Personal, The Elliotts, Wedding Tips

January 15, 2019

The Top 10 Things I Learned from Our Wedding Day

For those of you who are new around here, I’m Karli (the person behind all of this madness and usually the camera) and David is my husband and wonderful assistant. We got married on October 6th, 2018, and it was the best day ever. David and I were talking to some friends a few months before our wedding, and they said that after their wedding, they felt like their desire and need for a wedding was completely satisfied. Now, having been married 3 months, David and I couldn’t agree anymore. We often say that we would relive the wedding day again, but only if it was the exact same — and of course if we didn’t have to plan it all over again! We firmly believe that marriage is THE BEST.

The Proposal

We had been dating for 3 years when David proposed. I bugged the poor guy almost every other day and knew a ring was coming with my grandma’s sentimental diamond. It was the second best day of my life when he asked me to be his wife and spend forever with him. At the time, I had been doing photography for a little over a year, and he knew how important having photos of this moment was to me. He asked Brie Thomason to stage a “styled shoot” that we were models for, which was just a facade for a way to get picture perfect photos of the proposal. (HINT HINT, for any guys out there wondering how to trick your girlfriend and get amazing photos of your proposal!)

Wedding Planning

After the proposal, I immediately knew some of the vendors I wanted to work with, as I had obviously been planning our wedding in my head for the previous 6 months as every girl does! Since weddings are the reason I got into photography, I was so excited to finally have our own! First and foremost, I knew that between my family and their friends, David’s family friends, and our friends, we would have a guest list of around 300 people. Yikes, I know! If you know Boise, you know that finding an indoor space for this many guests can be a challenge. Thankfully, I had reached out to Ira + Lucy and they suggested Willowbridge, a private estate with enough capacity for our guests and a stunning landscape. We booked it, along with our amazing coordinator Erin from Ira + Lucy’s team, and we were off to the races.

Throughout the entire planning process, David was an all starHe attended nearly every consultation, meeting, walk through, etc. He was so supportive and even had some opinions, like insisting that we get a traditional tiered wedding cake. The most important thing to us was that we would be able to enjoy the day entirely stress free and savor every minute of it, so we chose vendors that we trusted and knew would allow us to sit back, relax, and take it all in. 

The Wedding Day!

The night before the wedding, David’s family threw us the most wonderful rehearsal dinner at Beside Bardenay. We laughed, we cried, and felt so dearly loved by all of the family and friends that came to support our marriage. I slept a grand total of 4 hours the night before our wedding. I was so excited that the day we had spent almost a year dreaming of was finally here!

 

Here are the top 10 things I learned from our wedding day!

 

#1 Stop and savor every moment possible.

People always say that your wedding day flies by, and having spent a lot of time photographing weddings, I knew how quickly the day would be over. I reminded myself to stop and take mental pictures and notes throughout the day. Notice all the little details of everything you’ve planned and dreamt of coming to life!

10 Things I learned from our Wedding Day - Karli Elliott Photography10 Things I learned from our Wedding Day - Karli Elliott Photography10 Things I learned from our Wedding Day - Karli Elliott Photography 10 Things I learned from our Wedding Day - Karli Elliott Photography

#2 Give your soon to be husband or wife a special gift on the morning of. 

This can be something simple and sentimental. I wrote in a journal embossed “Reasons I want to Marry You,” for over a year leading up to our wedding. I wrote short letters a couple times a month, and more leading up to the wedding. David gave me a diamond necklace, which was not only pretty but very sentimental. My dad gave my mom a diamond necklace on their wedding day. My sister wore a diamond necklace with one of my grandmother’s diamonds on her wedding day. Because the matching set to my grandma’s diamond was used for my engagement ring, I didn’t have the same necklace. So David saw to it that I also got a diamond necklace for my wedding day.

10 Things I learned from our Wedding Day - Karli Elliott Photography

#3 Enjoy the time spent getting ready. 

A lot of the wedding day happens before the ceremony even begins. In fact, a lot of the memorable moments from my wedding day were all during the getting ready portions or photos beforehand. Grab Starbucks with the gals, eat breakfast and watch football with the guys, and enjoy being pampered with your hair and makeup. Have your mom there to button your dress and your bridesmaids to cry as they watch you step into it.

10 Things I learned from our Wedding Day - Karli Elliott Photography10 Things I learned from our Wedding Day - Karli Elliott Photography

#4 Plan time for just the two of you.

Whether it’s during the first look, sunset photos, or waiting for the ceremony to start. Most of the day is spent surrounded by the people you love (which is so great!) but some of my favorite moments of the day were the ones I spent with David, realizing, we’re getting married today!

10 Things I learned from our Wedding Day - Karli Elliott Photography10 Things I learned from our Wedding Day - Karli Elliott Photography 10 Things I learned from our Wedding Day - Karli Elliott Photography#5 Personalize your ceremony.

