attend. It’s not their fault you are planning a wedding far away and they may not have the funds at this moment. If they are that important to you for them to be there, then offer to pay for them.

2. Talk to your family. If everyone is on board with attending your destination wedding, then talk to them about the timing and location. Perhaps plan well in advance so that they know the general costs and can save for it appropriately.

3. Just the two of you. Consider going to a gorgeous resort, just the two of you. Have a beautiful, intimate wedding and a fabulous honeymoon. Then come home with great photos and a video and throw a reception for all your friends and family. You get the best of both worlds.

what do you say?

Are you planning a destination wedding and having pushback from your family and friends?

Do you feel it’s fair to expect everyone to attend your destination wedding?

plan on!


why you should join your reception cocktail hour …

We live in a very traditional area, especially when it comes to weddings. That’s okay, but it’s time to break out and change things up at your wedding. For instance, joining your reception cocktail hour with your guests.

why joining your reception cocktail hour, is like, awesome

You’ve planned the biggest party of your life, your wedding reception. Lots of time, energy and money has been spent on this one evening.

So instead of spending time with your guests (especially the ones that have flown across the country to share your celebration), you’ve decided to take tons of photos after your wedding. Maybe, because you didn’t see each other before your ceremony (we’ve talked about the benefits of this here).

Of course, this is totally up to you … but we suggest, a simple alternative.

just imagine

Your guests have sent you off from your ceremony. You take a few moments to be together (just the two of you) or with your wedding party. Allow the guests to go to the reception and enter; getting themselves a drink and munching on your hors d’oeuvres. Then, while everyone is still basking in the glow of your lovely ceremony, you enter! *HINT: be sure to have your emcee announce you.

You’re rushed with loved ones wanting to congratulate you and actually be a part of your day. You get to have some of your treats, instead of just hearing how good the bruschetta was later on in the evening.


Now you have probably made direct contact with at least half your guests. No more walking around during the meal to greet your guests. I’ve never really liked that idea. How awkward to have your guests of honor talk to you when you are trying to eat.

All of our brides and grooms (and I’m happy to report, this is happening more and more) are so happy they decided to join their guests during their reception cocktail hour.

It makes for a more memorable day. What do YOU think?

feature photo credit: jordan barclay photography

plan on!


top 10 offenses by wedding guests

This morning I was interviewed by Atom Smasher and Liberty on the 96 STO Atom Smasher Show. We’ve known each other for years and it’s always fun to talk to him.

They were highlighting the worst offenses by wedding guests and asked me my opinion. Of course it was a quick interview, so I thought I’d share more of my thoughts here. Here we go!

1. Bring a +1 guest when only YOU were invited.

2. Ask to bring your kids when you know it’s an adult reception only. Or bring them, that’s worse.

3. Leave your drugs at home. Yup, we’ve smelled the pot burning outside.

4. Talk about your wedding and how it was or going to be sooo much better than this one.

5. Bring up past girlfriends or boyfriends of the bride and groom. Or invite one of them as your +1 … #awkward

6. Do no hit the dessert table until it is time to have desserts.

7. Asking to be INVITED to the wedding. DO NOT DO THIS. I repeat, DO NOT DO THIS. Go home and wait for an invitation. If it doesn’t arrive, you have your answer.

8. Arrive late to the ceremony and insist on walking in after the processional starts.

9. Doing the “nasty” with your significant other. Wait till you get home or back at the hotel, please.

10. TOP ONE …. getting sloppy drunk and making a fool out of yourself.

What did I miss? Love to hear your thoughts.

ps The photo that is show on this blog posts were AWESOME guests, not bad ones. At all.

featured photo credit: pfe iPhone

plan on!


psa :: to wedding guests

Dear Wedding Guests:

When you go to a wedding, please do not take the centerpieces AND vases from the reception, UNLESS you are told it’s okay by the bride or wedding planner. Often taking the FLOWERS is okay. But NOT the glass vases. Either way you should always have permission.

Vases, tables, chairs, and even votive candles are often rented by the bride and groom. And actually need to be returned OR paid for. So not only did you enjoy dinner, cocktails and dancing on your friend’s dime, but now you have also cost them extra money to reimburse what you just stole.

featured photo credit: joanne fowler photography

Thank you.

ps I should add that melting candle wax on the linens because you are “bored” will not be received well.

pss Feel free to enforce these everyone-should-know-better rules at a wedding you are attending.