Wedding Planning Tips and Inspiration

Wedding Planning Tips. Advice From A Wedding Photographer

There is a lot of planning that goes into making your wedding day one of the best of your entire life. As a photographer and a past bride, I love walking alongside my couples in the planning process and helping in any way I can! I compiled a list of 5 things to incorporate into your special day to help it run smoothly and allow for great photos. Keep reading for a list of wedding  planning tips.


Celebrate With An Engagement Session

Your photographer will be with you all day on your wedding day, following you from one location to the next. You should be comfortable with this person! Having your engagement and wedding photos taken by the same photographer allows you to get used to your photographer’s posing style and also allows everyone to get to know each other. This is super important in order to feel comfortable in front of the camera on your wedding day.

Even if you want photos that have a more candid feel and look, it is helpful to already know your photographer and be familiar with their style of posing/directing.  When I meet an engaged couple in person for the first time, the first thing I tell my them is to leave the posing to me! I reassure them that I will guide them through poses that are both fun and super flattering.

P.S. I love this engagement journal! It is a wonderful wedding planning resource and has a lot of great prompts to get you thinking about your wedding day and celebrate your relationship!

See more from this Baltimore engagement session


Create a Wedding Day Timeline 

A wedding timeline is a blueprint for the wedding. It takes the guesswork out of the schedule for your day and keeps things running smoothly. Wedding planners and photographers LOVE timelines because a solid timeline = a happy bride & groom and less stress! Formulate your timeline with your planner and share it with your photographer ahead of time so that they can look it over and suggest any changes to ensure your day runs smoothly from a photography standpoint. Once the timeline is set in stone, give a copy to your bridal party and close family! Having everyone on the same page is key!

Important things to include in your wedding day timeline:

  • Hair and makeup start and finish times
  • First look
  • Ceremony start time
  • Family photos
  • Cocktail hour and reception start times
  • Speeches/toasts
  • Dinner
  • Cake cutting
  • First dance
  • Sunset photos
  • Send off

Every couple’s timeline will look different. I love to help my couples and their wedding planners create a timeline that ensures a smooth wedding day and beautiful photos!


Consider a First Look

A first look is a special, quiet moment between just the two of you that takes place BEFORE the ceremony. This will be the first time that you will see each other all dressed up and could be one of the only times that you will be alone together for the rest of the day!

Here are just some of the pros of choosing a first look for your wedding day:

  • You get to spend more time together! This is your Big Day! Why not spend it together!? Because you are seeing each other prior to the ceremony, you are gaining hours of quality time spent together.
  • You are able to transition from your first look right into your bride and groom portraits. Remember how I said you should be comfortable with your photographer? They will be on the sidelines, photographing his reaction when he sees you in your dress for the first time, catching his wiping the happy tears from his eyes. A first look is a great time to capture raw emotion between just the two of you without all of your wedding guests watching!
  • You can then have all of your bridal party photos taken and once the ceremony is over, your bridal party can go right to the bar and enjoy cocktail hour!
  • The only photos that will need to be taken after the ceremony will be family portraits! A first look timeline cuts down on time spent taking photos after the ceremony and allows you and your honey to go enjoy the party!
  • The walk down the aisle is still just as special! And yes! He will still cry, ladies!

Remember, the timeline for your wedding day is always YOUR choice! Whether you choose a first look or wait for the walk down the aisle, you are marrying your best friend and that is all that matters!



Have An Unplugged Ceremony

As a photographer, nothing excites me more than when I see a sign in front of the ceremony area requesting that it be a camera and phone- free zone. Consider posting a sign, or have your officiant make a quick announcement requesting that all phones and cameras be put away during your ceremony. You want your guests to be present and not miss your vows as they fumble with their phones (or ipads!) Invite your guests to enjoy the moment with you.

There is nothing worse than your first kiss being photo bombed by a well meaning guest with an iPhone. 


Remember The Details On Your Wedding Day

Details include your wedding rings, bouquet, invitation suite, shoes, dress, veil, and the necklace that belonged to your grandmother…

Prior to your wedding day, put all of these special items into a designated keepsake box so that they can be photographed during the time that you are getting ready.

Things to include:

  • Wedding dress on a pretty hanger
  • Bridesmaids dresses
  • Rings
  • Jewelry/watches
  • Shoes
  • Invitation suite
  • Bride’s bouquet/Grooms boutonnière
  • Loose florals- ask your florist ahead of time for a few loose stems for detail photos

And there you have it! 5 wedding day planning tips to think about while you are planning your Best Day Ever! I hope this list gave you some inspiration and made your wedding planning just a little bit easier! Wedding planning should be fun! Happy planning!

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