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Guide to a Smooth Wedding Day



Guide to a smooth Wedding Day

Are you planning your wedding?  We have gathering data and collecting a few fun facts Over the past 10+  years.   TSP has earned bragging rights having witnessed / photographed over 125+ weddings.  WOWSA!   That’s a lot of kissing!   All funniness aside,  we have watched epic wedding fails and have seen lots of magic created during the happily ever after event.  Every wedding is so different, from the vibe to the decor.  It all comes down to the planning that happens in the months leading up to the main event. 

How prepared are you?, Or, unprepared you are.

I’d love to share a little “wisdom” or insights if you can call it that – tips from a self proclaimed wedding expert. 

Part One of this 2 part series, In no particular order: Things to consider as you’re wedding planning.


Encourage your guest to unplug:

Take your wedding unplugged.  We understand that your family & friends want to capture part of your day;  It’s heartbreaking to look from the back the church at the sea of i-tographers trying to snag a good photograph.  You guest are so focused on getting a good shot that they miss out on the moment, the expressions of the couple, listening intently to the vows being spoken.   From my point of view it’s difficult to see past the oversized ipads and glowing cell phone screens.  See where I’m going here?

We love it when couples take it to the next level ~ unplugged wedding.  Yes, it’s a thing.  Add a cute sign to your decor asking your guests to kindly leave their phones and cameras in their pockets.  Encourage them to enjoy the wedding with their eyes, not through electronic screens.  


Go through your vows ahead of time:

Go through your wedding vows, like really go through them with your fiance.  Talk about what they mean to you.  If it’s canned material that your officiate brings to you, please know you have every right to tweak this, or better yet, write your own vows.  Too often I listen as the bride and groom repeat after the minister, only to get jumbled up on the wording because they don’t know what it all means.  The wedding is about the covenant being made between the two of you – make it meaningful!

Be Aware of alcohol policies at your venue:

I’m not opposed to couples and wedding parties enjoying a cocktail or a few beers before the ceremony.  Please consider the amount and the appropriateness of the drink.  A morning mimosa, a toast with a glass of wine, a mixed drink during dancing — all great things if  your convictions allow.  But if the venue doesn’t allow drinking or you have not purchased insurance to consume, or hired a bartender, respect the venues space and don’t sneak it in.  It’s disrespectful, and you run the risk of getting fined and your drinks taken away.  If you are in the bridal party, it’s not worth potentially ruining the wedding day.

Planning meal times into your day:

Carve out time in your day to eat properly.  Remember your body needs enough fuel to last all day long.  For summer wedding especially, please also drink enough water to stay hydrated.

Consider the “first look”:

The precious first look – possibly my favorite part of the day!  It’s more common now, than what was practiced even just 10 years ago.  I will always respect my couples and their wishes no matter which way they choose to schedule their day.  But if you break it down and truly think about it, it can free up a lot of time to stage the first look.   Bonus, you will get all the emotionally filled images taken pre-ceremony.  For this part of the day, It’s always just the couple and the photographer (lurking in a corner)- nobody wants a huge fan club watching as they share their intimate, emotionally charged moments.  The first look is a great way to release any pre-ceremony emotions.  It also sets the stage to experience a whole new set of emotions as you begin the walk down the aisle.  Not to mention– we can set up the photography timeline  so that the bulk of the formal photo’s for the wedding party & family are done before the ceremony.  Leaving you more time to PARTY!

First Dance:

Most couples are on a “budget” and can only pay for XX time for wedding day coverage.  Thus, the first dance may not be covered by the photographer.  Think outside the box.  There is always a way to get events covered, it may take some fine tuning to the timeline.   At the start of the reception, the DJ announces the couple for the Grande march.  As the Newlyweds enter the reception hall, they can go directly into their first dance.  Timeline problem solved.  There is no need to wait for the first dance to happen after dinner.  Of course you may need to still include the father daughter dance and mother son dance, this can occur after dinner or after the grand march.  Depends on how you wish to stage this part of the evening.  Talk to your DJ & your photographer, they may be able to assist you in getting the most out of your coverage.

