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outdoor wedding videographer

12 Tips for a Beautiful and Meaningful Wedding from Newlyweds!


12 Tips for a Beautiful and Meaningful Wedding from Newlyweds!

So you said, “Yes!” and now you are embarking on the wedding journey!  Congrats! Marriage is one of the most amazing things EVER and we are thrilled for you! As newlyweds, we put our heads together to come up with “what worked and what we wish we would have known” to help you get started!


Jeff and I got so stressed in the beginning with trying to find a venue in our budget that would work for the amount of guests we thought we would have.  It was overwhelming and to be honest, I told Jeff I thought we should just elope.  As we were scouring the Internet one night, I felt the Holy Spirit tugging at my heart. “You haven’t included me.”  I shared this with Jeff and we both stopped what we were doing and began praying.  It was in that prayer that the Lord gave us specific direction. I’m talking He gave us the name of the city to where we should look for a venue.  If you want a more in depth story here is my blog post on this miracle. But the point is, invite God in from the very beginning and He will direct your steps!



You might be the girl who was planning her wedding since the moment you could play dress up or you might be the guy that just “doesn’t care”, but one of the coolest experiences for us, was that we made our choices together.  Sure there was compromise (I can get carried away with gold) but in the end, people kept telling us, “we see you and Jeff everywhere.”  The celebration was a reflection of our new lives as one and that is a special experience.

Even if you know this in your head, put extra safeguards around this for your heart. It can be easy to get caught up in the wedding and without realizing it, you have stopped dating and working on your relationship.  Have a mentor that holds you accountable, definitely DO Pre-marriage counseling, set dates that are just for you two, and check in with each other on a personal level.

Don’t listen to the wedding dress shops and the venues and the wedding planners—you don’t need a year to plan a wedding. We planned our wedding in 4 months because we wanted to start our lives together.  You don’t need to put your lives on hold or compromise your purity because you want the perfect flowers or venue or you want to please everyone in your family.

Seriously. You can’t.  Focus on your future spouse, because in the end it is about you two.

I made the mistake of pushing off small tasks, which made us cram a lot of little things in two weeks before the big day. You are going to want wedding week time with family and friends that are in town.  Take the small tasks off your plate early!



Speaking of delaying small tasks….I wish I had done this.  I had it “in my head” but when it came to the day, things were happening so fast that a lot of what I had in my head was lost.

Think about the people you want to hold you accountable, to do life with you, who are going to be there for you through your marriage. Being a member of a bridal party is a big job. Also note, sometimes it’s ok to not ask someone who you know is in a season of life where they would be overwhelmed. Just have a conversation with that person so they know you care and understand it would be unfair to put such a burden on them. 

This is what your bridal party is for (and also why you want to be sensitive to the seasons of life people might be in!)  They want to help you, so get good at delegating!  We both talked about how we wouldn’t have gotten through our wedding without our bridal party. It was like we had a troop rallying around us, cheering us on, selflessly helping us…they were in it.



I highly recommend this.  As women, our bodies are different, and the dress that looks good on one girl might not look good on another.  Plus it stinks to have to spend so much money on a dress that you won’t wear again! I gave my girls a color palette and told them I wanted it to be long. They chose dresses that were unique to them, which was special to me.



Weddings are emotionally, physically, and mentally exhausting.  Give yourself at least an extra day to not have to rush off to the airport and be on an agenda.  Process the magnitude of this event, enjoy each other (you probably won’t have seen each other alone the week prior), give yourself time to breathe and relax!



First of all, I will admit I was on the fence about a wedding video. I figure we were spending so much money on pictures that maybe we could cut the budget. I am so thankful that we hired Eric! Our wedding video is one of my most favorite memories I have! The day goes by so fast, and to relive it was really a gift! Jeff and I are both in the entertainment industry and have been around a lot of directors and DP’s….Eric, blew us away with what he captured. He has an incredible eye and a gorgeous way of telling your story.
— Jeffrey and Jacquelyn

We happen to agree especially with that last point!

Share this with anyone who is planning their wedding and could use some quick tips! Also, click below to check out their incredible wedding in the California mountains:


5 Tips That Are Worth Remembering When Planning YOUR Day


5 Tips That Are Worth Remembering When Planning YOUR Day

We are continuing our series in sharing tips from recent brides!  These following tips were given by Devin Gertkin.  Devin and Nic's day was absolutely beautiful from the outdoor ceremony to the sparkler send off after the evening was through! Devin was kind enough to share a few tips to the engaged couples out there that are planning their big day, in hopes that these tips are helpful to you!

