Having been through a butt load of weddings have granted me some knowledge that - well - the average bride and groom probably don't have. I mean, most of you have never planned a wedding before. Sure, maybe you've been a bridesmaid or helped out at a friends wedding (then you have a head start!), but for most, the intricacies and behind the scenes of weddings is probably a little overwhelming. You choose your wedding vendors. You pick a wedding venue. You taste food and wedding cakes and cocktails and design decor and decide on colors for you wedding. What else is there?
(Glad you asked)
1. Make sure whoever will be helping the bride into her dress is already dressed and photo ready! This is a big one that I always make sure to tell my brides when the time comes. If mom is going to be in a photo, she will likely want to be photo ready. :)
2. Even if you don't want to wear a veil, it okay to bring one for just a few photos! That is exactly what Kristen did, and just look at how pretty a veil photo can be:
3. Buy your lipstick - either from your makeup artist, OR choose your color and bring it with you - because, guess what, a wedding day is a LONG time, and you will 100% need to re-apply that color.
Plus, you've gotta make it through all those smooches.
4. Ask your florist to leave a few extra loose flowers, greenery and petals - these go so well with detail photos!
5. That brings me to my next point - bring your stationary on the day of the wedding for detail photos! As you can see, I very much love my detail shots, and the invitation makes the perfect centerpiece to these photos. It is also a great way to remember the vibe of your wedding day all in one photo! Other fun details to include: you perfume, hand kerchief, vows, shoes, purse, jewelry, sentimental objects, programs, invitations.
6. Decide on who you want in your formal family portraits before the wedding and let them know beforehand! There is nothing worse than losing 30 minutes of time while we try to wrangle your family members for photos...and they didn't even know they were needed for photos. Make a list and designate a family member or friend on each side to be the one to wrangle. Even better, have your officiant announce that immediate family needs to remain behind for family photos. My suggestion is to limit it to 10 groups with groups looking like this: bride and groom with groom's parents, bride and groom with groom's parents and immediate family, bride and groom with groom's immediate family and grandparents, etc.
7. Make sure your photographer knows who is important to you on your wedding day. Often this is easy for us to guess as we naturally capture who you are interacting with throughout the day, BUT if you are super close with your aunt, and she is not around for most of the day, make sure that your photographer knows who she is and that she is important to you! Maybe your mom is the queen of the dance floor, and you want your photographer to keep an eye out for her moves throughout the reception. Let your photographer know!
8. Make sure that you and your wedding party EAT during the day. Have snacks and water around where you are getting ready (ahem something more than just alcohol) because, again, a wedding day is A LONG DAY, and you will be on your feet A LOT. We definitely don't want you passing out during the ceremony. :)
9. Have someone else do your hair and makeup. Most brides already have this on their list, but hear me out. I did my own hair and makeup for my wedding because I could, and it added a whole lot more stress than there needed to be - plus an extra hour or two of standing time when I did not have time to eat or drink. Plus, it's your wedding day! Pamper yourself! Just be sure to have trial runs with both and hair and makeup before the big day.
10. Look like yourself on your wedding day. If you don't normally wear super heavy, dark makeup, have a natural bridal look. If you aren't really the white dress kind of person, don't wear a white dress. If you don't ever fake tan, DO NOT TAN before your wedding. I am serious. Especially about the tanning thing. Look like yourself. Fake tans really show in photos, and you do not want to be the orange one in your group shots. I have seen spray tans go horribly wrong....like whoops you got emotional and cried and now there are streaks all down your face wrong. Please, just be yourself. Be natural. Be the bride version of yourself. Wear what you want. Have a wedding at home if you want. Elope in the mountains if you want. You do you. Don't let yourself be the person who looks back and regrets not just being you.
Have any insider tips that you think I should add? Let me know!