Hi, future brides! We are in the midst of engagement season, and I’m so excited for all of my 2021 couples I have lined up! I know lots of you may be knee deep in wedding planning, so I wanted to let you in on a few tips that may be helpful when planning your big day.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret….the timeline almost never goes quite as planned when it comes to your wedding day. Things almost always end up behind schedule. Don’t stress! It’s bound to happen, and I’m here to try and help you plan accordingly. If possible, leave a little padding when creating a timeline for your wedding day to allow for things running behind schedule. Whether hair + makeup takes longer than anticipated, family members are late, or there’s traffic – this will help leave room for all of that.
2. Wedding Planner
The last thing you want to be worrying about on the day of your wedding is all of the little details. You don’t want to have to communicate with vendors, make sure people know where they’re going, or that everything is running smoothly. Wedding planners can save you a whole lot of stress and help keep things organized, but they aren’t always in the budget. Even if you don’t have a wedding planner, I highly recommend having a ‘go-to’ person for the day of, who will coordinate and communicate with all of your vendors so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy your day!
3. Prep the Details
When I show up on your wedding day, I start by photographing all of the details. It’s SUPER helpful if you have everything set aside when I get there, so that we can keep things on schedule and I can get started right away. What should you set aside? Anything you want photographed! I typically suggest gathering the following: full invitation suite, all of the rings, any family heirlooms, jewelry, vow books, and any other details that may help tell your wedding story.
4. First Look
These have become more and more popular in recent years, and for good reason! Opting for a first look ensures a few things. First off, you get a moment (before the chaos of the day ensues) where it’s just the two of you. You have the chance to take a deep breath, spend a moment with one another and get out those pre-wedding jitters beforehand. A first look is also super helpful when it comes to your timeline and having enough time for all of the more formal portraits we need to capture. Having a first look allows us to knock out your bridal portraits before the ceremony, which means the two of you get to enjoy more of your cocktail hour and spend more time mingling with family + friends!
5. Take Lighting Into Account
Lighting is one of, if not the most important thing when it comes to photos. Try to think about light when planning your wedding day. Natural light is always best. If possible, try to take that into account when planning where you’ll be getting ready. Lots of windows and bright rooms will go a long way.
For outdoor ceremonies, think about the setup of everything. Chances are, if your wedding is in the summer your ceremony will take place in the middle of the day when the sun is still very harsh. When planning the setup, always try to set up the ceremony so that the sun is behind your officiant, so that you’re backlit evenly. If you aren’t sure about the lighting or timing, reach out to me and I’m more than happy to help – that’s what I’m here for!
6. Unplugged Ceremony
Having an unplugged ceremony means that you kindly ask your guests to put all electronics (cell phones, cameras, iPads, etc.) away during the ceremony. This ensures that the focus will be on the two of you, there will be no distractions, and nothing will get in the way or block any of the shots that I’m trying to capture. It’s a small gesture from everyone that can go a long way. After all, you’re hiring me to take the photos so they can sit back, relax, and enjoy watching the two of you say “I do!”
7. Getting Ready
Aside from making sure that your getting ready space has lots of natural light, it’s also helpful to clear out the space a bit. Try to gather everyone’s belongings and put them together, away from where you’ll be getting ready. The less clutter, the better. Who really wants that can of diet coke, or bag of clothes in the background, anyway? 🙂
8. Golden Hour Photos
If possible, I love to schedule two separate times for bride + groom portraits. If you’re opting for a first look, we can knock out 30 minutes of bridal portraits directly after that. If not, we’ll schedule them for after the ceremony. In addition to those 30 minutes, I strongly encourage my couples to let me steal them for 15-20 minutes just before sunset to capture some golden hour portraits. Why, you ask? Because golden hour provides the absolute BEST light! Sunset portraits allow me to be a little more creative and capture some really amazing images. I promise, if you agree to a few sunset photos we will create some magic together and you won’t regret stepping away from the dance floor for a few minutes to do so.
I hope these were helpful!
If you’re a current bride, did you find these tips useful? Already married? share some tips or things you learned when planning your wedding! I’m sure current brides would love to hear!