Whenever I meet with couples or discuss their day with them, I realize how full of tips I am and that I actually have a lot to say about weddings! Because it's my job to observe the day and be with the bride and groom from morning until night, I notice and experience a lot of things!
Most couples ask me for some advice or information- so I thought I would share all my little tips for all brides out there! Even though I am based in Medicine Hat, AB this information should help brides everywhere!
Well... here it goes!
#1. If possible, have hair and makeup teams come to the bride!
Photographing the morning of weddings is definitely one of my favourite parts of the whole day! I have noticed with wedding parties that if your ceremony is in the early afternoon, everyone is WAY more relaxed and calm when hair and makeup is done where YOU are getting ready! There is more time for you to mingle with your bridesmaids, give out gifts, and just take in the moments before the ceremony!
#2. Give yourself lots of time in your schedule.
This relates to the morning while getting ready (things always take more time than what you think). But also, plan and give yourself a few hours in between the ceremony and your arrival at the reception! Even if you don't need all that time for photos in between, you can use it for a break! All the couples I have photographed always appreciate a bit of time to themselves. After all... it is one of the most amazing days of your life and everyone needs some time to breath and a break. Time moves so fast!
When in doubt, run your schedule by your photographer or wedding planner- in many cases they have a good schedule of your day and when you should get into your dress, when you should leave for the ceremony, etc.
#3. Relax, have fun, and let things be.
Your wedding day is here so that means its time to enjoy everything you planned for! If something happens that wasn't according to plan, you can't change it... so just EMBRACE it and enjoy it. The imperfections can sometimes be little funny things you will look back on and remember!
An example? Well.. my wedding day we got terrible winds, rain, and SNOW. At first I was worried- but then I just decided to have fun. By the reception, everyone was just super cozy together and having a blast. I wouldn't want to remember my day knowing I was upset about something out of my control!
#4. Choose vendors who will be actively involved in your day carefully.
These vendors are DJs, photographers, videographers, etc. Ask them questions and get to know them! Why?
DJ's set the tone of your reception and I have seen awkward moments occur due to inexperience or other issues. Ask them questions and try to gauge how well they can read the crowd!
Photographers (yes I am a photographer but I will be as objective as I can) are literally with you ALL DAY. Find someone you can be yourself with and have FUN with! Also, choose the photographer you can TRUST. Professionals have back up equipment, lots of experience, and quality images! Remember- photos are the only thing you will take away from your day <3
#5. Choose vendors that work well with OTHER vendors.
For instance, if a photographer does not work well with videographers or vice versa... that could suck! You spend lots of money on both vendors so you should make sure they are used to communicating with each other! I'll leave this one short and sweet!
#6. For family photos after the ceremony, assign someone in your family as the "family photo gatherer".
I came up with that awesome term myself! Why? Well even though my husband and I are pretty good and collecting the family and have a list for the shots, it's always a good idea to have a cousin guide certain family members to the designated spot after the ceremony.
Photographers don't know who your family are and most have it in their contracts that we aren't responsible for missing family members! This portion of your day will go like a breeze if you have a big family shot list!
#7. If you tend to get frazzled and stressed, hire a wedding coordinator!
They will literally make your day go by flawless. From making sure all decorations are in place, to making sure flowers have arrived, to making sure people are where they are supposed to be..... they will do it all. Enough said on that one!
#8. Don't get caught up in Pinterest.
The decorations and everything you picked out for the vision of your day is perfect and it is YOU. Now delete the Pinterest app. Right now!!! I can't even tell you how many brides will second guess their choices because of Pinterest! Believe in what you have done to reflect you as a couple. It will be amazing... and you picked the RIGHT dress.
9. Be unique with locations if you have a tight budget.
Do you have any close friends or family with a farm or acreage? Locations that you have ties with means saving expenses and not as many house rules! Plus- it will be unique and be very personal... and you will get super awesome photos- I had to throw in that little side note... :)
#10. Take it all in and be WITH your new spouse.
This one is a bit repetitive but I can't stress it enough. Every single wedding I shoot either bride or groom will say "wow that went fast". Trust me. Relax and enjoy everything around you. Before you walk down the isle, remember how you are feeling. At the reception, stand back on the sidelines and remember how happy your guests are in that moment and the happy dancing kids! Look into your husbands eyes several times throughout the day and be WITH one another. The majority of the day guests will come chat with you and you won't have that much time actually together!
So just remember to never stray too far from your new husband. Hold hands while talking to guests and moving through the crowd. Enjoy the experience together side by side <3