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Wedding Woes that can Wait

Planning a wedding seems to happen all at once - all of the decisions feel equally important and relevant when you're first engaged and you're caught in a flurry of congratulations and furious planning. Before you drive yourself crazy with details and dahlias, what tasks can be delegated down or saved for later? Here's a short list of tasks and tribulations that you can put on the backburner:   Picking the Bridal Party
Many a retrospective and once-overly-enthusiastic bride will tell you this: don't pick your bridal party too early. If you're still more than a year away from the wedding, keep your #1 pick for Maid of Honor and Flower Girl under wraps. Relationships change, people move away or begin doctorate programs. While your bridal party has only one responsibility - showing up and wearing nice, pre-selected clothes - you want to be sure that the men and women in your line are the friends and family you really want behind you on your wedding day. There's no harm in just waiting it out! Snapping Engagement Photos
Even though they're called "engagement photo shoots" they don't have to be planned and finished within the first few weeks of your engagement. The point of an engagement photo shoot is to showcase your relationship in an environment in which you feel comfortable during a particularly happy time in your life. Some couples choose to use these photos in their "save the dates" or wedding invitations, but by no means is that a requirement. If you're already overburdened with other wedding woes, don't feel that you have to squeeze an engagement photo shoot in as well. Then again, if you could really use an afternoon of looking pretty and exploring your favorite museum or tide pool with your puppy and fiancé, go right ahead!   Selecting Wedding Gifts
Gifts are fun, and pre-planning gifts for your wedding can be just as enjoyable, but it can also take a lot out of you. Registering takes way more energy than you might think, and registering too early can spell disaster for your "early bird" wedding planning ideals. If you register more than a few months ahead of when your invitations go out, you run the risk of items being discontinued and matching dish sets being broken up. My advice is to go through retailers' websites, mark items that you're interested in, and put that list aside for later. Save the physical registration process for just a few months before the big day to save an even bigger hassle later.
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New Trends in Wedding Photography

When the two of you hire a wedding photographer, you probably have a few specific must-have photo ops in mind: your first kiss as a married couple, the first dance, the cake cutting- but what about some of the newer photo shoot options in wedding photography? Will you opt for your photographer to capture the "first look" between you and your fiancé/fiancée before the ceremony? How about something a little more personal the morning after?
These extra wedding photo opportunities are showing up with more frequency on the wedding scene, but here's my opinion regarding which ones to try and which ones to skip:

The Engagement Photo Shoot
More and more couples are looking to have a little fun with their engagement photo shoots, copying scenes from movies like "UP" or visiting some of their favorite places in their home towns, but is it a venture worth the expense?
Yes. Some photographers will throw in an engagement photo shoot as a part of a larger package, and it's a fun opportunity to score some high-end professional photos of you and your fiancé/fiancée in non-wedding attire. Even if it isn't part of a package, it's still an expense that's worth the photos you'll end up with. You can really show off who you are as a couple, have a little fun, and use those photos for save-the-dates or Christmas cards. Take this cool opportunity to go to an arcade, the local arboretum, or even your favorite A&W - anything goes. Just make sure you check up on photo restrictions of your favorite venue first.   The First Look Before the Ceremony
Though some couples hold to the tradition that a couple shouldn't see each other before the ceremony, traditions aren't for everybody. In fact, many couples have said that doing a "first look" (meeting with your betrothed before you walk down the aisle) is a great way to ease your nerves before you walk down the aisle. But if you're going to do it, should you have your photographer there?
Honestly, you won't even notice the photographer, but you will wish you had a picture of your face when you do the first look. It's a moment worth documenting and you'll always regret not having photos of every special moment during your wedding day. It's not a hassle for your photographer to add a "first look" to the list of "must-have" shots (like group photos and the first kiss) during the day, and you'll be glad you asked for them.   The Morning After Photo Shoot
A new trend in intimate wedding photography (more so even than the boudoir shoot) steps right into the couple's bedroom or hotel on the morning after their wedding. Some couples have now opted to have a photographer present during their first hours as a married couple in order for their bliss to be completely documented. Though the resulting photos tend to be tasteful in that nobody goes for the full-frontal shot, the sexiness is implied.
Unlike the first look, this is one intimate moment that will probably end up more staged and creepy than sweet and sentimental, and it's not exactly an album you can keep on the coffee table. As exciting as this sort of photography sounds, you can't possibly imagine how much you won't want to deal with another set of pictures on the morning after your wedding. Sleep in and skip this photo op.

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