Creating Your Must Take Photo List

Since you've been planning this day for a while, you probably want to make sure that everything is captured on camera; great shots of you and your husband/wife, all of your family, fun shots of your bridal party and friends, and of course all of the details. The amount of photos you want to take can really start adding up. In order to make sure you get all of the photos you want that day, a must take photo list should be created that both the wedding planner and photographer can follow to help the photo process run more smoothly throughout the day. Below are some ideas and examples on how to begin creating your must take photo list. 

Bride and Groom Photos
Do you want that classic picture on Broad Street in front of City Hall? Do you want to make sure you snap a picture in front of the LOVE sign in Love Park? Maybe you want a fun photo doing the airplane like Casey and Will did below. Wherever it may be, these photos should all be part of your must take photo list. The trick here though, is determining whether or not you can include and fit these photos into your busy timeline for the day. As wedding planners, we will help create a timeline that allows you to go a little out of your way to get these shots you want. 
Casey and Will's Wedding
Photo courtesy of 217 Photography
Kristen and Steve's Wedding
Photo courtesy of Mike Landis Photography
Lauren and Phil's Wedding
Photo courtesy of Hoffer Photography
Family Photos
Taking family photos during your wedding day can often be a long, arduous task if you haven't already pre-planned your family photo list. You will always have that aunt who asks for one more photo with this set of cousins or your mother who wants to make sure you get a photo with every last aunt and uncle individually. Though we are sure you love your family, you don't want to be spending an hour or more taking family photos during your wedding day, you want to get off to cocktail hour to enjoy it with the rest of your guests. Here's where the family photo list comes into play- a pre-planned list of every "formal" family photo combination you would like to take. Having Proud to Plan on staff the day of can also help facilitate this process much faster, as we always assist the photographer by calling out family members' names and making the photo process much smoother and faster. 

Here are the key tips to creating your family photo list: 
-Really think about what photos you would actually get printed or potentially frame and put those as your first priority. 
-Try to place your aunts, uncles into groups. We doubt you will look back and wish you got a photo with each set of aunts and uncles separately. 
-Include first names on your list to make the process much faster. 
-Start with large groups and dwindle down- start with one photo of everyone on one side of the family and break down from there, allowing those that are finished from the first photo to go directly to cocktail hour. 

Here is an example breakdown of a formal family photo list. Of course we know that every family is different, so modifications will need to be made for individual couples:

#1 Bride & Groom, Officiant/Readers

Her Side:
#2 Bride & Groom, Her Parents, Her Siblings, Her Grandparents, Her Aunts & Uncles, Her Cousins
(All her aunts, uncles, and cousins are finished after this)
#3 Bride & Groom, Her Parents, Her Siblings, Her Grandparents
(Her Grandparents are finished after this)
#4 Bride & Groom, Her Parents, Her Siblings
#5 Bride & Groom, Her Parents
#6 Bride & Her Mother
#7 Bride & Her Father
#8 Bride & Her Siblings

Both Sides
#9 Bride & Groom, Her Parents, His Parents
#10 Bride & Groom, Her Parents, His Parents, Their Siblings
#11 Bride & Groom, Their Siblings
(Her parents and her siblings are finished after this)

His Side: 
#12 Bride & Groom, His Parents, His Siblings, His Grandparents, His Aunts & Uncles, His Cousins
(All his aunts, uncles, and cousins are finished after this)
#13 Bride & Groom, His Parents, His Siblings, His Grandparents
(His Grandparents are finished after this)
#14 Bride & Groom, His Parents, His Siblings
#15 Bride & Groom, His Parents
#16 Groom & His Mother
#17 Groom & His Father
#18 Groom & His Siblings
(His parents and his siblings are finished after this)

Bridal Party Photos
Unlike family photos, most bridal parties are similar; they just vary in size, so there is no need to create a formal list of who should be in each photo. The bridal party will all be together during photos so there is no need to gather members or call out names. The one thing to consider when it comes to bridal party photos is if you have any specific photo looks you want to accomplish. A good photographer will always know great ways to lay out your bridal party for photos, but it's okay to also mention a few styles or layouts you may have seen that you really like. 

