Wedding Planning Timeline//Happy New Year

First things first, Happy early New Year to everyone! I know it’s a couple of days away, but since this is posting before New Year Eve, I wanted to say it now.  🙂 Also, congratulations to the new brides out there! This is such an exciting time in your life. Let the wedding planning begin!

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Wedding Plan Timelines

Because I am sure there are a ton of brides just beginning their research, I thought it would be a good time to call on my past experience as a wedding photographer! I wanted to talk wedding planning timelines with you. This can vary so much between weddings. In general, though, this is the order with which you can start a plan.

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1 Year Prior

  • Work out a budget. Be sure to give yourself enough to plan your dream wedding!
  • Book a venue. For some venues, one year out may not be enough time.
  • Draft a guest list.
  • Have your engagement party.
  • Register for gifts.
  • Hire your wedding planner.  I highly recommend Megan Rusch Soiree’s.
  • Hire your wedding photographer. I recommend Laura Ann Miller, ImageClairity,  or Conner Photography!

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10 Months Prior

  • Pick an officiant.
  • Choose your bridal party.
  • Meet with caterers, Dj’s, etc.
  • Take engagement photos.
  • Launch your wedding website.

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8 Months Prior

  • Order your dress!
  • Block hotel rooms for guests.
  • Begin cake tastings and order your cake.
  • Begin your makeup trials.  I highly recommend the Blowout Bar or Savanah Summer Beauty.

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6 Months Prior

  • Choose your invitations.  I really like On Three Designs in St. Louis!
  • Send out your Save the Dates.
  • Book your Honeymoon.
  • Order your bridesmaids’ dresses.
  • Purchase your wedding bands.  Check out The Diamond Family in STL. 🙂
  • Book your florist.
  • Arrange transportation.
  • Begin planning your day of timeline.  I am actually planning to make an entire blog post about this in the next few months so stay tuned!
  • Book your BOUDOIR SESSION!!! You knew this was going to be in here some where.

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4 Months Prior

  • Choose your groomsmen’ attire.
  • Plan the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.
  • Confirm vendors
  • Confirm your hair and makeup.
  • Choose your music.
  • Finalize the menu and flowers.
  • Order favors.
  • Plan the readings during the wedding and a list of those giving toasts at the reception.
  • Print menu cards and programs.
  • Finalize the order of the ceremony and reception.
  • Send a timeline to your wedding vendors.
  • Have your boudoir session photographed.

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2 Months Prior

  • Mail the invitations.
  • Write/decide on wedding vows.
  • Purchase your day of accessories.
  • Confirm the day of transportation.
  • Meet with/touch base with your vendors.
  • Pick up your BOUDOIR ALBUM!

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6 Weeks to 1 Month Prior

  • Get your marriage license.
  • Send out final payments
  • Have your bachelorette party!
  • Have your bridal shower!
  • Confirm times for hair and makeup and the other vendors.
  • Give your shot list to your photographer.
  • Review the music with the DJ.
  • Purchase bridesmaids’ gifts.

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Week of the Wedding

  • Final head count of guests.
  • Finalize the seating chart.
  • Send a timeline to the bridal party.
  • Pick up your dress.
  • Check in one last time with your photographer.
  • Pack for your honeymoon.

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2 Days Prior


Get married!

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I’m not gonna lie, even writing all that down stressed me out.  Be sure to have a planner and someone you can trust to help you keep on track! Planning a wedding can be so overwhelming and you don’t want to get behind. It’s a special day and you want it to be perfect. 🙂

Again congratulations to all the newly engaged girls out there! I really am so happy for you!

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Christmas and the Holidays

I am sure a lot of your holiday festivities have already kicked off at this point but I wanted to wish you all a VERY Merry Christmas! I hope you all get to enjoy happy (and not stressful) family time and remember the reason for the season is spending time with those you love! Don’t let material things cloud the memories!

christmas//Don't forget the reason for the season– A candid with my family at dinner// Boudoir by Tracy Brown STL//see more at

Christmas Reading

I have some other blog posts that I feel would be beneficial for you if you have some downtime during the holidays!

  • My good friend Gillian Becker wrote this blog post about Holiday eating last Christmas! By the way, she just launched her new company, Momshells, which is a weightless program.  Be sure to check it out for those New Year’s Goals.

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  • Holiday Photography Tips: Last year, I wrote this handy blog post about getting the best possible photos for your holiday memories, so be sure to check it out as a refresh this year!

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  • Reason for the Season: Remember the reason for the season is family! Don’t get wrapped up in the material things! I would give anything to get one more holiday with my Grampy.
  • A Christmas Boudoir Session: And if you want to see some boudoir inspiration photos… here ya go!


Be present this holiday season! Live in the moment and really enjoy it this year. You never know how many you may have with your favorite relative or friend.

