Michigan Wedding Photographer // Wedding Advice – From Real Brides!


February 5, 2019


Learn more

Hi there! Welcome to the blog, a journal about my life, travels and favorite work. Stay a while and say hello!

Hi, I'm Kellie.


style guide

How to dress everyone for your session - even the most difficult to shop for!


Tips & Ideas

Michigan Wedding Photographer // Wedding Advice – From Real Brides!

Wedding planning can be fun, but we all know that it can be really stressful.  I would love to write a long blog post about my best tips and ideas on how to make your wedding day the best day ever….but let’s be honest here!  I got married almost 13 years ago!  I know that planning now is SO different than when I was saying “I do” so I got some tips from the pros…..our very own brides!!

Andrea (who had a GORGEOUS destination wedding in New Orleans said): If you’re wanting to save money, try your venue in the off season or even a weekday. We saved so much having our wedding on a Monday. And we still had the whole weekend of fun with our guests. Plus all the outdoor locations, such as parks, weren’t as busy for pictures. Of course this doesn’t work as well if you’re wanting a larger wedding, however, Friday and Sunday weddings might still be an option!

Mary (whose wedding was in Grand Rapids) agreed and said: We loved our Friday wedding!

I’d have to agree with both of these ladies.  Having an off-season or even a Friday/Sunday (well….basically not a Saturday) wedding is a great way to save some moolah!

Jamie (wedding was in Ludington and photographed by our associate, Kristi) said: My advice would be to not have a long engagement if you can make it work. We planned our wedding in 3 months which sounds crazy, but in hindsight it was perfect! It forced me to make a decision on things and move on…no dwelling, no second guessing, no overthinking (which I do on everything!).

And this gorgeous beauty above, Amanda, had to agree!

I have to add, if you want a short engagement, hiring a wedding planner to help with tasks is a great option!  Some even offer month-of or day-of coordination too to help just at the end when things get crazy!  Here and here are a couple of my favorite planners to work with!

Alyssia (wedding was in Lansing a few years ago): had several pieces of advice:

1.) Do a first look, you’ll have so much more pictures of you and your hubby and have more time enjoying the day/evening.
2.) Spend money on pictures and a videographer (the videographer was something I wished we did so I could go back and watch our special day but the pictures are just as good of a reminder!)
3.) Take an emergency kit of cotton swabs/safety pins/chapstick/lash glue etc…. and have a bridesmaid or wedding planner KEEP TRACK OF IT. This was also something I dropped the ball on haha.

Oh girl… are my hero!  First looks are my #1 piece of advice to EVERY bride!!

Kristina (wedding was in Muskegon and was photographed by our associate Kristi) says: Take a couple special moments with your partner before, during, and after the wedding and reception to slow things down (even better if you get it captured on video or in a photo). The day truly does go by so fast and taking time to be in the moment with your soon-to-be/ new spouse can make the day even more special and memorable.

I just love this!  I know that at the beginning of every wedding day the eight hours ahead often feels so far away….but then….before we know it we are giving hugs goodbye.  The day just flies by!

Jen had her wedding in Grand Rapids in the middle of the winter (with zero inches of snow!) and had this to say:

Use Kellie as your wedding photographer and your pictures will be amazing! ????

Marry the right person! Don’t sweat the small stuff, in the end people only talk about the food so make it good!!!

Well…I think she was trying to get some brownie points….and it definitely worked!  But she is right….investing in a good photographer is SO important!

Alicia and Mike had a morning ceremony in Grand Rapids:

I was going to say… Use Kellie Hetler and all else will be fine! ????

Be totally YOU! I still love that we had breakfast food and donuts at a park… It just fit us!! ❤️

Having brunch was such a fun idea and another great way to save a little money too!

Adriana (wedding was at a golf course in Grand Rapids) said:

Be calm and don’t worry if it isn’t perfect. It’s only one day of the rest of your life.

And …

Take time out of obligatory wedding stuff and just have fun!

This is a great approach!  If something goes wrong, no one will know but you!  So have no fear…just have fun and enjoy your time with your best friends and loved ones!

TaLawnda (the sweetest lady on earth, was married in downtown Grand Rapids) and said:

The day goes by so fast! In retrospect, you’ll be happy you splurged on a fantastic photographer and videographer to capture those sweet moments. Don’t skip out on this!

…and dance!

Amen sister!!Sarah’s wedding was at an adorable bed and breakfast in South Haven.  She said:

Plan hair appointments early enough in the day… mine went longer than expected and I missed eating lunch, which ended up making me not feel well.

Also, do what YOU want for your day… don’t let anyone else make the decisions. 🙂

This was such a gorgeous day!

Julia & Doug’s wedding day was held in Holland.  Julia says:

Don’t fret about the weather. Your day will be beautiful and fun… rain or shine. Some of our most gorgeous photos have a little grey sky and rain in them, and the rain plan just reminded us that we can roll with the punches as long as we are in it together ????

Also – some of the small things that “go wrong” throughout the day end up making it special and uniquely yours. Embrace the mishaps! We did and those are the moments we cherish and laugh about now.

This is everything and a perfect piece of advice to end on.  Their day was one of the most gorgeous days ever.  Not because of the elaborate wedding details or because of the over-the-top venue, but because these two really just wanted to be married to one another.  As simple as that.  Rain or shine….they were going to be happy at the end of the day.  Love love love!!

I hope you found this post helpful and I hope that your wedding day is all that you dream it to be.  I would love to be there to capture it for you!!  Have an amazing week, friends!!

xoxo – Kellie

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

reader faves

browse by category









Learn more

I'm Kellie and I'm so happy you're here. This blog a journal about my life, travels and favorite images. Stay a while and say hello!

welome to my journal



The Clover club Wedding guide

Dolor mixtape food truck Austin, assumenda Odd Future Carles ani Echo Park cillum.




Tips and ideas to make your wedding day look photo-ready creating those images you've been dreaming of!


© Kellie Hetler Photography 2024