TIP I.  "Remember it's YOUR day: Even if your families are chipping in and helping you pay for things, it's okay to remind them that in the end it should be all about you. It's easy for them to start to live out their dream wedding in yours, but once you kindly remind them they (usually) are brought back to reality! Just because "everyone else does it this way", doesn't mean you need to! We didn't do a lot of the "traditional" things like throwing the bouquet, dollar dance, cake, and really tailored our day to us. I couldn't have imagined it any other way!"


"remember... it's your day"


TIP II.  "Give yourself time to plan the wedding: We had 14 months to plan our wedding and it was amazing. We didn't feel rushed, we secured the big things right away (ie. place, DJ, food, photograhper/videographer) but then gave ourselves some time to just enjoy being engaged."


TIP III.  "Skip out on real flowers: It's a huge budget eater. After pricing out flowers and having a mini heart attack, we went with babies breath and dried hydrangeas. You can buy bulk flowers from somewhere like Sam's Club for cheap cheap. We had a jar full on each table, about 20 else where, made 3 bridesmaids bouquets and had flowers to spare for around $300."

Devin and Nic's Flowers.jpg

"skip out on real flowers... it's a huge budget eater"


TIP  IV.  "Spend the money on a photographer/videographer: These will be your only true keepsakes from your wedding besides your memories and it's so worth finding true professionals to capture it. As I look back at our photos, and especially our video, there are so many moments I had forgotten. The day flies by and it's impossible to remember it all. I still cry every time I watch our video and I look forward to sharing it with our kids in the future and re-living that perfect day."

Devin and Nic.jpg

"I look forward to sharing it with our kids... and re-living that perfect day"


TIP V.  "As everyone says, don't stress the small stuff: You have NO control over things like weather on your day, and if you're planning an outdoor wedding you risk rain, wind, too hot, or too cold. We took the risk, and although it was misting through most of our pictures and pouring during our first dance - I never let it bother me. Because in the end all that matters is that you get to marry your best friend." 


I hope you find that these tips were helpful to you and that you found a tip that you can incorporate into your wedding!  Something that immediately stood out to me while watching Devin and Nic's wedding video was the smile she had her face the whole day!  She exuded pure joy!  She mentioned in her tips to let the little things go because you can't control everything.  It seems like such simple advice, but when you actually think about it and take in what that would actually be like, it's a little scary.  Giving advice to let go of some things when they don't go as planned on the day that is supposed so be perfect and the most magical day ever, is not just advice that can easily be taken.  This advice may not be easily grasped but it's worth a shot, especially if it helps you smile more than worry on your big day, because it is going to be the happiness you had that you will remember more than any rain or clouds. 

The bridal party.jpg

"it's going to be the happiness you had that you will remember"

It's very true, your wedding day is huge and, yes, there is a lot of pressure that goes along with that.  However, as far as having the perfect day, it will be perfect for you and your future spouse because of what you made of it and because of the words of commitment you shared on that very special day.  As far as those little bumps that may arise, they will give you a good story to tell!  So as much as you can, fight to let those little things go and laugh about it because after all, you are getting married!  How awesome is that?!?  

Don't waste your energy or one second of the one day that is ALL ABOUT YOU worrying about things you can't change.  Instead, try your hardest to focus on the constant that is in your life now and will be forever starting on that very special day.  Give that commitment and future spouse all your attention, because they sure deserve it! In taking Devin's advice I hope you will have the most happy day, just like she did!  

happy couple.jpg

"give that commitment and future spouse all your attention... because they sure deserve it!"

Thank you Devin for your contribution to this series!  

Thank you for reading!

Remember to subscribe for future tips from the brides themselves!

Watch Devin and Nic's beautiful wedding video!


"First Look"... Do or Don't


"First Look"... Do or Don't

Something as special as the first time you see your future husband or wife before saying I do is a big deal, to say the least.  You want it to be right and to be a moment you think back on with such fond memory.  For in that moment your world will change forever, as you look into the eyes of the person who is with you now and will be there until the end.  There are different ways to do this, and as a women I can honestly say that it isn't an easy decision to make.  What decision is easy when planning the day that sets the rest of your life into action?  None!  I am here to help and hopefully help make this decision a little easier for you!  There are positives and not so great things to anything but it really comes down to what is best for you, as a soon to be married couple.  There are two ways that are common to see one another for the first time before you say, "I do" and though different, both are special in their own, unique ways. 

Let's point out the details of each to help steer you in the direction of what is a right for you...

Way #1:  The Traditional Way

First, lets take a moment to point out the positives of seeing one another for the first time while walking down that beautiful aisle!

