You may have already read my last blog post about photography tips for guest and my FAQ.  That’s okay, this is specifically for you, the bride, to help the day go smoothly and get amazing photos at the same time.
  1.  Send the link of my last blog post about photography tips for guest to everyone attending the wedding.  No, really send it out now while you are thinking about it.
  2. Do an engagement shoot.  It is a great way to get to know me as your photographer and for me to get to know you before your wedding.  And they are fun.  I promise. 20141106-DDP0128donovan1480
  3. Talk to your groom about doing a first look.  I will need at least an hour of only the two of you together on your wedding day to get the amazing bride and groom images that you see on my website.  We can still do this without doing a first look but it has to be scheduled.  But I do highly recommend doing a first look.  It gives you private time alone with your groom to relax, talk, pray, exchange gifts, etc.  If you are prone to stress and/or anxiety, the first look can be calming and relaxing.  And getting as much done before the ceremony is very helpful.
  4. Do your own thing!  The best weddings are weddings where the bride and groom build their wedding around what was special and meaningful the them as a couple.  It doesn’t have to be traditional and don’t allow yourself to be pushed around by your planner/auntie/mother.  So talk to your groom, think about how you are special as a couple and make your wedding memorable by staying authentic.  An example of breaking tradition is where you stand during the ceremony. If you or the officiant stands off to the side, then he won’t be smiling in the background when you kiss.
  5. Okay, these next tips are really about you helping me to create better getting ready and detail photos (before the ceremony) for you so I’m bunching them together:
    1. Have all the bridesmaids put all their stuff in one corner of the room when getting ready.  Otherwise, I’m shooting around a lot of clutter.
    2. Have someone (maid of honor usually) in charge of all the details (rings, shoes, dress, etc.) for the detail photos.  This way I can get all the detail photos done when I first arrive while you are getting your hair and makeup done.  20150103-DDP0009donovan1843
    3. Bring a wooden hanger (non plastic) for the dress shot.20140913-DDP0026donovan0072
  6. Research bridal party photos (Pinterest).  If you want something “out of the box” please let me know.  20141018-DDP0226donovan1796
  7. Walk slowly down the aisle (bridesmaids too).  I know it can be stressful and all eyes are upon you, but relax, don’t rush it and enjoy the moment.
  8. You don’t want to be working on your wedding day.  Does your venue have an onsite coordinator?  If you don’t have an onsite coordinator, consider hiring one or ask a friend (or maid of honor or bride’s maid) to take care of all the details and to help things go smoothly.  Try to delegate as much as possible on your wedding day.
  9. If you want to spend less on your wedding, consider an off season wedding (December – March) or a weekday wedding.  If you are getting married in February on a Friday in Hawaii, we can probably negotiate.  If you are getting married on a Saturday in September, I’m already booked.
  10. When walking down the aisle with your dad, most of your guest will have their iPhones, iPads, etc. out taking photos.  If you don’t want your ceremony to feel like a paparazzi event, talk to your officiant.  Have her make an announcement right before the ceremony about the use—or non use—of iPhones, etc. during the ceremony.  If it doesn’t bother you, then never mind.
  11. Eat and drink.  Keep hydrated during the day and make sure that you have enough to eat.  I can always tell when a bride hasn’t eaten or had any water to drink all day (have you seen the Snickers commercials!).  And enjoy (don’t rush) your meal with your husband.  I know that you want to visit all your family and friends and get started with the party, but this is your fist meal as a married couple.  Take your time.
  12. The day of your wedding shouldn’t be the fist time you use your hair and/or makeup artist.  Try them out first with an engagement shoot or another event.  You don’t want any surprises on your wedding day.  You want to look and feel your best on your wedding day, and hair and makeup can make the difference.
  13. Enjoy your wedding  and don’t stress about anything.  If you need to, take a deep breath, relax and smile.  If you have a serious look on your face, I can’t change it in photoshop!  So remember to have fun and SMILE.  At the end of the day, you will be married to the love of your life.  And that is what is important and beautiful.  So have fun, celebrate your love with family and friends—and SMILE.  20140913-DDP0125donovan2104
  14. Interact with your groom/husband.  Show off your love for each other—look at each other, talk to each other, whisper to each other, laugh with each other.  And stay together and dance with each other at the reception!  And eat together, and spend time together talking to family and friends.20150131-DDP1009payne