Often times, being a bride can be an incredibly daunting and overwhelming task! Just think – all the sudden you are faced with not only preparing for marriage and a huge lifestyle transition, but you also have to plan a massive event for 2… 3… 400 people! That’s not exactly something you do everyday. In fact, it’s not uncommon for this is to be the very first time you’ve ever done something of this sort. SO, that being said, where do you even begin?! What are important things to remember and consider during this incredibly exciting (but crazy!) time of life? Here are some of the best tips I’ve learned as a wedding photographer and tucked away for my own sake & future wedding! ;)
1) Enjoy this Season
Seriously!! You will only be a bride once! Marriage is SO very exciting, but there is also something really beautiful and exhilarating about this time of life. I hear so many brides say in the middle of the stress, “I wish it was just all over and we were married!” and while I sympathize with them (and I’m sure will say the same thing myself at one point) I wholeheartedly believe that you should intentionally savor this unique season! Just because you have a ring on your finger doesn’t mean you should stop pursuing and loving on one another. Plan a fun date night where you focus on each other – no wedding planning allowed. Spend time on each other and your relationship and trust that everything will come together for the wedding – because it will. :)
2) Think about your Timeline
This is one of the biggest ways you can save yourself and everyone else involved in your wedding a TON of stress on the day of! Consider and plan out adequate time for every event. You don’t want to be rushing bride and groom portraits because you didn’t consider the extra time a receiving line would take up after the ceremony! Or late to the ceremony because you forgot to consider the possibility of traffic on the way there! These are details that you at least need to think about before setting the times of your ceremony and reception – trust me, the extra thought up front will save you so much later on.
3) Consider a First Look
Not only does this make for a more relaxed and enjoyable day – it also allows you and your husband to have the opportunity to actually BE together and enjoy their day! More often than not, couples find that they don’t hardly have a chance to soak in what is actually happening. A first look allows you to relish in the “We are getting married!! It’s actually happening!!” feelings and spend intentional time together just the two of you. And honestly – I truly believe it makes the moments during the ceremony so much more special! Since you’ve had the opportunity to talk and get those nerves out of the way, you are free to fully enjoy all the incredible and special moments of your big day!
4) Engagement Sessions Matter
Yes, it may be tempting to try to get your photographer to knock off a few hundred dollars because you’re trying to save money and an engagement session doesn’t feel like a necessity, but trust me when I say that your engagement session will have a HUGE impact on your wedding day! I see an amazing difference when my couples and I have had the chance to connect before the wedding day. Not only do engagement sessions provide the opportunity for my clients to see what it’s like to be in front of a professional camera, but it gives me the chance to see how they work together and the pose them in the best possible ways! That way when the wedding rolls around – my couples are total pros in front of the camera and everything works together seamlessly! It makes the wedding day so much easier (and pictures take up less time! Bonus!). Engagement sessions can impact your wedding day in a huge way – for the good!
5) Love your Vendors
Honestly ladies, you are going to spend so much time working with your vendors in this midst of wedding prep AND on the biggest day of your life! You don’t want a florist, makeup artist, or photographer whose personality drives you crazy! You need to love not only the work and products that your vendors create, but WHO they are as well! If you don’t feel like I’m the photographer for you, then I don’t want you to hire me. Honest! You need to find the perfect people for YOUR wedding day. Especially when you are thinking about photographers, make sure you find someone you truly connect with. This is why I always meet my couples for coffee to chat before we book! It’s important to make sure that we love each other – because I am going to spend so much time with you on your big day, you need to like me and my personality! Loving your vendors will help you enjoy your wedding day even more!!
I hope these few tips are helpful as you are thinking about and planning your beautiful day!!