Written by Mollie Wetta of Mollie Wetta Photography.  We are excited to have Mollie as a guest contributor to Wedding Wednesdays!

Pinterest Disclaimer:  I could write an entire post about my love/hate relationship with Pinterest.  While it has reeked havoc on the wedding world and raised bridal expectations often to an unreachable height, it is still a valuable tool for collecting thoughts and sharing ideas.

When planning a wedding the venue is one of the first things to be chosen.  The venue of your dreams (go ahead and google "New York Botanical Gardens Wedding" now) it is not always possible.  Sometimes the most beautiful venue available is just not in the wedding budget and even with no budget, space can be a restriction.  If you are going to have a 300-400 guest wedding in Wichita,KS your options become very limited.  As wedding photographers, we have seen the best and worst venues and I continue to be amazed at how a creative bride and/or wedding designer can transform the least ideal spaces.  In our opinion, the best solutions are those that focus on lighting. In photography, lighting is truly everything. The better lighting you have, the better your pictures will be. Something we see often in a venue is a drop ceiling and fluorescent lighting.  When that is what you have to work with, the best thing to do is turn off that fluorescent lighting immediately.  Now you need to add better light back in. Let's start with the tables: one word: Candles.  They are underrated and relatively inexpensive for the impact that they make.  Don't feel like you have to get caught up in a Pinterest whirlwind of trying to be different either...candles are classic and timeless.  (that being said, here is a Pinterest board I have made of well lit tables)  

photo by  Darrin Hackney . Event design by  Jesterbird Events .

photo by Darrin Hackney. Event design by Jesterbird Events.

The other great place to add lighting if possible is over the dance floor.  Here is where that drop ceiling *slightly redeems itself.  If your venue has a drop ceiling, you are more likely to be able and allowed to hang decorations from it. Strand lights, lit paper lanterns and chandeliers can make a huge difference not only to the feel of the reception but in your pictures. (Check out this pinterest board.  The lights are what makes the pictures.) At my sister-in-law's wedding this past New Year's Eve, we added lit lanterns over the dance floor.  Look at how much it adds to pictures.  Yes, the lanterns could have been unlit but the additional light they put off lights up the guests faces and really adds to the overall feel of the room:

photos by Jackie Cooper Photography see the rest of the reception  here .

photos by Jackie Cooper Photography see the rest of the reception here.

Another negative aspect about some venues are the walls.  They can either be too plain or plain ugly.  Easiest fix for this is uplights. We shot a wedding in a space that was originally an areana attached to stables.  The walls were cinder block with mortar that looked a bit messy.  Anybody could easily be turned off by the lack of elegance in the walls.  The wedding designer uplit them and it made a huge difference.  In pictures, it looks like they have a really neat texture. While uplights are the obvious choice, there are lots of other ideas to fix or hide ugly walls. (Check out this Pinterest board for more ideas)

You can see how much all of the lighting adds to their first dance images...see that cinder block wall IS kind of cool...

Photography by  Mollie Wetta . Event design by  Event By Ashley  

Photography by Mollie Wetta. Event design by Event By Ashley  

look at these two pictures and the difference the lighting in the background makes in the second one.

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Photo by  Mollie Wetta Photography . Event design by  Events By Ashley

Photo by Mollie Wetta Photography. Event design by Events By Ashley

At this wedding, the walls were up lit in pink:

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photos by  Mollie Wetta Photography . Event design by  Jesterbird Events

photos by Mollie Wetta Photography. Event design by Jesterbird Events

Photo by  Darrin Hackney

A Little About Mollie:

Mollie Wetta is a photographer based out of Wichita Kansas specializing in Weddings and Newborns.  She (and her husband, Patrick) has been shooting weddings for 4 years and will be shooting their 60th wedding together this year.  She does an amazing job of balancing shoots, editing, all while taking care of her two beautiful daughters. Her photos are timeless and her attention to detail is unmatched.  We are very excited for her to share her expertise and creativity with us as a guest writer! View more of Mollie's work at her website: www.molliewetta.com  or visit her blog at molliewetta-blog.com/

AuthorGretchen Postiglione

written by Faith Geilenfeldt of Bel Amour Events.  We are excited to bring Faith on as a guest contributor to our blog!   

Your wedding day is the one time in your life when everyone important to you is in the same room, so make sure you show them something that reflects you and your fiance as a couple! Always strive to incorporate your own personal style, regardless of what the current trend is. After all, you are the one who will remember the most about your wedding. When you look back on your photos in 15 years, you want to see a look that says “Classically You” rather then looking at them with the classic thought of “What was I thinking?!?!”


There are so many ways to incorporate a theme or color palette, so don’t be afraid to think outside the box. I always encourage my brides to focus on the elements of their wedding that is of the most importance to them, then think of how they would apply different themes into that design element. If you fall in love with one, then run with it!


Design tip of the week:

Be careful not to over-indulge in a wedding theme! Allow some elements of your wedding to be the focal point, and then design around it more simply to accentuate rather then distract.  More is not always better... sometimes it’s just more!

A little about Faith:

Faith has spent the last several years working with one of the top wedding event companies in Southern California, and now she is bringing her expertise home to Kansas!  With an eye for design, she is able to make each event unique by combining a bride's personal touches with her artistic flair and attention to detail! Her years of leadership experience allow her to stay poised under pressure which inspires confidence in her clients and vendors. Faith has one goal, to create an event that is one of a kind and will be remembered for a lifetime.

AuthorGretchen Postiglione

When you get a party invitation, you get a good feel of what to expect at the party.   A wedding invitation should be no different.  It is easy to get caught up in Pinterest, finding images of invites we like the look of...but just because an invite appeals to you, does not mean it is the right invite for your event.  When I sit down with a bride, I ask the following questions to get a good idea of what their wedding will be like so that I can make sure the invitation portrays that same feel.  I recommend going through these questions with your invite designer as well.  


Where is the wedding?

Location tells a lot.  If a wedding is in a barn or outdoors, the attire and feel is already much more relaxed than a wedding in a banquet room.  

What time of day is the wedding?

 Time also is telling.   A morning wedding has a lighter feel while an evening wedding usually is more dramatic.

What do you want the attire to be?

 Black tie?  Beach attire? This has to be conveyed in the invite.  It can be actually stated in the wording, but the design itself should convey the same level of formality as the attire desired.  

What colors/decor are you using?  

Many times these are pulled into the invite to give a "hint" of the evening.  For example, if your colors are navy and cream, it doesn't make sense to have a hot pink invite.  If your wedding will have lots of vintage accents, this same feel should be portrayed in the invite. 

If you go into your meeting with your invite designer with a good understanding of these questions and less of just "ideas you like", you should be able to get a design that you really like and sets the tone for your wedding perfectly.  

AuthorGretchen Postiglione

Wedding invitations are one of my favorite things to do.  And since invites go out two months ahead of time, this is my crazy time!  I have two brides this season that are using doilies as part of the invite.  I'm in LOVE with them both and they give a simple invite a very sweet and delicate look.  I'm NOT in love with all the tiny cutout pieces they leave all over my house, though...    

AuthorGretchen Postiglione