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How to Say Yes to the Dress, by The Bridal Path

Mitchell McGinnis

We often hear people say, “I wish someone had taught me how to find a wedding dress!  It’s like you walk into the store and they say ‘what style dress do you like?’ and you’re just supposed to know.  I’ve never done this before though, how should I know??”

This got us thinking…how do we inform brides how to say yes to a dress?  Here at The Bridal Path, with the help of our sales consultants, seamstresses, owners and more, we have compiled a “how to” on wedding dress shopping!


Do some research on what styles you like! This is probably a no-brainer, but there’s more to it.  The goal is not to find the exact dress you want via online and walk into the store and find it.  Now, I am a huge Pinterest fan, but let’s be real-not everything on there is reality. Some pins take you to expired or unrecognizable links. It’s possible that the wedding dress you pinned may not exist where bridal boutiques can carry it or it may be over your budget. The point behind your “wedding dress board” is to find a fit, a style, even a lacey pattern that you are drawn to! This helps your consultant understand your style better and narrow your choices down.


2. Come With An Open Mind

Do your research but also come in with an open mind. It’s good to have a direction you want to go in but don’t close your mind to other styles. Consultants have lots of experience and may have a dress in mind that would look great on you! At Bridal Path, we have seen brides end up purchasing a dress the exact opposite of what they thought they wanted. This is not meant to scare all the Type A people like some of us. This is simply a friendly warning that you never know what you might like! You may also want to keep an open mind to what your fiancé might like to see you in! After all, that’s be who you’ll be walking towards :)


Rachel Watters Photography

Rachel Watters Photography



Who you bring matters! Bring friends or family members whose opinion you value. People who know your true style and that expresses your personality.  It’s easy to think a lot of dresses are pretty, and they are, but they may not represent your personality.  A posse that knows you and supports you is key to your confidence.  If you have a friend or family member that doesn’t like your style or has a strong opinion of their own, it’s best not to bring them. If you’re like us, you’ll try to please everyone and in the end, making a decision on something you won’t be pleased with.




Come in with plenty of time to order your dress. It typically takes 4-6 months for a dress to come in, with 2-3 alterations appointments. If you’re crunching for time and have a shorter engagement that will not allocate time to order a dress, be prepared to buy a dress off the rack.  This means you would buy the exact dress you are trying on, in that size and color!  We can always alter the dress to fit you like a glove, so no worries!  While we’re on the subject, you should also know that sizing in the wedding world is different.  A size 2 would be a size 6 and so on.  Many people are shocked to hear the size given to them but it isn’t like your normal everyday clothes.  So, there’s a lot that goes into ordering a dress and we want you to have plenty of time for your dress to be made perfect!




Know that what you see isn’t always what you have to get!  Custom changes can usually be made to almost any gown.  Here at the Bridal Path, we carry the best designers, have amazing accent vendors and seamstresses that can add or take away anything. You can add straps or a belt, change ivory to blush, even add tulle for extra poof! We love personalizing dresses to make them as unique as each of our brides are!


Saying yes to a dress is one of the most exciting things about getting married! Your wedding dress should represent your style but also make you feel so special. Think about what makes you feel fabulous! The Bridal Path has been helping brides all over the south for almost 50 years now and the joy of helping someone find their dress never fades! We hope these tips prepare you for your “say yes” moment and makes things easier on your bridal shopping experience!

This Southern Bride Scored When Searching For Her Wedding Photographer.

Mitchell McGinnis

Hey y'all! My name is Alyson and I just married my high school sweetheart, Jonathan, this past May. For me, finding the perfect wedding photographer was one of the most important aspects of wedding planning. I knew that I wanted to find someone that could capture this special occasion and give Jonathan and I photographs we would treasure forever.

When looking for a wedding photographer, I wanted a photographer whose work showed knowledge of how to use natural light and who was creative in selection of poses. After a friend showed me Katelyn Anne Photography on Instagram, I knew she was the one for me. All of her photos seemed to beautifully capture the many special moments that occur on one's wedding day.

Katelyn makes use of natural sunlight, resulting in beautiful, bright images. All of the photos on Katelyn’s website showed brides and grooms whose love was so evident. The poses were natural and nothing seemed forced. Katelyn’s work displayed a wide variety of locations and poses and there was nothing that I did not like!

