Feather & Twine
      WEDDING PLANNING GUIDE

      We are so happy you’ve chosen us to be a little part of your story. It’s not lost on us the importance of these moments, and the magic we’ll get to experience with you. We truly could not be more grateful, and we are ready to bring all of the good vibes and help you guys make this day everything you’ve dreamed of! So, welcome to the Feather & Twine family, we are so happy you’re here.

      As a team, we have photographed over 200 weddings (including planning our own). We see your stresses, your struggles, your joys. We understand the complete mix of emotions wedding planning can be in this transitional phase of your life! We want to give you more of those moments of joy, and fewer moments of stress, by giving you some advice and showing you some amazing resources & vendors.

      No doubt there is so much more advice online, but these words are from our personal experiences and we hope they can help you save some time in at least one area! So you can get back to planning date nights and focusing on your relationship, instead of only thinking about the wedding.

      We want to introduce you to other wedding artists that rock, so you don’t have to spent hours searching the web. We want to bring up questions and thoughts that maybe haven’t crossed your mind, so you can start in these early stages making your wedding unique to you! We are constantly updating this, so please check back in whenever you have a question!

      So as you scroll through this guide, imagine us right next to you (with a plate of cookies, Bon Iver on vinyl in the background, and a huge smile on our faces), helping you through each part of the process step-by-step.

      WEDDING ARTISTS

      We wanted to pass along some super talented wedding artists to you, to help minimize some stress and some hours spent online (when you could be using that time to have awesome date nights)! Everyone listed below is someone that we have worked with personally, and can attest for their awesomeness.

      Creating a wedding day team is the ultimate collaboration. Hiring wedding artists you feel confident in, trust and who know what they’re doing is the best way to ensure that not only does your wedding day run smoothly, but that you can be fully present to enjoy this surreal day.

      If you feel a connection to someone’s work but they don’t live where you do, reach out anyway because they may be super excited to travel to you or know someone they love in your area! We strongly suggest that you meet with the wedding artists you like in person, or setting up a Skype conversation with them. It’s invaluable to get to know someone’s story and aesthetic so much better than what emails will let you!

      Grab a cup of coffee, your computer, a soft blanket and settle in; we’ve got some super talented creatives for you to check out…

      OUR FAVORITES
      WEDDING DESIGNERS & PLANNERS

      Wild Sky Events
      Westcott Weddings
      Lindsey Zamora Weddings
      Bird Dog Weddings
      Bespoke Events
      Grit & Gold
      Jennifer Laura Design
      Kelly Jones Events
      Olive & Belle
      Modern Whimsy Events

      VIDEOGRAPHERS

      Henry Weddings
      David Le
      Peyton Frank
      Little Gray Films
      Martin Weddings

      FLORISTS

      Clementine Botanical Art
      Davy Grey
      Color Theory Collective
      Remi & Gold
      The Southern Table
      Petals, Ink

      HAIR & MAKEUP

      Makenzi Laine
      LOLA Beauty
      Beauty & The Blush
      Hey Lovely Makeup
      Samantha Landis
      Meagan Betchel

      DRESS SHOPS & INDIE DESIGNERS

      Unbridaled
      Serendipity Bridal
      A & Bé Bridal Shop
      Blue Bridal
      Blush Bridal Lounge
      The Dress Theory
      BHLDN
      Flora & Lane
      Second Summer Bride
      Mywony Bridal (on Etsy)

      BRIDAL ACCESSORIES

      Twigs & Honey
      Olivia the Wolf
      Mignonne Handmade
      Naturae Designs
      Melinda Rose Designs
      Liv Hart

      PAPER GOODS

      Archer & Olive
      Art & Alexander
      Esther Clark
      M. Poste
      Boarding School Collective
      Wide Eyes Paper Co.

