I know there are a LOT of articles like this circulating around the inter webs right now. Let me preface by saying that I haven't read any of these knowing I wanted to write my own! It's going to be a long one today folks. I started with 3 points, then went to 6, then it was 10 before I knew it! It may be long, but boy is it worth it!.....
- Everyone has an Uncle Bob - You know that relative that has a fancy camera with a good lens and might shoot over my shoulder? It happens more often then not & my views on it? It's okay. I read an article a YEARS ago that said their images are just as important to them as mine are to me. & from that moment, I decided to handle this situation with grace. So, your Aunt Susan shooting a cellphone shot of your family formal? I'm okay with it. As long as I get the shots I need, anyone can be as snap happy as they want.
- Hire a Day-Of-Coordinator (Or work with a venue that offers one: CoughCough DC Estate Winery CoughCough). They will carry all the stress of your day and most likely will keep stressful situations from hitting your ears. Someone showed up that RSVP'd no and now doesn't have a seat? Leave it to the Day-Of-Coordinator. That's not a Bride & Grooms wedding day problem!
- Don't want a first look? I support you. Yes, first looks make a wedding day a little less stressful and give you the opportunity to attend your cocktail hour. But as a lover of tradition I totally understand wanting to hang on to this piece. I hip-hip-hooray to my clients that opt for a first look but also support those that don't.
- Be excited & let those emotions flow! No holding back! Need I say more?!
- Put your cake in a well lit area (with space!) - PLEASE, I beg you. There are so many times the cake is in the darkest part of the space or it's backed up against a wall. This makes it terribly tricky for vendors to get exceptionally beautiful images or footage (especially if you have a videographer). Putting your cake in the middle of the room or an area with adequate space allows creatives to move and flow well during this exciting moment.
- Linger during your first kiss! Fortunately I've never missed this moment (knock on wood) but I have had some close calls with couples who do a quick peck and that's it! You're married!! I give you a free pass to make out up there (Might be awkward though... haha!)!
- 2 other vendors that you really should invest in or consider: your DJ & a videographer/cinematographer! With that said, EVERY major vendor is important.
- DJ - He/She is your time keeper. They do SO much more then just play music. They keep your reception on track, make sure your vendors get what they need to get done & set the tone for the evening. Honestly, before I was a wedding photographer I thought a DJ wasn't a super important expense. Boy oh boy I was SO wrong. A good DJ is worth every. single. penny.
- Cinematographer - Another vendor I thought wasn't really worth it (I know, I know.. Sad) prior to working in this industry. It's so not. Their art form is SO beautiful & full of so much life. Obviously I love photos but real in the raw wedding footage is irreplaceable.
- Pick a Photographer you Genuinely Love: Chances are if you're reading this, you're a #caynaybride & that's great, I love you too ;) - BUT for the bride that isn't under contract with a photographer... Pick someone you genuinely love. You clicking (hardy har har) with your photographer only ensures that your images are pushed to their greatest potential. if you like you're photographer you'll be comfortable, which is one of the most crucial components to authentic images.
- EAT DINNER: Chances are you skipped lunch, or ate super light. So please, just sit down, eat your delicious dinner, and relax. I also have seen a lot of couples "say no to clinking" so that they could enjoy their first meal as husband and wife fully!
- Have your speeches either before dinner or after (& put a gentle time limit on them) - This is a little bit of a selfish piece of advice from your vendors. Most wedding days we skip lunch (due to timeline constraints) which is fine! But doing your speeches before or after your dinner allows your vendors to stop, put the cameras away for 15 minutes, and gobble down a dinner! When you do them during dinner it makes for a awkward running across the floor with a mouth full of food to snap a few pictures & repeat.
Woo, are you still with me?! Told you it was going to be long one! Hopefully it was informative and helpful! Do any of these come as a surprise?!