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Tips for Brides | What if I Don”t Want to Do a First Look?

We have blogged about how much we LOVE when couples choose to have a first look and we really do. They tend to give an amazing relaxed atmosphere that is totally centered on the couple, and we love that. However, we never want our couples to feel pressured to do a first look if it is not something that they want, though we would love for them to consider it.

So we often get a question from our couples about what they should do if they do not choose a first look? If you choose not to have a first look on your wedding day there are just a few things to keep in mind, and we will be sure to work with you through the process.

The main thing to think about is when sunset is, and what time your ceremony will take place. If you are not wanting to do a first look, you will have to plan a ceremony time that will leave us plenty of natural light after the ceremony ends to capture all of the lovely images that you are wanting from your wedding day. There will be family pictures, bridal party pictures, and the portraits of the two of you. We want to make sure that you have lots of time to get all the gorgeous images that will be going in your album.

If you decide against the first look there will be some time before you get to the reception, it is a great idea to have a cocktail hour of some kind so that your guests will be occupied while the photos are being taken. If there is food or drinks…guests will be happy!

Especially if you are not doing the first look, it is important to let your family that will be in family pictures know where they should be. If they don’t know where to be we often loose Grandma, who has slipped off to the reception for a cocktail. :) It is a good idea to let them know ahead of time as well as have the officiant announce where they should be at the end of the ceremony.

Though we love when couples choose the first look, it is absolutely possible to choose not to do one as long as you plan well!

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Rai De Lain



Great tips and a great topic!! I’d also add to do as much bridal party as possible beforehand to free up time for those romantic photos!


It is such an honor to see our work and our amazing couples featured on wedding blogs. We have been so blessed to be featured on some amazing blogs, and it is only because of our amazing clients and the fabulous editors that run these blogs! We use an amazing service, Two Bright Lights, to submit for publication, and we were so honored to be chosen for their editors choice award this year, which places us among the top 5% of their members!

Here are a few recent features.

Sarah and Robert’s lovely fall wedding at Art Space 111 in Fort Worth was featured on Love Wed Bliss!

Laura and Shawn’s elegant Wedding at Texas and Pacific Station in Fort Worth was featured on Trendy Bride. We were thrilled to see that Alyssa and Blake’s Vintage Wedding at The Orchard in Azle was chosen as one of Le Magnifique’s best weddings of 2012. Kelsie and Andrew’s Backyard vintage wedding was featured on Un-Jersey Bride.

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Clearing the Clutter and Keeping Things Positive

I mentioned a few days ago that several of you have been asking for some organizational and productivity posts, and I am listening! This is one of those things that might not seem related to getting things organized and getting things done, but it is!

Facebook…we all probably spend a little too much time on it, and especially when you own your own business it is easy to convince yourself that your time spent on Facebook is business related. But really…it is a huge time sucker that steals away lots of time in the day when we could have been productive.

Aside from the fact that Facebook and other forms of social media can tend to steal time away from us doing big things in our business, or doing other things that really matter, I have one other huge issue with it. A few months ago I made a huge effort to eliminate things that are negative from my life. I know it might sound straight from a cheesy self help book, but this has made a huge difference for me. I get easily distracted by negative things in my life. I think about them more than I should and tend to let them make me worry unnecessarily.

So here is my challenge to you, and if you will do it will make a huge difference. Head over to Facebook, and clean up your newsfeed. If someone is contantly negative remove them from your feed, if you don’t even know this person remove them from your feed, if you find yourself feeling jealousy when you read their posts remove them from your feed, if you feel like you are in constant competition with someone remove them from your feed, if you feel irritated by their posts remove them from your feed. You don’t have to unfriend these people if you are not comfortable with that, but I think it is so important to clear the clutter and negativity from every aspect of our lives including social media. This might seem silly to you, it did to me at first too. But, when I actually did it, I can’t even tell you how relieved I felt. Removing negativity from your life will have a profound effect on how much you can accomplish and how you feel.

Why is this so hard? We like to know what is going on. This isn’t just a blog post for you to read, this is a post you should do something about! Leave me a note in the comments if you cleaned up your feed a bit, or if there is another topic you would love to be discussed in this new series!

Clear the clutter, and make time for what really matters.


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Such a great reminder!!

i really need to try this with the newsfeed! so helpful! thanks!!!! no negativity would be awesome!

Bethany McDonnell

This is good. I like the different categories you gave: posts making you angry, jealous, negative, frustrated…it is amazing what people choose to write before a public audience. I have cleaned up my news feed before, but it has been a while…time to do it again! :)

Caitie Sheppard

Going to do it TODAY! Woopie! Excited…. Is there a way to block negative people from commenting on your stuff? ;) Thanks for the tip!

Lauren Fair

So funny, I just cleaned up my newsfeed this weekend — it DOES feel good! less negativity = more productivity :)

i just started doing this recently and it makes me feel SO much better. it’s crazy how other peoples’ negativity/actions can so heavily influence our own emotions!

