After photographing weddings for over a decade (OMG!!), I have learned a lot about what makes a wedding day go smoothly. It takes so many moving pieces for such a big day so you want to make sure that you don’t make these 6 mistakes brides make on your their wedding day.
1. NOT HAVING A WEDDING PLANNER
This is the TOP mistake brides make. No, the venue coordinator is not a wedding planner. They work for the VENUE and not for YOU. Their job is to open up the venue, make sure that the space is ready, and to look over the catering staff. They will not be making sure that you and your girls are running on time when getting ready. You need someone who is on your team and has full knowledge and power to execute your vision. Your cousin and your mom should NOT be worried about centerpieces. Your bridesmaids should not be worried about the escort cards, but just about when to hand you another mimosa (YAS!) The minimum you should invest in is day of coordinator. I do always encourage partial or full planning in order to get a cohesive design while you to do zero work.
2. POOR TIMELINE
There is no way photographers can take pictures of bride and groom, wedding party, and family formals in thirty minutes. Rushing portraits is NEVER a good idea. Getting authentic images and romantic candids of you two takes time. It is ALWAYS a good idea to do a first look. That way, we can take bride and groom portraits and wedding party images before the ceremony so if anything runs late, we have already done those. You can even join your own cocktail hour and enjoy being with your guests. Secondly, you need to allow your photographer to have enough time with your details like rings, invitations, shoes, veil, jewelry, bouquet, and dress. Some brides decide to stretch our timeline by cutting the getting ready time in order to allow us to stay later. I would rather have flawless pictures of my girls and I getting ready instead of sweaty pictures of my (drunk!) guests dancing, trust me.
3. GETTING READY IN A TINY HOTEL WITH ZERO WINDOWS
If you have eight girls getting ready in a tiny room, you can be sure there will be clothes, dresses, makeup, and shoes everywhere. FACT! Photographers cannot make a big mess disappear. We are not magicians. This is your wedding day, book the presidential suite. Make sure that your getting ready room also has LOTS of windows. The more natural light, the better. Good light allows photographers to take amazing detail and getting ready shots. Not to mention, it gives you a flawless complexion instead of that bad orange tan from tungsten light. Another tip is to look for a hotel with neutral colors instead of crazy red carpet and tacky patterned curtains.
4. YOU HATE YOUR FLOWERS BUT NOW IT’S TOO LATE
Beautiful flowers are essential for a strong wedding design. I always tell my brides that flowers make or break the design since they set the mood for the entire day. You need to hire a professional, not a friend. Maybe your centerpieces need to be a little smaller in order for you to have an established florist. Do it. Don’t hire just a random person or use your aunt who likes flowers. When it comes to all wedding vendors, you really do get what you pay for. If it’s too good to be true, then it really must be the case. Building a bouquet is a work of art. It’s not just willy nilly putting flowers in a bunch while finishing off with a ribbon. Make sure that you absolutely love your florist’s portfolio and that they can create a statement bouquet for you.
5. YOU NEVER HAD A MAKEUP OR HAIR TRIAL
The wedding day schedule is pretty tight and there is no time for do overs. This is why it is so important to work with your beauty team BEFORE the wedding day. I always encourage my brides to do their trial for their engagement session. That way, you get to see your makeup in professional pictures and make sure you LOVE it. And no, your cousin is NOT a make up artist even though she has a really cool Youtube channel. You can’t complain to us photographers when your face and neck don’t match skin colors or when you can see the lash glue in your pictures.
6. YOU SKIPPED THE ENGAGEMENT SESSION WITH YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER
I always encourage all my brides and grooms to have an engagement session with me. This is our first big date. This is the opportunity to get to know each other and for you to get comfortable in front of my camera. My goal is to capture real emotion and the way he makes you laugh but you will not be able to loosen up in front of a stranger in just 30 minutes. I want to show up as a friend and not just a vendor on your wedding day. It’s also nice for you to communicate certain angles you do not like at your session. That way, I am more than prepared with poses for your portraits on your big day.