I am so glad I’ve never had to plan a wedding. F that noise. Bye Felicia.
However, single or not, we’ve all been to our share of weddings #brokeAF. But I’ve photographed a lot, and my second shooter is a seasoned wedding professional, specializing in wedding decor and paper goods for the indie, vintage and boho bride. Between the two of us, we capture everything. And we’ve figured out a few things that are useful for brides to consider while planning their wedding day. Small details that won’t be on your checklist. And if you forget, we’ll be there to remind you.
You have the must-haves: dress, shoes, flowers, jewelry, bridesmaids, venue, cake, etc etc etc, blah, blah, blah. We get it.
But there are little things, small considerations that can get forgotten in the shuffle; things to consider that just make things run a little smoother.
Priorities. Figure out what’s most important to you and start there. There’s a lot of things to book, decisions to make and most of all deposits to be made. Pick the most important (say 3) things about your wedding and start there. Stressing out over dress, flowers, hair, makeup, jewelry, bridesmaids, gifts, place settings, favors, cake, dances, songs, etc etc etc, is overkill and nobody’s going to like you for it. And above all on this day, we want you to enjoy it. Don’t get so bogged down in the details and logistics that you forget what the day is actually about. Find the most important things and be flexible on the rest. Less headaches, more champagne.
Getting ready. Getting ready is part of the story of your day. We like to be there for that. Rings, dress, garter, jewelry, shoes, rings, flowers, etc. If you have any other small details that are important to you, let us know. Something borrowed? Grandma’s jewelry? The first letter they wrote you. Small things that are significant to your relationship are great supplements to photographing the details while you’re getting ready and contribute that much more to your story.
Hanger. Consider getting a personalized, or at least a formal hanger for your dress. The hanger that comes with your dress is a plain plastic one. Sometimes your photographer will have one. But even just bringing a wooden hanger vs a plastic one is an improvement. I seriously cannot figure out why bridal stores don’t offer this. Nothing is better than plastic hanger for that pricey dress FML.
Jewelry/Accessories. Find a balance between your accessories, your dress, hair and makeup. You’re going to look stunning either way, and you don’t want one to overpower the other. If your dress has a lot of detail, keep the jewelry and hair simple. If the dress is simple, kick the jewelry and hair up a notch. Don’t let one take focus from the other. If you want your dress to be the focus, consider minimal jewelry. Remember that rule? Take off once piece of jewelry before leaving the house.
Shoes. Remember you’re looking at a 10+ hour day. Either bring flats, or be prepared to NOT put your shoes back on once they come off. I love heels. LOVE THEM. But bring shoes for after photos are done, and you just want to be comfortable. Flip flops, bare feet or beer, come armed with a solution. Those stunners you bought for the wedding aren’t going to do your feet any favors.
Your moments. There are a few things at your wedding that I live for. That I shoot 12 hours for. They’re my absolute favorite moments to orchestrate and to witness. One of them is your choice. The other is not.
First Look. There’s always some hesitation on this, and I get about a 50/50 split of couples that want to vs. couples that want to wait to see each other at the ceremony.
There’s SO much going on during the day, and you’re constantly surrounded by people; it’s too easy to forget this day is only about you and one other person. The first look doesn’t take away from the moment during the ceremony; it doesn’t make it any less emotional. It simply allows you a private moment, away from the chaos, to relish each other, to enjoy each other and to soak in the emotion of the day. It’s a quiet moment just for you.
Sunset. This is where you don’t really have much of a say. Any photographer is going to take advantage of the beautiful light that sunset has to offer. 5 minutes or 30 minutes, this is my favorite moment of the day. It usually ends up being right before dinner is served, or shortly after. We’re going to take everything this day is about and stick it in front of a gorgeous sunset. KEY. That’s my one non-negotiable part.
Carbs. Seriously. Remember bread? Hit it.
Logistics. Who is getting where via how? Don’t forget you have flowers and bags and gifts and centerpieces that need to be transported somewhere at the end of the night. Do flowers need to get from the church to the reception? Do your bags need to be moved from the bridal suite to your wedding suite? How are the gifts getting where they’re going? Designate a few trusted friends to transport the necessities where they need to go. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Perspective. Perhaps the most important is to retain your big-picture perspective on the day. Worry about the most important things, let people help you, and most of all, remember what this day is about. Remember to enjoy it, immerse yourself in it, and enjoy the fuck out of it. Don’t forget your families; be sure to include them on significant moments – mom helping you get ready, dad seeing you for the first time. Remember this is a big day for them too.
And don’t forget to do what YOU want. This day is yours, not anyone else’s. Don’t let the signer of the check determine things that are important to you. It’s important to be flexible on the things that aren’t that important, but its just as important to be firm on the things that are most important to you. Invite people you love, who you want to share the day with, not those you feel obligated to invite. This day is on your terms. Yes, you need to thank your guests and greet everyone, but above all this day is about the two of you, and you should enjoy that. Don’t forget what matters today!
My last piece of general advice is to not chip your tooth mere days before your wedding. Not that anyone I know would ever do that.
This is a lot to remember, so let me help!