5 Wedding Day Tips You've Probably Never Thought Of
— By Esther Dawson
08 October 2015
Wedding photographers often become multi-tasking sidekicks for many couples. The more weddings I shoot, the more I find myself packing first-aid kits, mints, blankets, bobby pins, and even spare shoes. We give advice on how to plan the day and tips on when the light will be best for photographs. Some people are experienced with weddings and large events, but most of us are not, so advice from people who are involved in weddings for a living can be invaluable! The five tips below are things that I have learnt while photographing weddings over the last few years, some photography related, and some just general advice. Have a read, and good luck with the planning phase!
1. Congratulations Time
Straight after the ceremony, all your guests are going to give you a kiss and a hug and say congratulations, which is great! This is often one of the happiest moments of the day; however, in my experience, it is often overlooked when planning the timeline of the day. The time spent with your guests then eats into the bridal party shoot and means that you have less time for photographs before you’re due back for dinner. Depending on how many guests you have and how your day is laid out, I would suggest allowing at least 30 minutes for ‘congratulations time’ in your schedule. This means less stress and more time to chat with those you care about.
2. Bridal Party Shoot
It’s becoming more popular to have your bridal party shoot, or ‘creative shoot’ before the ceremony. Some people prefer the idea of having their photos after the ceremony so they can have a break and feel more relaxed. However, if you’re considering having your photographs taken beforehand, there are quite a few benefits. Firstly, it means more time spent with your guests. Although you may have to get up slightly earlier, or have your ceremony slightly later, you can maximize the time you have to mingle with everyone after the ceremony. Secondly, your hair and makeup will be freshly done and look immaculate in the photos. Thirdly, if you’re feeling nervous, some couples find that it calms their nerves to see each other before the ceremony. And last of all, there is the added incentive of including a ‘first look’…
3. ‘First Look’
If you’re not set on seeing each other for the first time when you walk down the aisle, it can be a really special to have what’s called a ‘first look’. You can plan this if you have your bridal party shoot before the ceremony, or you could just add it in regardless of when you your photos are taken. Seeing each other all dressed up before the ceremony can be an amazing moment. You can also relax and show your true emotion which you may not have felt comfortable expressing in front of your guests. Plus, you get some alone time to breath, relax and take it all in.
4. Just the Two of You
I often hear couples say that their wedding day was a blur and they felt like they hardly saw each other. Whether you schedule it into your timeline, or just spontaneously arrange it, it’s a great idea to have some time to yourselves alone. You could do this during your ‘first look’ or just sneak out of the reception later on (maybe take your photographer too!). Taking a little break to be alone together can be very rewarding and help to make the day less of a whirlwind.
5. The Important Stuff
With all the planning, lists and details involved in organizing a wedding, it can be very easy to let the little things stress you out. While a certain level of stress is normal, it’s never nice or healthy if this takes over and stops you from enjoying your day. It doesn’t matter if the napkins didn’t match, or the flowers didn’t arrive on time, or even if it rains! It’s good to remind yourselves of why you are having this celebration in the first place. I recently read a quote that sums this up perfectly, “A wedding is a celebration, not a performance. If, at the end of the day, you have married the person you love, then everything went perfectly.”