Hey guys! This is Kim, Studio manager for Ella Photography! Welcome to my first post!
Your wedding day.. The day you’ve pictured in your head over and over.. The day that you’ve planned to a tee so everything is going to go perfect, right? Well… Chances are, it won’t. There’s no such thing as a PERFECT day and this isn’t going to be any exception.. BUT having worked around the wedding industry for a while now, I’ve put together a list of 10 tips that will help you ease through your day a little better and help you avoid as many mishaps as possible!
I made this one number 1 because I feel it’s sooo important. Your vendors are really what makes your day run smooth as they touch almost every part of it. This is not the place to overly cut back. Wanna make your own centrepieces? Break out the glue gun and get crafty! But asking aunt Margaret to take your photos or uncle Steve to DJ (and MC) because they did it for the church’s disco night might not be the best idea to save a few bucks.. Your music is what sets the mood for the whole reception and photos/videos are the memories that will last you a life time and only a professional knows which moments not to miss and how to get the shot juuust right. I don’t doubt you have some friends who know their way around a curling iron or can do a great smokey eye but will the hair and make up last all day and night? Do they know the tricks to making it all pop in your photos? Maybe leave all this in the hands of professionals? Trust me here..
I feel like this one is just as important as the first but I can’t have 2 number ones, so.. Ya. Don’t go close your eyes and blindly choose someone out of the yellow pages. Do some research, ask around. There are a lot of vendors out there that make their work their passion and will do everything they can to help your day run smooth but there are also some out there that this is just their “job”. Make sure you don’t hire the latter.. Meet with them, try to form a relationship with them.. You’ll be able to “feel” if they’re the right ones. A perfect example of this is at my cousin’s wedding recently I referred a great make up artist who I love and is truly passionate about what she does and about the wedding industry. Once she finished the make up she was hired to do, she stuck around while we got ready to make sure things were running smoothly.. Thank goodness she did! Long story short, we had her hemming pants not long before we had to leave for the church. Now I’m not saying every good vendor is going to turn into a part-time seamstress but a passionate one will go above and beyond their call of duty. They understand this day is about YOU and will do what they can to help your day along.
I cannot stress this enough. The last thing you need on your wedding day are surprises.. And I’m not talking about the fun ones like a new puppy.. No, I’m talking about having your make up done an hour before you’re set to walk down the aisle and you don’t recognize the person in the mirror.. Those kind of surprises. Pay the extra to have hair and make up trials done beforehand, it’ll really ease your mind for the day of your wedding. And don’t be afraid to speak up if you’re not sure about something, you’re going to have to look at these pictures FOREVER. Also, while you’re at it, if you’re having engagement photos done, a great idea is to do your hair and make up trials the same day so you can have an idea of what it’ll all look like in your pictures.. In fact, I REALLY encourage this. Engagement pictures are also a type of “trial” and a great way to get the bride and groom more comfortable in front of the camera.
Like I said in the intro, chances are things WILL go wrong, so try to be prepared for this. A great idea for this is to have an “emergency kit”. It can include things like needle and thread (this one I highly recommend, it’s OFTEN needed), glue, tape, 2-sided tape, a tide-to-go, pen, band aids.. Well, you get the idea. Also, try to shift your mind and if ever thing do go “wrong” make it a point to actually say “well, It wasn’t the plan but, it will work”. That will keep you more relaxed 🙂 More here: Yes, Things can go wrong
So, you’ve taken my advice and hired an amazing photographer and videographer, so what can go wrong here? Well, turns out there IS something out of their control.. The last thing you want in that perfect picture of you walking down the aisle is 20 people standing up holding out their iPhones to get an out of focus picture of you for their own collection. Ask them to keep their phones and cameras in their pockets during the ceremony and promise them they can purchase some prints once you get the professional pictures in. Again, this is YOUR day, you’re allowed to make some small demands like this. More here: How to get awesome photographs
One of the things that might stress you the most is lack of time. There’s a reason most people take about a year to plan their wedding. A lot of people recommend going for your wedding dress in January if you’re getting married in the summer. If you’re looking for something specific, there’s a big chance you might have to order it and as much as it could arrive within a couple weeks it could also take up to a few months. You want to make sure you LOVE your dress so give yourself time to find the right one! And then there are alterations.. So why chance it? Give yourself time! The same goes for the day of your wedding. Give yourself enough leeway time. Even if you’re the most punctual person on earth you’re not the only one involved in making this day run smooth. I’ve heard so many times of the limo showing up late, hair or make up taking a little longer than expected, etc.. So please give yourself a little extra time so you’re not stressing.
Speaking of time, another great way to keep everything organized and help everyone stay on top of “what’s supposed to happen when” is to have a timeline ready.. A detailed list of everything that’s going to happen that day and at what time you’re expecting it to happen, from waking up in the morning (ok not literally but you know what I mean) to when the last guest is expected to leave. Build your timeline, check with your photographer and DJ (and planner if available) and go crazy and print out a whole bunch of copies for everyone involved, including all your vendors and the whole wedding party. That way no one has an excuse to say they were confused about time and chances are everything is more likely to stay on track. More here : How to make your timeline
I know this one seems a little silly and obvious but it’s so important. Most likely, you’ll be wearing shoes that you don’t wear everyday so working up to the big day try wearing them around the house as long as you can.. You don’t want your feet to start cramping up while you’re standing at the alter. Also bring a pair of flats because it’s a looooong day and by the end of it you’re not gonna care about the small fortune you spent on those gorgeous Louboutins, you just want comfort!
Yes, It could rain. But if you have a plan… So what? Plan for rain boots, matching umbrellas (preferably clear) and a new covered location for your ceremony and portraits photos. Vendors are usually mentally prepared for such scenarios and can help you make the best decisions but make sure you think about it as well! By having a rain plan, you won’t be as bummed out if it does actually rain.
Hiring a wedding planner will make your life sooo much easier but I completely understand that it’s just not in everyone’s budget. A wedding coordinator can be a nice compromise. It’s someone you can hire for just the day-of to make sure everything runs smooth because realistically, you’ll be so all over the place and it’ll be impossible for you to stay on top of EVERYTHING. And if you can’t hire a coordinator, assign someone (or a couple of people) the task. Make sure this person is not in your immediate family or in your bridal party. The job of your bridesmaids is to help you out and make sure things run smooth but there will be times that (just like you) they can’t be on top of it. Often after the ceremony, you’ll go do your portraits with the wedding party and immediate family. This often isn’t done at the reception hall while the guests are enjoying cocktail hour (and even if it is, you guys are busy!) so who can your vendors and/or guests go to if something goes wrong ? Or they have a question? So make sure you have someone for this. Whether it’s a reliable friend/family member or a wedding planner/coordinator, make sure someone is on this and make it clear to your vendors who it is.
The last and again one of the most important..
Even with all these tips, things might still go “wrong” and really all you can do is laugh it off. Ultimately, you need to remember that this your YOUR DAY. You should plan it and experience it as you want. Not your mom’s, not your aunt Suzie’s. Invite who you feel is important to YOU and pick your venues (and timelines) how you feel represents you two the best. Plus, Remember why you’re there.. To marry the person of your dreams and that’s what matters the most! Don’t stress, laugh off any mishaps and enjoy one of the biggest days of your life! These memories will last you forever, make them great ones!