The New Corridor Wedding Guide Is Out!

Iowa corridor wedding guide stack of books

The 2018 Iowa Corridor Wedding Guide is now out! We told you a few weeks ago that Appleby Photography’s image was chosen for the cover here. Now the guide is really out. It’s so fun to be able to see and hold it! And if you need ideas, advice or want to know who the local wedding professionals are that can help you on your big day, pick one up for yourself. The Corridor Wedding Guide website is also amazing for getting you the information you need to plan the wedding you want!

2018 Corridor Wedding Guide: We Got The Cover!

We got big news yesterday and we’re so excited!

There is a local publication and website, the Corridor Wedding Guide, that helps engaged brides and grooms plan their wedding and advertises wedding professionals and vendors from the area. I love this guide because it not only helps engaged couples, but also because of how much Nicky, the owner, works to support local businesses and people in the community.

Recently, photographers were asked to compete for the cover image spot that will be the face of the publication for all of 2018. The submitted images were then voted on by our fellow business owners.

We are absolutely delighted that Appleby Photography’s image was voted the top choice and we’ll be gracing the front of next year’s wedding guide!!! How amazing is that? It makes my heart happy and I truly appreciate being chosen. What a cheery, effervescent sort of week this makes.

I hope you have wonderful things to be happy and thankful for this week, as well.

Happy Thanksgiving.

cover of iowa corridor wedding guide with image of bride and groom in front of church

How To Get Your Must-Have Wedding Photos From Your Photographer

I have an article on Hearts On Fire, a global diamond company, that I think you’ll enjoy! Check it out for my wedding planning advice!

You spend months planning the perfect wedding, then it flies by in a whirl of excitement. Hiring a professional photographer ensures all your special moments are captured flawlessly. Having beautiful wedding pictures preserves the love and joy you’ll share with family and friends on your wedding day.

I give my best tips for getting gorgeous wedding photos over on the Hearts on Fire website:

  • Be Prepared
  • Create a Must-Have List
  • Surprise Your Guests, Not Your Photographer
  • Enlist Family Help
  • Do a First Look

Go check it out for all the details on how to make sure your day runs smoothly while getting all the photographs that you want from your wedding day. Speaking of getting all the photographs you want:

Also, I give you the list of ‘Must-Have” wedding photos! 
This suggested list will help organize the family groupings, events, and special details you’ll want me (or your photographer, if it’s not me) to capture.

Read the whole article on Hearts on Fire for tips about planning your wedding photography. I give some great wedding photography advice you won’t want to miss!

How to Map Out Your Holiday Weekend Wedding Itinerary

I have an article on Hearts On Fire, a global diamond company, that I think you’ll enjoy! Check it out for my wedding planning advice!

A holiday weekend is a smart way to get more fun out of your wedding itinerary. There are many great reasons to have a holiday weekend wedding: three-day weekends, such as Memorial Day or even Columbus Day weekend allow extra opportunities for you to socialize with your guests, you’ll always have your anniversary close to a holiday, and when you have a Sunday wedding, out-of-town guests have more time to travel.

However, before you decide on a holiday weekend for your wedding date, there are some things you should keep in mind:

  • Do your guests already have long-standing plans?
  • Will venue availability be a problem?
  • Can your wedding weekend also be a family or friends reunion? 

Read the whole article on Hearts on Fire about for tips about planning your long-weekend wedding itinerary with “Holiday Weekend Considerations” and also “How to Make Your Wedding Double as a Reunion.” I give some good wedding planning advice so you can have a fabulous holiday wedding weekend!

Source: How to Map Out Your Holiday Weekend Wedding Itinerary

Why You Should Consider a Multi-Venue Wedding

I have an article on Hearts On Fire, a global diamond company, that I think you’ll enjoy!

Have you always dreamed of getting married on the beach, but also want an elegant, formal reception? Or, maybe you want a traditional church ceremony, but your first dance as a married couple to take place outside, under the stars.

Luckily, you can have it all. Brides and grooms are no longer keeping their weddings confined to just one location. Whether you plan to start your wedding day with brunch or continue the evening with an after-party, having a change of venue will only add to the fun. Here are a few reasons why you should consider having a multi-venue wedding:

  • You Want a Sentimental or Offbeat Location
  • You Will Save Money on Decor
  • Smaller Spaces Can Make Large Affairs Feel Intimate
  • A Change of Scenery Adds Entertainment
  • You Want the Wedding Celebration to Continue (This is an especially good reason! As the popularity of after-parties grows, brides and grooms are planning an additional venue to keep the party going after the reception ends.)

