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at dolly sods and bride and groom are walking across rocks

Pick a location that means something to you both.

We love when our couples say that they chose a location because it was a place they dreamed about or where they first met, or where they grew up visiting and where they wanted to share with their significant other. Sometimes it’s even a new place they have never visited, but just wanted to be there for the first time together, after getting hitched.

Some of our favorite places to hike and visit nearby places are:

  • Glacier National Park
  • Yosemite National Park
  • Bryce National Park
  • Moab National Park
  • Zion National Park
  • Alaska (so many different spots, but we love Denali National Park, Fairbanks, Matanuska Glacier, etc.)
  • Rocky Mountain National Park (so many amazing spots to adventure and camp)
  • The Great Sand Dunes National Park (so much fun to slide down the hills too!)
  • Dolly Sods
  • Blackwater Falls
  • Spruce Knob
  • Shenandoah National Park
  • Bonneville Salt Flats

Choose the people you want to be there thoughtfully.

Choosing your guests (if you want them) is tough sometimes. You don’t want to leave anyone out, but sometimes you just want to do something different and you don’t want to have all of your family and friends there. Sometimes you just want your closest friends there.

Sometimes you want just a few family members or a little combination of friends and family. Or maybe you have a decent number of family members you want to be there and want to just have a party with them.

We get it completely. Looking back at our wedding, we wish we would have eloped (yep we said it) with just our close friends and family. We don’t remember much of the day because it went so fast. Our planner was MIA. Important family members got lost on the way to the ceremony. We couldn’t enjoy it totally, because of all the stress of guests and timing.

Choose your vendors wisely.

Choose the vendors that show you they are a great fit for you. Choose all of the vendors you need (ahem, we’re here for photography…lol) by if their works speaks to your soul (honestly) and you click with them. Having a great relationship with your vendors makes everyone’s lives better and will definitely be much more fun for you two.

We can help suggest vendors we know and love to work with but in the end, it has to be someone you vibe with that can and you know will make your day amazing.

Pick the things you want to include based on how much they mean to you.

Choose the before and after activities wisely. You probably shouldn’t do a rafting trip right before the ceremony (but after, go for it!). Think about what you envision your day to be and how you want to feel.

  • Do you want to hike to a well known location or would you rather go somewhere less known and off the beaten path?
  • Do you want to have a campfire at the end of the night with you two and your closest friends/family?
  • Do you want to bring a chef in that will cook for you or do you want to rent out a restaurant space?
  • Do you want to wake up early to get ready or would you rather sleep in?
  • Do you want to do the traditional stuff or do you want to do something different?
  • Do you care if your significant other sees you before the ceremony or do you want to get ready together in a more relaxed situation?

Create something meaningful for each other.

Handwritten vows and letters are always big moments during the day. Decide on whether you want to do those. In an intimate situation it’s perfect.

Small gifts for each other are always a hit and don’t have to be crazy expensive; just really meaningful. We love these moments!

Decide how much you can spend + spend it the way you want to.

The is legit one of the first things you two should try to sit down and figure out and think through the things the mean the most to you. We don’t want you to go into debt for your day, but we do think you can have an amazing day without spending the $33K+ (average wedding cost in the US was $38,700 in 2019 according to WeddingWire + Business Insider).

We always say to try to save money where you can. You can buy your dress at a discount at certain online stores and even at the sample sales that the boutiques have sometimes. Save some money and go on a freaking insanely epic honeymoon after or choose a place that feels like the start of a honeymoon.

There are different ways to save money and put money towards other things. We can help you figure out what is important to you and what you need to make you have the day you want.

Side note: We always offer payment plans too, to help everyone out. We get it completely and are always available to help you plan and make things work for you.