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Hi there! Welcome to the Magdalena Studios blog, a journal where we share weddings, travel, resources for brides & entrepreneurs, and a glimpse of our lives. When we're not photographing some of the most romantic weddings around the world, we're either fixing up our beach bungalow, surfing and swimming in the ocean, or cooking up veggie burgers. Alongside my (soon-to-be) husband Scott and our trustworthy team of creatives, our life mission is to capture joyful love stories and effortless real-life moments.

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3 Things I Learned From My Own Wedding | Magdalena Studios

They say wedding planning “is like a part-time job” but did they really mean it? … Yep. They definitely did. Wedding planning is WORK, and even being in the wedding industry, photographing all the details, and hearing the ins-and-outs every weekend, I completely under-estimated planning our own wedding – especially planning a destination wedding. From the styling goods (ring boxes, vow books, robes, etc.) to reception details like sign holders and signature drink menus, coordinating guests and events and locations, wedding planning is a completely overwhelming, never-ending, exhausting, dutiful job. It was all 100% worth it – every penny and every (minor) meltdown. But looking back, there are definitely a few things that I think made it all the more easier…

1. Hire Vendors You Completely Trust

Take your time finding the right vendors. This is HALF the work, because once you find professional vendors you 100% trust completely, they will share your vision and carry out your mission for you. If you’re not sure where to start in the sorting process because there seem to be SO many amazing options to choose from, refer to our guide “10 Questions To Ask Your Wedding Photographer.” This blog post can apply to all kinds of wedding vendors! Most importantly, 1) make sure they’re an actual professional – at some point, this will matter, and 2) make sure their style and vision aligns with yours. We believe in the vetting process fully.

Once you’ve hired your dream team of wedding vendors, don’t be afraid to delegate and ask for help. This is what your vendors are here for!! (When asked, we love to refer to our favorite vendors to work with, because it makes your wedding day that much more magical and in sync!) Your vendors are here to make your day easier. I 100% trusted mine, and when things didn’t go as planned (table arrangements, new seating chart, new ceremony location, rain plans, you name it) – I trusted my vendors to get the job done. I gave them their full creative freedom, because I trusted in their vision, since I carefully chose vendors whose vision aligned with mine. On my wedding day, no one bothered me with minute details and I 100% trusted the team to do their best work. And they exceeded all expectations.
(Shout out to Fete Urbane, and so many more!)

2. Take Your Time Planning, And Full-Heartedly Pursue Your OWN Vision 

Our wedding date spanned almost exactly two years from our engagement! And I am so happy we took all of that time to relax and enjoy our time as an engaged couple. The first few months, we really soaked it in, and then about 1.5 years out we started booking and locking down dates, venue and vendors. After that, we started to really dial in details around 6-8 months beforehand. When it came to the actual planning aspect, we received some push back — whether it was about having a destination wedding, a unique table arrangement that the venue hadn’t done before, or flying in our own suitcases full of details and signs — we certainly had to fight for what we wanted in some areas.

It can be draining and confusing to hear hundreds of opinions, but whether it’s a family member or the venue coordinator, try your best to tune them out and stay true to your vision. You will be so glad you did! Don’t be afraid to push back, stick to your guns, and whole-heartedly pursue the wedding of your dreams. I think one of the best feelings was hearing from the nay-sayers say that we nailed it!

3. Take Your Honeymoon Right Away – You’ll Need It!

Imagine talking to 100+ of your family and friends for a full day… or maybe even a few full days! Our wedding festivities ranged from Wednesday-Sunday, and while we loved all of the time we spent soaking up moments with our loved ones, we were completely exhausted by all of the talking and entertaining. The days leading up to the wedding are inevitably filled with anxiousness and excitement, and the wedding day itself can be an emotion-filled, all-day experience. We were so thankful to have a few more days (5 to be exact) to rest and refuel before returning to the real world. I can’t recommend taking your honeymoon right away enough! We spent those days taking in time as newly weds, really reflecting on our memories and our favorite moments from the wedding, and building a new foundation for our new married life together. You’ll be so thankful you took some time to relax together immediately after the wedding, even if it’s just a few days!

Now that we’ve been on the other side of the wedding industry as a bride and a groom, I feel even more confident in our approach to wedding days — the way we comfort brides through a relaxed and easeful experience, how we collect detailed information ahead of time so we’re always fully prepared, and the way our team always aims to feel like and be a real friend, not just a vendor, to each and every couple we work with. We’re always happy to answer your questions, guide you in choices, and recommend fellow vendors. Feel free to reach out to us with any wedding planning questions, especially destination wedding planning tips!

We can’t wait to share more about our wedding and our wedding day vendors, so stay tuned!

Photos by our friend Lauren Fair from our destination wedding in Nosara, Costa Rica
Robe & Earrings: BHLDN
Hat: Lack of Color

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