Hop over to my article on Hearts on Fire to read all the details!

bride groom getting married in wedding church

Source: Why You Should Consider a Multi-Venue Wedding

Make Your Own Wedding Bar: From Candy To Popcorn!

Everyone loves options. Especially when it comes to what they eat.


A trend at wedding receptions is to have a food or dessert buffet (or commonly called “bar,” as in “candy bar” or “baked potato bar”) as an addition to the meal being served.

The idea is to let your guests pick what they want.

Couples like to include a food bar as a way of entertaining their guests. It gets people up out of their seats and mingling at the reception and lets them make some decisions around a menu that is already set.

I’ve seen this done with everything from pasta to mashed potatoes served in martini glasses with topping to dress them up and with an array of desserts that go far beyond just wedding cake.


Candy bars are popular and can be a lot of fun for both kids and adults. It might surprise you that I often see more adults get all giddy over filling up a bag with sugary treats than the kids- and trust me, the kids love it. A candy bar seems to bring out the nostalgia in adults and grant them permission to enjoy those childhood favorites because everyone is at a party and enjoying the evening.

Sometimes the couple will match the candy to their wedding colors, but, in my opinion, the best candy bars just go for the good stuff, without regard to wrapper colors.


But what if you are looking for something beyond candy, something different? Easy: pick anything that can be customized and run with it. If you can easily change ingredients or add toppings, it will be perfect for your guests.

•Set out seasoned tomatoes, olives and cheeses for a bruschetta bar;
•Skip the formal meal and do a taco bar;
•Casual barn weddings would work well with a casual sandwich bar;
•Help guests stay up late with a caffeine fix at a coffee bar;
•For the daring, set up a mixology station and let guests create their own cocktails;
•A s’mores bar could mix traditional and sophisticated into one dessert;
•Serve ice cream and toppings for a sundae bar (I really wish brides and grooms would serve ice cream with the wedding cake-they were meant to be served together! This is a trend that needs catch on…)


Appleby Photography wedding popcorn bar

One idea I love is the popcorn bar.  I loved it so much that I want to have a party, just so I can have a popcorn bar!

You can add in flavored powder seasonings, like ranch, buffalo wing and bacon cheddar. Plus, it’s a fun way to tie in the candy buffet idea with your popcorn add-ins, like peanuts, m&ms and reese’s pieces to sprinkle in.

Recently, I interviewed the owner of Great American Popcorn Co for the Corridor Wedding Guide. Bill had some great ways that they help people do popcorn bars for weddings and graduations. The nice thing about using Great American Popcorn Co is that since they offer over a 100 different flavors, you can get fun ones, like Crunch Berry. (Yes, like the cereal!)

He also offered some smart advice, like choose white cheddar instead of the regular orange so hands are less messy on those fancy clothes. And he suggests your popcorn jars have lids to keep out humidity, especially in the summer. Check out the article for the full interview.

When you give your guests to ability to choose what they get to eat, it adds a little interactive entertainment, they mingle with other guest and they have a great time. It’s a win-win.

Oak Hill Farm Wedding | Shelby & Jeff

church at oak hill with bride and groom photo

Shelby and Jeff were married last September at Oak Hill Farm in Apple River, Illinois. The location was fabulous and the day was perfect!

We started the wedding day in Galena, Illinois with their “first look” and photographs of the bridal party. Schedule-wise, this worked well because Shelby and the bridesmaids used a salon in Galena for their hair and make-up. Also, the first look allowed Shelby and Jeff a chance to talk and calm their “wedding day jitters.”

We then made the drive over to Oak Hill Farm for the wedding. Oak Hill is unique because it’s like a little town on a private estate. The owners have a love of antiques, which includes the general store, school house and even the church that were moved to the property! I was told it was quite the sight to see a church being rolled down the road to be put into position on the farm.

Shelby and Jeff were able to take full advantage of the space. We started with family photographs next to the barn that doubles as a dressing room. The ceremony was held in the old country church. While guests mingled at the cocktail hour by the old school, we had a few minutes to photograph Shelby and Jeff around the property. Guests also made sure to hop over to the general store for the candy buffet.

