10 Top Wedding Tips for planning your wedding
Top Wedding Tips to plan your dream wedding
Planning a wedding is fun but it can be hard to think of everything. Here are my ten top wedding tips from over 12 years of experience as a wedding photographer. I hope this helps you relax and enjoy the wedding day.
1. What kind of ceremony – indoor or outdoor? It’s really a decision for you. Just keep in mind that humanist and civil ceremonies are short, around 30 minutes and you can add poems and music to personalise the ceremony. You also can choose indoor or outdoor. Religious ceremonies are usually indoors and are longer, for example Catholic ceremonies are usually about an hour. Always check if the celebrant or venue has certain policies or restrictions in relation to music, photography etc. and let your musicians or photographer know in advance. If you are going for an outdoor ceremony in Ireland it’s a good idea to check with the venue if there is a plan B available if the weather is bad on the day. If you are having a winter wedding it’s a good idea to have an earlier ceremony.
2. Check out your wedding suppliers and choose people you like and whose work you love. Research their work, reviews and customer feedback. Your photographer will be with you all day long so meet him or talk to him about your plans and do a rough timeline for you to take the stress out of the day. Why not ask your photographer if they have suppliers they can recommend to make it easier for you. I’m happy to pass on details of suppliers to you. I only give the names of suppliers couples have recommended to me and whose work is really good.
3. On the morning of your wedding do you want a busy or no stress environment for your bridal prep? Do you just want adults or have flowergirls and pageboys or nieces, nephews and godchildren? If you want calm then ask just family and very close friends but if you like a busy or crazy house with people milling around and having some fun then the more the merrier! Kids bring fun and excitement to the preparations but usually a bit of chaos so it’s really up to you to decide what would suit you.
4. Is the groom getting ready nearby? If so would he like some images of him and his groomsmen getting suited and booted? Some grooms want prep photos and others definitely not. Normally I meet the groom at the venue about 30 minutes before the ceremony and get some shots with his groomsmen. But I can travel to the groom for groom prep photographs if he’s not too far away from the brided It can be fun to get the groom with his friends as well as the bride and her preparations.
5. Talk to wedding hairstylists and makeup artists to find out and how long they would need and try to allow a bit of slack. You want to ensure if things run a bit late that you can have your make-up, your bridesmaids and mother’s makeup done in a relaxed and non-stress way in plenty of time for you to get in your dress. I take some low-key photographs of you getting hair and make-up done and having some giggles with your bridesmaids and family. I’d usually arrive at your house around 2 hours before the ceremony.
6. Be sure to allow 30 minutes to get dressed and to organise final touches like jewellery, perfume, shoes and hairpiece or veil. You don’t want to be under pressure and it’s a lovely moment having your friends and mum help you get ready to walk up the aisle. Be sure to talk to your photographer about some photographs of the final moments of dressing like doing up the dress, putting on the veil, spraying perfume etc. This can be a perfect opportunity to capture moments between you and your mum, dad or bridesmaids. I normally get some photographs of you looking amazing with those you love, so allow around 15 minutes for those special shots.
7. Greeting guests takes time. Most couples like to chat and greet guests as just remember this will take a while. To give you some idea it normally takes about 15 minutes per 100 guests (as a guide). If you like to have a good chat it may be longer. I take some photographs while you greet guests so you have some memories of you chatting with your guests and also some of the guests mixing after the ceremony. They are relaxed photos so you don’t have to worry about anything except chatting and laughing!
8. Family or Friend Groups are important to most couples. If you want small groups talk to the photographer in advance to let them know who to photograph. I’d suggest we take them before everyone disappears after the ceremony as it can be hard later to track down people. It’s kept enjoyable and isn’t too time-consuming usually about 20 minutes. It can help to nominate one or two of the bridal party to round up family members for the groups as the photographer won’t know your family in advance. If there is family politics which will mean you need to organise different groups then that’s not a problem but be sure to let the photographer know. I try to keep the formals to a minimum so I usually photograph the couple with their siblings and parents on both sides.
Remember if you limit the groups then sooner you get to drink champagne together!
9. This is one of the most important of the top wedding tips – Take time as a couple to enjoy the fact you are newly married. The journey in the car gives you a chance to relax together and have a tipple.
I always ask the couple to have time on their own away from family and friends. This means you are less conscious of others looking at you as a couple, it gives you a chance to spend quality time alone and for me to get some beautiful photographs for you to treasure. I keep it short about just 30 minutes so I can capture the love and friendship you share. So I don’t heavily pose you but will give you direction if you want. I try to capture the real connection between you – you laughing, walking and chatting together. You don’t have to look at the camera or even realise I’m there, instead focus on each other and relax.
If there’s a location that means something to you as a couple let the photographer know as it might be an idea to get some shots there.
Ideally you arrive at your reception at least an hour before the meal so you can kick back, have a drink and have fun with your guests.
When you get to your reception I usually snap some informals of you and your guests enjoying the drinks reception.
10. Do you want to have photos of speeches, first dance and some crazy dance moves or are you happy to finish photographs before the meal? Some people want photographs of the speeches to capture the reactions of the couple and family as well as some photographs of their first dance as a couple. If you’d like these moments then I get photographs of you entering the meal, then let you enjoy the reception meal and return to capture the moments of the speeches, the romance and fun of the first dance before ending with a few photographs of people rocking out. I’m always happy to get a night-time shot of you outside the venue too – it looks great.
So consider these top wedding tips and remember the most important thing is that you enjoy your day! You put so much time, love and energy into planning your day so celebrate and enjoy it. Don’t worry if something goes wrong or isn’t perfect – No one else will know that! The day will go by so quickly so remember to enjoy the little moments.
See What I can Bring to Your Day
So once you’ve read these 10 top wedding tips then take the time to see if I’m the right photographer for you.
When you book me for your day I’ll be there to capture those wedding day moments, fun and romance, so you’ll have them forever.
With over 12 years of experience nothing fazes or surprises me.
Your photography will be relaxed, creative and low-key with beautiful couple photographs, relaxed family groups and fun moments.
I’d love if you take the time to view more wedding images, information, real weddings and reviews. Then why not check if I’m free on your date! Just give me a call on 087 9887557, email firstname.lastname@example.org or just fill in your details in the contact form below.
I hope these 10 top ten wedding tips help you plan your dream day.
Top Wedding Tips by David Clynch Photography