Practical Wedding Advice from Actual Brides

For Brides

Planning a wedding comes with lots of brand new (and overwhelming) territory. Believe me, I’ve been there and I promise that the last thing you need to do is stress yourself out with ALL of the advice coming at you from every single wedding magazine, blog, or Pinterest board.

One of my main goals as a wedding photographer is to educate and make your day simpler and more enjoyable. After every wedding, I feel like I walk away with a new experience that helps me be able to pass along more helpful information for future brides. I also like to hear feedback from my past brides and that’s why I’m here today. Take a moment to read some of the goodness that actual brides wanted to share to make your wedding the best day yet!

Remember why you are getting married. It’s NOT about making other people happy.

THIS! This is so important. You are marrying your best friend, your person, the cheese to your macaroni. So remember that your marriage extends beyond your wedding day on a journey that is amazing, sometimes a little rough, and this day only exists to celebrate that. Making other people happy can make you miserable. So make your day special, but remember why you’re there.

Don’t stress about the details. Every choice is a GOOD choice. 

Amen, sister! Let’s be honest here… watching the details come together can be, well, stressful. My motto is that however it ends up is exactly how it was supposed to be. I’m an everything happens for a reason kind of girl. Let the day flow. It will come together. Don’t let the small things take away from your happiness.

Take your time with the pictures and live in that moment. Don’t worry about everyone else. 

This one is so important to me for many reasons because ya know photographer over here, BUT picture time with your groom will most likely be the only opportunity you have to spend some alone time together. The moment you get to be goofy, be excited, kiss, hug and all the things. Often times, portrait time is right after the ceremony when guests are needed to be tended to during cocktail hour or dinner. Put someone in charge. Don’t try to micromanage. Be in the moment with your person. Memories are made that way.

It doesn’t have to be stressful! Splurge on the things you get to keep.

Yes, yes, and yes! Stress doesn’t have to be a major factor in wedding planning or the wedding day itself. Don’t sweat the small stuff. If you’re on a budget, splurge on what you can keep. Things that will live on forever. Photography, your dress, keepsakes. Give yourself that and go cheaper on the rest.

Don’t expect it be perfect. GO WITH THE FLOW.

Life happens. Weather happens. Mishaps happen. Think about it. When you have a million different moving parts coming together for one event – not everything will happen perfectly. And that’s practically science. Go with the flow is great advice because at the end of the day… will you be able to control things you can’t change? Nope!

Send thank you notes as soon as you get the gift!

This is such good advice, y’all! Just do this because thank you cards after fact in a huge pile can be slightly intimidating.

Highly consider a First Look to ensure you get enough photos. I regret not doing one. 

I feel the same way as this bride did. Cody and I didn’t do a First Look and I regret it. If tradition is your thing, stick to it. We shoot weddings all the time where people don’t do this. Yet, if you’re looking to make your day more relaxed and ensure you get almost all the heavy part of the photography done before the ceremony then this is for you.

First Looks give you the opportunity to get not one, but TWO chances for portraits together. First, you get your first look images. The are filled with emotion and are so memorable. Second, you get a chance to shoot bride and groom portraits before the ceremony. Third, during the reception we like to pull our couple for another ten minutes to shoot some gorgeous and glowy images right before the sun sets. Oftentimes, these pictures show the bride and groom in a more relaxed and carefree way and boom there’s another chunk of time you two actually get to enjoy your day together.

Like look at these two for example… enjoy the moment. Dance. Smile. Sing. Whatever you want. Just enjoy it. 

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