See this image above? That’s how I want you to feel on your wedding day.

I put this guide together because, above all else – you should ENJOY your wedding.
I’m talking about removing as much stress as possible on the day.

I’ve noticed that the most stress-free and ridiculously fun weddings that I photograph all have a few things in common.

ALRIGHT, LET’S GET STARTED WITH TIP #1!

Location, Location, Location

 

The best advice for coordinating your day and ensuring all goes right is to keep everything as close to one another as possible. The absolute gold standard is to host your ceremony and reception at the same venue. This makes for so much convenience and ease, not just for you, but also for your guests.

Now, I get it … That’s not going to happen if you are having your ceremony at your family church. I completely understand, heck, even my own wedding was at my husband’s family church.  Simply keep this in mind and try to keep the driving distance to a minimum.

This same rule applies to getting ready. If the guys are getting 40 minutes away from the girls – it may cut into your plans.

ON TO TIP #2

The one time to unplug

 

When you picture your wedding day, you picture the best day ever…right?! Years from now, when you look back at your photographs, you’ll reminisce about just how perfect your wedding was.

Well, until you come across picture after picture of your guests leaning into the aisle to get that “perfect shot” on their iPhone – more concerned with making their own pictures than enjoying the celebration that you worked so hard to plan. This doesn’t seem like the best way to remember your wedding right?

Unfortunately, in our social media-driven society, we are seeing this at weddings more often. Everyone wants to get the perfect snapshot for Instagram or their Snapchat.

Meanwhile, you already had this planned out by hiring the best photographer out there; someone who will produce quality pictures that all your guests (and you!) can share as much as they want.

To prevent the above from happening, couples simply need to make it clear that they would like for everyone to put their phones (and iPad’s – yes I am serious, this has happened!) away and be present for the joyous moment that everyone came together to celebrate, it will create a much happier day and your wedding album will be free of iPhones. Here are some great ideas and signs available for purchase on Etsy!

TIP #3

To love beauty is to see light

 

Can we talk about something important? I know this will sound self-serving as a photographer myself but you have to trust that I have your best interest in mind.

Lighting.

It is actually the KEY to phenomenal photography.

Natural light is not only flattering, it’s all-around fabulous! And for the most important day of your life, you want to be sure to incorporate as much of it as you can into your schedule, especially for photographs. The wedding party, family formals, and your portraits are best taken with a healthy dose of natural light because it creates the best aesthetic for the photographs.

If you are indoors, this means that windows are your friend. Move towards them 🙂

What you love about my portraits is the natural-ness… and lighting plays a huge part in that! So, can you still have a candlelight dinner reception or a sunset ceremony? Absolutely! Just make sure we work together to create a schedule that allows plenty of time to capture your important photographs ahead of time.

p.s. I know what you are thinking … What happens if the sun doesn’t come out on your day because let’s face it, Michigan weather is unpredictable! Don’t worry, the best photographers (including me) will bring their own light with them to make sure that no matter what happens – they can craft stunning artwork for you while still keeping things authentic!

TIP #4

You do you

When I hand you your wedding album at the end of this whole experience, I want you to be like…

Not just because your photographs are simply gorgeous (which they will be) but I want you to be all “Will Smith WOW!” from the story it tells about YOUR love and YOUR wedding day. 

  • If you want to get ready at home because that’s what is meaningful to you, let’s make it happen. 
  • If you decide to skip formal bridal party portraits because you’d rather have candids of you attending your cocktail hour with your guests, then let’s please make it happen! 
  • If you and your fiance had your first date at a tiny little ice cream place and it means the world to you two, then, by all means, let’s go take some photographs there! 

Many people worry about where they want to take photographs, rather than thinking of WHY you want to have photographs taken at a certain location. 

I challenge you to dig deep and together, let’s come up with a location that will tell your story perfectly!

TIP #5

Let it all go…

 

Murphy’s law tells us that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. While we refuse to live our entire lives awaiting the apparent pending bad luck headed our way, it’s a good reminder that sometimes we have to let go. 

On your wedding day, this is even more important! 

What time the cake arrives, your uncle who is running behind, that darn thread that just broke on your dress… all of these things will seem so large at the time, but they’re really very small. And guess what? You’re getting married!!! 

Yes, this is that day and it’s all about you! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said, “The [church/guests/officiant/band/servers/you fill in the blank] will wait for you. You’re the main event and the day can’t go on until you’re ready.”

It’s so true because not everything will go as planned, but I promise that it won’t matter to you later! So remember, no matter what it is, just repeat this mantra after me:

“It’s just a _____. It’s not going to ruin my day!”

I’VE GOT YOU

 

Wedding planning, and sometimes even the wedding day, can be stressful – but it doesn’t have to be!

The commitment that I give my couples is that when you choose me as your wedding photographer, you won’t have to worry about your photographs. My intentional process gets to the heart of YOU. This means you are able to be fully present and enjoy your own wedding, knowing you will have Authentic Moments, Emotional Memories, and Timeless Photographs.

If you’d like to talk to me more about your wedding day, or hear about some of my favorite local locations for engagement shoots, please give me a call or shoot over an email. I’d love to chat!

I hope that you found my tips for having a stress free wedding day helpful!