After my first consultation with Katelyn I knew I had made the right choice to book with her.  She is just the sweetest girl ever, and I could tell that after just one consultation! She explained everything to me in a way that put me at ease. I knew from just that thirty minute phone conversation that she was organized and on top of things, and her organization combined with her great photography skills was just what I wanted. Katelyn was great to email back quickly if I had a question. She kept me informed every step of the way as we booked different sessions and talked about the big day. She worked so hard to create a very detailed timeline for our wedding day to ensure that things went smoothly and that we got all the shots to capture the day from start to finish. With everything else a bride has to worry about it was great to know that I had a photographer who was going to be organized and take great photos. Not once did I worry about anything related to our wedding photos. Not once.

We did an engagement session in September and it was so much fun! I left feeling like not only did I have an amazing photographer who took amazing photos, but I left having made a new friend. Soon after our session Katelyn sent our gallery of all of our photos. They were all AMAZING! No surprise there, though. We knew they would be. In March I did my bridal session and had such a fun time then, too, with sweet Katelyn. Once again, amazing photos were taken that we were SO pleased with. We knew our wedding day photos would be absolutely perfect as well.

Finally, the big day was here. May 20th was a rainy, and I mean RAINY day. With our reception being outside I was extremely stressed about all that could go wrong. However, not once did I worry about our photos. I knew that no matter the lighting, no matter if it was pouring down rain, Katelyn was going to get gorgeous photos. On our wedding day Katelyn was so prepared and so organized. She had sent over the timeline and I had shared it with my bridal party so everyone knew what was going on. Katelyn made sure to stick to the timeline and this helped make sure we got all the shots we wanted. Katelyn was so great to work with the whole day, and she really took care of me and Jonathan. Thankfully, the rain stopped around 4pm and our wedding was at 6. While the rain had subsided, it was still a cloudy evening. But looking at our photos, you would have no idea it was such a rainy day. They are still bright and beautiful, just like I wanted.

ALL of our photos are perfect in every way. I feel that they so beautifully capture mine and Jonathan’s personalities. Katelyn was able to capture the excitement of the day and the love we share. To say we are pleased with our wedding photos and pleased with our photographer would be an understatement. We are so extremely thankful for beautiful photos that we will look back on for years to come and remember our beautiful rainy Mississippi wedding day.

In fact, we were so pleased with Katelyn and her work that my sister, who is getting married in September, is using Katelyn Anne Photography as her wedding photographer as well! My family just loves Katelyn and we are all so thankful for her and thankful that our paths crossed during this special time in our lives.

See more photos from this beautiful wedding below! (Click on the images to see the full photo)


All photographs are used with permission by and are the property of Katelyn Anne Photography. All text included herein is the property of The Bride Guide (McGinnis Booking LLC).

The Last Wedding Checklist You'll Ever Need.

Mitchell McGinnis

Hitting the “one week to go” mark can be both exciting and tense for brides as months of decisions fall into place. Even with thorough preparation in the preceding weeks and months, last-minute tasks are unavoidable. Thankfully unavoidable doesn’t necessarily mean stressful! We’ve put together an easy-reference checklist of the most common last-minute tasks to help you stay on top of the game. Let the countdown begin!

1 Week To Go

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 Image by Sabine Scherer Photography

  • Start checking weather forecast for wedding day (ongoing). You’ll want as much warning as possible if you need to switch to rainy-day back up plans.
  • Ensure marriage licence is in order. For peace of mind it’s better to arrange a licence several weeks ahead of the wedding but it doesn’t hurt to double check that everything is in order at this stage, while there’s still time to correct any errors.

Image by Hello Love Photography

  • Confirm arrangements with all vendors and share a finalized schedule. Confirm or reconfirm details like the playlist and do not play list (DJ or band), menus (caterer or venue), shot lists (photographer and videographer). Your schedule should include vendor delivery and set up times and locations, points of contact, contact numbers and an emergency phone number to contact you on the day.
  • Confirm wedding day roles with bridal party and share a finalised schedule. This should ensure everyone is well prepared to be at the right place at the right time and that no key jobs are overlooked (i.e. who’s delivering the boutonnieres to the boys?). You might want to include all of the bridal party’s contact details on here too, to keep everything in one place.
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Image by Gayle Brooker Photography


  • Finalize the seating plan. The bulk of the plan will be done in the final month but should now be finalized and ready to be shared with the relevant vendors (wedding planner, caterer or venue manager. Your photographer and videographer may also want a copy). Depending on last-minute cancellations, you may need to continue to make small adjustments throughout the week!
  • Give final headcount to caterer and create place cards. As above, you should now have a clear picture of which guests will attend. Pass the finalized figures to your caterer or venue manager. Don’t forget to include any vendors who’ll eat on the day! If you’re supplying your own place cards, use the final list to create these now, too.

