10 Tips for a Stress Free Wedding Day from a Destination Wedding Photographer

As a destination wedding photographer, I have seen it all! I’ve noticed these are the things people either don’t know or forget on their wedding day!! To not take up precious time away from partying or wedding photos, here are my top tips for you as a bride to have a smooth, stress free wedding. Plus, these tips will make your photos extra perfect too!

10 Things to Remember for Your Wedding Day

1. Eat Food & Drink Water 

Provide or assign someone to bring breakfast or lunch to your getting ready rooms. Bring lots of water, and stay hydrated! You should also eat a snack before you go down the aisle. Force yourself to eat and drink! You won’t always feel like it, and I know everyone is telling you this, but seriously. I have seen brides pass out and throw up… take care of yourself! You won’t regret it!

2. Be Prepared & Bring the Little Things

I have my emergency bag I bring as a destination wedding photographer to every wedding for this very reason! There’s always a need for something.

Emergency Items You Should Have:

Toothbrush, toothpaste, safety pins, bobby pins, dress tape, make up, curling iron for touch ups, eyelash glue, extra shoes, razor, deodorant, mouthwash / mints / gum, mini sewing kit, floral tape, floral pins, scissors, lint roller, pain pills, allergy pills, hair dryer (can dry water spots you accidentally get on your dress), tide to go pen, and little rubber bands. 

3. Use the Bathroom Before You Put Your Dress On!

You would think that this would be common sense, but a lot of brides forget!

4. Stay Centered!

Make sure your arbor is centered with your aisle, your officiant is centered, and you two are also centered!!! The bridal party should all stand at the same angle and distance apart in a straight line. I’m not going to stop the wedding ceremony as your destination wedding photographer to get you all centered, but it does make a night and day difference for your wedding photos! And when you’re standing up there, don’t lock your knees!

5. Know What to Do With Your Bouquet as the Bride

Instead of awkwardly not knowing what to do with your bouquet, this is what you’re going to do! Your Maid of Honor will pass their bouquet to the next bridesmaid, then they will fix your train. Next, you will pass your bouquet to the Maid of Honor! When it’s time for the recessional, grab your bouquet back from your Maid of Honor!

6. Hold Hands!

Hold hands the WHOLE time at the altar. It’s cute and looks less awkward than just standing there! Anytime throughout the day that you don’t know what to do with your hands, go ahead and hold hands. It looks sweet in photos, but also will keep you together throughout the day! After all, it’s a day about the two of you! You want to have memories TOGETHER!

7. Ask your officiant to step to the side as they announce, “You may kiss the bride!”

So many times the officiant doesn’t move until after they announce you, and their head is in every picture. I suggest talking with them to step aside as they say it, so they are out of the way by the time that you are kissing! 

8. Kiss TWICE Down the Aisle!

Kiss half way down the aisle, and again at the end of it during your recessional! Or dip. If your aisle is short, then just at the end is fine. And remember don’t block your face with the bouquet!

9. Text Everyone Involved in Family Photos

Shoot everyone involved a text prior (maybe even a couple days before!) to let them know they are part of family photos and to stay at their ceremony seats instead of going to the cocktail hour. Assign someone who knows your families like your sister, friend, cousin, etc. to help with family photos. This relieves a lot of stress and saves time! 

10. Don’t Play the Whole Song for Your First Dances

Tell your DJ to play only part of the song for the first dance & parent dances! 1.5-2 minutes is a sweet spot.

Bonus Tip: Dance Towards the Camera Every Now and Then!

Dancing photos are best when you can see your face! 9/10 times everyone turns their back to me as the destination wedding photographer, and I can’t see everyone’s faces! You don’t have to like pose and smile, but I encourage you to occasionally dance towards the camera for fun, interactive wedding photos. Or when you do a twirl or a dip, do it towards the photographer, so they can capture it!

Still looking for your destination wedding photographer?

I would love to capture your wedding! Fill out my contact form to book with me, and I will be in touch with you shortly! To check out more of my photography style and wedding tips, you can visit my Pinterest and blog. I look forward to connecting with you!

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