Whether you’re in the beginning stages of planning your big day, or it’s right around the corner, you want to make sure your wedding day is smooth sailing. You put a ton of planning into this event, but when the day comes, you want to let all that go. Every couple expresses to me that they just want to enjoy their day, and focus on each other and their family and friends. Read on for some tips that will really help this come to fruition, so that not only are YOU relaxed and happy at your wedding, but your vendors and guests feel this way too.
1 – Hire a planner/day-of coordinator
More and more, couples are choosing to take advantage of a planner or a day-of wedding coordinator. They do the hard work so that you don’t have to! They can talk to you about what your needs and desires for the day are, and they can interface with your other vendors to communicate and strategize for the day. It can be very helpful to have just one point of contact to go back and forth with, while knowing your wishes are being communicated to everyone. I love working with coordinators, and if you don’t have one, I will have some names in hand for you, whether the wedding is in Bethlehem, PA, the Lehigh Valley, Philadelphia, or Bucks County and beyond.
2 – Gather your details
Flowers, jewelry, accessories and stationery. You spent the time curating these details to tell the story of who you are as a couple, and to communicate the vibe of your wedding. The little things are beautiful and important! One amazing thing you can do for your photographer is to gather these bits and bobs together BEFORE your photographer arrives, and have them ready to shoot. Often, this will be the first thing your photographer shoots while everyone is getting ready. You can designate someone in your wedding party to be in charge of this!
3 – Have a family point person
Family photos are often very important to my client, and therefore important to me! One thing I have to stress to my clients is that even though YOU know who all of these wonderful people are, as the photographer, it is often my first time meeting 99% of them. Therefore, even though I am experienced at corralling the masses, I will not be as quick to know your aunt or your grandparent’s name, and it might take a little longer to gather the right people. It is super, super helpful to choose a family member, maybe one on each side, who doesn’t mind using a loud voice to gather your loved ones before they run away!
4 – Feed your vendors
Your vendors are working so hard for you, and often are on their feet for a very long day. We LOVE it, and are fueled by our passion for our work, but we do need calories! Make sure you are communicating to your venue or caterers that your vendors will need a full dinner, and the most amazing thing you can do is to feed your vendors before the guests. This may sound wacky, but it makes sense. If your photographer can eat their meal right after everyone is seated, they will be fed and happy by the time you’re up again for those special dances. I am happy to see this happening more and more, and it’s a great call.
5 – Have an inclement weather plan and stick to it
Nature often has other ideas than we do when it comes to the weather. It might be a bummer if you can’t have that outdoor ceremony or portrait session, but the best thing you can do is have an open mind and embrace the plan B. Venues will have an indoor location if it rains and your photographer can make magic inside or with some props, I promise! It can be tempting to want to wait 5 minutes or try to ride it out, but indecision can have a domino effect on the rest of your schedule. Your guests will also thank you for keeping them out of the weather.
6 – Put the phones away
I don’t just mean the wedding couple, although you totally should! I heavily advise communicating to your guests and family that you have a photographer covering all aspects of your wedding day, and that they need to keep their picture taking to the reception, if at all. I love that your aunt with the iPad or dad with his GoPro are so excited to have these memories, but it can be very hard to work around them when important moments are happening during your ceremony. Having a hard and fast rule about this makes my life a lot easier! You can have your officiant make an announcement at the start of the ceremony.
7 – Bring all the pins!
Safety pins, bobby pins, sewing pins and some thread. I don’t think I have to elaborate on this one! Things happen! However, if you forget, I will always have these things on hand, and I am a wiz with the last-minute garment repairs and veil pinnings. I got you.
8 – Take a minute
When you’ve gotten hitched, and we’ve taken some amazing photos, take a second with your love, send me away if you want to, and just breathe with them. This is advice I received before my wedding day and I am so glad. Just be the eye of the tornado, the two of you, because it’s about love at the end of the day ❤