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For The Brides: Things You May Not Think About

You’re about to get married and you have a TON on your plate… I remember how it was… planning a wedding is like adding on a second job — and one you take VERY seriously.. it’s your wedding!!! I remember the few weeks leading up to the wedding thinking… okay great I have all of the big things taken care of – but now what about all of the LITTLE things… it was all of those LITTLE details that caught me off guard!!!

Here are some things you may not have thought about:

1. Your ceremony start time. We ALL want that sunset ceremony — but what you may not have thought about is by selecting a sunset ceremony start time… you won’t have any sunlight to take your formal photos in… if you schedule your ceremony 30 minutes before sunset — there won’t be any natural light for your family portraits or couple’s portraits! AHH!~ So here are two ways to make sure you don’t run out of light…. A) consider doing a first look (especially if you realize this AFTER you’ve sent out invitations) — it does NOT take away from the walk down the aisle… I promise from first hand experience… and did you know that the tradition to not see each other is actually kind of ‘weird’… it derives from the olden days when marriages were arranged… and was set up so that the groom couldn’t run or cancel the wedding if he didn’t find his bride attractive.. HELLO.. that’s not the case here!!! Doing a first look is extremely intimate and romantic… you’re able to see each other in PRIVATE and pray together or make sure you’re both doing okay!!! I repeat.. it does NOT take away from the walk down the aisle… you can even not wear your veil and have your dress bustled for the first look.. so that the walk down the aisle is still a ‘surprise’ for your groom! or B) starting your ceremony earlier (of course if you’ve already sent out invites, this isn’t possible) — but if you still have time, simply start your ceremony earlier so all of those romantic bride/groom portraits are done at sunset! Professional photographers are totally equipped with the necessary lighting gear BUT typically… you’ve hired your wedding photographer based on his/her beautiful use of natural light… and you won’t have that with off camera lighting if photos are taken at night! =)

2. Eating. Please… please please…. be sure to eat breakfast lunch and dinner…. for my wedding I had my step dad bring all of us girls and vendors subway — it wasn’t anything fancy… but passing out wouldn’t be cute either! And for dinner….. don’t be afraid to EAT.. take time.. sit down.. and eat… One of my biggest ‘regrets’ is not getting a second plate of food… and no I’m not kidding! ha!

3. First kiss.. obviously this isn’t something that you’re forgetting… BUT.. I want to encourage you to slow down and enjoy it… I can’t tell you how many weddings I’ve photographed where the bride and groom kissed for literally a SPLIT second… ENJOY IT… make out… make your friends and family cheer you on and hoot and holler!!! This will also allow for more creativity with your first kiss photos!!! The longer you kiss.. the more variety you’ll get from your photographers and videographers!

4. Getting dressed…. this is EASILY one of the most stressful parts of the entire day… the nerves are high… everyone is talking to you… asking you questions… and I want to encourage you to ask everyone (except for 2-3 of your CLOSEST people.. mom.. sister.. etc) to step out while you get dressed…. Your photographer can easily schedule in a bridesmaid reveal – so your bridesmaids’ reactions can be captured… but removing so many ‘distractions’ (sorry girls, I love you lots) — you’re able to have a few minutes to really be in the moment… put your dress out and be intentional with your time… otherwise.. and sadly I’m not exaggerating… brides are SO distracted and rushed. I also recommend setting aside at least FIVE minutes with your photographer… all by yourself… those five minutes will help you truly get ready for the (first) best day of your life =)

5. The little things….. so remember how I mentioned that for me.. the weeks leading up to the wedding – so many little things snuck up on me?!!? Well they did… BUT… do you want to know what I did… instead of stressing out — I reminded myself.. it doesn’t FREAKING matter! As long as I got a plate of food and Chase showed up… everything would be perfect… I had a day of coordinator to set up everything — that way my family could ALSO truly enjoy the day… and I didn’t stress out… Things WILL GO WRONG…. I promise you… but what matters more than that is your RESPONSE to those little things.. you’re getting married… and as much as planning a wedding is a second job… it’s exciting.. and it’s stressful… what matters MOST if what the day stands for… Your MARRIAGE… you are starting your life with someone… your VOWS are important… and I promise you that having the wrong flowers show up or the wrong song played at the reception — will not matter at ALL years from now =)

va beach wedding photographer, clay hill gardens, sharon elizabeth photography, richmond va wedding

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