  • You get to see each other for the first time in front of your dearest family and friends.  And in doing so, they get to share that moment and be a reminder to you of the excitement and expressions encompassed in that moment when you walked towards the love of your life.  This can be so special!
  • That exciting thought, that the next time you see the love of your life you will be walking down that aisle towards them and not a moment before!

Now, lets point out some of the things you may not prefer about this traditional way of seeing one another for the first time!  

  • This moment is shared with family and friends!
  • In this moment, when you are excited to see your soon to be spouse, your focus may be divided by the nerves of having all eyes on you.  However, if you do not have stage freight, ignore this! You are lucky!
  • When you see each other, most likely your hearts will jump for joy and you will probably want to jump with them, and into each other's arms!  Not only that, but you may want to "ooo", and "ahhh" over how enchanting you both look and express how you are feeling in that moment.  With this traditional way, it's not to say you can't do those things but in front of family and friends that's not typically how it happens.

Recap of why the "Traditional Way" MAY BE for you:

  • You want the first time you see each other to be witnessed and shared with family and friends!
  • It's the way you have always pictured it happening!

Recap of why the "Traditional Way" may NOT be for you:

  • You want the this moment to be more private!
  • You want to option to express feelings in whatever way you are feeling in that moment!
  • You have nerves in front of people, that may take away from the first moment you see one another for the first time!

Way #2:  First Look Way

Alright, let's uncover the positives of seeing one another in private before walking down the aisle!

  • You won't need to worry about the added nerves of your friends and family being there to watch the first time you see one another!
  • You are able to freely express your authentic feelings in that very special moment however you choose!  Whether that be jumping into each other's arms and hugging and kissing, telling each other how incredible you both look, or praying a prayer together before the whole point of the day gets taken underway!
  • Depending on the schedule of your day, the photos you take with the wedding party and your future spouse may fit in better before the ceremony and this way of seeing each other for the first time allows that!

Now, lets point out some of the things you may not prefer about this "First Look" way of seeing one another for the first time!  

  • Even though this way of seeing each other for the first time has it's benefits, if the thought of this is just not giving you a happy gut feeling because you have always envisioned something different, than maybe this isn't for you.  You need to be true to yourselves!  This is your day after all!
  • Maybe it's important to you to share this moment with your closest family and friends, and you don't mind the nerves or don't have them!
  • Sharing the moment with family and friends outweighs the reasons for why you would do a "First Look"!

Recap of why the "First Look Way" MAY BE for you:

  • You want to say goodbye to added nerves!
  • You want that private time to express your feelings in whatever way you choose!
  • It makes the most sense with the schedule of your day!

Recap of why the "First Look Way" may NOT be for you:

  • It's just not how you have envisioned it happening, and that's okay!
  • Nerves aren't a concern for you!
  • Wanting your family and friends there outweigh the other reasons you would choose to do a "First Look"! 

I hope that in reading this, it has helped make your decision a little easier and has made what you truly want stand out!

Olivia Saari - Administrative Assistant, Olsen Media


Which way do you prefer and why? Let us know in the comments!


Trevor + Anna - Summer Wedding at the Arboretum


Trevor + Anna - Summer Wedding at the Arboretum

Anna + Trevor June 24th 2017 The Arboretum, Chanhassen, MN The Wedding Collective 2017 Filmed and Edited by Olsen Media Music licensed through and


Jeff + Jacquelyn - Gorgeous California Wedding in the Mountains


Jeff + Jacquelyn - Gorgeous California Wedding in the Mountains

Dream destination, wonderful couple, and joyous friends and family. The perfect mix for an incredible wedding! What a great event to be a part of and to capture. Jeff and Jacquelyn are both actors (which isn't hard to see!) but there was no acting involved on this day. Emotions swelled through heartfelt vows and letters and it was easy to see the love these two share. Thanks for having me film your big day and congratulations!

Music licensed through Art and


Kiel + Grace - Wonderful Barn Wedding in Central Minnesota


Kiel + Grace - Wonderful Barn Wedding in Central Minnesota

What an amazing wedding this was! Amazingly decorated barn, Prairie Bay catering (honestly a favorite of mine), a lake in the woods, a really fun group of people, and a great couple that are a perfect match for each other. All the ingredients for an incredible wedding day! Thanks again to Kiel and Grace for having me capture your big day!

Music licensed through and


Nic + Devin - Fall Wedding at it's Finest


Nic + Devin - Fall Wedding at it's Finest

My wife and I agree that if we were to go back a do it all again, this is the kind of wedding we would have. Outdoors, in the country, reception in a tent, fun and inviting! Nic and Devin put together a joyous and relaxed environment that put everyone at ease and welcomed them to enjoy the celebration. What a great wedding to be a part of and to capture. Thank you both and blessings on your marriage!

Music licensed through and