I've wanted to write this post for awhile, and now after shooting 12 weddings and have edited about 50 weddings, I have tried to compile my thoughts into some helpful tips for brides. This will most likely be a random list as thoughts will just spill out as I type this....so bare with me and I hope it helps give you some insight on wedding planning.
1. Get a wedding planner book - or binder. This will help keep everything in one spot and together for references.
2. Find your locations first - when Josh & I were planning our wedding we visited and looked at countless locations. Think of how many people you'll be inviting. Sure, I wanted an outdoor wedding, but with inviting over 350 people, it was impossible.
3. Pick your dress - Order it. I tried on over 75 dresses before agreeing to one. I still am not in love with that dress, but the sales person was pushy and well, I would never recommend Emily Hart Bridal in Paola, KS to ANYONE! AWFUL! But back to the dress, it takes 6 months to get in because they're all made in China.
4. COLOR - Depending on your wedding season time frame, pick some COLOR to help break up the white and black of the boring wedding. You'd be surprised how color can add so much more to your wedding. Don't be afraid of it - EMBRACE IT! Whether it's flowers, shoes, bridesmaids' dresses - whatever, just have some COLOR!
5. HAIR! Oh my gosh - HAIR! PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, do a trial run with your hair stylist - this will help them know what to do and see if you even like it.
More Tips on Hair:
---- Have your hair stylist ON TIME! If they're not on time, the whole time line is thrown off and makes the rest of the day a crunch.
----BOBBY PINS & HAIR SPRAY --- For the love of Pete, PLEASE don't skimp out on the hair spray - your hair has to last you all day and night. Inside, outside, hugs, dances, and endless pictures. I had 72 bobby pins in my hair, and my hair lasted until the next day.
---- Think about how it will look in pictures, do you want to see volume on your crown, or down your back? Do you really want a bang down in your eyes, so it gets stringy and looks messy by mid pictures?
---- SPRAY DOWN THE FLY AWAYS!!!!!!
6. The Reveal. Times are changing, traditions are changing, adaptations made.
I've shot weddings both ways, reveals and no reveals. And here is some tips on time when it comes to having a reveal....
---- Your first moment is captured intimately and beautifully by your photographer. You get all of your gitters out and are more relaxed while walking down the aisle.
---- Family photos - you are able to take all of your family photos before the wedding. You all still look your best, and then they are free to head to the reception to relax and welcome your guests while you and your groom (and wedding party) are out doing fun wedding party pictures at various locations.
---- There is more time for photos when doing a reveal. -Most brides think they need to do separate pictures - for example, Bride, parents, siblings & their spouses/kids and then after the wedding they add in the groom. Weddings are about making your family bigger and about the bride and groom. Are you really going to want an 8x10 hanging in your home without your groom in it with the rest of your family? No. If you don't do a reveal - think of these shots and save them for after the ceremony. This will help the photographer get more shots not worrying about these groups.
7. Details, Details, Details. These are always important. I planned every aspect of our wedding from the napkins, to the flowers, to the bridesmaids color and shoes. Everything was consistent and went together. Every wedding should have a theme and should be consistent. If you don't know - ask someone.
8. Always remember this is your wedding - you and your husband. Do not let anyone push you around. Have an opinion. Speak up. Be heard.
9. Time - have a detailed time frame with your photographer. This will help your day go so much smoother and make sure you tell family to be there 15-30 minutes early for photos. If you're constantly waiting on people, photos will be missed.
10. Little kids - many people think just because you have a niece/nephew/little cousin - they should be in the wedding. If they are under the age of 4 - make them an "honorary" flower girl or ring bearer. Kids and weddings are a very trying time. They get tired, loose interest, and don't care. In wedding party pictures, they're fussy 90% of the time and just want their mom or dad.
11. Accessorize -- Bling it up baby! Wear a statement necklace, or at least some pearls. Don't forget your earrings - if you have your hair up your earrings are in every photo.
12. Wear your wedding rings all day - if you're doing a reveal, put them on first. That way they're in every shot. Give them back right before ceremony, but wear them before so they're in pictures. You'd be surprised what's missing if you're not wearing them.
13. Enjoy your day - it's your wedding day - embrace all of the love and memories :)
I hope this helps future brides some. And I'm sure these aren't all of my tips but it's what's on my mind as I'm editing a wedding at work.