How to Capture the Perfect First Look

The “first look” has become a special part of many weddings. This is when brides and grooms see each other just before the ceremony, typically in full, formal attire.

A recent survey by the Knot found that 44 percent of American couples who married in 2017 did a first look, with a majority of them choosing to have a private reveal, between just the two of them (and usually a photographer).

“It’s a very intimate experience,” said Rylee Hitchner, a destination wedding photographer based in Tuscaloosa, Ala., who has captured many of these moments. “Personally, the first look is one of my favorite moments of a wedding.”

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9 Ways to Plan an Affordable (and Amazing) Honeymoon

Honeymoons are romantic, but they can also be expensive. On average, couples are shelling out $5,342 on their honeymoon, according to a recent report from The Knot, an online registry and wedding planning site. That’s on top of what they’re spending on their wedding, which costs, on average, $33,931 nationally. But, there are ways to trim your honeymoon budget without taking away from the romance of this special trip.

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7 Smart Ways to Stay Organized While Wedding Planning

Staying organized while planning a wedding is no small feat. Forty-seven percent of engaged and newlywed couples said the process was so stressful they considered eloping or getting married at city hall, according to a 2018 survey of 500 engaged and newlywed couples by Zola, a wedding planning and registry website. Fifty-six percent reported elevated anxiety, 37 percent difficulty sleeping, and 10 percent loss of sex drive because of wedding planning stress.

Clearly, wedding planning can be a mentally and physically taxing job, which may explain why one in three couples (29 percent) who married in 2018 hired a professional wedding planner, according to The Knot.

Of course, not everyone can afford a professional planner, whose services cost, on average, $2,002. But by implementing a few smart organization strategies, you can plan your own wedding without losing too much sleep.

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9 Questions to Ask Before Booking a Wedding Site

Planning a dream wedding usually begins with finding the right place, but the process can be both confusing and time-consuming for many couples.

Asking the right questions when scouting out places can help in the decision-making. Here are some to consider, based on the experience of wedding planners and recently married couples.

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‘Mini-moons’ give couples a vacation appetizer

After Kylie and Jacob Kemper got married roadtripin June in York, Pa., the newlyweds took only two days to unwind at a bed-and-breakfast on Deep Creek Lake in Maryland. Having closed on a house a month before their wedding, the couple was looking for an inexpensive way to celebrate their nuptials, so they planned a “mini-moon” to the scenic Lake Pointe Inn.

“We really wanted to take a full-blown honeymoon to a tropical all-inclusive resort,” said Kylie, 25. “We met with a travel agent and everything, but in the end we had to allocate our money to other things.”

Today, roughly 82% of newlyweds take a mini-moon after their wedding, according to The Knot’s 2016 Romance Travel Study. A typical mini-moon consists of a two- to five-day romantic getaway that’s within close proximity by drive or flight to a couple’s home or wedding venue, says Kristen Maxwell Cooper, editor in chief at The Knot.

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