tips for planning your wedding:

bride must knows by nadinne wilkinson from nadinne grace photography

 

Words & imagery by Nadinne Wilkinson.

For most of the couples I meet this is their first time getting married. Me on the other hand, well I’ve only been married once but I have attended and been the wedding photographer at plenty of weddings. This gives me the wisdom and power to instil some practical and maybe insightful tips for brides and grooms on their wedding day.

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Shoes:

Wear comfortable shoes!! Number 1 rule. You will be standing for majority of the day, talking and mingling with guests. During wedding photos there will be lots of walking. Walk over there, walk back to me, walk this way. Then you’ll hit the d-floor all night. PS no one even sees your shoes or cares about your shoes. The comfier the better. 

Make lists:

Whether you’re a list person or not, make lists of all the jobs that need doing for the wedding. Short term jobs, long term jobs, tomorrows jobs etc. Tick them off as you go. Make a list the night before your wedding so you get everything out of your head. This will help you sleep so you’re not thinking of what needs to be done. 

Delegate: 

Even the control freaks need to delegate tasks sometimes. People want to help. Family and friends are honoured if you ask for help. Take the stress out of all the planning and share the load. 

Vendors:

DIY weddings are great and can save you a lot of money. Just make sure you understand the time, effort and maybe stress involved in doing things yourself. If you are choosing vendors for your wedding. Choose wisely. Meet with the vendors and make sure you are 100% happy with them as a person and as a business. As a wedding vendor and I can speak for the other great wedding vendors I have worked with. We put our heart and soul into our work at each and every wedding. We take huge pride and we want to provide you with a relaxed and stress free wedding day. Your vendors should make you feel at ease and you need to trust us that the day will run itself. All you have to do is rock up and enjoy. 

The Dress:

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Yes it looks drop dead amazing but can you walk? Can you talk? Can you breath, yes breath? Can you bend over? Can you sit down? Can you go to the toilet without a bridesmaids assistance? And the most important can you dance?? PS the bottom of your dress will be a slight shade of brown by the end of the day and you may get sticks, grass seeds and prickles stuck in it and that’s okay. You only need to wear it once ;)

Budget:

Start your wedding plan with a budget and discuss with your fiancé and parents. What can you afford and what are you happy to pay? From there you can select suitable vendors in your price bracket. 

What’s important?

What’s most important to you and your fiancé at your wedding? What do you want to wake up the next day and go "Wow, that was bloody awesome!" What do you want to remember most? Is it the delicious food, the feel good music, the stunning venue? Decide what’s most important to you and make those a priority and maybe spend more money on those items versus things that may not mean as much to you as a couple. 

Booking vendors:

Everyone wants the perfect wedding day with the best lineup of vendors. As above, decide what is important to you and then contact those important vendors first to check for available dates. Maybe have a couple of dates in mind and then based on other available vendors choose from there. I’ve had a soon to be bride change her date a third time just so that I could be her wedding photographer…..I was EXTREMELY FLATTERED. Wedding vendors are booking out 18 months and more in advance. Don’t dilly dally. 

Timeline:

Prepare your timeline with your photographer before setting it in stone. Your photographer is your secret time keeper for the day. They can help you plan out the whole day time wise. Basically start from the time of your ceremony and then work backwards from there to know what times you need to be ready etc. Add in buffer time just in case! I give my couples a timeline template that they can fill in times that relate to them. I also give them family photos template so they can write down exactly who needs to be in the photos. 

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Rose petal or confetti throw:

If you’re after that awesome photo with confetti or rose petals being lovingly thrown in the air as you walk down the aisle as the new Mr and Mrs, this takes organisation. The photographer needs to know. The videographer needs to know. The celebrant needs to know and they also need to tell the guests what to do such as grabbing rose petals as your singing the paper work. Your parents could congratulate you first if you wish and then make your way down the aisle with rose petals being hurled at you. Asking other guests to wait until you’ve walked the gauntlet to congratulate you and hang any horse shoes on your arms. 

Flowers:

Can any flowers, equipment or decorations used during the ceremony be used again at the reception? I know this may take some man handling but it could be an option.

Venues:

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Take into consideration all the different venues you use on your day and how much travel time is involved. Location where gals are getting ready, location of the groom and his merry men getting ready, ceremony and reception venue. Are you providing travel for guests? Are you paying vendors such as photographers, videographers, caterers, musicians to travel between different locations? This all takes time and can eat into your day if there is lots of travel involved compared to all in the one location. Something to think about.

Make it yours:

Every wedding is so different to the next. Sure the bones are all the same but the details and your choices really make each wedding unique. All of the weddings I have photographed I want to high five the couples as it is 'so them'!! The day reflects the couple perfectly. That is when you know you’ve nailed it. You took your Pinterest board and tweaked it to make it your own. That makes me so proud and happy for the couple and their families. This is when you know that couple have decided what’s important to them as mentioned above. 

Just ask:

If you are unsure of how the day runs or what to do, ask someone. Ask your friends who’ve been married before. Especially ask your wedding vendors as they are all schooled up and experts in the wedding industry. There are no silly questions.

Enjoy the planning process. Don't sweat the small stuff. Your wedding day comes around very quickly and next thing you know you’ve been married for 7 years with two kids…oh wait that’s me.  As long as there’s yummy food, great music, alcohol and all your fav friends and family then you’re bound to have a blast. Don’t forget the photographer to document the day and provide you with memories you’re going to love now and love even more in years to come!