I know your probably eyes deep in wedding planning, as well as swimming in the excitement and the joy that comes with planning a wedding as well (and a little bit of stress if we are being honest…)! I wanted to take a few moments to give you some words of advice, not even as a ‘wedding photographer’, but as a friend who’s been married for three years, in a relationship for almost a decade, and well YES, has worked with many brides and worked many, many weddings! So here are my biggest pieces of advice for all the brides-to-be out there, this blog post is for YOU!
- Don’t stress about the weather, you can’t do anything about it! Daniel & I planned for a winter wedding, had white fur accents, our groomsmen wore gloves, my dress had sleeves…and the weather was 85 degrees and raining, and there is just nothing you can do about it but NOT think about it! Rain on your wedding day actually DOES mean good luck, as a wet knot is harder to untie! If it rains, there is always a plan B, C, and so on!
- Don’t make your wedding a competition. Daniel & I did not get married at the same time as our friends, however we hear about this and see it a lot! Just because your friends may get married at the same time as you, doesn’t mean you can’t have the wedding of your dreams. With weddings, there is no competition or comparison, the only people who need to LOVE your wedding is YOU and your future husband! Pick and book vendors you LOVE, not because it’s who your friend used or what you ‘think’ everyone will enjoy, you do you boo!!
- Don’t worry about what’s ‘in trend’ or popular, pick colors and things you love! Trends WILL change and colors that are in will go out eventually, and vice versa. If I were engaged today, my wedding would look SO different then it did three years ago, styles change and trends change, so pick what you LOVE and not just because something is ‘in’.
- Invest your wedding budget wisely, yes I said invest! A wedding is a huge step for a relationship, as well as a huge celebration, so in a way it is an investment. No matter your budget, invest in things that are super important to your FIRST. Keep in mind the aspects of your wedding that will become a part of your life forever, one being photography. One day when you tell your great-granddaughter about your wedding, you’ll want gorgeous pictures to show her. Portraits full of emotion and joy, timeless portraits of you and her great grandfather madly in love…your wedding photos will be with you for a lifetime!
- Don’t discount ‘untraditional’ ideas even though you may be a super traditional bride! Trust me, I was a super traditional bride, and I didn’t even want to hear ideas of things that I felt were untraditional…little did I know that years later I get emotional when I think about the possibilites I could’ve had if I would’ve just stopped and thought about all my options and what I really wanted LONG-TERM.
- Don’t feel bad if you end up not going with something (a venue, color, specific dress…) you had been dreaming of forever, because you fell in love with something else! It happens!! I was determined to end up with a mermaid dress, and for months I couldn’t find one I loved, I kept fighting it…I tried on a ballgown my mom pulled for me and BAM I was in LOVE. Sometimes we feel very passionate about something specific for the wedding day, all to realize it’s not what you REALLY want, and that’s okay!
- Book vendors that you LOVE…as people. Book vendors you love, meaning you should not only love their work, but you should love them as PEOPLE too. You work so closely with some vendors for your wedding, it’s pretty important that you like them, what they stand for, and can hang out with them and not feel uncomfortable or awkward! You wedding vendors are the BACKBONE of your wedding, and as wedding photographers we actually spend more time with the bride on her wedding day than she does with her new husband…and that’s a long time!! Be sure your comfortable with and enjoy your vendors!
- Give yourself time to plan, but also know which vendors you need to book quick! Have a specific vendor in mind? Inquire and book early with them, there are no rules these days about the order of booking vendors, do you girl!
- All during your wedding day, take deep breathes and close your eyes to let it sink in. Just before you’re first look, take a deep breathe to remember that moment of excitement and nerves. Just before you walk down the aisle, look around you and take. it. all. in. Before you’re announced into your reception, take some time with your new hubby. I promise you won’t regret taking ten to fifteen minutes together, it will be the only time as husband and wife you share just the two of you that night, so ENJOY it and relish in the excitement of ‘WE’RE MARRIED!!!!!’ together!
- My last piece of advice, and the most important: a wedding is one day, yet a marriage is forever. As Carrie Bradshaw once exclaimed & felt, don’t let the wedding get bigger than big! Yes, weddings are amazing and special in a million ways, but the night will end. Yet, you’ll wake up for the rest of your life as husband and wife, your marriage is forever. No wedding detail is worth fighting over, don’t loose the joy in your wedding and in your planning. Take time during your engagement to focus on your engagement and soon to be marriage, after all the wedding is one day but your marriage is forever.