I know a few of you are probably about to get engaged, so congratulations early! I am so excited for you! Your ring is beautiful (aren’t they all though?). 🙂 Haha

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Boudoir Album Versus Digitals/ STL

In this modern age of 2018, it’s tempting to forgo printing photos and just get your photos digitally. The problem with that? Digital files can disappear (well, not if you get photos with me– I back them up in 6 different places, 2 hard drives, my computer, and each have their own cloud backup). Regardless, I highly encourage my clients to  allow me to create and deliver a boudoir album after your session. I learned that lesson the hard way.

scarf and black lace panties/ black heels/ white fur rug/ chaise lounge/ Boudoir by Tracy Brown/ St Louis

When Digital Goes Wrong–

I heard once that this generation is going to be the most photographed generation with the least to show for it. I don’t think I have ever heard a more true statement.  We’re all guilty of it. Between Snapchat and Instastories, we are all taking photos. We rarely save the actual photos and if we do, it’s on our phone where we can easily lose them.

I have heard of clients who had their wedding photos given to them in digital format. They didn’t print them at the time, thinking they would get around to it eventually.  Ten or fifteen years later, things happen.  Maybe they lose the CD in a move, or just misplace it, but still they never end up printing their images. Now, there isn’t even anywhere to print the photos on considering it’s on a CD!

Isn’t it sad to think that some of us may not have images of our own lives to show our grandkids?  Didn’t you love looking at these of your grandparents?  I know I did and still do.

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The Lesson–

As technology changes rapidly, those digital files don’t always keep up. Remember when people used to get pictures on CDs? My Mac doesn’t even have a disk drive! Thumb drives and CDs can get damaged, files can get distorted, and digital images get lost. While digital can be a decent backup if you have a very sturdy hard drive and some cloud storage, prints are, in my opinion, the way to go. (Again, though, if you’re my client, you don’t have to worry about my hard drives crashing as I have them carefully backed up to 6 different places!)

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This is why I HIGHLY recommend my clients and friends get an album and prints of their photographs, from any session or photographer, whether it be your wedding, family photos, or a boudoir session. Really, we hire photographers to have tangible souvenirs of certain magical but fleeting moments of life. Digital files are not tangible and can become outdated. Print photos, if stored safely or displayed in a nice frame, can last.

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Boudoir Album– It’s all about quality

Also, I would recommend that you get your prints through your photographer. For me, I am very serious about the quality of prints for my clients and thoroughly assess prospective vendors before I choose to collaborate with them. My lab is professional quality and I carefully hand picked it because of the high quality of their photo processing. That being said, getting prints through your photographer will be of a MUCH better quality than if you go to the grocery store or drugstore’s photo developers.

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So, when you have a professional photography session, make sure you have something to take away. Digital files probably won’t last. Make those memories tangible. Learn from other’s mistakes and just go ahead and get those albums and prints.

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SaveSave Abs and Booty Class//STL

Gillian Becker(aka Instagram’s @stl_momshell) is well known for her abs and booty workouts and she recently created  Join us for March 9, 2019 from 1pm-4pm for an abs and booty workout and meet Gillian. There will be giveaways and girl time, and of course wine and mimosas! 🙂

About Gillian and

Gillian Becker is a registered nurse, certified personal trainer and weight loss specialist with a passion for transforming women’s bodies and empowering them through healthy lifestyle changes! She is creator of, the world’s first weight loss system and support community for moms! She has been involved in the fitness industry for over 12 years as a bikini competitor and fitness model and is a sponsored athlete with 1st Phorm International, House Of Pain Apparel, and Toxic Angelz Bikinis.

The Class

I have done a few of Gillian’s at home workouts and they kicked my booty! She definitely knows what she is doing.

The class will take place in my studio on March 9, 2019 from 1pm-4pm. Gillian will be there to answer any and all questions about the workout and she specifically requested to have the attendees bring any and all fitness related questions for her to answer!

The class is $25.  Expect giveaways and discounts by Gillian and myself as well!

*Be sure to bring your own exercise mat! Reviews

Gillian B. lost 60 pounds and 30 inches with

“I’m Gillian, the Founder of Momshells. I am a 38 year old single mom of two and I have lost over 60 pounds and 30 inches with the meal plans and workouts outlined on! When you are overweight, you hide behind big sweaters and even your kids! After achieving the best shape of my life, I’m proud of the woman that I have become and I can’t wait to help you do the same!”

Adriana L. lost 20 pounds and 15 inches with

“Momshells changed my life, mind and body forever. Love hanging out with like minded Moms just like me. The workouts and meal plans are so realistic and yummy. You never feel like you are on a diet. It’s a lifestyle!! Thank you Momshells!”

How to sign up??

This is simple! Click this link and sign up. 🙂

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