I have shot so many weddings that I have lost count. I have seen weddings that went off without a hitch and weddings that were a disorganized mess. Based on my experiences, I have a few suggestions for future brides. Who doesn’t need a little wedding day advice?
Decide What Is Important to You
Brides have access to many helpful tools when planning their wedding – bridal websites, magazines, and of course, Pinterest! Each of them will give you a laundry list of “Must Haves” for your wedding day. Not only can doing all of the things they suggest be overwhelming to a bride, it can get very pricey too! My advice is to keep it simple. Establish early on in the planning process what is important to you and your groom and then keep that at the top of your mind as you start planning. If a photo booth is not as important to you as an amazingly beautiful reception hall, then make sure your priorities are in line and make decisions appropriately. Don’t get overtaken by the must-have wedding hype. Remember, it’s all about you. Do what makes you happy!
Hire Vendors You Really Like
Think about it. Other than your bridal party, the wedding vendors are the only other people who will be with you the entire day. Believe it or not, I have seen vendors make brides cry on their wedding day! Be sure that you meet with every vendor that will be providing a service at your wedding and make certain that their personality will match with yours. You and your groom need to genuinely like those people. For photographers, we literally follow you around all day. Do you really want someone that you don’t like being at your side on the most important day of your lives? Probably not.
The Details Count
When it comes to photography, the little things often make a huge difference in your photos. For example, I always recommend that the bridal party put all of their getting ready supplies and “stuff” in one spot in the room when they are getting dressed. That way the background of your photos does not have a pizza box or Starbucks cup in the background. Instead, the photos will focus on you – not your mess.
I always ask couples to remind the bridal party at the rehearsal dinner that the walk down the aisle is not a race….walk!!! And don’t look down! I can’t even count how many photos I have of the bridal party walking down the aisle in church while looking at their feet. As you can imagine, that does not make for great photos. Reminding everyone of this detail during your rehearsal or the morning of the wedding will ensure that it is fresh in everyone’s minds and you’ll get the best shots.
Passing out because you are starving is not how any bride wants their ceremony to go. Your day will be super busy and you are probably not thinking about eating a sandwich, but be sure you do. Make it a planned event in your day. I have seen many bridal parties with subs or a veggie tray and chips out for everyone while they are getting dressed. Remember that if you don’t eat while getting dressed, your next opportunity won’t be until dinner. So eat up!
Make time not only for a little one on one session with just the couple and the photographer, but also for yourselves. Those 20 minutes where the bride and groom and I go off and take some photos together is a great opportunity to check in with your new husband and find out how he’s feeling. You want to be sure that you allow a little time for some more creative wedding shots and give yourselves time to check in with each other. I often pose a bride and groom and then step back and let you have a little alone time. Those candid conversations with photos taken from a distance are often the best shots I get all day. They show real emotion and the true connection between the bride and groom.
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