When it comes to planning your wedding day there are so many things you have to consider. You’re constantly hearing “do this” or “don’t do that.” It can get so overwhelming and make what is supposed to be one of the best days of your life very stressful.
Well luckily as a wedding photographer and videographer on Vancouver Island I have been a part of so many weddings. I see so many things that brides either did or didn’t do that they regretted later. So in this blog I am going to break all of that down for you and give you my list of do’s and don’ts to help you plan your big day!
Do’s on your Wedding Day:
- Plan your wedding timeline with your photographer: This is by far one of the most important things you need to be doing for your big day. As a wedding photographer I have so much knowledge on what a realistic timeline looks like. I know the ideal times that we should be taking photos. I have a pretty accurate idea of how long family pictures take, wedding party photos, etc… Use your photographer to your advantage and I promise it will make your wedding day so much less stressful.
2. Keep all of your wedding details in one place: Wedding details include rings, bouquets, shoes, dresses, wedding invites, and anything else you might need. Not only does keeping all of this stuff in one place ensure that you are organized but it also tremendously helps out your photographer. When we take the flat lay shots we don’t want to have to keep asking you where everything is. Keeping all of the wedding details in one place ensures that it only takes me a couple of minutes to get these photos and I can get back to taking photos of you!
3. First look: Okay hear me out on this one! I absolutely love first looks and I will forever encourage my clients to opt to do one. As a photographer, I think it is such a special moment to capture just the two of you because those are your most raw and authentic emotions. The photos always come out so amazing and all of my clients say they are happy they did it because it calmed their nerves for the ceremony.
Although I love first looks I also understand that some people want the first time they see their future spouse to be during the ceremony. So instead of doing a first look with your partner, you could do it with your parents, bridesmaids, or groomsmen. The photos always turn out so great and it’s always so much fun seeing their reactions!
4. Do your ceremony earlier rather than later in the day: Okay this one might be a bit controversial but hear me out. I see so many people wait until 5pm to start their ceremony and while I understand wanting to do an evening wedding, I personally think that is too late. IT’S YOUR WEDDING DAY!!! You don’t want to go all day without seeing your partner. You two should be enjoying as much of this special day together as you can. You two are only getting married once so spend as much of the day together as you can!
5. Hire a day of Coordinator: Hiring a coordinator eliminates so much stress for the two of you on your big day. Let them take on the stress for you so you can enjoy your wedding. If you don’t have too much of a budget for a coordinator, find someone who is newer that will charge less. Believe me, they will be much better at it than your family members who are offering to help lol. You DO NOT want to be the bride that is managing everything at her wedding rather than enjoying it.
6. Plan a speech thanking your guests for coming: I know this one may seem unnecessary but believe me you will be so grateful that you did. I see so many people give a speech at the end of the wedding with no preparation and they end up getting nervous and forgetting what to say. So, I recommend sitting down together for 10 minutes and drafting up a quick thank you speech before the wedding.
Okay now that you have some things that you should do on your wedding day, let’s talk the don’ts of weddings!
Don’ts on your Wedding Day:
1.Don’t have too strict of a schedule: Your wedding timeline should be very loose and allow for some flexibility if needed. I find that when people try to stick to a schedule they end up getting really stressed out and anxious which is not how you want to feel on your wedding day. Just draft up a rough estimate of a timeline and do your best to go with the flow.
2. Don’t put too much of a gap between the ceremony and reception: Please do not make your guests wait hours in between the ceremony and the reception. I find that it really kills the mood of the wedding and people end up wanting to leave early. Try to do a max long 1 hour cocktail hour and then move onto the reception so that your guests aren’t standing around for too long!
3. DON’T Forget to eat: I know it’s your wedding day and you’re nervous but PLEASE don’t forget to eat. The last thing you want is a headache on your wedding day because you didn’t eat all day. I know you’re super nervous so sometimes I find snacking to be better than eating huge meals.
4. Don’t wear a strapless wedding dress: Yes I know, strapless dressings can be so beautiful but boy can they be annoying. One of the biggest regrets that I hear from brides is that they were always pulling their dress up and they felt like their dress was always falling down. Unless you’re used to strapless dresses or that it is just the absolute perfect dress, I wouldn’t recommend it. Even just adding on some super thin straps could make the world of a difference.
5. Don’t Forget to hire a wedding videographer: Video is the new way of doing things and is almost more important than photos at this point. Wedding videos are so special because you can look back on it and truly feel like you are reliving your wedding all over again. If you can afford to do both photo and video on your big day, I promise you will not regret it.
6. Don’t Opt for a cheaper photographer: The amount of times that I hear, “sorry I am actually just going to have my cousin photograph the wedding” is crazy. Taking photos may seem so simple that anyone could do it, but that is just so far from the truth. I have years of experience with posing, understanding lighting and backdrops, and how to properly edit. So yes, you might be saving some money by not hiring a professional but when you get those photos back, I promise you will regret it. You 100% should do your best to make room in your budget for a professional wedding photographer. You don’t want to look back on your wedding day and have any regrets especially when it comes to photography!