Bonus tip: It’s always wise to check in with your vendors in advance to make sure you align with their individual deadlines. This applies both to your venue for submitting the headcount and to a calligrapher if you’re having your place cards handwritten.

Images by Cambria Grace Photography and Arielle Doneson Photography

Pick up (or take delivery of) wedding dress and groom’s suit. If you’re picking up, have one last fitting in store (complete with underwear and veil if possible). This will give more time if alterations are needed!

Make time to relax. This week is a good time to treat yourself (and some members of your bridal party or female family members) – perhaps to spa treatments. The groom can do the same by treating the groomsmen and male relatives, or you can combine the two groups into one larger celebration, like a special lunch or dinner.

5 Days To Go

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Image by Michele Beckwith

  • Confirm transport arrangements, including pickup addresses and times. For the bridal party and any guest transportation. You may want to provide the company/driver with a thorough schedule including names, phone numbers, addresses and directions.
  • Organize final payments and cash tips for vendors into separate marked envelopes. If you haven’t already done so, assign someone to distribute these on the day.
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Image by Sawyer Baird


  • Practice vows (and speeches).
  • Confirm honeymoon arrangements, weather forecast for honeymoon destination and start packing! Assuming your honeymoon will begin shortly after the wedding day, it’s a good idea to sort out these tasks early in the week, though you might want to recheck flight reservations/status later too. Ideally any honeymoon shopping should be checked off already, so it’s time to get that bag packed!


3 Days To Go!

Image by Carlie Statsky

  • Give any place cards, menus, signs and favors to the wedding planner/reception manager or whomever will be distributing them. Consider if there are any other special items that will need to be handed over, too, like a guestbook or cake knife.
  • Confirm wedding night reservation and pack for wedding. If you want to be super-prepared, gather items for a wedding day emergency day kit too (things like clear plasters, mints, safety pins, a small sewing kit, more comfortable dancing shoes).


Image by Patina Photography

  • Check that the bridal party’s outfits are sorted. If groomsmen are renting suits or tuxes, these should be picked up. Bridesmaids should now have all components of their outfits, including shoes and accessories.
  • Have manicure and pedicure. Buy the nail colors used if you don’t already own them. That way you can easily cover up any chips on the day.


One Day To Go!

Image by Amanda Watson Photography

  • Rehearse ceremony. The rehearsal should include the officiant, bridal party, immediate family members, and anyone doing readings.
  • Attend rehearsal dinner, if you’re having one. This is often a suitable time to present the bridal party and your parents with gifts (especially if the gifts are to be worn on the wedding day) and a good time to hand over envelopes containing tips and final payment cheques to the person who will distribute them to vendors on the day.
  • Relax and get plenty of sleep!

This article was written by our friends over at Auckland Weddings, a leading wedding planning company.

By Lorna Urwin


Mitchell McGinnis


Wedding calligraphy is a trend that is here to stay - timeless and elegant. From classic and romantic chic to whimsical and rustic, hand lettering adds charm and character to any wedding. You might be envisioning gorgeous calligraphy invitations and hand addressed envelopes but did you know it can also embellish your ceremony or reception? Get inspired below with 7 stunning ways to express yourself with the art of the written word. 

Ceremony Backdrop

Image by Cassie Loree Photography

Choose lyrics from a favorite song, the inspiring words of a famous poet or a romantic quote, then have your calligrapher letter it on a fabric ceremony backdrop. It provides a dramatic focal point and will amaze your friends and family. An alternative to a traditional altar, it can even double up as your photo booth backdrop. 



Image by John Hagen Productions

The most important words you may ever say can be turned into a keepsake. Have your vows handwritten onto luxurious paper and read them during the ceremony. These heartfelt sentiments can then be framed and displayed in your home. 


Love Letters

Love Letters Your vows are heartfelt and declared publicly but a sweet, private letter to your future husband or wife is an unforgettable gift. For a big romantic gesture, have your words written in a classic script on quality paper. Hide it for them to find as they get ready or give it to them at the first look.



