Even though I am a wedding photographer, I have had the privilege of helping to plan a few weddings for family and close friends. It is no secret that the wedding day can turn from being one of the most exciting days to one of THE most stressful days of your life. Based on my experience of photographing tons of weddings and being a “planner” for a few, I have a few tips that can help your wedding day be less stressful or completely stress free.
1. It is very important to allow extra time in the wedding day timeline. Sometimes things happen on the wedding day that are uncontrollable. From the flowers arriving late to the make up & hair not being finished on time, these are all things that can cause a major setback if extra time is not allotted in the timeline. If you have not done so already, check out my previous blog post to learn how to create a prefect wedding day timeline and download a FREE wedding day timeline to use!
2. Allow extra time for getting ready. Hair and makeup sometimes will take a little longer than expected. Based on my experience, I would highly suggest scheduling the bridal hair & makeup be finished at least an hour before putting on the dress. Trust me – you do NOT want to be the last person to have your hair & makeup done on the wedding day. As a matter of fact, I would suggest NOT being the last person. I have had brides in the past who have missed having beautiful portraits made before the wedding because of this! The hair and makeup took much longer than anticipated, brides became stressed, the wedding started late, and some have even missed having all the special portraits taken because of this. Believe me, in this case, it is NOT worth being last. Trust me!
3. Have all of your bridal details in one spot. I always start by photographing the bridal details such as the dress, shoes, rings, and invitations first on the wedding day. I always have my brides to leave everything they want photographed in a special place for me, so when I arrive, I can begin shooting. I always have my brides do this and it saves me so much time on the wedding day. I am able to spend more time shooting instead of running around searching for bridal details. Plus, you do not want to be running around searching for items when the rest of the bridal party are sipping mimosas!
4. Prepare a family photo list for portraits. This alone has saved SO much time on the wedding day. A few weeks before the wedding, make a list of all family photos that you want taken during family formal portrait time and email a copy to your photographer. There is nothing worst than wasting time searching for family members during portrait time or not knowing exactly who is supposed to be included in pictures.
5. Put your dress on! Please do NOT wait 5-10 minutes before the ceremony starts to put on your dress! Just like waiting until the last minute for hair & makeup, I have witnessed the same thing happen when brides wait until the last minute to put on their dress. 1. Your dress is NOT going to get dirty by putting it on an hour or 2 before your ceremony. You have invested a lot in picking out and purchasing your wedding dress. This will be your only time to wear your wedding dress, so put your dress on and schedule to have as many photos taken as you can in it. I promise it will be worth it after the wedding day is over.
6. Hire a professional wedding planner. No friends, I am NOT a wedding planner, but I do know plenty of professional wedding planners that do a great job at making the day go smooth as ever. Hiring a professional wedding planner is a great investment! Wedding planners make sure the day is going as planned. When you work with a planner, you take the load off of planning, searching, finding, working, and stressing on the wedding day. When hiring a wedding planner, the only thing you have to worry about is literally showing up, looking gorgeous, and walking down the aisle to marry your man! The weddings that I have photographed that had a planner were some of easiest and laid back weddings that I have dealt with.