They say hindsight is 20/20. But the one day you don’t want to have that saying apply is your wedding day. Today, I’m sharing with you wedding day advice from a photographer, things I wish I had known when we got married 6 and-a-half years ago. And even some bits of knowledge sourced from past brides and friends who shared their experiences with me!
Here’s the thing…wedding days have lots of moving parts. Which means lots of room for error. And it’s also the one day where you should be able to relax, sip champagne with your girls, and just soak it all in. Wedding day dreams can be made and broken all too quickly, so allow these tidbits of knowledge to help guide your wedding planning. Now that I’m a professional wedding photographer, here’s some important wedding day advice from a photographer perspective!
WEDDING DAY ADVICE I WISH I HAD KNOWN
1. Hire a wedding coordinator or planner!
Okay, so this is my #1 regret for my wedding day! I’ve even got a whole blog post on this one here. You guys. Hire the dang day-of coordinator (at the very least)!! Don’t have your mom or aunts or grandma at your venue piecing together flowers and centerpieces on the day of your wedding. They should be getting ready WITH you! My mom missed all of the getting ready memories on my wedding day because of this, and I still regret it 5 years later!
2. Consult your photographer before you set your ceremony time!
Before you set your ceremony time and print your invitations, make sure you consult your photographer! Oftentimes, we photographers help really set the timeline of the day. We base it off of the sunset time the day of your wedding. In order to achieve those beautiful, glowy images you’ve seen and fallen in love with, we really utilize the last 2 hours before sunset! It’s just harder to achieve that look during mid-day bright sun. Don’t get me wrong…we can still take beautiful images, and we can schedule portraits during golden hour, but you may miss some of your reception!
3. Keep the getting ready space clutter-free!
Assign this task to one of your bridesmaids! Before your photographer arrives, have her put all bags into one corner. Have her clear trash, water bottles, and any food wrappers that may be laying around. This will help your photographer tremendously! It saves them time from doing this step when they arrive, and provides you a clean background for your finished wedding images!
4. Don’t skip the first look!
For our wedding day, at the last minute I opted to forego our first look. I regret it to this day! It would’ve given us time to enjoy our cocktail hour with our guests! It also would have given us a moment together to just be on our wedding day. As a photographer, I now understand how this frees up time in the timeline.
5. Take a moment to step back.
This is one of my favorite things we did at our reception! We took a moment together to step back and watch all of our friends and family having the best time dancing the night away! Take a moment with your spouse, step away to a corner just the two of you, and memorize the moment. It’ll be gone so quickly and you’ll be off to your honeymoon. Soak it in, friend!
6. Have someone in charge of making sure your gifts and getting ready bags make it to your car.
It’s an easy step to forget, but make sure your planner, a family member, or bridesmaid is in charge of making sure your wedding gifts as well as your bags from your getting ready suite make it to your car! Or someone’s car. But that these things aren’t forgotten.