5 Tips for a Stress Free Wedding. Sounds impossible! I’d like to think that in my seven years as a wedding photographer, I’ve gained the knowledge it takes to keep brides relatively stress-free. How, you ask?
Preparation on both my part AND my clients part. It is so important to me that my clients and I work together to make sure everyone is on the same page. In order to give you the images that will have you sobbing tears of joy every time you look through your wedding album, I need to be on top of my game. And that requires – you guessed it – preparation. Leading up to the wedding day, I work very closely with both my clients and their wedding planner for the best possible outcome.
After all, it’s only one of the most important days of your life, so no pressure, right?! Without further ado, here are 5 tips for a stress free wedding day.
1. Schedule Your Day with Purpose
Your ceremony is going to dictate the flow of your day. If you’re envisioning a sunset ceremony, it will not be possible to do portraits AFTER the ceremony if you’re booking a photographer, like me, whose style so strongly relies on natural light. Could we take family, bridal party, and bride and groom portraits in the dark with a flash? Of course! But just because something CAN be done, doesn’t mean you are going to be happy with the results. If you’re dreaming of sun-drenched photos, you’re going to have to consider the time of day you schedule your ceremony.
There are two possible options:
- EARLY CEREMONY If you’re not cool with a first look, you’re going to have to schedule your ceremony well before sunset. This will allow time after the ceremony for family portraits, bridal party photos, and of course, photos of you and your new husband/wife. You might want to consider a longer cocktail hour, not only to keep your guests occupied, but so you get to enjoy the cocktail hour, too! After all, cocktail hour is the best time to mingle with your guests, undeterred. Plus…don’t you want to enjoy all those hors d’oeuvres you picked out?
- LATER CEREMONY If you are considering, or have already decided to do a first look, you can really have your ceremony at any time. Because all of the portraits will be done beforehand, you can have a sunset ceremony, or even a dramatically lit ceremony under the stars. The possibilities are really endless! Bonus: you get to enjoy the whole cocktail hour!
I strongly recommend working closely with your photographer and coordinator on your timeline. Your coordinator will be the best judge of how long events REALLY take, and your photographer knows when the light is the best.
2. Communicate your Schedule
This means that if your Aunt Judy needs to be at the ceremony site by 4:00 to make sure the groomsmen have their boutonnieres on, she needs to know well ahead of time. Your bridal party and family are going to need to be on time for their portraits, or we run the risk of throwing off the timeline. When we are chasing the light, every moment matters! Whether you choose to have family and bridal portraits taken before or after the ceremony, please make sure to communicate with everyone where they should be and at what time. The WORST part of my job is not being able to help you hunt down family members for portraits. It breaks my heart seeing brides faces when they realize Grandma didn’t know she had to be somewhere at a certain time, and she wasn’t able to get a formal photograph.
3. Choose a Contact Person
To echo the sentiment above, someone needs to have a master copy of the schedule. Actually, a few people would be even better! If you have a wedding planner, this person will have a master copy for sure. I would also recommend one or two others have one as well. That way, there is always someone who knows where to be and when.
These people will also serve as a point of contact should someone need to get ahold of you. No one, let me repeat NO ONE should be bothering you with mundane details on the day of your wedding! You do not want to be attached to your phone making sure the florist, DJ, and caterer know where to park. Let someone else handle that!
4. Have Special Items Ready
I want to be able to show up to your getting ready location and begin photographs right away. After all, you’ve booked me for a certain number of hours, and your wedding day flies by. But in order to do this, I need your help!
The first thing I photograph when I arrive are the details. It takes me a few moments to style these items to tell a story. This means you should have you dress, shoes, jewelry, all of the rings, vows, family heirlooms, bouquet, an invitation suite, and anything else you’d like photographed together. Make sure your mom or maid of honor knows where these things are too! The less time we have to spend hunting these items down, the more time I have to style them and make them look gorgeous!
5. Your Cocktail Hour is Critical
I know. Super dramatic. But it’s true! This is not only a time for you to mingle with your guests, but it’s important for me, too. This is when I photograph your reception details. You know, all the little details you’ve been hunting down on Pinterest. All the countless hours you’ve spend picking the perfect florals, colors, and decor. I photograph your reception during cocktail hour, before any guest has even seen it! This is super important. I want to make sure I get to photograph the reception before the guests come in. If I don’t have to move jackets, purses, and other paraphernalia from the scene, I have more time to photograph the details you’ve chosen.
I hoped these 5 Tips for a Stress Free Wedding helped! If you need any other tips for your wedding, please feel free to reach out using the contact form here!