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May 25, 2022

How-To: Be Present During your Wedding Day

This one is essential. If you read no other wedding-day advice, please let it be this. It breaks my heart to hear that a couple barely remembers their wedding. And yes, of course it is just one day and it will fly by due to the love and immense fun, but sometimes issues and annoyances can cause the couples attention to deter from the celebration. These few tips will help you not only execute a gorgeous day, but actually remember it the next morning. A personal tip, something I do during exciting or memorable moments, is to close my eyes for 30-60 seconds in whatever amazing moment and take in each sense. Look at the smiles of your guests (ok open them for this part), smell the lilac in your bouquet, listen to the strums of your band, feel the warmth of your husband’s cheek, and taste the floral notes of your signature cocktail. It sounds silly, but pausing for a moment and acknowledging all of your senses helps solidify a memory. Now, onto the tried-and-true basics. . .

No. 1 | Build in Moments of Calm

Meaning, you and your bride/groom should plan a few moments throughout the day just the two of you/ (and maybe your photographer from afar). Taking a step away allows you to breath and create a memory for just you two. Maybe go for a sunset stroll, sit with each other before joining cocktail hour, plan a private last dance…whatever you do, you’ll be thankful you planned this alone time. All day everyone’s eyes and love are on you, and this is wonderful, truly, but once or twice throughout the day/night take a few minutes to celebrate each other. 

No. 2 | Timeline’s Matter

Ah, timelines. My wedding planning love. I will never arrive at a wedding without creating a custom, chaos-proof timeline (well, as best I can, you can’t predict things like the father of the bride being so late he almost misses the ceremony, or the bouquets being delivered to the wrong wedding), BUT with a well-thought-out timeline, you’ll have plenty to spare. Creating buffer time between “events” is key to being present during your day. You never want to feel rushed or like you’re sacrificing precious photo-opts because you’re running behind. Your planner and/or photographer will create an optimal timeline, ideally with 10-15 minutes of buffer time between photos. To get an idea, I typically shoot an 8-hour day solo and always recommend (but never require) a first look to allow for enough time before the ceremony for family, bridal party, and couple photos. Most of my days look like this: flat lays, getting ready, first look, couple portraits, bridal party, family, details (décor, during this time the wedding party is tucked away while guests arrive), ceremony, cocktail hour (more décor, candid’s, etc.), intros, first dance/speeches, sunset photos, parent dances/cake cutting, dancing (typically no more than the first 30 minutes).

No. 3 | Be Organized

The less stressed you are the day-of the better, naturally, right? In order to be less stressed you must be organized (or assign a friend/family member to be). Hiring a planner is the No. 1 way to be fully organized and not worry about where your Aunt Linda is sitting during the ceremony, or what time bridal party photos are. The most common phrase I hear from brides on their wedding day is “I’m tired of answering questions”. Not kidding, and I hear this well before they’re even done in hair and make-up. Make lists, send out detailed day-of instructions, and rely on your planner. When you’re not being pecked to death with silly questions, you can enjoy that morning mimosa, ride to the first look location, and apps during cocktail hour.

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