Buy multiple lighters for sparkler send off:

If you plan to have a fancy send off with sparklers; since rice is no longer  encouraged due to choking hazards to birds.  Please think it through and talk with your planner about how to best arrange this send off.  If you have only one lighter, and you light and pass it down, the sparklers at the beginning of the line will clearly be snuffed out by the time the last ones in line are waiting to get lit.  You’d think this is common sense- I can assure you, it’s not.  This type of send off takes careful planning.  The secret to lighting sparklers is to come together in the center and light all at once from a large candle, or make several groups of lighters.  Also, be sure to buy the LONG sparklers or the Wedding Day sparklers.  Be safe.  Fire/kids/alcohol is not always a good combination.

About the Author
Rebecca is a Midwest based photographer; with Award winning images in Wedding Photography. She has 10+ years experience, hundreds of memories from each event, along with a few published articles in the photography field. She enjoys sharing insights with clients and fellow blog followers. As a photographer, her use of natural light and technical ease allows her to create memorable, unique and beautiful photo’s for all her clients.

TellaStory Photography © All Rights Reserved
Located in the Midwest, Scenic Saint Croix River Valley. 
Servicing Local Communities in Hudson, WI, Eau Claire, WI, Duluth MN Saint Paul, MN & Minneapolis, MN 
Available for Travel & Destination Shoots.

715*497*3588     [email protected]

The Unknown Truth Behind the Wedding Cake Cutting Tradition

Wedding Cake Traditions



The breathtakingly beautiful wedding cake can be considered a centerpiece at any wedding. The cake may be given an important role on your wedding day. You may choose to place it in the corner until the cake cutting ceremony moment arrives, or you may decide to place your wedding cake at the center of your party.  No matter where you put your cake, your guest will be quick to find it.  This delectable sweet treat has made an appearance at most wedding receptions all around the globe. Various cultures and ethnicities have been adopting this trend for their big day for thousands of years. It makes one wonder how it all began. So just for you, we’re lining up the top traditions for cake cutting and the significance behind them.

The History Behind the Groom’s Cake

Historic weddings had separate cakes for the groom while today; Southern states may still continue this ancient old tradition. Modern weddings have altered the tradition in a manner that showcases the groom’s interests, taste as well as their adored sport’s team too.

Cutting that cake

Similar to the notion of tossing the bouquet and sharing the first dance, the cake cutting ceremony is an integral part of the wedding ceremony. Not only is this a memorable occasion for the bride and groom, but it’s also a splendid opportunity to capture a few fun moments. This act represents one of the first activities done together as a couple, while in the past; it was carried out by the bride herself, as a symbol of the loss of her virginity.

Feeding the Cake to Each Other

When the newlywed couple feeds each other the wedding cake, this activity is sheer romantic fantasy at its finest. The act symbolizes a beautiful commitment of showering love and affection upon one another while providing for each other till eternity.  We may have modernized this event into more of a cake smash type moment, one can hope our partners keep it clean.  Either way you get to have your cake and eat it too.

Tradition of Sleeping over a piece of Cake

Believe it or not, the tradition of sleeping over a a piece of wedding cake (cake under your pillow)  was an actual thing of the past. Almost 300 years ago, it was believed that by doing so, the person sleeping over the piece of cake will dream of their future partner over that night. Today, the tradition is modernized by sleeping over a wedding favor with the same intention.

Signs of Fertility

During the Roman Era, wedding guest would break mana or bread over the bride & grooms head as an offering of Fertility. This act was thought to bring good luck and lots babies early in their marriage.  Perhaps the modern day twist to this theme: During the cake cutting, When the Bride and Groom feed each other a bite of cake.  This can be done with good intentions, nice and neat or total cake smash in your face kinda day.  Beware of frosting up the nose, everything will smell sweet for rest of the night.

Wedding Cake Charms

The age old tradition of baking a wedding cake with charms hidden inside was a popular one of the past. Today, a more practical version exists where charms are baked into the cake, with ribbons attached to each one of them so guests can simply pull them out before devouring their dessert.

