Who knew planning a wedding would be so much work
So many important decisions to make, so many things you didn’t know that you didn’t know. To help you get to your goal of making it through the wedding planning process (still wanting to get married), I asked some recent brides what tips they would pass along to their friends who were getting married. I also added some of my own thoughts from my experience.
- Plan, plan, plan. Find a venue that suits who you both are and enjoy planning all the details. If you have a budget for it, hiring a wedding coordinator can help - especially on the wedding day (if not, entrust a close friend to help). But then, on the wedding day - try to let it go. Invariably some small things will go wrong - don't let it ruin your day. Your guests won't even know.
- Your wedding will be a very surreal and highly emotional experience - You’ll know the meaning of those words afterwards. It sounds crazy, but the entire day will zip by. So soak up the moments as they happen. Use sense memory to your advantage. A sound or a smell can whisk you right back to a moment so a new perfume and cologne you both wear that day will always take you there again. Or the sound of the birds or the wind through the pine needles or the sound of the surf.
- If your guest list begins to take on gargantuan proportions, one couple offered this advice. They knew their venue could only hold 80 people, so they had to make tough decisions and found that they wanted to invite guests that they would have more than a casual conversation about the weather.
And seriously! How do you choose a wedding photographer?
Many seem to have good photos on their website - how do I know who is right for me? Here are a few questions I have heard from prospective clients who did a lot of homework. I also seem to get a lot of photographers as wedding clients and they ask good questions...
- What is their style? This should be fairly clear from their sample images - but ask to see one entire wedding. It's easy to show a few great images from several different weddings - but another thing to get great images all in one day.
- What kind of back up equipment do they have and use? If they only have one camera and a couple lenses, what happens if one of them dies at a critical time?
- Is photography their only job or do they have a job during the week and weddings are a side business? Full time photographers use professional gear, professional labs and know that their livelihood depends on them giving their clients beautiful work and those clients will return for portraits and recommend you to friends.
- Do they shoot in JPEG mode or RAW mode? Absolutely, RAW is much better (higher dynamic range to handle difficult lighting and exposure challenges, and much better for color/exposure correction). JPEG is much easier for the photographer (less work, files are smaller). If they just pop the card out of the camera and copy the JPGs onto a flash drive - hmm you might not be happy with the results. Real professionals spend twice as much time in post production (after the wedding - as opposed to on the wedding day), editing and color correcting files - each and every one.
- Can you get digital files that are high resolution and have rights to reproduce? Some photographers will give small online sized files that are good for social media, but you can't print them. Some will charge extra for high resolution files.
- Ask if you can contact some of their recent wedding clients. This will give you a good idea of what they are like to work with. Are they fun to be around or a photo-Nazi?
You Got This
Go enjoy the process and make your wedding your very own unique and special day. You'll find so many great ideas from friends, Pinterest and many other resources. Don't forget, it's your wedding so don't be afraid to ask for exactly what you want.