Ten Tips for Your Wedding Day
Congratulations on your engagement! Now it is time to start planning the wedding. Of course, there is so much to remember and learn and know that it can get overwhelming! As a photographer, I get to be with the couple the entire day, which means I get to see all aspects of the wedding. Through doing that, I have been able to learn a lot of tips for you, both with photography and the day overall.
- The first thing to remember about photography is that often it is the only thing you will have left after the day is done. Make sure you are comfortable with your photographer and their style of work. They want you to be happy just as much as you want to be comfortable! A good wedding photographer will be easy to work with and want the best for you.
- As you are looking at venues, be looking at their lighting! Are there places that have good natural lighting where you are getting ready? Are there places to take formal pictures with your wedding party and family? If not, does your wedding photographer have pictures in their portfolio of lighting situations that are similar? You don’t want to book a photographer with no experience in dark venues when you are in one yourself.
- When you are creating the timeline for the day, make sure you are leaving yourself lots of extra time! I often tell my clients that I hardly ever go to a wedding where they actually begin on time. Family runs late, accidents happen- lots of things can (and do!) go wrong. But it is absolutely ok. Typically, if stuff runs late, your time with the photographer is what gets taken. And as I noted above, these pictures are all that you will have, so you definitely do not want to compromise! I recommend at least and hour to and hour and a half between the end of the ceremony to the beginning of the reception for pictures with just you and your photographer. Having a receiving line? Add an extra 30 minutes!
- Speaking of timelines, have you thought about a first look? I always recommend having one! (Here is a longer blog post about why!) First, it allows you two to have a special moment of rest before the ceremony begins and things get crazy again. It is nice to take a breath of fresh air after getting ready all morning! Second, it is a great time for the two of you to have the chance to simply be together (alone!) on your special day. You have the freedom to laugh and cry without worrying about anyone else around you. Worried about a lack of emotions when you walk down the aisle? Please don’t! I have never had a wedding where there wasn’t an emotion reaction at that time.
- A last note about your timeline- make sure you are watching the light! If you want a stunning sunset picture, make sure you are aware of what time sunset will be that day- and don’t forget about daylight savings time! Similarly, if you are wanting formals right after the ceremony with your wedding party, be aware of the light at that time. Is it going to be high noon? After dark? Make sure you work with your photographer to see what they recommend for you.
- Remember the little things! Details can make all the difference:
- Don’t use a plastic hanger for your dress. Even a plain wooden one can add that extra pow to a photo.
- Have your getting ready area somewhat clean! Make sure your bridesmaids have thrown away their Starbucks cups and all street clothes are back in the bags and put away.
- Having water and drinks while getting ready? Plastic water bottles can look cluttered. Make sure you have real drinking glasses to use!
- Keep your hair ties off your wrists!
- When looking at hair and makeup, see about choosing a hairstyle that does not obscure your face! During candids, it can often fall in front of your face, making you invisible to the camera. See about having it pulled back, at least a little, for the day.
- As for the ceremony- I often recommend having it be unplugged! You have paid your photographer a lot of money to capture everything about your day. Let your guests come and enjoy your day with you without the need to have their phones and iPads out taking pictures from their seat. This goes for during your formal portraits too! It is a lot easier for you and your photographer if you do not have a gaggle of paparazzi during that time.
- Assign someone to be coordinator- and MC if needed. A lot of weddings I attend cut costs by not having a day-of coordinator or DJ, which means things can get a little hairy! Designate your mom or a bridesmaid to be the one with the schedule and that knows the details. If you do not have a DJ, they can be the ones to move the reception along during the cake cutting, bouquet tossing, and dancing as well!
- Stay hydrated and nourished throughout the day! You may get caught up with nerves, details, or simply visiting with all your guests. Make sure you are eating at least small amounts of protein rich food and drinking a lot of water. At the reception, make sure it is announced that you two will be going through the food line first OR make sure a plate of food is set aside especially for you. Have fun! Once you are at the wedding, don’t sweat the small stuff. The day will pass like a blur and you want to make sure you are remembering the best of the best. Spend time with those you love and dance the night away!