Maria Timms Roth

I have been doing this very thing for the past few weeks. Not just my friends but also those pages that I liked, just because at the time I thought I needed to like them. Cleaning the clutter don’t just mean in your home and office but anything in your life that gets cluttered. Great post! I always love reading your blog.

Eryn Crawford Kesler

gooooood stuff Ms. Kristin Schmucker! Love.

Niki Josephsen

I’ve done this, and it makes a HUGE difference when I don’t have to see the same people being so negative…I haven’t deleted them as a friend, I just don’t allow their posts to show up in my timeline…this is great advise…thanks for taking the time to share

Sandy Gerrettie

working on all the STUFF every day…the thoughts are getting there…the STUFF is out of here

Nancy Zirbas

Hi Kristin, Clearing the clutter of negative people/relationships is something that I have done. It is more difficult if they are family. Family has to stay but they don’t have to continue to influence my life. I used to think it was my job (insert God laughing) to be friends with all the people who no one else wanted to be friends with. What a lie from Satan. All this accomplished was creating a bunch of negative friendships I really didn’t need to begin with. I love the scripture that talks about iron sharpening iron. This is now my guideline for a friendship. If I am not sharpening them and they are not sharpening me…I don’t need it. Thanks for the blog!!!!!

Jessica Joshua Pruitt

Thank you so much for this post! I’ve never thought of doing this. Great way to “clean up the clutter.” Just cleaned up some of mine and I will continue doing so as I get on Facebook.


I so agree with this and will start to do it today. Very, very hard to block family, but I am so very negatively influenced for this person that depression sets in. Cant completely figure it out, but cant get over it either. Thanks for this.

Stephanie Nicole

Love this so so much, thank you!

Tiffany Martin

I have done this,but I need to go back to my list and clear more. I am so guilty of always using the excuse of using social media for business when in reality it just becomes a huge distraction for me and a breading ground for negativity. Thank you


I completely deleted my Facebook, am only following about 6 boards on Pinterest, and went from following 90-something people on Instagram to following about 15. I am SO much more productive now!

It Always Seems Impossible…Until It is Done.

There are things in life that seem so out of reach. We feel insignificant when we look at the accomplishments of others, their life seems perfect when you read their blog and they have somehow actually accomplished all the things that they have pinned to their Pinterest boards. But what we don’t see, is the times that they have failed.

I have chatted with a few girls in the past few weeks who have emailed or messaged me for help and encouragement. I never want to give the impression that we somehow have things all together. God has been so good to us and we have been so blessed, but we have also failed. We have tried things that didn’t work and we have made mistakes. If you are not failing, you are not trying hard enough. When we look back at how we have made a life doing what we love, we are amazed…but the funny thing is that the things that we are most happy about are the things that we were most scared about. You may fail 99 times this year, or even this week while attempting dreams that some would say are too big, but that 1 success is going to make it all worth it. You may feel like you aren’t good enough, but when you set goals and make them happen you will realize that you can accomplish anything with a lot of hard work and the willingness to attempt the “impossible”

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Johanna Lucas

Very encouraging!

Caitie Sheppard

Thanks, Kristin! One of the quotes in my new Mary Kay business is “Failing to success”… I’d rather have bloody knees from trying than to have scratch-free knees and never accomplish anything! Love you bunches! <3

Our Random Life #23

I always love the start of something new. There is just something refreshing about a new year, a new journal, a new project and a new month. A lot of people hate Monday’s but for me it is a fresh start, a chance to do something great, even if the last week felt blah. Please tell me I am not alone?

Jeremy has a new hobby, and I am loving it. After watching quite a few episodes of Take Home Chef on Netflix he has been coming up with some delicious meals. It gives me a break…and I have to say he looks like quite the hottie in the kitchen. How did I get so lucky?

Yesterday had a high if 81 here in Fort Worth. Can you believe it? I could hear the birds chirping outside the window and you could just smell spring outside. Hopefully the warm sun and the cool breeze linger for awhile.

This past week I have had a few people ask me about organization, time management, and balancing being a mom, wife, and business owner. It kids takes me back to all those lessons my mom gave me on time management. She would try to make me understand how much more efficient it was if every time I went into another room or upstairs I took something that belonged there. I guess he was right after all. Several of you have been asking for more organizational and balance posts so hopefully I will be writing more soon!

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Britteny Nichol Strawn

hurray…someone else that still uses “R” for Thursday! :-D

Tammy Damore

Isn’t funny how, even though school work was important, life lessons are equally if not even more important. Certainly you have succeeded in all areas, you love The Lord your God, you are honest and true, hard working, and love to encourage others by sharing what works for you, not to mention a great wife and mother with SO FAB style! I am very proud of what you have accomplished and I am busting at the seems to see how God will further bless you because of the way you have lived your life!!! What a blessing to me, your mother to see!

Kristin Schmucker

Love you.

Josh-Danielle Venable

haha. I use R too! It’s like a secret club. lol.

Caitie Sheppard

Excited about your organizational posts! I’m working on it now that I’m home more and let me tell you…I LOVE IT! Breaking up my house-keeping is sooo much easier than tackling it all on one day. *sigh* Life is grand in TX…couldn’t be happier! :)