Wedding planning can be so overwhelming, especially as the weeks get closer to your Big Day. You don’t know what you don’t know. That can be so anxiety-provoking…at least it was for me when I was a bride. That’s why I’m sharing 10 tips from a wedding photographer’s perspective for the Chattanooga bride! From my experiences as a bride and photographer, the list can really go on and on. But these are some of my most solid tips without any fluff.
- After securing the venue, allocate most of your budget to your photographer and/or videographer, and florals; some people would rather hire a more expensive photographer who knows how to make any location look higher-end than spend their money on the venue.
- Get personal referrals and ditch Google/social media and expos.
- Strongly consider doing a first look. I go into all the details of why in this post What is a First Look and Why Do One?. But trust me, my couples have never regretted doing one!
- Hire a wedding planner and day-of coordinator. You aren’t a professional in wedding planning, as you shouldn’t be! I share more about why you should hire one of these professionals in this post 5 Reasons to Hire a Chattanooga Wedding Planner.
- Buffer, buffer, buffer. Add several 10-minute times throughout your timeline as a buffer, especially during the pre-ceremony part of the day. I can’t tell you how many times this has SAVED my couples. Some wedding planners/coordinators refuse to put this in so that they can account for every minute of the day, but I say it is accounted for if it’s to be used as a buffer. Timelines almost never go as planned!
- Make sure your photographer has a second shooter. Why? In short, it adds so much more value, reduces timeline stress, variety, and storytelling in your gallery. For example, with two photographers, you can get pictures of the first kiss AND your parents’ reactions. Another example can be that one photographer can be dedicated to being with the girls during the morning, while the other is with the guys instead of having to leave and potentially missing important parts or fun candids. The examples go on, really. If you have more questions about this, message me!
- Confirm if your desired venue has A/C. You’d be surprised how many venues run on fans alone. Nothing is more draining on a wedding day for the couple and guests than feeling like you’re being roasted. Being sweaty for your portraits is such a downer too. If your venue doesn’t have A/C, and you’re flexible on your date/season, I suggest planning your date accordingly. If your date is not flexible, and you really want that venue, make accommodations, like providing fans or extra water.
- Buy yourself some bug spray and Liquid IV and keep it close. (Okay, that was two tips for one—you’re welcome!) This is especially true if you have a wedding in the warmer times of the year. No one wants swollen bug bites in their portraits (not to mention to experience the itching!). Photoshop is great, but it can really slow down your photographer’s turnaround time. Moving on! Liquid IV has become my newest friend on my wedding days. It’s an electrolyte supplement that you pour into water. It’s better than sports drinks (and fewer calories), tastes great, is low-sugar, and is a sure-fire way to help yourself and your bridal party staying hydrated.
- Give yourself some time for sunset photos during your reception! This is when the dreamy, romantic glow comes out! It’ll also provide yet another opportunity to do portraits just in case something like rain or timeline mishaps happen earlier in the day.
- You don’t need to consider everyone’s opinions. BOOM, I said it. More about my feelings on this here Handling Opinions & Personalities During Wedding Planning.
Okay, that was a lot, but some of the best of my wisdom regarding wedding days in general. I have plenty more of insight and can go even deeper on each topic here. So, if you have questions or are in need of a photographer for your wedding day, please message me! 🙂