Here are a few bridal party shot styles you may want to recreate:  
Latda and Troy's Wedding
Photo courtesy of Rob Korb Photography
Danielle and Chris' Wedding
Photo courtesy of Sublime Photos
Danielle and Chris' Wedding
Photo courtesy of Sublime Photos
Sophia and Nick's Wedding
Photo courtesy of Alyssa Maloof Photography
Group Photos
Among your wedding guests you also will have groups of friends or coworkers whom you may want to get a picture with. The best time to do this is at the reception after all of the main formalities. Creating this list in advance and naming each group is the first step and we always try to suggest to our clients to limit these to only 1-3 group photos at the reception. For example, you may want a photo with all of your college friends, all of your work friends, and all of the friends who you may have grown up with in your hometown. You can simply name these "College Friends", "Work Friends", and "Hometown Friends". During the dancing portion of the night, the DJ can help announce these groups and tell them to meet in a specific location where we will have the photographer waiting to snap a few quick shots. These photos also tend to be more fun and carefree which is the best way for them to be. 

The Details
Every good photographer will be sure to take shots of every detail of the day: your invitations, your dress, your bouquet, your shoes, your centerpieces, the cake, and so on. You don't have to provide them a list of the details you want taken unless there is something really out of the ordinary you would like to request. 
Jenn and Gonzo's Wedding
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Childress Photography
Lacey and James' Wedding
Photo courtesy of Claire Hudson Photography
Sophia and Nick's Wedding
Photo courtesy of Alyssa Maloof Photography
The bottom line is that you never want to over art direct your photographer, if you choose a great one, you should be confident in their ability to get all the shots you want during the day. Trust the professional!


Teaser Tuesday

While we're keeping toasty on this snowy day, I can't help but smile thinking about what a fabulous wedding we coordinated on Saturday, before all this snow came to town! Beth and Tim are a special couple to me, since I met them both at her sister's wedding 18 months ago. Planning with this family is a blast and I knew we were going to have a fun time creating this celebration! Bonus was the stellar lineup of professionals they brought on board! The ceremony was held at St. John the Evangelist and Father Larry conducted the most touching homily- it was quite personal and unique and I think nearly everyone in the church got teary-eyed! Following the ceremony, the bridal party headed to City Hall for photos captured by Inna and Brae of Tyler Boye Photography, and Jon from Martin's Video made sure to get it all on film, too. Once they were done, they arrived to the reception at Arts Ballroom, where Dan and his staff from Starr Events prepared the most amazing meal and made the event spaces look spectacular! Tables were draped in gray with silver chivari chairs and blue accents, flowers by Terry Orsini were shades of blue and white, and were flanked with Proud to Plan's rental mercury glass votive candles. No Macarena DJs got the party started and I don't think the folks ever got off the dance floor! It was a party, straight til the end, and I'm so thrilled we were a part of it! Congrats to Beth and Tim- so glad your day was as fun as you had dreamed! -Erin

Hair Inspiration for Short Haired Brides

There are a ton of hairstyles for brides with long locks. However, having short hair, may make you feel limited in your options. While that may be slightly true, there are still a great amount of options out there! Here are some ideas and inspirations for brides with short hair. 

Keep It Simple
Keep your style simple and natural for your big day. 

If you have straight hair, you can try something like this: 
Carolyn and Brian's Wedding
Photo courtesy of 217 Photography
If your hair has more of a wave or curl, try something like this: 
Up Do's
If your hair is long enough to pull up into an up-do, try one of these hairstyles. 

Here is a half-up, half-down hairstyle. It's held in place by bobby pins but you could use a pretty barrette as well. 
This romantic style will work for brides with shorter hair. 
For girls with longer hair, try this pretty up do. 
Accessorize It!
The best way to add a little flair to short hair is to accessorize it. Adding a headband, flower, feather, or birdcage veil is just the thing to spice up your short locks. Here are some fun accessories to try out. 
I hope this gives some inspiration for your hairstyle for your wedding day!


Transforming Your Venue

Picking a venue is one of the first and hardest decisions you need to make when planning your wedding. And finding the PERFECT venue can be almost impossible. As you look at venues, you should always remember one thing, every venue can always be transformed into your perfect wedding venue, it just takes a little imagination and creativity. From lighting to props, the list below will hopefully get your imagination flowing and give you ideas on how to transform any venue into your dream venue. 


