As a New Hampshire wedding photographer I often spend an exorbitant amount of time reading through many wedding magazines and I thought I would pick and pull and add my own two cents about ways to plan for a great, bump free wedding weekend! We can all use a little guidance on how to prepare for a smooth day!
Lets jump right in!
1. Do not cut your hair within two weeks of your wedding, this also goes for you spouse! No one wants to look back at their wedding photos and cringe at that "just cut hair" look or even worse, feel its so short but have no time for it to grow back a tad! Along those same lines, this is not the time to radically change your daily cut look!
2. Do not start tanning like a crazy person, this goes for both spray and beds! Not only will you look like a gorgeous Oompa Loompa, but unless your spouse and every person in your bridal party tans also, you will standout like a sore thumb. We want you to stand out for your beauty, not because you give people a craving for Doritos!
3. Set a budget! This goes without saying, but there is nothing worse than it finally being your wedding day and all you can do is look around at all the money you spent and cringe. Prioritize what is important to you and your spouse to be!
4. Delegate, Delegate, Delegate! Delegate every task that will happen during your wedding day, this is the main reason why brides have bridesmaids. Think along the lines of a lady-in-waiting, they are "a female personal assistant at a court, royal or feudal, attending on a queen." I mean really this is your wedding, you can be the queen for a day! The less stuff you have to worry about the more you can enjoy your day to the fullest.
5. Have a wedding planner, if you can! Along the same lines as delegating the days duties, consider having a wedding planner to keep every task in line from the very beginning of your planning journey. This is especially helpful if you are planning a destination wedding. Whether it be a 5 hour drive or a 5 hour flight, a local planner can help to check off the boxes you may have never even thought of. Think local traffic patterns between the ceremony and reception site or where do all the guest park when you are having an open beach ceremony? Beach parking and traffic can be horrendous! Wedding planning is very stressful, and wedding planner takes all of this stress off of you and allows you to truly enjoy your day and the journey up to it. (Professional Recommendation : Nicole Mower Is Amazing)
6. Books your rooms ahead of time especially if you are having your White Mountains wedding during peak season. You know all those gorgeous colored leaved that you dream of for your wedding portraits?! Yeah you are not the only one and those Leaf Peepers will be flocking the area just in time for your beautiful fall wedding! So you must make sure to book / schedule / block off the rooms you will be needing far ahead of time to ensure that all your traveling guests will have a place to stay.
7. Visit the ceremony site before the day and during the time of your ceremony. It is a great idea to visit the site at the time of day that you will be having your ceremony and if possible even visit it during the same season, lighting changes through the year and so does the foliage. It is very possible that during a summer wedding big, lush, beautiful trees line the ceremony site but during the early spring or late fall those trees will be bare and cash crazy shadows upon the site. This is even true for a Seacoast New Hampshire beach wedding, mid summer can be set to have beautiful nights where only a light sweater may be needed, but even the difference of early summer to late summer can have very different weather effects! Not to mention high and low tide!
8. Timeline, Timeline, Timeline, plan with a timeline. A timeline not only ensures that you have thought of every moment through the day, but it also gives a hard schedule that can be passed to each of the participating vendors. A DJ 100% has to know when you plan to have your first dance, and I as a photographer 100% have to know when you plan to arrive for the day.
9. Plan a realistic amount of time for each moment of your timeline. This is especially true when it comes to your hair and makeup. These are almost always going to take longer than expected when you get all of your girls together along with moms and flower girls, everyone is going to want a little extra touch up and attention. This will quickly eat away at a time schedule and can throw the whole night off. Even down to an extra half hour at the beginning will bump the ceremony a half hour which will change all the lighting especially if you are planning an evening ceremony, you may go from natural light to flash.
10. Keep it natural when it comes to make up, and I don't mean natural as in the barely there look, I mean natural to you. DO NOT OVERDO THE MAKEUP. There is nothing that makes me more bummed out than a beautiful bride that choose to go high glam on her wedding day and in the end have the look because it's "totally not her." The same goes for the opposite, if you are a high glam makeup person regularly and you go for a more sheer wedding makeup look, you may be regretting the look once you see your photos, and at that point there is nothing we can do. If possible I suggest setting up a test session with your make up artist. Not all make up artists will provide one with your booking but even paying for a test will be worth it! We can even schedule the makeup test day for the same day as your engagement photos or a bridal boudoir session!
The bridal suite is equally as important as any other area of your wedding if you would like to have beautiful bridal prep photos. A large window or multiple windows give amazing natural light and light walls are very important for naturally classic photos. If given the choice of dressing areas, try to avoid a "storage room" or super busy and cluttered area. If you are dressing at home try to pick a bright room and try to move the bulk of clutter out for the day. Go old school, little kid cleaning and stick it all in the closet! Remember this is where your mother, grandmother, bridesmaids and other special family members will be seeing you for the first time and while documenting this we really don't want any un-mentionables or dirty dishes in the background of these memorable shots!
WOAH that's a lot of reading!! Lets break this down into more enjoyable bits and part TWO of
Planning Your Seamless New Hampshire Wedding HERE!