Wedding Planning Tips & Tricks

TIMELINE: The wedding day timeline is so valuable to your team of vendors creating all of your wedding day magic. We like to streamline the process for our couples and give them a snapshot of what to expect for the wedding day, should they be communicating directly with their vendors. Common questions such as, "what time should our photographer arrive?" will be dictated based on the number of hours your hired your photographer for. More often than not, we find that our couples will hire their photographer 3-4 hours prior to the ceremony {to capture special moments of you getting ready before you walk down the aisle} and 4-5 hours following the ceremony {to capture portraits, candids, toasts, and dances}.  

PHOTOGRAPHY: So much of your wedding day revolves around your flow of photography. We often hear that our couples don't want to miss out on key elements of their wedding because they are off taking photos {and we don't blame you!}. The way we look at it, you are investing a lot of time & effort (and money) into this momentous event, and you should be able to enjoy it! We have a few tricks with timing that we find balance the timing perfectly to capture the images you want, while still enjoying the festivities. We always work with our couples to prioritize a "shot list" with your photographer prior to your wedding day, this should ensure a quick and fluid procession of photos. Another helpful tip is having someone there who is not involved in the majority of photos but wants to be involved (a siblings significant other or a cousin, for example) can be an efficient way to manage the order of the photos and find Uncle Henry if he's 'M.I.A.' for the family portraits. We also suggest minimizing your list of staged photos as much as possible {you know, the photos you fell in love with on Pinterest and have re-create on your wedding day}.This will give your professional photographer the creativity to play. This is, after all, why you hired a professional wedding photographer - trust them, they are masterful behind the lens!

FIRST LOOK: A "first look" refers to a private moment you and your partner share before the ceremony vs. the more traditional route of seeing one another for the first time on your wedding date at the alter. It is no secret that wedding day jitters can be extremely overwhelming, and we have found the trick to nearly curing this anxiety: simply seeing your loved one in private prior to the ceremony. This allows for you both to have some (rare) alone time on your wedding day and exchange some sweet words & possibly tears and/or laughs in private. Most couples say that once they saw their soon-to-be-mister-or-misses, all of their fear and anxiety diminished. It also makes for some incredible photography if you so choose to invite your photographer to capture this moment. By doing a first look, you are able to tackle almost all of your family and bridal party portraits before the ceremony begins, which means you will not miss any of the fun you have spent so much time and energy planning! It also means that you can transport together with your entire wedding party to the venue, where you can jam out to some music, sip on some champagne, and share in the excitement together. If you opt for the traditional route, fear not, we have a few tips for you too! We suggest having a place to retreat directly following your ceremony to have a moment with your new husband/wife relish in the matrimony. Also, if you have a large family and you are nervous about missing your cocktail hour, extend it 30 minutes so you can enjoy the festivities and not feel rushed. 

GUEST ARRIVAL: While we like to believe that an event as monumental and ceremonial as a wedding would be one of few occasions that our closest friends and family would go out of their way to be on time, one thing leads to another and next thing you know you have missed the shuttle and you are risking missing the wedding all together. Things happen, and people run late for one reason or another. With that in mind, we always recommend to our clients is to buffer 30 minutes from guest arrival before you actually start your ceremony. Knowing this, we suggest that your ceremony start time listed on your invitation be the time that you wish your guests to arrive, and prepare to begin the ceremony 30 minutes out from there. In other words, if you wedding invitation states a 4pm start time, you will be walking down the aisle at 4:30pm. Giving your guests that time to enjoy the surroundings, have a refreshing beverage, sets the right tone for the wedding you worked so hard to plan. As your wedding coordinator, we will do routine head counts throughout guest arrival and once we are at 90% of your total guest count, we will begin the procession the aisle. 

FAVORS: Guest favors are always such a sweet & creative way to thank your guests for sharing in your love, however, the unfortunate reality that we often find, is that these lovely items get left behind. However, as your wedding mentor, we recommend you find other ways to treat your guests without spending a large chunk of money that will in the end go unreceived by their prospective owner. Some things to keep in mind while considering favors: 'can my guests fly home with this favor?', ' is this something that I would use?' Some ideas for this might be a fun and interactive Photo Booth or a candy and dessert bar. These are sure to go to use! Edibles are another great option- consider a local confectionery shop where you live or where you are holding your nuptials. 

FAMILY & FRIENDS: We often find that family and friends have many, many varying opinions about how things should look or feel for YOUR wedding. While we understand that everyones intentions are good, we also understand that, as your wedding advocate, many opinions can mean much confusion and frustration. Consider finding creative ways to ask your friends and family to help by giving them a specific project or task that they are in charge of for the wedding. This could be planning the bridal shower or bachelorette, party favor assembly, registry shopping, to name a few. The bigger a task you give them, the more involved they will feel in your special day, which means some space for you to focus on your own desires and wishes for your big day. Ultimately, they mean well and are excited to support you, but may not know how.

WEDDING PLANNING: Okay, okay. I know this is going to sound ridiculous coming from us, but trust us, we have your very best interest at heart! We have no doubt in our minds that many of you can handle wedding planning on your own. What we find, is that even the most organized and resourceful of people need assistance when it comes to planning a wedding: something that realistically is foreign territory for most. A typical rule of thumb is if you don't have 15 hours a week to fully dedicate to planning your wedding, seek help, it's a full time job in itself {we know!}. So enjoy this time and let us help guide you. Almost every couple we have had the pleasure of working with comes back to us and says "I was so stressed out and overwhelmed before we brought you on to handle the coordinating of our wedding. We could not have survived this process without you!". We understand how incredibly time consuming each element of your wedding requires, and we want to ensure that you fully enjoy and look forward to the end result. If you can take a deep breath and relinquish your planning to us, we promise you will not be disappointed. Every bride and groom deserves a break, and at the end of the day you should not be running around worrying about anything that we have listed above! Instead, you should be drinking refreshing cocktails, laughing with your friends and family, having an engagement party, and enjoying this milestone in your life.