5 TIPS FOR A SMOOTH WEDDING DAY | Portland Wedding Photographer Liza James
You're finally engaged, and all of the years you've spent dreaming about your wedding day can officially be put to work! First of all, CONGRATU-FREAKING-LATIONS! Seriously, this is going to be one of the best days of your life and one you will want to remember, in detail, forever. While the next several months can definitely become stressful, take a moment to relax and realize that YOUR wedding, will be perfect simply because you are marrying the love of your life. Cherish that.
I'd love to share a few tips on how to create a smooth, relaxed wedding day vibe as you arrive that day and prepare to walk down the aisle! As a wedding photographer, I know how insane the wedding day can be, and often a little intimidating! One of my favorite parts about being a photographer is that we are so many other things on those days. We are friends! And we have your back in any situation. Think of us as your wingmen, (or wing woman!) and we will be documenting your wonderful day as it unfolds so that you can look back at those images and remember them with detail and love.
1. Consider hiring a stylist/coordinator for your big day.
Coordinators are dedicated to keeping your plans, your dreams, your itinerary running smoothly and organized on your wedding day. The last thing you want to do is focus on making sure everyone else is doing their job. While everyone else is running around frantically, you're meant to be as relaxed as possible. Live in the moments lining up to your I Do's. Savor the memory of sliding into your wedding dress on that day! Enjoy your family having their first look with you, read through your vows or letters to each other and remember that all the past years or months you've spent learning about each other and falling in love have lead to this day. The first day of the next chapter in your lives and a wonderful journey of marriage together. Let your coordinator take care of everything else. Their job and passion is to style, organize and create a beautiful, relaxed space for your wedding.
2. Prepare your timeline with your photographer and coordinator.
I honestly feel like the most important bit of information on your wedding day, is your timeline. EVERYTHING will happen according to that piece of paper, or will at least be a nice guideline. ;) While it's true, often times the day can fall ahead or behind schedule (which is why a coordinator is amazing at keeping things on track), at least you will know what you can expect will come next. Your photographer will absolutely work in hand with your vendors to keep things flowing smoothly. After all, your photographer is so much more than just that!
3. Consider doing a first look
One of my favorite moments are first looks. I always recommend them for a few reasons. First of all, you get to have that big reveal moment with your fiancé in a much more intimate setting. There isn't any pressure of everyone else's eyes on you as you see each other for the first time. In all of the crazy wedding day antics, you can have those few moments alone to truly enjoy each other and what you are about to embark on. Marriage! Heck yeah!
Another reason why First Looks are so great, is that you can get most of your other photos out of the way prior to your ceremony. This means we can get all of your bridal party photos, portraits, even family formals finished beforehand and afterwards your can relax and ENJOY your reception with all of your family and friends! Who doesn't want that? Dance the night away you two, and cheers with that champagne!
4. PLEASE consider having an unplugged wedding
Above all else, I ask you to consider having an unplugged wedding. So many amazing images are ruined with everyone pulling out their cell phones, iPads, cameras and standing in the aisle, blocking the ability for us to capture your ceremony seamlessly. Having an unplugged wedding isn't a punishment, or even a "rule", but a gift to your guests! This allows them to fully immerse themselves in those moments and truly enjoy them with you, without stressing about not having images. I promise we will capture them! You have invested in your wedding photography and your photographer will be able to capture those images beautifully for you.
5. Tell your photographer of those special details you've incorporated into your wedding
Often times, brides and grooms will have little details in their wedding that relate to a family member who has passed, a childhood favorite memory, or a detail from a parents wedding. We would love to know those details! Those are what make your wedding unique and personal to you, those are the details that will be remembered for generations. If you have a special seat and placement set up for a loved one who has passed, if you have a piece of material from your father or mother's clothing sewn into your dress, if you're wearing your grandmother's jewelry, please let us know! We want to capture those details for you and include them in your wedding day gallery.
These are just a few tips that can help create a memorable, smooth wedding day. Of course, they aren't for everyone! So at the end of the day, you do you! In the grand scheme of things, you'll simply remember the fact that you and your fiancé were finally married and that you're love for each other outweighed any thing that may have not gone according to plan. Those little occurrences were so small in comparison to what you both gained that day, each other. So relax in your planning, and remind yourself of that.