Bridal advice in under 5 minutes


This is a blog i've wanted to do forever. I'm usually working or if i'm not doing that i'm working, so I haven't had a chance yet to actually sit down and pen this one. What would I tell a bride & groom if we were trapped in an elevator and I had five minutes to tell them any tips for their wedding day.  

     Your wedding day goes fast. The more moving parts you have, the more details, the more planned mini events you have for the day, the more stressful. If you're a bride put someone in charge of checking on flowers, following up with the guys to make sure they're on schedule. 

     If it's possible don't get ready at multiple locations. Okay hair and make-up, then we go to moms for the bridesmaids to get their dresses on and then we go to the location to get my dress on. The guys are getting ready at Mark's and Tim is getting ready at Donny's house and we'll all meet at Rob's house and head over. I kid you not, this happens. Your friends and family will be late if you're counting on them to be in a certain place at a certain time. So if you can get your hair and makeup done and dress on at the location, do it. Relax. Netflix and chill....? Okay wrong phrase, that's how you got into this.

     If you're the groom then make sure all your guys get to where they need to be on time. You only need about twenty minutes to get ready. Make sure to check your tux the day before to make sure you have pants, shirt, shoes and that everything fits. There is a popular mens wear provider that I have noticed regularly forgets something or messes up. I've seen nightmares happen. 

     This is one day where you could potentially put your friend in charge of your phone and actually relax. Do it, take advantage of having a secretary for the day. They can take messages and do your bidding. 

     If you're the bride or groom's mother, chill. Let them enjoy the day. Sometimes a task-master shows up to your wedding day and will work up the bride or groom. The biggest thing I want everyone to know on their wedding day is someone will drop the ball, there will be a small mishap or two but at the end of the day you will be married and none of your guests will know anything happened. BTW, have a little present for your parents on your wedding day, i've seen this happen and it means the world to them. It's your day but it shows when you take a moment to reflect and say Thanks! :)

     Write a letter, scribble down those feelings and make your significant other cry. This will make their day a little bit more special. Maybe include a gift, a bracelet they've wanted or a watch he eyed before. The letter are great because you can save them or have a photo taken of them and have this little moment bottled forever. 

     Where you get ready will be a mess, a disaster, the opposite of organized. Keep your stuff together. Keep the important stuff together even more so. If you're the bride then it really helps if you have  the rings, flowers, shoes, and any details with you. The photographer will be with you most of the morning (like me, if you're lucky). This means you can get all these detail shots done relatively quickly and have more candids taken of you. 

     Booze will take the edge off, if you're nervous then have your favorite drink; make it a double. It's your wedding day and you can get away with murder. But seriously, ice cream for breakfast, do it; it's your day. 

     You don't have to have your dress on an hour before the wedding if it's easy to get into. Wedding dresses can be hot. You should however know that everything fits the way it's suppose to. Put the dress on before you're leaving. Make sure you have enough time for error to happen, stitches to be made, pins to be pinned. Make sure your bridesmaids know how to hook a button or do a corset type back. Make sure you and a friend know how to stitch before your wedding day. I once watched a bride spend fifty minutes having friends attempt to stitch a problem area following the wedding, it was cringe-worthy. 

     We're not teenagers anymore and having a flask bulging through your pocket during a wedding or subtly showing it to your friends during the wedding is tacky. If you have a flask or bottle make sure it's not showing through your pockets for photos. Make sure cell phones are turned to vibrate. 

     While we would love the phone and iPad free weddings we know people are not always going to abide by your rules. Buy some silk and use it to keep friends and family from stepping into the isle during your wedding. Just string it down the altar closing off people from entering and exiting here, they can enter elsewhere. This works for backyard weddings and churches. I've had plenty of times where a kiss is about to happen and an aunt or uncle or friend steps into the middle of isle and holds up an iPad. 

     If you want to have good photos then smile, make sure the bridal party is smiling. Make sure everyone is having fun. Most people's default face is not smiling, it's thinking, worried or aimless. We all know the resting bitch face, this also applies to the guys. They only have to smile for a little bit. Do shots before, give everyone candy, promise a five dollar bill, get that smile happening. 

     Keep on schedule as much as possible but remember that you are the bride and groom and what you say.. goes. You can be late here and there and the vendors will work with that as best as possible. If the whole day runs behind though then maybe the food has already been cooking now gets dry or the DJ & photographer's schedule is off. I have seen a minister start a wedding before the entire bridal party and guests had arrived because she had another wedding to attend. I've seen a reception on the opposite side of the building kick off during written vows, both weddings were suppose to happen at the same time but ours ran late. I'll always remember the Valquez wedding that was opposite the wedding I was shooting. It took the employees who worked there about four minutes to get the music turned down for the wedding to continue. This venue did make up for it and they redid their vows privately.  

     During the reception, the bouquet toss, cake cutting, garter belt.. it helps break up the night. Otherwise it's eating and occasionally dancing. A fun DJ will keep things going but get everyone involved with games when possible, the DJ will usually work in a few fun things. 

     Yes, cake smashing in each others face. At this point the wedding is eighty percent over. All the formal photos have been taken and you know that heavy duty make-up that you put on is meant to last the day and also repels cake. This will look awesome for your photos, highly suggest it. How this works is he feeds you first and then you feed him followed by a kiss. Somewhere in there work out who's smashing but keep in mind there is the kiss afterwards. Your friends and family will appreciate this. 

    Last piece of advice. Relax, enjoy your wedding day. Big picture, you're getting married and the flowers, the favors, the seating and the schedule don't matter in the end. It's you and your fiancé tying the knot. (drop the mic). But seriously i've had just as much fun at a backyard wedding as I have had at a top floor hotel wedding on Boston.      

Additional notes:

If a photographer is taking photos, look at him. Too many photos are ruined by someone looking off at a friend or family member or trying to have a conversation mid shoot.

If you do a photo where your dad or mom is giving you a kiss on the cheek or vice versa then make sure to actually give them a kiss or have them give you a kiss. If you don't connect then the photo literally looks like your smelling someones face.

During group photos or any formal photos.. stand up straight! It's not time for selfies and if you angle your neck or arch a certain way because you think it looks good when you do it in selfie then your photos will look like you have a medical condition.

When your doing group photos don't put your arms around peoples shoulders unless their a good friend. Family and loved ones put their hands on peoples lower backs. Shoulders are for friends, backs are for loved ones. Think about a bride and groom with their arms around each others neck and shoulders, they look like buddies not a bridal couple. If you put your arm around someones back then make sure your hand doesn't poke out around the opposite side of them. This makes your hand stand out and looks like a random phantom hand.

Once reception starts you can switch to some flats. If your feet hurt then switch out the heels for flats, all the formal photos have been completed. You can always keep them on for the dance with your groom or your dad but enjoy your day and be comfortable. Most of the photos taken at a reception aren't of peoples faces.