Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Wedding Part 3: Favorite Moments and Advice

I've said it before and I'll say it again, planning a wedding is one of the most stressful, but more importantly, FUN things I've ever done. Nothing can prepare you for the day of your wedding. It's a whirlwind of emotions, anticipation, and adrenaline. It's the best day ever, and it goes by in a blink of an eye. Advice from friends who had recently gotten married really helped me know what to expect and how to keep my head on straight. So I figured while it's still fresh in my mind I'd pass on some of what I learned along with a few of my favorite moments.

Refuge Golf Course Wedding

1. Savor your first look. Put all the schedules aside for a moment and take time to soak in his reaction, your reaction, and any sweet words. Enjoy this peaceful moment between you and your almost husband before you are whisked off to do more photos and running around.

Refuge Golf Course Wedding

I know not everyone does photos before the ceremony so this doesn't apply to every bride. But if you do plan on doing a first look and photos before the ceremony, remember to really take your time with the first look. This is the start of your wedding journey. I enjoyed seeing Adam before the ceremony because, well, the day is about us and I wanted to spend time with him. It was one of my favorite moments because it was one of the few moments that we were alone, just us, ready to embark on our special day. Of course, the photographers were there, but they were far enough off to allow us to have a private moment.

desert wedding

2. Take advantage of your location and the scenery. You have chosen to get married at this particular place / venue / spot for a certain reason. Capture the essence of what made you fall in love with the place.

Lake Havasu Wedding
{Yes, my husband is grabbing my butt. He's a romantic}

For us, it was the beauty of the Arizona desert and the lake that we loved. Don't get me wrong, we loved our venue and it was breathtaking as well, but I became obsessed with the idea of us all decked out in wedding attire standing in the middle of the desert - in the dirt. But getting these shots was no easy task, especially since we decided to take the whole wedding party out there with us.

Lake Havasu Wedding

To get to our photo shoot location we went off roading into the desert. Like hardcore off roading. I had to hoist myself into a lifted truck, in the process, loosing one of the hoops of my underskirt and then we went on a 10 minute, very bumpy, but fun ride. Some of the groomsmen got to ride out in this:

bride with groomsmen picture

We were in a crazy rush to get the pictures done and get back and start the ceremony on time. (For the record I don't believe the ceremony started on time.) All of our feet got dirty, my dress probably got dirty, it was hot, and I had red ants crawling up the layers of my bodice minutes before I walked down the aisle. Did I mention I have a phobia of ants? But in the end, it was worth it. Not just for the photos, but for the adventure of it all, and the memories.

Coral Bridesmaid Dresses

3. Have fun in the photos with your bridal party! Some of my favorite photos are the ones where we got a little goofy. Above is our lost in the desert look.

Refuge Golf Course Wedding

Here we have falling off a ledge.

Bridesmaid poster wedding photo

And our attempt at the Bridesmaids poster.

succulent bouquet
{Succulent, Dahlia, Rose, Pincushion Protea, and Millet Bouquet}

4. Get a photo of your bouquet. If all goes as planned it will be the prettiest bouquet of flowers you've ever seen in your life. You'll want to look at it later. AND, one tip I wish someone gave to me: if you take photos before your ceremony, just wear your rings, it will make the photos look more married.


5. Have dinner at your wedding. With your husband. Talk. Look around. Soak it all in. This was my favorite moment.

dessert bar

6. Let your husband smash cake in your face. It's fun.

cake smashing

Although, I told him to absolutely NOT smash cake in my face, it turns out to be one of my favorite moments of the wedding. And it was one of the few bites of cake I got to eat.

cutting the cake

dance floor

7. Dance with your husband like no one is looking.


Even though, everyone is. 


8. Lastly, just remember to breathe and take time to soak it all in. When people tell you it will go by fast, they aren't joking.

Refuge Golf Course Pool

 What wedding advice do you have? Or what are you most looking forward to about your own wedding?

Love, Luck, and Happiness!


  1. I love this!! And all your pictures are SOO stunning. It really looks like a magical day! xo

  2. Hi Michelle! Those are such gorgeous photos girl! I love that you wrote a post about the day so you will always rememberer hoe you felt and your kids will be able to capture the day through your eyes as well.

    You are a brave girl for hiking into the desert before the actual ceremony! It shows what type of person you are :)

    Ok, your bouquet rocks and was full of such vibrant flowers. LOVE IT! I think your hubby is a keeper, so I wouldn't ditch him just because he doesn't like coconut and dark chocolate (ha ha) :)

    Have a great Friday girl! xoxo, Jackie

  3. These pictures are so beautiful! It looks like all your hard work really paid off :). I myself disliked EVERYTHING about planning a wedding. I really think we should have eloped!



    Southern (California) Belle

    1. And p.s. I would love to help you plan out outfit posts!!!

    2. Thanks! We will have to get together sometime! I have this great black and gold highwaisted long skirt that I have no idea what to do with!

  4. On wedding day, I had a complimentary attendant, who was helpful in getting my husband and myself champagne, and she also made sure that we were eating.

  5. Weddings by Anne Perth Florist providing elegant, beautiful and affordable wedding bouquets and flower arrangements. Each bride and groom are unique and we believe your flowers and decor should be too.

  6. Looks gorgeous and will be a great resource for what I'm sure will be your fabulous wedding!

    wedding ceremony dress


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