Friday, October 16, 2015

Some love and advice to all my brides.

As a wedding photographer, I get to be in the middle of my favorite people's most special day of their life.  It's awesome.  I've bandaged a bride's feet, fixed dresses, make sure the couple are fed, act as day-of coordinator, traveled hours for a ceremony, helped family during the day, and seen many many people dear to my heart get married to the love of their lives.

With my behind-the-scenes stories, I would like to share some tips and advice out of the love of my heart.

The decorations really don't matter (so don't let it stress you out!)  It's okay if it's not arranged to perfection, you will not be framing your centerpiece photo over the mantle.  What is important to capture is your first kiss as a married couple, your family, and you with the love of your life.  No fancy schmancy dodads needed for those photos.

The mother of the groom is often left out of the day.  Let her be involved to celebrate the joining of two families!

Let someone practice getting you into your dress so there is no question on how to lace it up the day of the wedding.

Ask the groom and groomsmen to keep cell phones, wallets, and keys in the groom's room.  All those items in formal slacks make for some awkward shapes in photos!

Make a timeline with your photographer.  Add some padding time because, let's be real, something or someone will be late that day.  It's just fine.  Your vendors know how to react and go with the flow.

Spit out gum before photos.

Some times a special family member or friend might not show up on the wedding day.  It's not important, so don't let that be a focus point on your big day.  Enjoy the many people who are thrilled to celebrate with you.

Enjoy every moment.  The day flies by in a blur.

Force time for you to be alone with your bride/groom.  Make it a part of your first look, portraits after the ceremony, or a few minutes before you make your grand entrance into the reception.

Put your coordinator, volun-told friend, or parent to make sure you eat and drink a lot of water on your wedding day.  Let this person help delegate last minute tasks and keep you on your timeline.

Try to get off of work a couple of days before your wedding so you have time to set-up your decorations, welcome out-of-town family, prep for the rehearsal day, and give yourself some time to rest.

Pick out a dress that is flattering to your body type.

Let go of the extra swoops of hair that won't stay put or the bridesmaid's eye shadow that doesn't match each other.  Those things won't matter in 30 years.

Bring a nice hanger if you want dress photos.

Take off the tags and stickers on dresses/decorations/shoes before the wedding day.

Enjoy the moment when you walk down the aisle.  Take your time.

If you are exchanging letters or gifts before the ceremony with your bride/groom, make sure you both know it beforehand.  (There have been a couple of instances where it was a one-sided operation!)

Traditions are made to be broken.  Want a first look?  Awesome.  No bouquet and garter toss?  Super great.  Make cupcakes or sheet cake instead of a big one you won't like or eat?  Do it.  Brunch wedding in a barn?  Perfect.  You get to decide your traditions and what happens on your wedding day.

Test out your hair and makeup before the big day.

First looks with the bride and dad, or groom and mom are such wonderful moments and don't take much time.

Pick and choose what advice you want to keep and discard.  Disagree with some of the points of this post?  That's okay!  Make it your day, and don't let people bully you into a day you'll not enjoy.

The most important thing I can say is that you are marrying the love of your life today and that is all that matters.  Whether you elope in a beautiful intimate ceremony, have a ornate day, or a wild bash, the focus of the day should be on the person whose ring you're wearing.

Love and joy always,


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