The bridal party then made their entrance into the tent reception, which overlooked the fields and had a beautiful view of the sunset. Later, a bonfire and s’mores were set up on the lawn, past the tent.

The service that Oak Hill Farm provided was great and the location is unique, including a variety of settings to use throughout the wedding day. This wasn’t a “rustic barn” wedding. Shelby and Jeff used Oak Hill for a more vintage and elegant version of a farm wedding. I would really recommend them as a wedding venue: Oak Fill Farm. It’s worth the drive to have a wedding here!

location wedding photos of bride and groom in galena Ill

bride and groom on location in galena Ill for wedding photos

bride and groom at oak hill for wedding

wedding couple at oak hill Ill with bridal party

outside cocktail hour for wedding

outdoor wedding location tent reception

Choosing Wedding Flowers

bride with flower bouquet on wedding day location outdoor photography session

Recently, I talked with Caroline Kelly, of Caroline’s, about wedding flowers for an interview on Corridor Wedding Guide’s website. She shared about trends and tips for choosing flowers for bouquets and the reception.

She told me about foliage making a big showing in wedding decor right now, including branches, twigs and vines. We also talked about how succulents are quite popular, not only for both bouquets and boutonnieres, but also with decorating the reception and wedding cake.

One of the things that she said that I absolutely loved was, ‘knowing what you don’t want is just as important as knowing what you do want-sometimes even more so.’ This seemingly odd piece of advice actually gives her a better insight into the style the bride is trying to create, she says.

Isn’t that great? You don’t have to have everything figured out before you meet with a florist. You don’t even really have to know anything about flowers or what you like. You can just go in there, being all opinionated and telling her about things you’ve seen at other weddings, in magazines or online that you think are U-G-L-Y. And she LIKES it. She appreciates it. That helps her do her job better.

So if anyone gives you grief about being negative with your wedding planning, just let them know it’s okay. You are actually being helpful when you know-and share-what does not appeal to you.

You can check out the interview here.

Happy wedding planning!

3 Reasons To Follow Wedding Traditions (And The One Reason You Shouldn’t)

bride and father walking down church wedding aisle for ceremony
As every bride knows, weddings are steeped in traditions. Even couples who don’t want a “traditional” wedding have good reason to follow age-old customs.

1. Wedding Traditions Are Helpful

Wedding traditions are a set of rituals that we’ve passed down over the years. These are ideas and practices that have worked in the past, so they have become “rules” we often copy today. Having a set of wedding traditions is helpful because when there is a plan to follow, it relieves stress. Are you worried about etiquette for inviting guests or the best order to walk into the church? No problem! Just follow the set traditions!

2. Wedding Traditions Strengthen Family History

Following traditions can strengthen your sense of history and belonging. They connect you to your families. Repeating traditions celebrates those traditions. When you do things your parents and grandparents did at their weddings, you become tied to their stories. You reinforce values and your place in the family, while creating shared memories.

3. Wedding Traditions Are Fun.

Some traditions are seen as a way to add fun into the day. Lighthearted rituals can add meaning to the day without feeling like a burden. For example, there is an old, often repeated, rhyme that many brides enjoy following, which goes like this:

Something old,
something new,
something borrowed,
something blue,
and a silver sixpence in her shoe.

The idea is that the bride should have something old to wear or carry, connecting her with her family’s past. The ‘something new’ that she wears or carries stands for optimism for future happiness. She should borrow something from someone happily married, with hope their good fortune will rub off. Something blue stands for fidelity, love and purity. And having a silver sixpence, a British coin (because this is an old English rhyme) in her shoe symbolizes prosperity.

bride wedding heels shoes for tradition blue

Why You Shouldn’t Follow Every Tradition

Having some solid traditions to follow can create an easier path to wedding planning. However, including ones that don’t feel right or following too many can prevent a couple from customizing their ceremony and really making it their own.

Feel free to use family traditions as a starting point to create a wedding that includes what’s important to you, while showcasing your personalities. Before committing to a ritual or custom, think about how it’ll fit into your day. Incorporating traditions should be meaningful to you and your loved ones.

Does it make sense for the entire bridal party to participate in the receiving line? Would you rather skip the wedding cake and just serve ice cream? Deciding whether to follow wedding traditions is a personal choice.

Whether you follow old ideas or blaze your own path, remember that celebrating your love and commitment to each other is the main reason you’re having a wedding. Everything else is just icing on the cake.