Hello my sweet brides!  My blog and website are under a massive reconstruction at the moment but I still want to keep up my blog posts and this is the only place to do this until my new site is up and running.  Thank you for being patient and WAIT until you see the new site!!  It is coming along and looking spectacular!!  I’m very excited!

I have been planning weddings for the past 16 years all over the country including Birmingham Alabama, Los Angeles California and everywhere in between and have met so many incredible families during this time… a common thread amongst these sweet brides and their families is so much anxiety and feelings of stress for so many various reasons from the details turning out to look like the visions the brides have developed on their pinterest boards to worrying about family members getting along on this one special day.  The advise I find myself giving away is that no matter how much people will not get along and how much detail comes to life or doesn’t come to life due to weather issues or budget or time, you are STILL going to have your special day and all the ingredients that come together to make this day all yours will be all the memories you carry with you throughout your lifetime.  The goal is of course, your wedding day but the journey getting there is just as important and can be just as enjoyable.  Here are a few tips that may help you along the way:

1.  Keep your sense of humor – You know your family members and you know by now how the dynamics have come together  from holiday gatherings to birthday parties to family reunions.  There is always a moment,  a few months prior to the wedding day where the bride comes to me with horror in her eyes wanting to tell me some drama that may or may not occur on the wedding day and she is usually completely embarrassed about what she has to say and that she has to explain away her family’s behavior.  Brides, trust me, I have heard it ALL!  Nothing shocks me anymore and you know what the great part is??  As many stories I have heard about and as many family dynamics my brides have told me about, this tells me that the more dysfunction involved, the more “normal” the family really is!   So please don’t worry!  You will find more often than not that your family will completely behave themselves and understand that this day is all about you and your new husband and not at all about them and what kind of past drama they may be experiencing.  Laugh with them and laugh at the drama because trust me, you may think this is not “normal” but it IS!

                                                 David Shirk – Unplugged Photography

2.  Take care of yourself throughout the planning process – Keep up your mani/pedi’s, get a massage, go for lunch with girlfriends and take long walks to enjoy the days leading up to your wedding.  Do whatever you need to do to keep yourself calm and relaxed and feeling the joy of this time in your life.  If the drama gets too much for you to handle, it is okay to walk away and do something to take care of yourself and for goodness sakes, please don’t lose any sleep over all of this.  All my brides know me well enough as their wedding planner that I love a great hot cup of tea;  and they know I can take time out of any busy and crazy scheduled day to enjoy this and get a re-charge of energy and calmness to my soul!  I highly recommend it!  🙂
                                                      David Shirk – Unplugged Photography
                                           Jerrod Brown – Jerrod Brown Studios
3.  Stay positive and away from negativity – Keep your mind on the positives of all the planning that is going on and don’t focus your attention on the drama that may or may not be brewing around you.  You attitude in most, if not all, situations is the key element to walking through it.  Read positive quotes throughout the day, listen to uplifting music and as always, refer to your Bible for positive and encouraging verses.  Just when I think I have experienced all the negative I can handle around me, this verse comes to mind:
Jeremiah 32:17
“Ah, sovereign Lord, you have made heaven and earth by your great power and outstretched arm;  Nothing is too hard for you”
                                                     Brandon Gresham – Simple-Color Photography                                                                                
4.  Stay on the same page with your groom – Throughout all the planning you will be doing, you are surely bound to hear multiple opinions on things from what time to have the ceremony to when to cut the cake, etc.   Create a united front as a team between you and your groom and stay focused on each other and working together.  This is a good time to exercise compromise for both of you, for life begins right here.  Your life will be full of things being planned for and family get-togethers so start from this moment working together to reach your common goal.  
Jerrod Brown – Jerrod Brown Studios
5.  Know your goal and outcome – Remember that not everything is perfect in this world and no matter how much you prepare for and plan for, the unexpected is bound to happen.   Have faith that no matter what may happen that was not according to plan, the goal for the day is to marry the man of your dreams and THAT, my sweet bride, is what the day is all about.  Rejoice in the dream you have for the rest of your life and enjoy all the memories you make on the day you marry.  I promise you the things that may go wrong will create very special memories you could never have possibly planned  for!
Jerrod Brown – Jerrod Brown Studios
Enjoy this time and know you are blessed… no matter how crazy, overwhelming and yes,  at times scary, try not to walk through the planning process of your wedding day like you are on a terrifying roller coaster ride.   You only get one shot at this time in your life and I have found that the most unsure and scariest times of life are somehow also the most exciting and thrilling!  Isn’t it the actual journey to the goal the most fun, beautiful and fulfilling?  So unclench your hands, open your eyes and take a look at the view around you…. Don’t miss this experience of a lifetime!   Enjoy it!
Blessings to you!
Birmingham Alabama – Los Angele California