After 15 years as a wedding photographer, I have seen brides make these mistakes while planning their dream wedding. Here is my list of 7 mistakes and what you should do instead.
#1. Waiting too long to book desired vendors.
The biggest mistake I see 2022 Brides make is reaching out to preferred vendors too late. If you are planning your 2022 wedding for the high season (usually in the summertime), chances are your key vendors will already be fully booked. If you have your heart set on a specific photographer, planner, and dream venue, make sure to book these as soon as possible!
#2. Not booking a wedding planner.
The second biggest mistake I see brides making is not booking a wedding planner. There is a difference between a venue coordinator and a wedding planner. A wedding planner makes sure that every detail of your wedding is perfect and the timeline you create runs smoothly. The venue coordinator is only in charge of the venue setup and staff. Hiring a wedding planner will eliminate a lot of stress while planning and the wedding day itself. You don't want to be worried about the small details on your wedding day. Your wedding planner is there to handle any problems that may pop up and make sure that you only focus on enjoying your day.
#3. Unrealistic timeline.
Timing is everything when it comes to a wedding. An unrealistic timeline will make you feel rushed throughout your wedding day. From a photography viewpoint, a wedding photographer needs enough time to capture all the bridal details, bridal preparation, first look/bridal portraits, and bridal party portraits before the ceremony. I usually ask my brides to have the bridesmaids and their hair and makeup finished by the time I arrive so that I don't have to wait for them to finish. I usually get some touch-up photos. Also, allow extra time for family portraits and make a detailed list of family member names to help speed up the family portraits. PRO TIP: Leave a 10-15 minute window between each item on your timeline. So that if you fall behind schedule, it will not affect the rest of your timeline.
#4. Getting ready in a dark/tiny/cluttered room.
From a photographer's viewpoint, good lighting is essential to take beautiful bridal preparation portraits. When choosing a room, opt for the big room with large windows for natural light. If you have a lot of bridesmaids, a large room is a must. Also, ask your bridesmaids to keep the room tidy, as cluttered spaces do not photograph well. Another tip is to put all the bags etc. one side of the room and use the uncluttered side for the photographs. PRO TIP: Look for a room with neutral tones; a red carpet and ornate curtains may not fit your wedding color scheme.
#5. Not doing an engagement session with your photographer.
For the best wedding photography experience, couples have to have a relationship with their photographer and fully trust them. When I arrive on a wedding day, I need to feel like an old friend and not like a stranger. So to ensure that we create the most beautiful wedding pictures together, we first have to get to know each other at the engagement session. At the engagement session, I will teach you all the different poses and prompts so that when it is your big day, you will have the confidence of the great engagement session experience.
#6. Not hiring the best photographer you can afford/using a family friend.
The only thing you will have left to remember your wedding day by will be your wedding photos. It takes years to gain the experience to photograph a wedding with confidence. You only have one shot! That is why it is important to vet your photographer before signing the contract. Knowing which questions to ask your wedding photographer before you book them is crucial. Here is my blogpost link to which questions you should ask your wedding photographer before booking them.
#7. Not including a "First look" in your timeline.
Each couple feels differently about having a "first look". Here are some reasons to consider a "first look" from a wedding photographers viewpoint:
A "first look" is an intimate private moment that you will share. It takes a lot of the pressure off because it is just you two. The groom feels more relaxed and open to showing his actual emotions instead of "staying strong" in front of a crowd.
A "first look" is also the only time you will spend alone with your groom on your wedding day. You can be in the moment with each other before the festivities kick-off. This time allows your photographer to create beautiful romantic bridal portraits that are not stiff and rushed.
Lastly, by including a "first look" you will maximize your photography investment. I can photograph on average 30-40% more bridal portraits with a "first look". So if your wedding portraits are significant to you, a "first look" is a must!
I hope that you find this insightful and these tips contribute to your dream wedding day! At least now you have 7 things less to worry about!
Thanks for reading!