• Sydney Leigh

Our Wedding - Tips for Traditional Weddings

Updated: Jul 7


Yes! Devin and I got married September 21, 2019 and I finally get to tell you alllll about our day! :)

To start, Devin proposed on our 3 year anniversary in one our favorite places to go together, the Blue Mounds State park! After work, I headed to his house to meet him to go on our date. He answered the door in a Nike shirt that said, "Get your swoosh on" with basketball shorts. Yes, I am serious. Haha. I was looking forward to a romantic date ;). We went out to eat and then Devin INSISTED on going hiking in 90 degree weather with 85% humidity. So, salty me, changed to go hiking. We hiked up to one of our favorite spots and I of course wanted a picture for our three year anniversary. After me being my typical picky self and taking a few pictures on self timer, on the last picture he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. :) It was absolutely perfect. We both got our rings at Riddle's.

So, after 1 year and 4 month engagement, it was time for us to say, "I Do." Devin and I decided to have a traditional wedding because we both have big families and friend groups that we are so close with. I definitely wanted to do an elopement, but Devin wanted a traditional wedding with a big party, so he got his way, and it was a perfect day! ;) The day started at 7am with my beautiful bridesmaids and attendants getting their hair and make up done. Meanwhile, outside it was down pouring. Like majorly. And you know me.. I love my outside pictures. So, I was a little nervous about it not stopping. Thankfully, it eventually did. Throughout the morning, my amazing photographers got some details shots of my details, me getting ready, first look with my girls and my dad. It was a relaxing and fun morning that I wish I could go back and redo alllllll over again! All the amazing florals you are about to see are done by the amazing Grace with Olive&Grace. And all the stunning photos are done by the amazing Britany Moser! I got my dress at Marie & Marie, veil on Etsy (the ivory one), shoes at DSW, earrings at David's Bridal, and perfume at Sephora.

Getting ready tips the morning of your wedding - 1. Set aside 3-4 hours to get ready. Honestly.. it is SO worth having a morning full of relaxation and fun with your ladies. 2. Have a breakfast bar ready to go for your ladies and your vendors. Everyone is happier with a full stomach! 3. Get ready in a well lit, clean space. The more windows, the better. The less trash and clutter, the better. 4. Have alllllll your details all together and laid out for you to know where everything is and for your photographer to take pictures. This includes: your dress, your shoes, your jewelry (yes, both your rings), your perfume, your invites, your programs, and anything else you want photographed! 5. Don't forget about the guys! They need all the same things you do! Breakfast, a schedule, a clean, well lit pace to get ready, and just as much time to spend together. I got my hair done by a family friend, Kristi Knutson, and my make up done by Beauty By Halie. I gave Devin a gift the morning of our wedding which included his wedding tie that had a heart on the back and a watch.

After Devin and I were both ready, we decided to do a first look at the same park where Devin proposed. We both wrote letters to each other that we read back to back before seeing each other. It was such a special moment that made my heart skip a beat. It was so intimate and I still cherish that moment. After our letters, I was finally able to see my man! And he looked gooooood. ;) Reasons to do a first look on your wedding day - 1. you are able to actually soak in the moment. Doing a first look walking down the aisle, you are not able to truly enjoy that moment and take it to heart because everything is happening so fast. I don't even remember what Devin looked like walking down the aisle because it was all a blur. 2. You can actually talk to each other and compliment the heck out of each other over and over again. 3. You can kiss and hug your man! I can't image seeing this hottie and not being able to do that! 4. You have THAT much more time together on your wedding day. Can you imagine not being able to see him until 3 or 4 on your wedding day?! That gives you only 8 total hours on your wedding day together. Why not make it 2-3 more hours! Your day only happens once!

It was such a special moment that I continue to adore looking back at these pictures. Once we did our first look, we had one of our bridal sessions together. I highly suggest doing this after your first look. You get even more "alone" time together on your day. After we were done with our bridal session, we had lunch set up for us, our wedding party and our families.

Lunch is finished, and now it is time for the real chaos to start. ;) Just kidding. As long as you have everyone at the spot you need them to be, life will be peachy! We did wedding party and then family, but this can be changed and done family and then wedding party! As far as how much time to set aside for wedding photos, I would say a total max of three hours! If you have smaller families and wedding parties you can definitely get away with two! Devin and I started our first look at 11:45am and ended our outside pictures at 2:30pm. We had a bigger sized wedding party and our immediate families are medium to large sized! For the guys, we got all the men's attire at Men's Wearhouse. We got the suspenders on Etsy and the bowties on the site Otaa. For the girls, we got most dresses at David's Bridal, some at the Bridal Gallery, and some on the site Azazie.

We headed pack to the church and had a little eating break.. again ;) Yes, I had another sandwich! We did a few church pictures around 3pm and then relaxed and waited for the ceremony at 4:30pm. I am soooo glad we decided for a later ceremony. It gave us PLENTY of time for all the pictures we wanted and more, running a bit behind the planned schedule, and time for lunch breaks!

Our ceremony was perfect. Our pastor made our ceremony about us and only us. He even took a selfie with us. ;) It was so special and fun. Devin and I did a little pine bush as a unity plant and had one of my high school friends sing the song "I Choose You." I am soooooo glad we hired a videographer so I am able to rewatch our day and our full ceremony! I highly recommend Forest Bound Films. Kye and Schae are absolutely amazing!

After our ceremony, Devin and I ushered everyone out of their pews so we could say our "hellos" and "thank yous". Once everyone was out of the church, Devin and I did a "grand exit" with flower petals to throw! Brides and grooms, make sure if you are outside doing ANY kind of toss, make it something that is biodegradable! This is sooooo important. Some ideas are leaves, leaf confetti, flower petals, bubble, rice, or beans. Check out this Pinterest Search for more ideas! We used my Grandpa's Buick for our "getaway car" and met up with the party bus at our house.

After the ceremony, Devin and I did a sunset session. Guys, I HIGHLY recommend doing a sunset session on your wedding day. Why?! 1. Because allllll the nerves are gone and you JUST became husband and wife! It is such a special time to document it! 2. You have been around people the entire day. Make it more about just the two of you again with a little more kissing, dancing, hugging. 3. THAT SUNSET LIGHT THO. It is so dreamy, creamy and beautiful! They are by far my favorite wedding pictures! 4. You get to do all those fun poses like where he lifts you up, twirls you around, you run, etc. And it won't matter if your dress rips or gets more dirty because you are MARRIED! P.S. Brides, if you go into your wedding day thinking your dress is not going to get dirty during pictures before the ceremony, just be prepared to be horribly wrong. ;) Obviously it will NOT be brown, but you will have some marks on it. ITS OKAY. I promise, no one it looking at the underneath of your dress. BTW, I got my hat from the amazing GIGI PIP! I absolutely love all their hats! :)

We rode our party bus (Stevo's Party Bus) to our reception at the Holiday Inn in Brandon, SD. Tip one for having a party bus on your day, make sure you make a dope playlist for your ride! ;) Once we got to our reception venue, our wedding party did their entrances with the help of our amazing DJ, DJ CodyC. We started the reception off with prayer to bless our food. We had an amazing supper catered by Tony's. We finished our dinner off with speeches and toasts. Immediately after speeches, we cut our Nothing Bundt Cake and then went straight Into our first dances. We partied the night away and had an absolute blast! It was such an amazing day and I am so thankful for my hubby, our friends, and our family who helped us celebrate! Devin and his dad made both our ceremony and reception arches. I rented some decor and goodies from Prairie Lane Vintage Rentals.

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