They say it takes a village to raise a child? Well it takes a pretty large village to put on a wedding – a village of vendors that is!


This is an area of your wedding planning that will definitely make a dent in your bank account. It’s important to realize that your photographer is truly worth the investment though! Pictures will last a lifetime, so the quality of those pictures is essential.

I’d also highly recommend having the same photographer for both your engagement session and your wedding day. I say this because it’s better to build a repertoire with your photographer before the actual wedding day itself. Plus, if you decide you hate your engagement pictures, you can always get them done elsewhere; you don’t get a “do-over” wedding day though!

Wedding videos are a wonderful way to capture the day in a slightly more intimate way than simply pictures. Before booking a videographer, be sure to view their work on their websites! It’s important to know what you’re looking for before selecting a videographer. For example, I really wanted a videographer that was able to provide both voice-over control (so you could hear the vows, speeches, etc), and music-over controls. I also liked a variety of shots (ex. of the venues, of the dress, getting ready, etc) I wanted to feel like I was a guest at the wedding of the video I was watching!

We opted to not hire a videographer – they usually run upwards of $1000 for just a few hours, and a 3-minute clip (hard to justify for us).

For our wedding, we worked with Lauren Reutler, the owner of Lauren Haya Photography. Lauren does phenomenal work, and we were exceptionally pleased with how our engagement session turned out!

We had an absolute blast during our engagement session at Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis – she truly captured the essence of our love for one another.

The wedding day couldn’t have gone smoother! Lauren worked with our DJ to make sure we were staying on schedule, and she went out of her way to get the best shots. She was contentious to the fact it was chilly outside (11/04 wedding in Minnesota) and didn’t make us stand outside too long for pictures. She printed out the emails I had sent her of shots I wanted her to capture, but also used her own creativity to capture shots not even Pinterest has yet πŸ™‚

If you’re still looking for a wedding photographer, look no further than Lauren. She will amaze you with her talent, responsiveness, and professionalism. We’re SO unbelievably grateful that we had the opportunity to work with her.


What’s a wedding without flowers?

Flowers are EXPENSIVE though. Especially wedding flowers. Literally attach the word, “wedding” to anything and expect an additional 20% surcharge… annoying but true!

Look for a florist that is able to work with your set budget, but expect for it to cost more than you anticipate it to!

We are having Josh’s aunt do all the bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, and centerpieces for our wedding. We’re very blessed that we’re able to save a little money this way, but still get amazing flowers to brighten up the church and the reception hall!

Some people opt to save money by using fake flowers (purchased at a local hobby story like Hobby Lobby or Michael’s), but if you decide to go the real flower route, please consider donating your flowers to a local memory care unit or assisted living home after the wedding! Seniors living at these types of locations would be forever grateful of your generous donation – and your flowers won’t go to waste! Talk to your florist about this, and chances are, they’ll coordinate the drop-off and everything πŸ™‚

We are blessed that Josh’s aunt is a florist!

Renae of Lasting Impressions Design is absolutely amazing. She decorated the church and lined the aisle with tulle and lights, made bouquets, boutonnieres, & corsages for the bridal party and special guests, created adorable centerpieces, and transported all the necessary items from the ceremony site to the reception. She even made centerpieces for my bridal shower! Absolutely amazing ❀



Don’t try to do your own hair on your wedding day. Honestly. Just don’t do it.
If you’re trying to save money, enlist a good friend that has noted experience in up-dos, just don’t attempt to do it yourself. I can 100% guarantee that you’ll end up flustered and run out of time. Plus your wedding morning should be about relaxing, spending time with your girls, and drinking mimosas – am I right?!
Whether you’re getting your hair done professionally, or by a friend, I recommend scheduling a trial with your stylist. This way you’re able to experiment with how your hair will look for the day of your wedding! The trial usually costs a fraction of the amount it costs for the actual wedding day hair.
Consider if you’d like the stylist to come to you, or if you’d like to go to their salon. How close is the salon to the place you’re getting ready?

We had Jess Parrucci from Nivala Salon Suites in Rosemount do our hair for the big day. Her prices were competitive, and I’m thankful we had the opportunity to work with her!

Jess is such a sweetheart. She did a trial appointment with me a week before the wedding. Β On the day of the wedding, she came to our house (where the girls were getting ready), and did my hair and two of my bridesmaids hair! She did an amazing job, and she was a joy to work with πŸ™‚


Remember the last time you’ve applied a full-face of makeup at the crack of dawn, attended a professional photo shoot & posed for pictures (all day), danced for 5 straight hours, and then checked the mirror 17 hours later to find your makeup looked exactly the same as when you applied it? Yeah, me neither…

I’d highly recommend investing in a makeup artist to apply your makeup on the day of your wedding. Do a trial (for your engagement pictures or boudoir shoot) to make sure you like their work!

  • Consider investing in higher quality makeup if you plan on doing your own makeup
  • In the months leading up to your wedding, begin a beauty regime: take off your makeup every night before bed (I like Almay eye makeup remover pads, Β a simple daily face wash, astringent, and face lotion), and being a masking/exfoliation routine. This simple beauty regime will help to reduce break outs, unsightly blemishes, and oily/over sized pores.

I had my college roommate do my makeup for our engagement pictures and the wedding!



If your package doesn’t include DJ entertainment, or you’re curious as to what other options are out there, consider the following:

Just like our cake, Chanhassen Dinner Theatre’s package included a DJ! We are so thankful for the opportunity to work with DJ Tim Folkenson of Minnesota Wedding Party.

DJ Tim was all we were looking for in a DJ and more. He created the most amazing reception, and we wouldn’t have changed a thing. The music he played kept people on the dance floor all night. He took charge of the night, made sure everyone in the bridal party (including me and Josh!) had ample drinks and food, and took such amazing care of us. If you’re looking for a DJ with your best interests in mind, look no further than DJ Tim. He’s so much more than just a DJ, he’s an amazing multi-tasker, and we are SO thankful we choose Minnesota Wedding Party as our DJ for our wedding reception at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres. THANK YOU, DJ TIM!

Below is a link to our video review:

Wedding Cake… or cookies, or donuts

By booking with Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, a Buttercream cake AND a DJ was included in our package!

Josh and I thoroughly enjoyed our cake tasting at Buttercream πŸ™‚ If you’re looking for a cake vendor, consider checking them out!

Even though Josh & I aren’t avid cake fans, the cake at Buttercream is on another level. We chose to go with a layered cake and got to choose two flavors: Bailey’s Irish Cream with chocolate cake & Raspberry topping with white cake. We received rave reviews, and are thankful to have had the opportunity to work with them!


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