I'm here to tell you all the things us photographers think about, but couples might not think of in the wedding planning process. There are so many little details that directly affect your wedding day images and experience, and there are so many super easy things you soon-to-be-wed's can do to up-level your entire day!
1. Avoid a busy, badly lit space for getting ready photos. Moments getting ready are generally either super fun filled with lots of big smiles between you and your friends, or super sentimental like getting your dress on, so avoid choosing something like a church nursery with loud murals all over the walls as your backdrop. Even if there's just a corner in the room dedicated to getting ready photos, you're golden! Bonus points if there's a window or two to let in natural light. It might seem minor, but the rooms you choose to spend time in have a direct effect on your wedding day images!
2. Encourage your friends and families to keep their phones and digital cameras in their purses during the ceremony. There are few things that are more than a buzzkill than that one friend or family member that chooses to raise their phone and take a photo in the aisle as the bride is walking down. I've also been to weddings where everyone had their phones out and were either texting, or constantly taking pictures instead of watching as your and your partner commit to each other. There's no harm in letting people know your ceremony is a "phone and camera free" wedding!
3. Take this opportunity to have as many romantic moments with your partner as you want! Write each other notes for opening on the morning of the wedding, get each other a little meaningful gift, really anything you want! Tell your friends and family to give you two space during your first look and all other sentimental moments. There's no day like your wedding day to amp up the romance! And your photographer can be the middle man for things like love notes and gifts!
4. Another thing to consider when planning your wedding day would be to keep in mind lighting of indoor ceremonies. Many couples choose to get married in the church they or their families are a member of, which is great! Just make sure to get the lighting right. If there aren't any windows, make sure whoever is running the technical side of things makes things bright enough for photos. We try to avoid using flash during ceremonies, because it can be so distracting for you and your loved ones! So many indoor ceremonies are dark with HARSH spotlights. Try to aim for even lighting for your ceremony.
5. PLEASE please please try not to get too crazy intoxicated before your family, wedding party, and couples portraits are done. I'm alllllllll about celebrating with a good brew, but if people get out of hand before photos are done, this can make photos take twice as long, and can make it difficult to keep everyone focused. The minute formal photos are done, feel free to let loose! I've heard of one too many circumstances where one groomsman was completely trashed and his eyes were closed in all the wedding party photos because that's what his eyes look like when he's drunk lol. Once we are done with all the "formal" shots, by all means, share a shot or a shotgun with your fave humans. ;)
6. Detail photos are made up of all of YOUR important details! Flat lays and detail photos are some of my favorite photos just because they're some of the more artistic types of photos and serve as a fun little "summary" of the style of your wedding day. Some things to consider for your details photos: a copy of the invite, save the date, ceremony bulletin, the rings, ring boxes, bridal jewelry, groom's tie, boutonniere, extra ribbon from your florist, the wedding dress, bridesmaid dresses, bride and groom's shoes, any little sentimental knick-knack, vows if you wrote your own, the list goes on! Have these details in a bag/corner ready for the photographer to photograph. But also, don't stress it if you don't care too much about detail photos! Not everyone wants these and that's ok. :)
7. We know how long it takes to photograph a full wedding day. When my couples are having a hard time deciding which package to get (8 hour, 9 hour or 10 hour) I always explain to them what you get with each amount of coverage. With the 8 hour you miss out on a lot of getting ready candids and dance party moments at the reception, while with the 10 hour package you get plenty of both those things. It comes down to what's important to you! That being said, it's impossible to capture a "full wedding day" with less hours than that. Trust us when we say 6 hours will NOT get you all the important moments of the day, especially if you're having a big wedding!
8. One easy way to save a lot of headaches on the wedding day is make sure you share the timeline with EVERYONE. Once we finalize the timeline, I highly encourage you to share It with your fiance, your families, your wedding party, and other vendors that may be affected by the timeline. This keeps everyone on the same page on the day of, and ultimately keeps us on schedule. Take this advice an extra step by printing off a couple timelines to your personal attendant, fiance, parents, etc on the day of!
9. Don't forget that your wedding day is YOUR wedding day. Don't let those around you tell you what you need to include in your day, how you have to do your ceremony or reception, where you need to get married, what time of the day you have to get married, the list goes on. Don't want to get married in your hometown? Cool! Want to have a food truck instead of a traditional catering company? Amazing! Want to get married in your home church? You do you!!! Want to get married at sunrise and have a brunch party? Love it. How you plan your wedding day is completely up to you and your honey! Do what feels right and most like "you" and you won't regret a thing. If you feel like you're being forced to do your wedding day a certain way, remember that the day is yours and not your friends' day, your parents' day, your Aunt Carol's day, and so on.
10. Don't stress about ANYTHING. Don't let the little details ruin the fun of the biiiiiiiiig picture of the day. The schedule will fall into place even if things get off track, family will enjoy the heck out of the day even if they give you a hard time during the planning process, the weather isn't going to stop you from marrying your best friend, and so on. You get to marry your human, and nothing will take away from how AMAZING that is! Your wedding day is just another day in your long long long story! Don't let the little things have a big affect. :)
And that's a wrap!!! Wedding planning is SO FUN and exciting -- hopefully these 10 tips will help the wedding planning process and shed light on some little details you hadn't thought of yet. Happy wedding planning from me to you!!