Big Day Reflections

Chippewa Valley locals offer insight in planning a great wedding

Lauren Fisher, photos by Randy Lee

Without experience in the wedding planning process, it can be overwhelming to muddle through choices from colors to cake flavors.Some details are set in stone from the beginning, but when deciding on aspects that aren’t as important to you and your betrothed, how do you choose where to spend and where to scrimp? Which experiences and investments will make the wedding an occasion you remember fondly? It always helps to get some perspective from someone who’s been there. Here’s some wedding advice and perspective from Chippewa Valley newlyweds – and oldlyweds – to help you along.

Becca Jacobson / Eau Claire

"We did a first look, and it was the most cherished moment of our day. Many people don’t realize how extremely busy you are the entire day, so spending that 10 minutes alone with my husband is my greatest memory." –Becca Jacobson

My husband and I got married this past September at the River Prairie Center in Altoona. Some things that were absolutely worth the money for us were our photographer and planning to have an open bar. I wish we wouldn’t have spent so much on stationary products and spent more money on a videographer. Not having one is my biggest regret/mistake from my wedding day. We did a first look, and it was the most cherished moment of our day. Many people don’t realize how extremely busy you are the entire day, so spending that 10 minutes alone with my husband is my greatest memory.

Cory Hazelton / Eau Claire

The one thing both my wife and I regret is the photographer. Spend the money. Photographers are expensive, but you get what you pay for. All of our photos (what decent ones we have) have frosted edges like a early ’80s Glamour Shots. And at the last minute the guy informed us he wouldn’t be able to shoot the reception due to his band getting a last-minute gig! Moral of the story, it one of the biggest moments in your life, so get a good photographer!

Tina Ecker / Eau Claire

Worth the money and time were all the personal touches put into our wedding. We decided to have a unique wedding – memorable. I wore a beautiful black wedding gown, and we had a candlelight service in the evening at a church. I made the invitations, programs, thank you cards, wrote the music, and made the bouquets and a centerpiece for the head table. The service was beautiful.

Montana Aird / Eau Claire

What was ABSOLUTELY worth the money? The DJ and photographer both were phenomenal. They are responsible for making the day’s atmosphere successful and for giving you something to remember the day for a lifetime. What wasn’t worth the money? My personal feeling is people spend too much trying to please other people. (On food, for example, we had pizza and it was one of our best decisions.) I kind of wish we had gotten a videographer in addition to the photographer. But even now I’m not 100 percent on the idea, for us personally we had more values in photos. It kills me that no one got my dad’s speech recorded. I’m not worried about any of the rest of the day, but that moment was important, and I didn’t plan for it.

Heather Richards / Eau Claire

I think people forget what it’s all about: It’s about the bride and groom, it’s not about impressing everyone else. Photography is always worth the money and you get what you pay for. My first wedding was all the stuff: We didn’t go crazy on the amount spent, but it was a traditional wedding and we had like 400-450 guests. I got married a year and a half ago in the middle of the Eau Claire County Forest with our immediate family and a good photographer. We spent about a week camping together afterwards, and I couldn’t have been happier with everything.

Weddings & Occasions is sponsored by:

29 Pines Hotel and Convention Center
Hwy 29 North of Eau Claire

Weddings & Occasions is sponsored by:

29 Pines Hotel and Convention Center
Hwy 29 North of Eau Claire