Most venues come with no additional lighting options except your standard lights, so whether you're using pin spotting, ceiling washes, or dance floor monograms, lighting can be one of the easiest ways to transform your wedding venue. Do you like a specific venue but hate the color scheme in the room? Wash the room with a color of your choice, often a soft amber works best, to mask the normal colors of the room. 
Jessica and James' Wedding
Photo courtesy of Martelli Photography
Jenn and Gonzo's Wedding
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Childress Photography

Maybe you need to make the room smaller or you want to cover up the unsightly wallpaper in the reception room, in this case, draping is definitely your answer. Draping is an easy fix, but that means it can also get expensive. If you need to cut costs, consider draping just the ceiling or maybe one on the main walls- potentially behind the sweetheart or feast table. 
Brittany and Luke's Wedding
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Childress Photography

Venues have their standard layout options that they follow at most weddings, but don't be afraid to ask to break the mold. By rearranging the normal layout of a venue, you can drastically change the way the room looks. Maybe you want to move the dance floor to a different location instead of the middle. The Union League of Philadelphia is a great example; the DJ can be in this location below or on the right of the photo. 
Kyle and Olin's Wedding
Photo courtesy of Philip Gabriel Photography

You can also opt for different table sizes besides just traditional rounds to drastically change the overall look. Having all long tables or at least a long feast table gives a totally different feel than rounds. You can even include a mix of both like the photo below. 
Lauren and Phil's Wedding
Photo courtesy of Hoffer Photography

Using patterned linens is also an easy way to add a unique style to a room. Most venues provide traditional white or ivory linens, but bringing in your own color or pattern makes a huge difference. Selecting a few specialty linens for just the escort card table, cake table, or bars is an easy way to make an impact without having to rent linens for all the tables. 
KC and Eli's Wedding
Photo courtesy of Timothy Joyce Photography
Furniture and Rentals

Besides your typical tables and venue chairs, you may want to consider bringing in some additional rentals to make the room your own. You could even bring in new chairs for a quick change if the venue doesn't already have them, create a grouping of vintage furniture in the cocktail or reception room for guests to relax on, or bring in unique tables or cabinets to display photos, a guestbook, gifts and more. 
Clare and Anthony's Wedding
Photo courtesy of Jordan Hayman Photography
Sophia and Nick's Wedding
Photo courtesy of Alyssa Maloof Photography

Bringing in props is the easiest way to make a venue your own. Family photos, unique centerpieces, or your initials, quickly fill the space with your personality. Look to hang lanterns or other props from the ceiling including these hanging letters!
Christie and Sean's Wedding
Photo courtesy of Shari DeAngelo Photography
- Caitlin

New Video from Tweed Weddings

Millions of thank yous to our friends at Tweed Weddings for this amazing promo they've put together for Proud to Plan!! We have had the honor of working beside Tweed at some of the most gorgeous, amazing, unique, and FUN weddings, and we're so thrilled to have this snippet of some of those incredible moments, all in one place! Check out Tweed to see additional examples of their work- they are such a talented gang and we're very lucky to call them friends!

Wedding Planning Resources

Planning your wedding can seem like an overwhelming task to even the most organized and type A bride. Getting vendors secured on time, finalizing orders, keeping guests in the loop on plans, and attempting to have fun while doing it can be quite the challenge. The good news, there are many planning resources out there to help. 

Wedding Inspiration Websites
There are hundreds, maybe even thousands of wedding oriented websites that will give you great ideas for your wedding day. With so many to choose from though, it might be hard to figure out where to start. Here are some of my favorite websites to get your creative juices flowing:
Books & Guides
When you're first getting started you may want to invest in a planning book or binder to help you get the process started. If you are looking to work with Proud to Plan on full planning, these books might not be for you, but if you are hoping to handle most of the planning yourself, and you want our help for day of coordination, these books might be a good place to start:

Your Wedding Website
One of the most common and easiest wedding websites to create is through The Knot. Through their online program you can choose from over 100 design options and have your very own URL: Through this site you can tell your guests your love story and share your proposal, give them details about your ceremony and reception, introduce them to your bridal party, and even link them to your registry. It's a simple location for guests to go to find out all the details for the day, and an easy way for you to keep details in order. A wedding website is a must!

Wedding Planning Apps
Are you a bride on the go? Then a wedding planning app might just be the thing for you. Whether you're on Android or iOS, there are several wedding apps that can help with the planning process; did we mention some are free? Download one of these to get started:
  • Wedding Happy- Wedding Planner
  • Wedding Wire
  • The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner
  • iWedding Deluxe
  • Wedding Budget (to keep track of your spending)
  • Seating Planner+ (to make your seating chart on the go)
  • Wedding Countdown (so you can know down to the second)
  • Pinterest (of course!)
  • Wedding Party (to keep track of pictures during and after the wedding)
Happy planning!


