The best part about weddings is that every wedding is different and unique to the couple. Weddings are a way to celebrate love, capture your personalities and share it with your closest friends and family! We have been apart of over 50 weddings in two years so we have witnessed ideas that have worked, didn't work and almost worked. If you do the the opposite of these ideas, it doesn't mean that we love your wedding any less. These are just some helpful tips for those planning!
1. Have a Small or NO Bridal Party
We love large bridal parties, small parties and no parties. We see a lot of brides panicking over having even numbers, affording bridal gifts and color coordinating dresses. The pros: it helps your budget, keeps it intimate, avoids drama and helps your timeline. But who will I have to celebrate with for the festivities? Invite some of your closest friends to get ready with you, have decorating parties, bachelorette festivities- but skip the large bridal party for the ceremony & portrait session. This minimizes costs, time and schedules!
2. Ditch Precessional Lines
As important as it is to greet every guest, it’s also important to prevent your guests from waiting too long in between the ceremony & reception. Ditch the hugging/exit line, hide yourselves away, and immediately get photos done (marriage license, family formals, etc.). This will help your timeline immensely and start dinner earlier!
3. DO A FIRST LOOK!
I would say that about 70% of our couples this year did a first look this year and LOVED IT. I used to hate them because I believed in the tradition of seeing your bride/groom for the first time while walking down the aisle but I have quickly learned that first looks are so intimate and emotional. We keep it between just the couple- taking you to a place without your family or bridal party. Most of our brides have said that they STILL feel the same butterfly-feeling while walking down the aisle, even after doing a first look! When you’re walking down the aisle you’re seeing your guests & ceremony all set up for the first time which can be distracting. When you do a first look, your entire focus is on each other. It also helps give you more time for photos, it gets the photos done prior to the ceremony, cuts time down in between the ceremony & reception AND allows time for more locations.
4. Make America Wear Veils Again
Totally kidding, but really. Long veils for photos are absolutely stunning. Veils can get heavy or irritating for the entire day so it’s common to ditch them halfway through the day BUT having a veil for the ceremony & a portion of the portrait session helps add an elegance to the photos (and an extra prop for the photographers to shoot through).
5. Live Bands
Live music I believe adds so much character to the day. We have had some couples have musicians play the harp or violin during the ceremony only. We have also had a groom who was in his own band- perform love songs to his bride during the reception. His band performed covers of the songs that would have been played by a DJ and the entire dance floor was so full! By far one of our most energetic weddings and puts a nice twist on tradition.
6. Lace-sleeved Dresses
I love these. Every bride is different and I don’t think I’ve photographed a dress this year that I haven’t loved but I am biased for lace sleeves. I’m not sure what it is, but I think that they are so flattering for some brides!
7. Headpieces, Flower Crowns, Shoulder Pieces… Accessorize!
Accessories really help add to your overall look. I LOVE fresh flowers and I get so excited when our brides have flower crowns or add fresh flowers into their hair. We have had brides do diamond shoulder pieces (photo below), diamond headpieces, sequin dresses, colored velvet shoes, glittery flats, antique earrings, etc.. Accessories really help add your character to your overall look and pops of color.