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First-Rate First Looks

First Looks have become an important item for today’s brides and grooms to add to their wedding day. It’s a great idea for several reasons. First and foremost, it produces some of our favorite portraits of the happy couple! It also gives the pair a private moment to celebrate the vows they are about to take together, and it can serve as a much-needed pause in the middle of a busy day. Finally, it frees up the couple to have all the formal portraits with the wedding party taken before the ceremony, so they can get right to the celebration afterward.

We’ve been through a lot of First Looks, and the ones have some planning behind them are always first rate. Here are our tips for making it an extra special moment.

Envision it

Will the bride come up behind her beloved and do the old shoulder tap? Or will the couple back into the area with the help of their best man/maid of honor and turn around on the count of three? Do you want the wedding party there to witness it from afar? Or your parents/grandparents? Or do you want it to be a “just us” moment?

Place it

Choose a good location at your wedding venue with your photographer’s help. He or she can make sure you have adequate lighting and a good space for the photographer(s) to stand so every moment is recorded.

 

 

 

Schedule it

Allow 45-60 minutes for your First Look. Part of that time will be setting the scene so that there isn’t an accidental glimpse beforehand. Photos themselves will only take about 10 minutes, but it’s good to pad the time a bit in case somebody takes longer to get ready than expected. And if everybody’s on time, then you have a few more minutes to enjoy each other before everything else starts.

Relish it

We’ve never met a bride or groom who didn’t say the day went by faster then they realized. So protect this time and make sure that both of you slow down and celebrate each other. A bottle of champagne…a little snack…sharing pre-written letters to each other…exchanging gifts…praying with each other – plan something that makes sense to the pair of you.

Protect it

Both partners need to commit themselves to making this a positive moment. This is not the time for a groom to criticize the bride’s headpiece, and it’s not the time for the bride to nag the groom about his to-do list. Just enjoy each other on the biggest day of your lives!

Expand it

One of the hottest new wedding trends is to have several other First Looks: Parents of the bride, parents of the groom, bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girl and ring-bearer, grandparents of the couple.

However you handle your First Look, make it a special reflection of who you are as a couple, and the photos will turn out great! Contact COMPLETE Weddings + Events Lincoln-Norfolk at (402) 434-2466 to be matched with a photographer who gets it – and who gets you!

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Going to weddings is a great way to plan one!

If you’ve RSVPed to a wedding this spring or summer (or two…or five, lol!) and happen to be planning your own wedding, use these as great opportunities to see what really matters most to the happy couple and to the guests at the event. While you’re sipping wine and enjoying the love-filled evening with your fiancé, validate some of your thoughts on your own wedding goals or look for details thatyou may be sweating over that just don’t really matter. You may conclude YES, it’s worth it to spend a bit extra on a same-day edit, but NO, you don’t want to use that famous baker after all, because while the cakes look great, they taste terrible.

We’ve listed a few thoughts and questions to think about at the next wedding you attend!

Ambience:

A unique venue may be worth it if you can save on decorating the space to create your ideal evening ambiance. Factors that can help fulfill your wedding vision could be moody dark linens and  uplighting or heavenly light linens and twinkle lights. What aspects of a wedding speak to you to set the mood?

Additional Roles:

Did the other couples list hosts, personal attendants or other roles on their program? Think of all the volunteers (along with their fancy titles) it takes to put on a wedding? Do you have enough people on board so you won’t have to worry about any details on your big day?

 

Decor:

Are there statement pieces that you notice more than others, or decor you barely noticed at all?Perhaps the centerpieces make the difference for you versus a highly-decorated dessert table. Maybe renting/borrowing an item (from someone who just had a wedding perhaps?) versus creating it on your own is the way to go.

Food:

Did other couples serve their food buffet or plated style? Were there options for those with a gluten free, vegetarian, or paleo diet? Did they offer appetizers or have a snack or candy table? Since food is typically a large percentage of the budget, decide your priorities. Should you simplify your food choices so you can swing a fancy decor piece or second photographer? Or are you a foodie who needs an awesome menu no matter what?

Fun:

What really made their wedding a blast for you? Maybe an interactive game, photo booth or ice breaker activity had the guests mingled and excited for the evening from the start. Did the DJ get Grandma on the dance floor?

It doesn’t hurt to do your research at an actual wedding.  Of course, be realistic about what can be accomplished in time before your wedding date and what fits your budget. But it’s fun to use every wedding from now until yours as a way to spark ideas and remind you of the true meaning and purpose of the day!

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Perfect Prom Planning

If you (or your kid) is on the prom committee, it’s time to turn everything up a notch, because the big night will be here before you know it! Here’s a checklist to make sure you are on the right track for February.

  1. Finalize the theme. No more discussions – it’s time to sit down and choose the idea that best reflects current trends enjoyed by your student body. Some schools put it up to a vote (seniors only, seniors and juniors, juniors only), while others let the committee choose. Regardless, get this done ASAP, because there’s plenty relying on that theme. Stuck for ideas? PromNite.com has the top seven prom themes trending for 2018. Seventeen Magazine agrees with many of these and offers a few extra ideas, too.
  2. Book your photographer. If you’ve waited till February, drop everything and get this nailed down! Prom season is a busy time for photographers, and you want to make sure you hire somebody who has previous experience with proms.

 

  1. Book your deejay. Check reviews online and refer to the previous prom committees notes. You want a deejay that will keep the party going, as well as somebody who is up on the latest music. A great deejay will also help you pick a theme song for the night, as well as songs for prom royalty announcements. Complete deejays fit the bill – and you can add on a fun Photo Booth too to make the evening even more memorable.

 

  1. Get to work on decorations, invitations, and posters. Once your theme is decided on, committee members need to start collecting decorations and designing posters to match, plus invitations if you use them. Don’t forget to set a budget for both! If your decorating team starts dreaming big, decide if their ideas are worth an additional fund-raiser…and if you have time to pull it off.

 

  1. Choose your prom favors, if that’s part of your school’s tradition. Many schools today do a custom t-shirt, but traditional options include drinkware (vacuum hot/cold travel mugs, upscale water bottles), picture frames, custom candy, or candles. If it matches your theme, consider headphones or other tech accessories, key chains, or sunglasses. If you have time and a big enough crew, consider a swag bag filled with coupons or samples from local vendors and a few small gifts.

 

  1. Recruit chaperones. Within a month of your prom, you should have your parent and teacher chaperones lined up. Plan on having two adults at each entrance/exit, one adult in each bathroom, three or four adults to roam the parking lot, and one adult for every 100 students in the prom venue. If you have dress codes, add another chaperone per 100 students to check garments (plan for adequate space for this, too). If your prom is more than 3 hours, you may want to increase the number of chaperones so they only have to work half the evening.

 

  1. Order items for your prom royalty by a month of your prom, if that’s part of your school tradition. This may include voting ballots, crowns and sashes. Also, consider ways to freshen up your whole prom royalty experience, such as having faculty and staff choose students to represent all facets of your school (academics, sports, fine arts, community service, etc.) or using baby photos on the ballot (names hidden, of course).

 

  1. Meet with the caterer and choose your menu within a few weeks of your prom – the caterer will inform you about an appropriate date. Don’t try to be fancy – make it a meal you know you and your peers will enjoy.

 

  1. Recruit your set-up and clean-up teams. It always helps to give them a little extra incentive, such as a big discount on their ticket, free meals while they work, etc.

 

  1. Meet with your school principal (or dean) to go over plans. Accept suggestions – the staff at your school has been through this more times than you have, so they are bound to have thought of something you haven’t yet.
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