Teaser Tuesday

Christina and Frank's wedding day was as perfect as they come! The girls started with Hair by Meghan and makeup by Cheekadee- and they looked gorgeous! Everyone was taken to the chapel at Villanova University for a beautiful Catholic ceremony, then the bridal party was led around campus for photos with Jennifer Childress and video shot by TLJ Studios. At Rivercrest, we were putting the finishing touches on the reception room. Gorgeous white centerpieces by Petals Lane were lit by Eventions and we added candles and gorgeous stationery to complete the look! Janis Nowlan Band had everyone on the dancefloor from start to finish, and at then end, Rivercrest had a midnight snack buffet of sliders, soft pretzels, ice cream sundaes, and a candy buffet! Oh, what a night- we really had a blast on this one! Congrats and best wishes to Christina and Frank!! -Erin

Reception Music Ideas

Music can be a big part of your wedding reception. And even if you don't have strong opinions on the type of music you want played at your reception, there are a few formalities where song choice is totally up to you. You can choose meaningful songs, or songs that reflect you and your new spouse, or just fun songs. For some inspiration, here are the songs the married ladies of Proud to Plan used for formalities at our receptions. 

Christie: Beautiful Day by U2
Erin: Darth Vader Imperial March
Jen: Wake Me Up Before You Go Go by Wham
Becky: What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong

Bridal Party-
Christie: I Got a Feelin' by Black Eyed Peas
Nicole: Crazy in Love by Beyonce
Erin: Rollercoaster of Love by Red Hot Chili Peppers
Lisa: Bridesmaids- Damn Girl by Justin Timberlake; Groomsmen- Thunderstruck by AC/DC
Laura: Paparazzi by Lady Gaga
Jen: Raise Your Glass by Pink

Bride and Groom-
Christie: Crazy in Love by Beyonce
Erin: So Fresh, So Clean by Outkast
Lisa: Forever by Chris Brown
Laura: Love You Madly by Cake
Jen: Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO
Annemarie: Shots by LMFAO
Becky: Lovely Day by Bill Withers
First Dance:
Christie: I'm Yours by Jason Mraz
Nicole: All I Want is You by U2
Erin and Lisa: Better Together by Jack Johnson
Laura: This Will Be Our Year by The Zombies
Jen: I Do by Dashboard Confessional
Annemarie: Whatever It Is by Zac Brown Band
Becky: If I Didn't Have You by Amanda Marshall
Father/Daughter Dance:
Christie: Arms Wide Open by Creed
Nicole: Medley of Have I Told You Lately by Rod Stewart and My Girl by The Temptations
Erin: You Are My Special Angel by Bobby Helms
Lisa: In My Life by The Beatles
Laura: Dancin' on Daddy's Shoes by Leon Redbone 
Jen: Somewhere Over the Rainbow
Becky: My Girl by The Temptations
Mother/Son Dance: 
Christie: Forever Young by Rod Stewart
Nicole: Sunrise, Sunset
Erin: In My Life by The Beatles
Laura: You'll Be in My Heart by Phil Collins
Jen: Mama by Boyz II Men
Becky: Close to You by The Carpenters

Cake Cutting: 
Christie and Becky: How Sweet It Is by James Taylor
Nicole: That's Amore
Erin: Cake was unannounced, in another room, but my favorite wedding song "Apache" was playing during it
Lisa: Save Room by John Legend
Annemarie: Candy Shop by 50 Cent
Bouquet Toss:
Christie and Jen: Single Ladies by Beyonce
Erin: Rag Doll by Aerosmith

Garter Removal:
Christie: Wild Thing

Garter Replacement:
Christie: Right Round
Erin: Pour Some Sugar on Me by Def Leppard
Anniversary Dance:
Christie: Through the Years by Kenny Rogers
Laura: What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong
Last Song of the Night: 
Christie: I Won't Give Up by Jason Mraz
Nicole: Save the Last Dance for Me by Michael Buble
Lisa: Philadelphia Eagles Chant
Laura: Don't Stop Believin' by Journey


What I Would Do Differently {Jen}

Let me start off this post by saying that my wedding was one of the happiest days of my life. The day was incredible and I was just so happy to be marrying my husband. However, after almost 2 years of marriage, and working numerous weddings, there are a few things I would have possibly done differently. 

