Planning the best day of your life? Congratulations! Whether you’ve been engaged for a day or for a year, I’m sure you’ve already read hundreds of articles and blogs with advice from former brides. The advice is truly endless. However, is it only one sided advice? Yes, advice from other brides about what they would have done differently or what they did right is helpful. But what about advice from the bridal party, guests, vendors and family? You want everyone to have a good time and the entire day go off without a hitch. We’ve gathered advice and suggestions from our personal experience as wedding professionals, along with advice from our clients. Let’s start from the bottom of the list and work our way up.
20. Do what YOU want. This is SO important. I cannot stress this enough. Be prepared to give tough love, be prepared to put your foot down. There’s one wedding meeting I will never forget. It was a couple weeks before this fabulous, super fun couple’s wedding. We had met with them a couple months prior to help them plan and to talk details. Everything was great! They were so upbeat, excited and we had a blast. However, it didn’t take us long to catch on to a totally different demeanor. They were upset, frustrated, and fed up. I lost count how many they stated “can’t wait to get this over”. I was in shock. “GET THIS OVER”?! Like we were talking about a doctor’s appointment or a big test. Nope. We were talking about their wedding day. My heart was broken for them. Why did they feel this way? Because they were letting others take control of their wedding day. The majority of it was family members didn’t like the VERY creative and personal ideas they had for their bride and groom portraits. Unfortunately, they decided not to do them and went with more traditional poses and props. Still came out beautiful, but it was not THEM. It was not what they wanted. Don’t let that happen to you. Don’t be afraid to stand up for YOUR wedding. Those who love and support you will learn to forget about it, especially once they see how happy you are.
19. Pick your preparation place carefully. It may seem unimportant, but it will make ALL the difference. Getting a hotel room? Get that presidential suit! You’ll appreciate the extra room you’ll have. You’ll have lots of stuff laying around and lots of people coming in and out all morning. The more room the better! Also, the first several hours of your wedding day will be photographed here. Make sure there’s lots of beautiful window light and decor. Girls, go to the hair salon for hair and makeup. This helps keep things are little more sane and clean back at the area you’ll be getting dressed. Remember, the background is important for getting ready pictures as well!
18. Almost every wedding has some sort of wardrobe malfunction. It’s to be expected, but it is preventable. This is usually with the bride or the bridesmaids. Ladies, make sure you walk around in your dress! Make your bridesmaids walk, dance, jump, spin, whatever it is they’ll be doing throughout the entire day. Do this at every fitting. Also, wear your bridal shoes and undergarments. Step off of the stand so you can make sure the length is good on the regular ground. One time we had a bride need to cut off about 3 to 4 inches (maybe more?) of her dress TWENTY MINUTES BEFORE SHE WALKED DOWN THE AISLE (even though she had tried it on numerous times and it was fine in the salon). She couldn’t walk in it if she didn’t. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
17. Talk with your vendors about the schedule. Most photographers and DJs will be able to help you plan the ideal timeline. Most brides and grooms realize they had set aside too much time for dancing and not enough time for portraits. We recommend an hour and a half to two hours in between the ceremony and reception for altar portraits, bridal party portraits and bride and groom portraits. You could also split the time and do daytime portraits, and then sneak away during the reception and do night shots like below.
16. Get those engagement photos! Lots of people prefer not to get engagement photos, but you’d be amazed at how handy they can be. Not only is it a way to document and announce this first milestone, it’s also a good way to decorate your reception. You can use your engagement photos for a slide show during the cocktail hour, unique guest books, centerpieces, save the dates, invites, and decorations for your house! It also allows you to bond with your photographer before the big day, which is SO beneficial for both parties. (See more of our engagement photos here)
15. Set your budget BEFORE you start planning. Look around at local vendors to get an idea of what the average price is then go from there. Decide what is important and what’s less important. Things like photographer, DJ and venue should be at the top of the list. DJs run your entire wedding, picking an inexperienced one could potential ruin an otherwise perfect day. Photographers capture ALL the moments, small, big, emotional, hilarious. You won’t witness everything. You’ll have to go to the restroom, you’ll look away. You’re attention will be elsewhere. Photographers capture what you miss, and what you’ll want to remember on your 40th anniversary. After the main vendors, focus on what else is important to YOU. Some brides prefer lots of real flowers, some want small bouquets of silk flowers. Some want lots of decorations, some prefer to keep it simple.
Thank you for reading our first five wedding tips! Stay tuned for the next five!