Wedding Planning Do’s and Don’ts from Your Wedding Photographer
If you’re planning a wedding, chances are you might be overwhelmed by all the different wedding advice out there. Having experienced it first hand as a bride AND having photographed countless weddings, I wanted to share some wedding day do’s and don’ts I’ve learned over the years!
Do hire a planner: Planners are incredibly helpful when it comes to making your wedding vision come to life taking some of the stress off you and your partner during the wedding planning process. They also can connect you with solid vendors that align with your personalities and vision, and work with them to create a timeline that works for all your vendors to keep everything on time and running smoothly on the day of!
Do have a weather plan: It poured rain out of the blue on my wedding day. Our wedding ceremony was all set up outside, and the skies just opened up and dumped. Thankfully, my venue had a rain backup plan in place so we could quickly pivot and have the ceremony in a covered space and it saved the day. This is why it’s always important to think through the rain backup plan when it comes to picking your venue and planning your day.
Do hire a photographer you trust: When hiring a wedding photographer, make sure to pick someone that you trust and that fits your desired style for your wedding photos. It can make all the difference in your relationship with your photographer and your final result, when you and your photographer have a real relationship, share the same vision, and your photographer knows they have your full trust.
Do build in time for you two to be together on the wedding day: This sounds like a given, but wedding days are BUSY. It can be easy to just let the day fly by, without actually getting time to have a quiet moment with your partner and take in what the day is all about together.
Do set your top wedding priorities and budget accordingly: Weddings these days can be expensive and overwhelming! My tip to couples is always this – talk about your top 3 priorities for the day and make sure that those get priority in your budget. Also, discuss the things that maybe aren’t as important to you. With those priorities clarified, you can clearly see some areas you might be able to save a bit of money while still not compromising on the things that are really important to you.
Do have an unplugged ceremony: I always recommend these because there’s nothing worse than looking at your wedding ceremony photos and just seeing a sea of cellphones popping up taking pictures of you. Guests can even sometimes get carried away and step into the aisle and get in the way of your professional photographer during big moments. If your family really wants iphone photos, you can have your officiant announce a time at the start of the ceremony where guests can pull out their phones and take a picture. For the rest of the ceremony, let it just be your photo/video teams capturing your moments for the best result!
Do schedule your hair and makeup to be done earlier than needed: In my experience the number one thing that causes timelines to run behind on wedding days, is hair and makeup not being done in time. This is why I always recommend to schedule your hair and makeup to be done earlier than you need, so that there’s extra time if you need to do touch ups, or tweak something and that you are ready to go when needed for photos.
Don’t skip the engagement shoot: Engagement sessions are such a good chance to get to know your photographer and let them get to know you, so they can capture your love in a more authentic way. You will also get familiar with the way they shoot and become more comfortable in front of the camera.
Don’t wait to reach out to your favorite vendors: We are getting booked out faster than ever these days, so if you have a favorite vendor do not waste any time reaching out if you want them to be a part of your day.
Don’t forget to feed your vendors: It’s so important that we as vendors get fed on the wedding day quickly (especially your photographers and videographers). We spend the whole day on our feet working, and we only get a small window to eat (usually while the bride and groom are eating) before we have to start photographing events in the timeline again. Make sure you tell your catering team to ensure your vendors are well taken care of. If you’re not sure when your photographer will need to eat, just ask them!
Don’t skip the food: In all the excitement, so many couples can forget to eat themselves, but don’t do this! It’s so important that you have fuel in your body in order to have energy throughout the day, so I always always always encourage my couples to make sure to eat breakfast and/or lunch when they can.
Don’t invite people you don’t know: Yes, you may have to invite a few of your parents’ “must-have” friends or uncle Joe you see once every 2 years, but for the most part keep your wedding to people that you and your partner know and are important to you guys. It’s your special day, and it makes a world of difference in the vibe and feel when the wedding is full of guests who know you, love you and are there to celebrate you.
Don’t worry about if your photographer has shot at your venue before: If you hire a professional photographer you trust, you don’t need to worry if they have never shot at your venue before. A professional photographer is not intimidated by new spaces (I actually prefer it, because I find it inspiring!) and we come prepared and ready to shoot in any space and lighting.
Don’t participate in traditions that don’t feel like you or stress about what you can’t control: Skip any traditions that don’t feel like you! It’s 2022, there’s no rules (wanna get married on a mountain at sunrise? Do it). Make sure your wedding day feels like you and let everything else go. Once the wedding day rolls around, just sit back and let your vendor team take care of you. We are all on your side and ready to make your day the best it possibly can be.
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