      RENTALS

      Birch & Brass
      Loot Vintage
      Coral Lane

      MUSIC

      DJ Gatsby
      DJ Nixx
      Strawberry Jam
      Lonesome Doves

      PHOTOBOOTHS

      Vannagram
      Silver Cloud Trailer Events
      Oh Happy Day Booth
      The PhotoBus
      Smile Booth

      DESSERTS

      Green Lily Bakery
      Coco Paloma
      Feathers & Frosting
      Walton's Fancy & Staple
      Tiny Pies

      CATERING & BARTENDING

      Peached Tortilla
      Pink Avocado
      Lucky Lab Coffee Truck
      Royal Fig
      Bola Pizza Truck
      Lick Ice Cream Truck
      She Plus Him Bartending
      The Cosmo Camper
      Sourced Cocktails

      GETTING INSPIRED

      When you’re at the beginning of wedding planning, it’s important to spend some time getting inspired together and envisioning the ways that you can make your wedding day as personal and unique to you as possible! 

      We’d recommend starting by sitting down and separately listing out the following:
      1. Your top 5 priorities, in order. 
      2. Three lists of how you want the wedding day to feel

      Combine your lists, and voila! You already have an idea of where to prioritize your budget, and you have a jumping off point for your visual design. 

      MOODBOARDING

      While we definitely think you should stay in your dreamlike bubble as long as possible and prioritize coming up with ways to make your wedding personal out of your own imagination and creativity, mood boarding can be a helpful way to communicate your vision with your wedding artist team! There is a certain point in wedding planning (once you’ve started solidifying the vision), that we think you should cut out Pinterest completely. It can get you caught up in a comparison trap and, it’s true what they say: comparison is the thief of joy. 

      As an option, we love to collaborate with our couples on mood boards for their wedding day. Since we spend every day in the wedding world, we spend a lot of time absorbing unique approaches to wedding design that can be helpful; but, we mostly love getting to start envisioning your wedding the way that you are! It’s like getting a window inside your minds, which is really cool! It’s not something you are required to do, but it’s there for you as an option! 

      To see some examples, and start getting inspired, check here:

       

      SPRING    SUMMER    AUTUMN   WINTER

      SOME RANDOM TIPS

      hair/makeup: We highly recommend going with an airbrush makeup for wedding day, as opposed to the traditional makeup. In our experience, we’ve found that this minimizes the amount of creasing on the makeup and the amount that rubs off (you know, from all the kissing and cuddling).

      hair/makeup: If you love a bold lip, just remember that the brighter the color the more you see where it’s rubbed off (i.e: your hubby’s face at the first kiss, on your upper lip and chin occasionally from kisses, faces if you’re giving cheek or forehead kisses, etc). So, we highly recommend going with a lip stain or a lighter colored lip!

      wedding day styling: If you want an invitation lay flat, they do take a little bit of time (we usually need about 30 minutes). But, feel free to bring any accessories you might have (if you have extra ribbon from your bouquets, ask your florist to set aside some flowers, a ring box or dish, vow books, a love letter, etc), or even set aside an extra tablecloth that we can use as a backdrop, and we’ll combine it with our own styling kit. Be sure to let us know what you have brought, or have it all together when we arrive on the wedding day! 

      timeline: Though we have a timeline questionnaire we’ll send you, we’d recommend budgeting about 30 minutes for each photo section of the day. 30 first look, 30 minutes bridesmaids/groomsmen, 30 minutes wedding party, 30 minutes family, 30 minutes post-ceremony photos, etc. as you start creating the bones of your timeline. For anything, don’t hesitate to reach out with questions! We want everything to be as beautiful and relaxed as possible! 

      YOUR MARRIAGE

      We probably don’t need to tell you that prioritizing your relationship and preparing together for your future marriage while wedding planning is super important. But, we’re going to anyway! GUYS. IT’S SO IMPORTANT!

      Here are some of our personal favorite resources that have been so exponentially helpful in our marriage! We hope you can find them just as useful and inspiring.  

      THE 5 LOVE LANGUAGES

      THE APOLOGY LANGUAGES

      THE ENNEAGRAM (shorter version)

      THE PATH BETWEEN US

      NOBODY TALKS ABOUT THIS PODCAST

      YOUR CEREMONY

      Your ceremony is the biggest, most important part of the day. This is the most vulnerable and emotional part of the day, and it is beautiful. I truly felt that our ceremony (and reading our handwritten vows to one another) not only further bonded us together, but also bonded us with our guests because they got to witness a part of our relationship that is usually more private, the emotional and vulnerable words that express how we feel about one another.

