The moment you’ve been waiting for is finally, actually reality and holey moley – you’re getting married! The days, weeks, and sometimes months after getting engaged can seem like a whirlwind of celebrations, engagement pictures, and ring selfies, but once you’ve had a chance to take a breath and let the moment sink in, then you can start the planning process, but where do you even begin?

Read on for my top 7 tasks you need to complete as a Midwest bride who is starting to plan her wedding! 

North Dakota Wedding Photographer

  1. Determine a Wedding Date

Many venues and vendors get booked out far, and I mean far out in advance, so if you’re thinking about saying “I do” in the next year or two, it’s time to set your date in stone. You want to be realistic here. Think about your chosen date carefully and consider any holidays, weather, etc. Consider this your “North Star” of wedding planning, many of your planning and vendor decisions will revolve around this very detail! 

I recommend having a few back-up dates in mind in case your dream venue is not available on your requested day.

  1. Determine The Size of Your Wedding

Before you and your partner start talking about budgets and potential venues, you want to first think about the size of your wedding. Were you thinking 20 guests or 200? You want to solidify a general number early on because it will affect whether you can book your wedding at a certain venue, catering costs, and more.

  1. Discuss the Wedding Budget

Ah, the not-so-glamorous side of wedding planning: determining the budget. While no one really enjoys talking about money, this discussion is vital to have before moving forward. This conversation (or conversations) should involve you and your partner, along with anyone who is financially contributing to your wedding: parents, grandparents, etc.

The Pines Wedding Venue

  1. Secure a Wedding Venue

Once you have a budget, and a few select wedding dates in mind, you can begin researching venues. You can browse through Instagram, get recommendations from newlyweds, or use my good friend Google! 

Have your eye on a few venues? Reach out to them directly to schedule a venue tour or phone call. This will give you an opportunity to visualize your wedding in-person and ask any questions you have from venue rules, pricing details, safety, preferred vendors, and more. You want to make sure you understand the fine print before signing the dotted line!

  1. Book a Wedding Photographer

I may be biased, but booking a wedding photographer is worth every single penny! These photos will be the longest lasting keepsake from your special day to be passed down generation to generation.

I recommend hiring the same photographer for both your engagement and wedding pictures to keep your photo albums consistent in style. Some photographers, including myself, offer complimentary engagement sessions with a few of their packages. This is a great way to get comfortable in front of the camera and around your photographer. Booking your photographer (and videographer!) early will give you peace of mind that you won’t have to be scrambling around last minute to book!

  1. Hire a Wedding Planner

Hiring a professional wedding planner to help you with design, logistics, and management of your big day can be a huge weight off of your shoulders. If you don’t know where to start looking ask your wedding venue for preferred vendor recommendations or even your photographer. I know some amazing wedding planners in ND and would love to give you all the details! You can also ask around for references or do internet research. A good planner goes a long way, trust me!


  1. Give yourself Rest & Relaxation

It’s easy to let the stress of wedding planning get to you, but remember to take some time to enjoy being engaged. Plan date nights the two of you: go to dinner, see a movie, or just snuggle together. Take this time to keep why you’re doing this front-of-mind: because you’re in love!

North Dakota & Midwest Wedding Inspiration

Still looking for inspiration for your Midwest wedding?  Check out my galleries or browse my Instagram for some of the weddings I’ve captured in the Midwest here. Websites like Junebug Weddings, Style Me Pretty, and Brides are great resources for planning.

Need a photographer for your upcoming Midwest wedding?
If you’re interested in having me capture your wedding, I’d love to get to know you better. Click here to view my packages and get in touch to secure your wedding date!


July 15, 2021


Kiella Lawrence


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I'm Kiella (key-la) - I am deeply committed to authentically capturing the love and connection between couples, valuing the uniqueness of each story. It would be an absolute honor to tell your love story through my lens, creating genuine and timeless memories for you to cherish.

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