Quick Guide: Newly Engaged Wedding Planning

Newly Engaged Wedding Planning Quick Guide

Engagement Session, Wedding Photography | Aloha Kelly Photography L.L.C.

Dancing under the St. Louis Arch

This quick guide contains all the vital information for a newly engaged couple to begin their adventure in wedding planning! 

The question has been popped, all the happiness and butterflies are settling down, and you think.. “I am engaged! Now what?”

1. The most important step to planning the wedding of your dreams is setting your budget. Going into debt for your wedding can be a frightening thought. By defining a budget, though, you can invest in things that are the most important. Don’t let the wedding dress alone throw off your whole wedding budget! Payment plans are a great way to get things that you want too. Some vendors offer no-interest or little interest payment plans so don’t be afraid to ask!

2. Have your wedding date in mind! Every vendor you talk to will want to know when your big day is to make sure they are available. Even if you don’t have the actual date set, it’s helpful to narrow it down to at least the month and year of your wedding.

3. Book your wedding venue as soon as possible! Booking your venue first helps you secure your wedding date and set the tone for your color scheme/theme. Be sure to find out what is all included with your venue booking too! This can include food, drinks, seating arrangements, and many other in-house services. Sometimes they are included as incentives to book and sometimes there is an additional fee.

4. Start booking the most important vendors for your wedding! Examples of vendors would be your photographer, videographer, DJ/band, officiant, caterer (if not included with your venue), and florist. These vendors typically get booked almost a year or more ahead of time. Whether you are on a 6, 12, or 18 month timeline, these are absolutely crucial to book first!

Overwhelmed with the thought of wedding planning?

Or would you love to have someone else handling the nitty-gritty details?
We recommend using Wedding Coordinator, Kate Nuelle at Nuellewed Events. You can click here to visit her website!
Our jobs as wedding professionals is to make sure your big day is perfect! Please check out our recommended list of vendors that we know will take care of you on your wedding day.

Engagement Session, Wedding Photography | Aloha Kelly Photography L.L.C

Engagement Session at Lafayette Park in St. Louis, Missouri

A Perfect Fall Proposal

A couple months ago I received an emailed inquiry from Stephen about doing a couple’s portrait session. I didn’t want to assume it was a proposal, even though after years of being in this business…when the man contacts me (and he’s not a photographer) about a portrait session…..then there’s usually a sweet underlying purpose. And there was! About two weeks before our session, he let me know he was proposing to Jessica. We devised a plan, decided the best way to communicate without her suspecting anything and executed the whole thing perfectly!! She was so surprised and we caught every moment leading up to the big question and the tears and emotions following. We are so excited for you both, and even more honored that you choose us to capture such a precious moment in your lives!

And that sunset, seriously though!!!!! I don’t think we could have asked for a more perfect day!!

Locations: Lafayette Park and Malcolm Memorial in St. Louis, Missouri

Nicky & Beau : Lafayette Park Engagement

Nicky and Beau had a gorgeous, sunny Saturday at the very beginning of March. We were so lucky to have had weather in the upper 60’s as the fresh blooms made their debut. Nicky’s daughter, Izzy was able to join for the session and I was able to capture her personality quite well! She’s definitely a ham in front of the camera!

We had roughly an hour before sunset and started with the Tulip Magnolia trees as the sun was in the peak of golden hour. We got a few super cute shots of Izzy while she enjoyed the floral aromas! We headed to the Victorian bridge afterwards for a few more intimate portraits before the sun dropped completely. We managed to grab a few fun shots as the sky began to change colors too. Perfect end to a sweet engagement session.

Looking forward to their summer wedding!!

Katie & David | Engaged


Sometimes you find your people. The ones who share your visions as an artist and are game for anything. Sometimes, it just works and you find yourself telling their story better than you expected to! It must be an Irish thing….

Katie + David are getting married in March next year on the scheduled day of the Annual St. Pat’s Day run (which I typically participate in). It’s also the day of the St. Pat’s Day Celebration in St. Louis…which means party ALL day. Plus, we get to rock out at the Top of the Met and watch the sun set over the city. I don’t think it’ll get much cooler than that.

We decided to try a pretty little park in Chesterfield called Central Park – it looks like it was built for photographers in mind! Super gorgeous location. We literally shot until we ran out of light and then continued to shoot until almost dark. These two were fabulous to work with!! I can’t wait to celebrate with you two!

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Caitlin & Kevin | Engaged


We had an unusually warm and windy fall day. The sun was out, the park was covered with fallen leaves and we had just enough time to make it across the river for a spectacular sunset. Caitlin and Kevin are getting married next Spring and we can’t wait to share their day with them! My daughter (and budding photographer) tagged along with us too and she managed to get quite a few good shots too. 🙂 #proudmomma

These two were a joy to work with. I love ‘love’ and I LOVE when my couples are expressive. You can tell how much they adore each other in every single image. Their love is loud! 🙂 I love images that speak a story….I’m truly blessed to experience and tell theirs.

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