Hire Proud to Plan
Our wedding is perfect example of how you can't plan for everything. The day of our wedding was a crazy October! I never could have imagined as we were planning our beautiful fall wedding that it would snow! It would have been extremely helpful to have the Proud to Plan coordinators onsite to assist with dealing with all this craziness...vendors that were late due to the weather, cars that wouldn't start, etc. Since we did not have a wedding planner, this fell to me, my mom, and my sister to handle. It would have been much less stressful to have this extra support. 

Photo List
There are a few family pictures that we did not get the day of my wedding. Granted, our photo process was a little crazy due to the weather and limited timing to take photos indoors at the church and reception. It is so important to have the conversation with your photographer about what pictures are important to you. I didn't even realize until after our wedding that I didn't get a picture with my parents and sister, or with my sister and 4 cousins (the 6 of us have grown up like sisters). Looking back, I definitely would have been more detailed with my "Must Take Photo" list. 

Add a Candy Buffet
This is such a minor detail, but in working so many weddings, people love candy buffets! I have seen so many creative displays and I think it is such a fun gift for your guests!

Looking back, I have the best memories from my wedding day. The important thing is to remember what is important and not stress over anything that didn't go perfectly!


Teaser Tuesday

Saturday was absolutely beautiful for Christina and Sean! The day started with Gloss Salon coming to the hotel to pamper the bride and bridesmaids by doing their hair and makeup. Then American Trolley Tours arrived to take the bridal party to St. Thomas the Apostle Church for the ceremony. The church was gorgeous- with beautiful stained class and high ceilings. Susan Stripling Photography was hand to capture some AMAZING images throughout the day, along with our awesome friends at Tweed Weddings. After the ceremony the bridal party traveled to Gibraltar Gardens for some pictures and then made their way back to Hotel DuPont for the reception. The Gold Ballroom looked amazing with floral arrangements by Sweet Peas of Jennersville and uplighting provided by the hotel. The bride and groom asked guests to sign their favorite vintage books instead of using a traditional guest book and the guests LOVED it! Time Machine Band kept the party going all night by playing some of the bride and groom's favorite songs and guests were able to have some fun in the photobooth provided by GoFestive! Everyone was having such a great time, it was hard to believe the end of the night came so quickly! Thanks to Susan for these incredible teasers!  Congrats to Christina and Sean, we wish you lots of love!!

Saturday was also gorgeous at the beach for Kim & Regan's wedding day at Rehoboth Beach Country Club!  The day kicked off with hair and makeup at Made Ya Look Salon, then the bride & groom headed over to the club to get dressed and have their first look.  The groom's first glance of the bride took place on the dock, overlooking the bay and there was nothing but sunshine for this awesome couple!  Synergetic Sound and Lighting did an incredible job draping the club's pergola with fabric and hanging the bride's chandaliere, and then Bayberry Flowers embellished the ceremony area with gorgeous florals in shades of blush and cream.  The ceremony by Judge Lee was very special in that the bride and groom exchanged personal, handwritten vows, and included "Falling In Love is like Owning a Dog" as a reading and also had a Blessing of the Hands.  Once the ceremony was over, guests were escorted into a clear topped tent, draped in string lights by Synergetic- which looked amazing!!  Kim & Regan did their first dance under the lights, then guests moved upstairs to kick off the reception!  We were fortunate enough to get to do their invites, programs, table numbers and more- everything looked gorgeous in shimmery pearl, blush pink, and a nautical navy & white stripe!  The dinner tables were dressed in navy pintuck linens, gold beaded chargers, custom personalized menus, and Bayberry created lush and elegant floral arrangements that were dripping with crystals!  We also used stemmed votives with floating candles to enhance each centerpiece- it looked gorgeous, highlighted by the pinspots and blush uplighting provided by Synergetic.  The club executed a custom menu, created by Kim & Regan, and Sweet Art created a beautiful cake full of bling!  The entire day was captured by Serendipity Studios and Black Label Films, who were visiting from Miami, Florida!  Matt Bowyer from Synergetic handled the emcee and DJ responsibilities while The Gypsy Wisdom Band rocked the house.  It was a magical day, full of beautiful details and lots of love!  Congrats to Kim & Regan- wishing you a lifetime of laughter!!