Here’s a tidbit of a few things we’ve learned from being behind the lens all these years…
1. Hire a Wedding Planner
Seriously, this is their chosen career and their masters of what they do. They comply and coordinate with all of your vendors, so you don’t have to. They make lists and check off to-dos, so you don’t have to. As photographers and cinematographers, we are vendors and we’ve seen the stress of a bride who has forgotten minor details – ones that a planner wouldn’t have forgotten.
When we coordinate with wedding planners, things never seem to go awry. If you’re a perfectionist and like to be in control of things (not judging), just be confident and patient in your decisions while you move through the process if you choose not to use a planner. Or, if you have an incredibly organized, Type-A friend, seek out their help! This will provide for an at-ease wedding day and therefore, you can enjoy yourself, your family and time with your partner. That’s the whole point!
All too often, we schedule calls with our couples in the days leading up to the wedding and it is so disheartening to be chatting with a couple who is in over their heads with stress and hasn’t even been able to enjoy their engagement.
We’re fortunate to be in a place that has plenty of experienced and professional planners serving the Saratoga region that we’ve had the pleasure of working with including, but not limited to, CW Events, Bisou Weddings in Clifton Park and Katie O’ Events of Troy.
2. Make a Wedding Day Timeline… and Try to Stick to it
A timeline goes hand in hand with a stress-free wedding day. Whether it’s you or your wedding planner, or perhaps it’s a collaborative effort of both, you’ll want to develop an outline and fill in the details as you go. If it’s possible to do so beforehand, go through the timeline with all parties involved. This way, you’re guaranteeing a cohesive purpose for your events throughout the day.
3. Know HOW You’ll Be Getting Ready
For the Bride: A trial run of hair and makeup always helps to estimate how much time you will need to look your best. To ensure you have enough time to enjoy the day, relax and spend time with your bridesmaids, add another 30 to 40 minutes to this for a safety net for any issues that could come up.
If nothing comes up, then you will be ahead of schedule guaranteeing your day will be smooth sailing. You’ll also want to include about 20 to 25 minutes for getting your dress on. Some wedding dresses are tricky and take a bit of practice and time to get zippered, laced, or buttoned properly. We have found that the average getting-ready time is about one and a half to two hours for the each of the wedding parties.
For the Groom: Man, this is always so much easier! Most weddings involve some sort of group activity early on for the groom and his groomsmen, like golfing, shooting pool or just having some beers while playing cornhole.
Following this activity, photographers are able to get detail shots of the groom’s finishing touches like his shoes, jacket and his cufflinks. These little pieces will help tell your story and we have found that documenting groom prep is essential.
We will finish up with a few portraits of the guys together and be sure to make them both fun and formal! Grooms and their party usually take a little less time than the bride and bridesmaids, but we have encountered a few exceptions to this.
4. Be Present and Unplugged
Put your phone on airplane mode and if that’s just an unfathomable thought, put it on “do not disturb.” If someone needs to get a hold of you, let them know to contact your bridesmaids or someone from your wedding party. We’ve seen brides miss important moments, like a flower girl twirling around quietly, simply because they were scrolling one of their feeds. It’s little moments like this that become impacted in your memory and you simply don’t want to miss them.