Wedding days...they can be so magical yet nerve wracking and often times chaotic depending on how many people are involved. You want all the little details captured and your story to be told as organically as possible. If I could give brides wedding day advice? Gah…there’s so much, but below are the Top 5 Tips I give my brides to allow plenty of time for portraits, detail shots, and help their day run as smoothly as possible:

1. Allow more time than you think you need to get ready. It’s better to be safe than feel rushed. No one wants to feel rushed on their wedding day! 

2. In order to capture as many details as possible, I ask my brides or their maid of honor gather all items they’d like photographed in one accessible area. That means the wedding dress, bridesmaids’ dresses, shoes, jewelry, veil, perfume, any accessories, ALL rings (engagement ring & both bands), invitations, and any details that are sentimental to them. If possible, have the bouquets and boutonnieres delivered to the bridal suite as well. 

3. Consider having a first look or extended cocktail hour. What is a first look? A first look is an intimate moment where the bride and groom meets privately before the ceremony without the pressure of guests or family watching. Sometimes, it’s the only time the bride and groom gets to be alone on their wedding day. It also allows plenty of time for bride and groom portraits without rushing between ceremony and reception. I understand that this may not be a good fit for everyone. If a first look is not an option, I suggest extending cocktail hour by 15-25 minutes and having a ceremony start time that is 2 hours prior to sunset. This will allow more time and optimum lighting for portraits after the ceremony. 

4. Family formals do not have to take more than 20 minutes. I always recommend keeping it to immediate family only due to time restrictions. Aunts, Uncles, and cousins are more than welcome to grab me on the dance floor at reception. Also, assigning someone from both sides to help corral the families after the ceremony, will ensure we can move quickly through family formals and get everyone to cocktail hour. I mean—hello—it’s cocktail hour! 

5. Relax and have fun! You’re getting married!!! YAY! Simple, yet probably the most important tip. Sometimes brides get caught up in the whirlwind of wedding planning, wedding day decor and details, that they forget to relax and have fun. Deep breath--enjoy the day one moment at a time. Keep in mind that more important than your wedding day, is your marriage. That’s why we’re doing this shindig in the first place, right? ;)

There’s a ton more tips I send my brides, but these are for sure the Top 5 that comes to mind. Hope it helps as you go into your wedding day!

Happy planning brides! <3

Much Love,