It is such a happy chapter that I’m entering into with some of my closest girlfriends. I have two besties that are newly engaged and I am SO happy for them and their new fiancés! And I wouldn’t be a good friend if I didn’t help them throughout their wedding planning process as much as I can by giving them real-life tips on best practices for their wedding day. So here are my top ten tips for brides to be.
Top 10 Tips for Brides To Be
1. Create a realistic budget for how much your wedding will cost.
Identify what your 3 “must-haves” are as a couple. Is it great food, amazing wedding photos, a live band? Real flowers? Decide what you all would that like to splurge on and let everything else be cost driven. There are tons of things people will never remember about your wedding but the things you all consider important should be a budget priority.
2. Seriously consider a first look!
You will not regret it, trust me! This is the best moment to share an intimate moment with your partner before the craziness of your big day begins. There are so many reasons I love a first look. And best of all, this is usually the time where you are able to get even more portraits of your big day. Read all about why I love first looks here.
3. Hire either a professional wedding planner or a day of coordinator to help facilitate the day.
Not everyone can afford a full-blown wedding planner, which is totally understandable. However, a day of coordinator is a must. This is YOUR day so the last thing you should be worrying about is if the DJ made it on time. Also, if you can avoid it, try not to put this stress on to your bridesmaids as they are also there to help you. A day of coordinator or planner is a trained professional (hopefully) and can help make sure everything runs smoothly. They will know how to handle things if something goes completely haywire, which honestly could occur.
4. Plan your ceremony 2 hours before sunset
The time of day determines where the sun is positioned and how light falls on you. Golden hour is the best time for amazingly beautiful portraits. Shooting at high noon is NOT a good idea or ideal contrary to what many think. The light in the evening is approaching the “golden hour” so it is more warm, glaring and yellow toned. This creates the most ideal lighting scenario for your photographer and will help to create the best wedding photos of your day.
5. Incorporate a portion of the day that has natural light into your day
If you are having an evening wedding where the sun is already set or if your ceremony venue and reception venue are indoors; be sure to have some natural light photos. Out of all of the top tips for brides to be the importance of natural light is the one I stress the most. You want to incorporate natural light in your day to get the best view of your weddings details, flowers, dress, etc. For example, I always recommend that the bridal prep photo time is taken in a room that has a huge window with natural light pouring inside. Brides are always the most beautiful in natural light.
6. Shoot your engagement session with your wedding photographer!
This is one of my favorite things to do with my clients! The engagement session allows me to get you comfortable in front of the camera and for us to connect before the big day. Believe it or not, most people are terrified once they are in front of the camera. By shooting with your wedding photographer during the engagement session, things are smooth sailing on the actual wedding day. By this time we know each other and the chemistry is perfect, which makes for amazing photos also!
7. Hire a PROFESSIONAL makeup artist! (and create a makeup timeline)
Professional makeup sets the visual and mental tone for the shoot. Professional cameras tend to enhance textures and blemishes on camera. By getting your makeup done professionally, your skin appears more smooth and your features are enhanced naturally. What exactly is a makeup timeline? Exactly what it sounds like! Map out how much time it will take for the entire wedding party to have their makeup done including mother of the bride if needed. A full face probably takes half an hour so if you have over 5 brides maids you’re looking at over 3 hours of makeup time including yourself. Don’t let the makeup run your big day behind!
8. If your day runs behind, do NOT cut the time for photos. Make up the time in the reception.
Remember, wedding photos are probably the most important investment decision you will make regarding your wedding day. These are your MEMORIES. Photos tell a story and capture the moment so you want to make sure you reap the full benefits of the price you will pay for photos. By cutting time for photos you are essentially cutting out your life long memories of this day. If you are running behind on time, work with your planner or day of coordinator ASAP to ensure your photographer has sufficient time to deliver every photo you want.
9. Add padded time to wedding day timeline for errors to occur
Because we are human and live in the real world, things are bound to happen. Add time to your day to account for people running late, weather delays, etc. Again, the last thing you need is to be stressed on your day and no one likes waiting around on that wedding which was supposed to start an hour ago. (Don’t be that girl!).
10. Do not wear a watch and carry your phone after you sit in the chair for makeup.
ENJOY EVERY MINUTE OF YOUR WEDDING DAY and trust your vendors and/or bridal party to keep things on track.