Saving that top tier

The top tier of wedding cakes is known to carry great significance for newlywed couples. In the past couples used to save the top tier to enjoy at the Christening ceremony of their first born child.  Christening ceremonies typically took place within the year of the wedding. Sharing a layer of the top tier serves as a reminder for couples of their special day. Just in case you’re wondering how a layer of cake could survive for a year,  as long as its kept in the freezer and doesn’t contain fresh fruits or mousse layers, it can last without too much damage.

I don’t know about you, but all this talk about cake has me craving some sweet treats!
There ya have it! We hope you enjoyed reading more about the history of the wedding cake.
Do you know of a few more Traditions, we would love to hear from you.


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The TSP Guarantee

We guarantee you in writing to surpass the wedding photography industry standards when you sign the wedding contract.


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 We are dedicated to making your wedding photography ~ planning process easy & enjoyable from start to finish. We understand you want a unique and personal wedding, without a huge price tag and without the stress. We will deliver both confidence & peace of mind as your wedding photographer.

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A Journalistic Approach

From contemporary, to traditional; Our journalistic style will catch your most intimate moments as you begin your journey as husband and wife.


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Our experience has taught us that no two wedding are alike. Forget ‘packages’ — your wedding dreams aren’t the same as someone else’s. Rather than trying to fit you into a package, we design the package around you with the sole purpose of helping make your wedding dreams come true!


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About the Author
Rebecca is a Midwest based photographer; with Award winning images in Wedding Photography. She has 10+ years experience, hundreds of memories from each event, along with a few published articles in the photography field. She enjoys sharing insights with clients and fellow blog followers. As a photographer, her use of natural light and technical ease allows her to create memorable, unique and beautiful photo’s for all her clients.

Why hire a Photo Booth Rental for Graduation Parties, Weddings, & Events?

If you are planning a Wedding or hosting a Graduation Party. or planning any type of event for that matter;You may be considering a Photo Booth Rental. Like the title says, Why Hire a Photo booth? The answer is simple. So you can Celebrate in Style and good Cheer!

If you are looking for a fun, creative way to honor the host of the party. Bring in a photo booth.

Above all, any good host would want to see their guest, laughing and having a good time at the party. By hiring photo booth rental at your party it a great way to bring the crowd together, and get them up and moving around the space. In the event that you decide to hire an open-air, interactive photo booth, your guest will have room to let loose, with a group photo, or two or three. It may even encourage a little spontaneity in your party.

Do you like instant Gratification?

Guest love having their photo’s delivered instantly on high quality, custom designed prints.

TSP Photo Booth Phun offers a 3 in 1 solution
3. Entertainment
2. Fun Photography
1. Memorable Keepsakes

The photo booth should not take place of your professional photographer.
Our Crew wants to add the PHUN to your party.

Meet our friendly Photo Booth Attendant. The life of the party.
He comes with the photo booth package.

You have asked, We have listened.
Last Summer our Photo Booth went through a renovation. It’s back and better than ever!!
Additional Photo Booth services may include, Guest Book, unlimited printing, backdrop, props just to name a few & of course LOTS OF LAUGHTER is guaranteed!
Cheers to New Props, New System & Photo Booth Fun for Everyone!

Want to learn more?
Contact Us!

About the Author
Rebecca is a Midwest based photographer; with Award winning images in Wedding Photography. She has 10+ years experience, hundreds of memories from each event, along with a few published articles in the photography field. She enjoys sharing insights with clients and fellow blog followers. As a photographer, her use of natural light and technical ease allows her to create memorable, unique and beautiful photo’s for all her clients.


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Wedding Day Highlights, Best of & Out-takes, Behind the Scenes and Just Because.

How the heck do you sum up an entire year of goodness & memories into one blog post?
I’m forcing myself to keep it simple, Less is more? Right?
We kick off the new year with an inspirational quote; The words are simply stated:

Don’t try to change the world.
Find something you love and do it everyday.
Do that for the rest of your life and eventually the world will change.

How’s that for perspective? We can’t tell where we are going, if we do not take time to reflect where we have been. As a photographer, we scrolled through thousands of images this year, countless hours spent editing, during this process, we stash a few photo gems away into a special folder called “Out takes & Best Of” From this folder we have created this fun 2018 Year End Review. Images from the archives.