Inkberry Calligraphy.jpg

Image by  Proshot  Photography

Think seating charts, ceremony programs, cocktail lists, or menus. Anything you need to direct the focus of your guests can be done in calligraphy. From rustic pallet signs to elegant mirror seating plans, those beautiful flourished fonts can guide your guests and wow them with pretty. 



Image by Proshot Photography

Who doesn't love seeing their name written in a gorgeous loopy font? Place cards can be written on textured paper with pretty ink to complement your tablescape. Or why not try something completely different and have your guests' names written on smooth pebbles, ceramic tiles or bring nature to the table with names on shiny green leaves.


Favor Tags

Image by John Hagen Productions

Even including the smallest touch of calligraphy into your wedding can add to the feeling of celebration and show your friends and family that you really care. Add tags hand written by a calligrapher to adorn your gifts and goodies. 


Just Married

A classic car with a classic calligraphy sign is the perfect combination. Add florals, greenery or ribbons for elegance and romance, or bright balloons for whimsy.


This article was written by our friends over at Auckland Weddings, a leading wedding planning company.

By Inkberry Calligraphy and Luke Ellery



7 Photo Must-Haves, as told by a bride

Mitchell McGinnis

After being married two and a half a years  and having some time to look back at my process of wedding planning, I've realized there are a few things I REALLY want to make sure other brides know when getting ready for your big day. One of the biggest decisions you can make for you wedding is booking your photographer (obviously). Wedding photography has come a long way in the past few years. When you're planning for your big day, you might meet up with your photographer more times than your caterer or florist! Because the pictures last forever, you want to do your part to ensure that you get the best photos of you and your crew that capture the beauty of the day. Here are some ideas to help you start planning!


1. Candid Photos

The posed photos are great, but make sure you talk to your photographer about candid shots of you, your partner, your bridal party, family members, etc. The candid photos will capture the essence and joy of the day better than the posed photos.


2: Groom's First Look

Since the beloved chick-flick 27 Dresses came out in 2008 (OMG, that was 8 years ago??), everyone's attention was brought to the groom's face and emotions when he sees his girl walking down the aisle. The brilliant writers were right! It's a wonderfully emotional moment for the bride to keep forever. Also, depending on the size of the church and number in attendance, the bride might not be able to see the groom clearly before he sees her, so it'll be a nice surprise to see when looking through your photos for the first time. This also applies if you have a "first look" before the ceremony.


3: Bride's First Look

This is a fun trend where your photographers capture the expressions of the bridesmaids. Your bridesmaids are your best friends and this is definitely a moment you'll want to remember with your girls!


4: Group shot...of your flowers!

You'll have the group shots planned of your bridal party and your family, but don't forget about your flowers! Flowers are a huge part of the wedding decorations and style and not to mention, they're pretty pricey! Let your flowers be front and center of one or two photos. Have the bride holding her bouquet in the center and the bridesmaids surround the bride's bouquet with their bouquets. It'll be beautiful!


5: Downtown

I'm calling this one "downtime" because the wedding day goes by in a blur. It's a highly emotionally charged day and at some point (after the first look or after the ceremony), I suggest that the two of you have a little down time, or at least sit down! (You'll be surprised at how long you stand up on your wedding day!) I would love to have some photos of my husband and I "relaxing" on our wedding day. I just think that would be really special.


6: Focus on the details

When planning the wedding, every detail is taken into account. Make sure the details are remembered forever! Have close up shots of the wedding dress, the bridesmaids dresses, the pew / bench markers, the food display, the cake, EVERYTHING! Everything was carefully thought out, let it be remembered!


7: Exit Pic

No matter how you do your exit (sparklers, bubbles, birdseed, flower petals, streamers, basically anything people can toss or hold up in the air), you can use the exit to frame up a shot beautifully!

Take a little while to think through these ideas and any other ideas you see from Pinterest or photo galleries and write them down! Give the list to your photographer and clue them in on what you'd like! Make sure you plan plenty of time to get the photos taken. Take into account the time of day your wedding is and talk with your photographer about the best times to take outdoor photos.

About the writer:

Hey, y'all I'm JJ! I'm a Mississippi girl who loves all things weddings! My husband and I got married in 2014 and I had such a fun time planning out every detail of that perfect day! I'm the Communication Director at my church, Vertical Church , in Mississippi and get to work alongside my husband, Luke. Along with loving weddings, I enjoy baking, crocheting, DIY projects, and a nice cup of coffee with a little almond milk creamer! Let's be friends!