Wedding days. They have this wonderful reputation of being one of the most beautiful, most memorable, and most amazing days of a couples’ life. However, weddings do tend get a bit of a bad rep some of the time, and end up stuck with the label of being one big ball of a stressful day as well. The thing is – they don’t have to be stressful, not one bit. Wedding planning may be overwhelming for some, it may draw out a lot of mixed feelings from family and friends, become expensive, or may take up a lot of your time; but on the positive end, planning and celebrating can be so much fun if you let it. Over years of attending, photographing, and also planning our own wedding, I’ve noticed a few common happenings on a wedding day; both the good, and the not so. In the later months of 2016 as the wedding season was coming to a slow, I started to think about how I could help prepare couples with all of the little things that make up such an unreal day. I sat down with my laptop and the biggest cup of earl grey, and brought a few of those thoughts together. They now make up an unreal wedding guide I send to all of my couples to help make their day one of the best ones yet.
I wanted to share some of the tips I’ve learned here as well. Those ins, outs, and all the lovely little things that can make the day so simply amazing for you and your loved ones.
- It’s simply a celebration. Remember any amazing past birthday parties? How much fun you had, how pumped you were when your friends + family arrived, and how carefree the day or evening was? Think of your wedding the same way. Your loved ones are there to celebrate you, and the love between the two of you – its as simple and carefree as that. Try not to think of your the day as one big production starring you and your sweetheart, or one that has this looming stressful schedule. Over the years, weddings celebrating love have become WEDDINGS. Days where every single detail has to be just right, the best flowers, the best decorations, the best venues. Brides rising in the early morning hours in crowded, dark hotel rooms to start their make up and hair, large bridal parties, couples not spending the eve before the day together, and then not setting eyes on each other until late afternoon the day of. Truthfully, the majority of brides I’ve seen become stressed about details and guests even before the ceremony has begun. Groom’s are running around or making phone calls to tie up loose ends, both families with furrowed brows over the last moment details, instead of enjoying with the sweetest smiles. What happened? Wedding days are about love, families, friends, and everyone coming together to enjoy every moment. Think of the day as an exciting and fun celebration, instead of this huge day. Do every single thing that you love on that day, make it meaningful, spend the extra time with the people you welcomed there to celebrate your love, see the love of your life as much as you want to, spend the night together, wake up together to kick off such a rad day. Hell, get ready together if you’d love to. If I could go back knowing all I know now, I would have totally got ready with my dreamy guy, what a sweet and amazing way to start the day. Don’t get caught up in the details, and please do not stress; in planning, or on the day of. Have so much fun, and if something happens to go wrong, simply let it be. You have the one you love, and the best of people surrounding you with nothing but amazing thoughts, and in the big picture, that’s truly all that matters at the end of the day.
- Oh that light. As storytellers of the most beautiful days, great light simply yields stunning images. Look to plan with the light during your engagement photos, and on your wedding day. For getting ready on the morning of, try finding a beautifully lit home with some open space to have your photos taken in. Air Bnb’s can be unreal for wedding mornings, and we love helping to locate them for you if you need. It doesn’t seem like much, but light goes a long way with how you’d love the vibe of your photos and day to be. I’ve seen afternoon weddings, sunset ceremonies, and celebrations under the stars, all completely complimenting the couple and their personalities. We are professionals, and specialize in manipulating the light in all different lighting conditions, but I do love to educate my couples on when and where the best light can be found on your day. To do so, I love assisting my couples with their wedding timeline; speak to your photographer to ask their opinion on start times and when the best light takes place for the season and type of celebration you’re planning for. We love to plan for that light and believe it takes your images and the way you feel about them to the next level.
- A first look. Having a first look can be one of the most romantic and intimate parts of your wedding day. I love this new traditon for a number of reasons, and was so excited to incorporate it in our own wedding day. It felt amazing to have a moment to just the two of us, and the best part was we got to walk into our day hand in hand. A first look gives you a rare chance to be alone for a few moments on your day, and can be such a beautiful time that envokes the most genuine of reactions. It can give your wedding day a natural flow, and give you more quality time with your loved ones. With a lot of money, heart and time invested into the day, your first look allows you to spend that bit of extra time together. The most important thing is to do what feels right for you both. If it’s a first look, great! If not, that is so amazing too. Whichever lovely way you choose to first see eachother, we will work on your timeline together to ensure it feels right for the both of you.
- Enlist a helping hand. One of the things I would have loved to invest in on our wedding day was a wedding planner. Our wedding was very intimate and calm, however even the most relaxed of weddings need a bit of structured help and extra hands; if only to help you and your family completely relax and not worry about a thing! Planners are such an amazing addition to a wedding day, and I truly believe that they take it to the next level, keeping all of the little things organized and everyone on schedule. We love creating the most beautiful images for you to look back on, but in order to do so, your loved ones need to be present; present with you, and present in your photos. If mum isn’t getting ready with you like you’d love her to be because she’s taking care of last moment items needing attention, your sweet mum will be missing from those beautiful images. Instead, invest in a professional and let them do exactly what they do best – plan and organize! There are so many amazing planners in the city, and I would love to connect you with them to help make your day amazing.
- Try to unplug. We live in a generation where everyone has a portable camera in their pocket. While it is incredible that the world is able to document and share their lives so easily, there are certain moments where disconnecting is so good for the soul. Your ceremony is a sacred moment that should command the undivided attention of your loved ones. They should be loving on your vows instead of trying to line up a shot on that iPhone. As you plan your day, please do consider an unplugged ceremony. It is our jobs to document genuine moments and reactions for you, and it makes me so sad when I point my camera out towards your guests and only see the top of their heads, their faces are down towards their phone or iPad screens. When you look back at your photos, you’ll want to see smiles, and people witnessing your promise to one another. If this is something you’d love to try, talk to your officiant about making a kind announcement before your ceremony begins – we’ve totally got this for you!
So Dear lovely Bride, at the end of the day, keep in mind weddings are what you make of them. Have so much fun, enjoy the little moments, and don’t sweat the small stuff. Be truly present. Spend the most time you can with your loved ones who are there to celebrate with you, and every moment you can with your spouse; kiss them, love on them, dance with them, just embrace them and that moment. The day will fly by, and the feeling I had at the end of it was “that went so fast”, and already wanted to flash back to the morning and experience that wonderful day all over again. If you have any questions at all or would like more tips to make your day the best day ever, send me a quick email and would love to help anyway I can.
Sending so much love and good planning vibes,
From one bride to another, Lea xo