Hi There! If you are here then its pretty certain that you are currently planning one of the most important days of your life, your wedding! Gosh it can be stressful..... You've probably made a checklist of all the things you need to do..... but what are you forgetting? What if something goes wrong? There is no way that you can prepare for every situation that could possibly arise on your wedding day but I am here to make things a little smoother for you and help you avoid some serious OOPSIES. If this is your first wedding then you probably have no idea what to expect or what is considered "normal". Let me tell you that there is no "Normal" when it comes to planning weddings. Every single wedding is different and unique in its own way and needs to be treated as such, which brings us to topic number one.
1. The family shot list! -
What is a family shot list? This is a list that you give to your photographer for the day of your wedding that lists each family photo that you want taken during your formal photos portion of the wedding. You first thought may be "Shouldn't a professional photographer already know which shots to take?" The short answer is yes, most professional photographers know the general family photos that should be taken, but the key here is that EVERY family is different. Some brides may not have their dad with them on the wedding day, or maybe the grooms parents are divorced and they just don't get along. How awkward would that make family photos if your photographer didn't know this valuable information ahead of time? This is why it is so important to give your photographer an organized family shot list of each individual photo that you would like to have post ceremony. I say each photo specifically because, I personally forgot to get a photo of my grandparents with me on my wedding day. OUCH right? To make things even smoother, include the names of the people that are in the photo. Some of us may have multiple uncles, aunts, grandparents, and siblings, so simply putting (photo with grandparents) may still lead to someone being forgotten during the hustle and bustle of getting through family portraits.
Make a list like this :)
Photo 1: Bride and Groom with Parents of the bride (WITH NAMES)
this also helps your photographer to call out names for each photo without confusion and hey it also helps us photogs get through your family shots in a sweet time-frame so that we can spend more time capturing the love between you and your new hubby or wifey :)
2. An unconnected ceremony!
I couldn't tell you how many times I have seen THE SHOT ( the bride and groom sharing their first kiss) ruined by a friend or family member who thought they just had to get this shot on their cell phone. Ask your guests to unplug and enjoy the moment with you. Your photographer will SERIOUSLY thank you for this!!! You have entrusted them to get that shot so make sure your guests know that and respect that.
3. Your Garter !!!
Does your garter fit snugly on your leg?
Your probably giggling right now but you will laugh even more when I tell you why this is SO important!!! Most brides want the photograph of putting that garter on their leg before they walk down the isle, but have you ever seen a garter come off while a bride is walking down the isle? I HAVE and when that dainty lace garter falls off coming down the isle 1 of three things can happen.
A. You have to stop during this romantic, super anxious moment, and adjust your undergarments in-front of a hundred or more staring eyes ( Embarrassing)
B. You Trip because the combination of your long dress, shoes, and garter now around your ankle to not mix.
C. It looks as if you are shaking off a pair of undies as your walking down the isle, or you awkwardly stand with that garter around your ankles during the whole ceremony, heaven forbid that your dress is short enough in the front for everyone to stare at or it ends up in your photos.
Now are you laughing? I have seen it seriously!!!
How to avoid it ? If that garter isn't super snug, put it on for the photos then keep it in a safe place to put on right before your bouquet and garter toss! You will be so much happier that you did that rather than having any of those other incidents happening to you on your big day!
4. KNOW YOUR GUESTS!-
Seems simple right? You are inviting the people you love the most to your wedding. Its more about planning the wedding according to your guests in order to get the photos you want and to have them go smoothly! The main concern here is your "exit photo" Consider these three questions.
1. Are your friends and family heavy drinkers?
2. Do you have elderly family members that you want to be a part of your special "exit" photo but they may not want to stay and party until 11 or 12pm to be in that special shot.
3. Will your hair and makeup be on point after dancing for hours with your friends in celebration?
Here is why these questions are important. There is nothing wrong with drinking and having a great time at a wedding, but have you ever tried to coordinate 50-100 intoxicated guest with fire! Yes! You got it, sparklers can catch something on fire with the quickness, especially a bride who has a ton of flammable hair products in her hair to keep that perfect style all day.
Your older guests may want to leave after the main events of the night are over, but you want them to experience that cool exit shot with you.
Yes your hair and makeup if professionally done will likely do very well holding up all day but you also have to think, we are humans and when we are dancing we sweat and that can affect our gorgeous hair and makeup.
How do you fix or prepare for all of this????
The answer is MOCK EXIT!
Consider doing a mock exit photo before all your friends get too toasty! That way you avoid being set on fire, your grandparents can join in the fun, and your hair and makeup is pre-Party mode! Then you get to enjoy the rest of the night and you don't have to worry because all the "formality" shots have been completed :)
5- Having a schedule !
Ok this seems simple right? Some brides have full wedding day planners or coordinators, but for some that's not in the budget. Make sure you come up with a schedule with your photographer for the day of the wedding and share that same schedule with your Dj and caterer if you have one. This will help you make sure that you get the most out of your day and will keep the chaos at bay. Don't forget to be flexible, things may change, times may be pushed back, but having a general schedule will help you stay on track much easier.
6. The ceremony time!
I have seen many ceremonies start late for multiple reasons. Honestly I can say that in 10 years I have had maybe 2 weddings actually start on time, NO JOKE. A lot of the time it is because we are waiting on guests who have not arrived, and I have seen in many occasions that guest show up late during the middle of the ceremony. YIKES ! That's one way to get on the bride's bad side....... Want to know how to avoid this? I suggest that my brides put the ceremony start time 15 min earlier than actually anticipated on the wedding invitation :)
I hope these 6 topics not only help you plan a smoother wedding, and avoid some stress, but I also hope they made you giggle just a little :)
Have a great day and Happy wedding planning :) !!!
Blog by: Kassie Reese Photography Inc.
Wedding Venues Featured in this Blog
Hidden Valley Country Club
The barn on unity farm wedding & event venue
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Triple J Farm Events
Little river bluegrass barn and weddings
Braeloch on Glenburn Farms