      I think a lot of people get uncomfortable expressing those emotions in front of others, and rightfully so, but we are here to encourage you to go for it! You won’t regret it. It will be so powerful, everyone will be crying right along with you. That’s another reason why we’re big fans of only inviting the people who you truly love and couldn’t imagine them not being there, because then it doesn’t feel overwhelming – you know every person there so it really just feels like a big hug! And don’t forget to walk down the aisle slowly to take it all in!

      In the following section we’ll talk about customizing your ceremony to make it unique and planning it around the lighting of the day.

      LIGHTING 

      To make your ceremony photos as great as they can be, here are some lighting tips to think about when choosing your ceremony location. We encourage you to go to your venue and choose your own ceremony location! Just because you’ve only seen ceremonies there done in certain parts doesn’t mean that’s what you have to do!

      For us, if you’re getting married outside, the best case scenarios are back-lighting & shade. The sun coming behind the guests is also great! The thing to avoid is really uneven light (i.e.: one of you would be in full sun and the other would be in full shade, when you could just shift a little bit so the sun would be behind both of you, just slightly off to the side, instead of directly in one person’s eyes; or full sun coming through a tree onto your faces so half of your bodies are in shade and the other half is in full sun). We want even light so there aren’t distractions from the emotions because of splotchiness or weird lighting!

      If you’re getting married inside, the one lighting scenario you want to avoid, is having your ceremony in a darker space directly in front of a big, bright window. You’ll be silhouetted from the light, making it difficult not only for us to photograph you but also for your guests to see you properly!

      But, rest assured, we’ve photographed in pretty much every lighting situation imaginable, so feel confident we can work with whatever you choose. We just want to make it the best it can be for you!

      Tip: Check out the Lumos or Sun Scout app to get the sun’s location at any hour. 

      TIMING 

      Your ceremony should start no less than 90 minutes before sunset, based on a standard 20-30 minute ceremony. That will have the sun dipping below the horizon a few minutes after your intro in to the reception, which leaves us time to do your bride & groom photos during the beautiful golden hour. It also makes sure that if it is a dark cloudy day, we’ll lose about 20 minutes on the tail end of the sunset time, and we want to make sure that doesn’t cut out any photo time!

      If you are having an outdoor reception, we suggest moving your ceremony time up so you have more of your reception in the daytime (like your dances during the glowing sunset, or your dinner during the cozy blue hour). There are so many options!

      If having your ceremony at sunset is a non-negotiable for you, you will need to do ALL of your photos beforehand (first look, wedding party & family), and position the start time of your ceremony 45 minutes before sunset. If you don’t, and it’s cloudy or your ceremony gets delayed for any reason, there’s a chance you could be having your first kiss in the dark! Personally, we think sunset ceremonies are overrated (unless you’re right on the beach) and having your ceremony before “sunset”, but still in golden hour, is just as pretty and logistically more accommodating!

      Even with a first look, we always, always recommend for our couples to take 15-20 minutes with us for some sunset photos after the ceremony (or during the reception, if you’re getting married in the summer or having an afternoon reception). It’s a really relaxing, fun, decompressing time for you to soak in all of the ceremony profoundness and then take a second of pause before heading in to the high energy of the reception! You won’t regret building in these little moments of intentional time spent together, we promise.

      CUSTOMIZING

      Our favorite part of our wedding day was the ceremony, and a huge part of that was because we wrote every single bit of it together. It felt insanely sentimental and intentional. Every single word felt like us, and encapsulated the commitments we were making to each other. There’s a beautiful symbolism to choosing every single word of your joining ceremony, just like you will continue to choose each other every single day of your marriage & relationship.

      It’s hard to for us to put in to words how much we think you should consider writing your own ceremony, or at the very least tailoring it to fit you & your fiancé! At the very least, write your own vows! It’s all difficult, and intimidating, but let’s be honest: marriage can be too! It’s worth it in every single way. Starting your marriage, day one, being vulnerable and honest about what you dream of for your marriage, and what you want to celebrate about your unique love story, and words that will guide you during the hard times, is truly so special. We also recommend trying to find someone you know and care about to officiate the ceremony, it really adds to the personal and intimate feeling of the ceremony! Plus, it makes for some really special memories for you guys.