David and I chose to write our own vows, which David had to pull my teeth to get me to agree to. I knew I would be a puddle of emotions, but thankfully he was too. We also met with our pastor/officiant a few times before the ceremony so he could get to know us and our story. He was able to incorporate stories we had shared into the ceremony that had the entire crowd laughing one minute and crying the next. The ceremony was one of my favorite parts of the day. This is the chance for your friends, loved ones, and families’ friends to get to know you and what you are about.

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#6 Make choices that reflect you.

David and I wanted our wedding to be a reflection of us. We personally don’t drink due to family histories and other personal reasons, so rather than go with the norm and serve alcohol regardless, we chose to serve 2 of our favorite things for cocktail hour: Coffee and ice cream! We had Form & Function bring their mobile coffee bar along with Spoonthumb ice cream and it was a hit! Whatever it is, do something small that is unique to you!

10 Things I learned from our Wedding Day - Karli Elliott Photography

#7 Sneak Away for Golden Hour. 

You may have heard me rant about it before, but golden hour is the best. Most wedding photos you see with that glowy, dreamy light are taken at golden hour. This does mean that you have to leave the reception for a few minutes, but it’s such a nice breather and another moment to enjoy for the two of you alone! Plus, it makes for some beautiful photos.

10 Things I learned from our Wedding Day - Karli Elliott Photography 10 Things I learned from our Wedding Day - Karli Elliott Photography 10 Things I learned from our Wedding Day - Karli Elliott Photography

#8 Party like it’s the last time you will ever dance.

Like I said, I got 4 hours of sleep the night before my wedding, which is pretty common. Hunker down and don’t let the tiredness get to you, because all these people are here to celebrate you!  Soundwave Events put on one heck of a dance party. At one point my dad was surfing the crowd across the dance floor!

10 Things I learned from our Wedding Day - Karli Elliott Photography 10 Things I learned from our Wedding Day - Karli Elliott Photography 10 Things I learned from our Wedding Day - Karli Elliott Photography

#9 Hire a wedding coordinator. 

Seriously, give yourself the gift of a completely stress free day. Hiring Erin with Ira + Lucy was the best decision we made! They set up everything, kept the event running smoothly, and tore everything down. Weddings are a monster of an event to put on, and unless you’re already in the business of event planning, they can be so overwhelming. We were able to allow ourselves and our families to relax and enjoy the entire day. They made sure that everything ran perfectly! Even if your budget doesn’t allow for a wedding planning company to coordinate, find a friend or day of coordinator that will keep your day running smoothly and keep you stress free!

10 Things I learned from our Wedding Day - Karli Elliott Photography 10 Things I learned from our Wedding Day - Karli Elliott Photography

#10 It’s okay to leave a few minutes early (and cry)! 

The party was starting to die down and we were ready to just enjoy time alone together as husband and wife. Our coordinator also suggested that it would be best to do the sparkler exit while most of the guests were still there to see us off. We ended up leaving about 30 minutes earlier than planned. We literally sobbed the moment we got in the car and drove off with the sound of people cheering behind us and sparklers in the rear view mirror. It was just the most perfect and wonderful day we could have ever imagined. We ugly cried reliving some of the high moments of the day and mourning the loss that our wedding was over. It happened and we would never get to live it again, and we loved every single minute of it, so so much.

10 Things I learned from our Wedding Day - Karli Elliott Photography

A HUGE thank you goes out to all of our vendors that made our wedding day possible!

If you need any vendor recommendations for your wedding, I am an open book and would love to help!

Brie Thomason absolutely knocked it out of the park with our photos!

Erin from Ira + Lucy was the best coordinator ever and we literally wouldn’t have had a wedding without her. Ira + Lucy also provided farm table rentals and decor!

Our stunning and delicious cake came from Shantelle at Boise Cakery.

Our guest favor sugar cookies came from Kylie Singleton at Made By Mum.

A Lively Chef catered a delicious stuffed artichoke chicken, tri-tip, mac and cheese, and potatoes (YUM!)

I’m still obsessed with my bouquet from Kara at Just So. Event Floral. Literally, obsessed.

Our venue was Willowbridge, which is a private estate located in Eagle, ID. A few coordinators like Ira + Lucy and Major Events have access to use it for events, so contact them if you’re interested in knowing more!

Soundwave Events provided an awesome Photobooth, bistro lighting, dance floor and DJ’s. Seriously, these guys know how to create a party and they are a one stop shop for so many things!

My dress was from the lovely ladies at B.B. Bridal! It was such a great experience getting my dress there!

Behren’s Artistry did my hair and makeup. I loved them!

Spoonthumb Ice Cream provided their ice cream bar and was incredible. Sadly they are no longer operating.

Form & Function Coffee brought their coffee cart and made delicious lattes and more!

Event Rent provided several rentals and our last minute clear top tent to protect us from forecasted rain. Bless them!

And last but very not least, a huge thank you to our parents who made this whole thing possible and supported us along the way!

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