Thank you to our clients for trusting us! We wouldn’t be here without you,
Thank you to our future clients, we are ready to dive into 2019 and tell your stories.
Cheers to another year.

Contact Us

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About the Author
Rebecca is a Midwest based photographer; with Award winning images in Wedding Photography. She has 10+ years experience, hundreds of memories from each event, along with a few published articles in the photography field. She enjoys sharing insights with clients and fellow blog followers. As a photographer, her use of natural light and technical ease allows her to create memorable, unique and beautiful photo’s for all her clients.

The Hottest Barn Wedding Trends to Look out for this 2019

Throwing a spectacular themed wedding requires great planning and a touch of creativity. Ever since the emergence of Pinterest, couples have tried and tested a great number of themes. Some have been great hits while others were pure misses.

This upcoming wedding season, barn weddings are turning into a rage and we can totally relate as to why. The shabby chic and rustic vintage vibes that come alongside barn venues are totally worth the call.  From outdoor wedding photography to rustic wedding décor and all the planning that comes along, here are the hottest barn wedding trends to look out for this 2019.

Take your rustic décor to a world of its own with some homespun barn inspiration

From burlap and lace to chic modern day accessories worth taking notice, there’s a lot that can be done to transform your traditional rustic wedding into a special world of its own.  Transpiring from the outdoors, rustic décor can be elevated gracefully into something that’s beautiful and rustic with a hint of vintage too. We’re talking the brilliant use of wooden beams and hangings, lots of luscious greenery and nature themed decor, raffia ribbon draped chairs, mirrored details and color schemes that revolve around royal emerald greens, sepias and gold.

Feathers can transform your barn themed wedding by lining those wedding aisles, being incorporated into wedding bouquets, adorning wedding invites, as a focal point in your table centerpieces or simply by making their way into the groomsmen’s boutonniere.

Take the romantic ambiance level up a notch by using lots of candles and fairy lights against your venue’s setting. Place burlap inspired welcome boxes or weaved baskets for guests at their seats and fill them with your favorite treats. This is a sheer source of delight indeed.

From shots of the sun setting and its rays peeking through the rustic wooden beams of your barn venue to breathtakingly beautiful high vaulted ceilings that have been dressed using shimmering string lights, barn weddings truly make for beautiful wedding photography.

Outdoor wedding photography at barns are on a whole new level

There are hundreds of acres of lands worth discovering with the serene countryside view being a great treat for guests and the couple to enjoy. In such a magnificent setting, couples can take full advantage of naturally graceful backdrops for their photographs. It’s truly a blank canvas that’s waiting to be developed using the couple’s vision of their picture perfect day.

Countryside catering trends: Finger licking food and wine for guests to enjoy

If you thought southern fried chicken, beef jerky and cordon bleu with a giant helping of apple sauce gravy and corn on the cob is what country food catering is all about, think again. Couples are going all out with catering at their barn weddings, ensuring every meal served has a class of its own.

Today, it’s all about self constructed salad bars, an array of different kinds of meats being carved for guests to enjoy and tables comprising of pasta sauté. And just when we’re done with that, salad bars were soon being transformed to dessert bars to satiate the sweet tooth of guests involved.

Heartwarming buffet systems are coming back in sheer style with guests helping themselves with what they like. It’s good wholesome food that revolves around a good conversation starter for family and friends to get right into.

Let’s not forget about Desert
cocktail carts are sure to make it big on this year’s list of trending barn wedding trends. They’re innovative, movable and oh so fabulous to look at when adorned to perfection

As far as the wedding cake is concerned, deconstructed cakes are raging. You won’t be surprised to find several cakes of unique flavors that are seamlessly decorated and short in height. This way, guests can now devour the wedding cake flavor of their preference.

There ya have it.  Midwestern barn wedding at it’s finest!  We would love to be a part of your vendor crew!
Contact us to find out more about how to reserve your wedding date with TellaStory Photography.
We love fairy tale endings and eating cake too.