      We obviously had experience listening to hundreds of different ceremonies before getting married, but we also just spent endless hours googling wedding ceremonies and picking and choosing parts that resonated with us, and making up our own promises to each other (like, for the ring exchange)! Since we didn’t have a wedding party, we also had some important people read some passages from our favorite books and poems, focusing on love and life.

      Here were a few of our favorite resources for ceremony research:

      CHECKLISTS & TEMPLATES

      We get it, there are a lot fo moving parts when it comes to planning your wedding day. Lots of different people you’re having to coordinate with, and get information to. We want to make your experience with us relaxing and stress free.

      So, all we’ll need from you are:

      ADDRESSES & NAMES OF LOCATIONS

      TIMELINE

      FAMILY PHOTO LIST

      We’ll send you a questionnaire about your timeline 6 months before your wedding date, as well as answer any questions you have when you start to create it! We’ll also send you a questionnaire for your family photo list a month before your wedding day. So keep your eye out for those!

      PRO TIPS: + If you are planning on exchanging gifts or letters before the ceremony, be sure to add it in to your timeline to make sure it happens after we arrive so we can capture it if that’s something you want! + If you’re going to have any surprises happening at the wedding, give us a heads up before so we can plan accordingly! OR, if you’re planning on a shorter or choreographed first dance – they require different set ups from us, so it helps to have a heads up beforehand!

      WEEK OF CHECKLIST

      There’s going to be a lot going on the week of the wedding, so here’s a list of frequently forgotten things & tips to help you stay organized!

      + Organize all jewelry in separate bags, to avoid tangling.

      + Keep bridal shoes and accessories (don’t forget undergarments!) together in a tote bag.

      + Label decor by categories in individual boxes to make setup easy (i.e. cake table, escort table, welcome table, table #1, etc)

      + Send timeline & family photo list to us, if you haven’t already, as well as your close family members, MOH and Best Man. That way they can help keep everyone on the same page without having to ask you!

      + Organize all ceremony readings in journals or vintage books, instead of loose paper, binders or tablets. It looks SO much better in ceremony photos.

      + Wrap gifts, write cards and keep them all together in one box or tote bag.

      + Create a “getting ready” playlist for the day of. You can check out some of our playlists for inspiration over on Spotify.

      + Arrange breakfast and lunch for the wedding day, or ask someone to take care of that.

      + Pack extra medicine, even if you don’t think you’ll need it (include Advil, allergy medicine, Sudafed and Pepto – to help with nerves, migraines, etc!)

      + Practice reading your vows aloud to your girlfriends to calm your nerves!

      PRO TIP:

      If it looks like rain for your outdoor ceremony:

      get some white or clear acrylic umbrellas online for you & your wedding party (so the umbrellas won’t block any light on your faces); send out a text PSA to your close family and friends (have them pass the world along) for your guests to bring their umbrellas; if you have a hairstyle planned where your hair is all down, but you know it just doesn’t do very well in the rain (hello, humidity!), considering switching to a loose updo!

      Then, just get married outside! Even if we have to delay 15-20 minutes for a storm to pass, that’s nothing if it’s your dream to get married outside!

      DAY OF CHECKLIST

      Have these items ready to go for us on the day of, to maximize our time! 

      BRIDE

      Your dress & veil

      Shoes

      Jewelry (necklace, earrings, bracelets, rings)

      Perfume

      Undergarments

      Invitation Suite

      Vow Book

      Any special/heirloom items or ribbon for styling

      GROOM

      Suit/Tux

      Shoes

      Accessories (cufflinks, tie/bowtie, pocket square)

      Vow Book Boutonniere

      When I woke up the morning of our wedding day, I laid in bed with my eyes closed and mediated on the way I wanted to feel. I told myself that this was the day we’d been waiting for and hoped I could relax, absorb and appreciate every moment – and that’s exactly what happened. I left feeling like I remembered every minute because I took time to set that quiet intention before the day began. So, take a moment for yourself, and put some good vibes out in to the universe the morning of your wedding to help you feel centered and joyous.” – Kelsey