We've had a good number of engagement sessions pouring into Vale + Vine as of late, which makes me pretty excited for the upcoming weddings that will be taking place as the couples featured forge ahead with their plans and photographers and vendors work to ensure a meaningful and memorable day. When I look at Jess + Ben's engagement shoot captured on film by 1486 Photography, it's easy to see how freely this couple soaks up every moment, and I'm reminded of how much it really matters to try and do that on one's wedding day.
I've been a bride, but because I threw being a wedding photographer and a majorly detail-oriented, plan-obsessed creative to the mix, there were a few things we were intentional about doing that enabled us (who am I kidding, ME) to put aside the details and enjoy the experience of our wedding day.
- We scheduled the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner for two days before the wedding, rather than the day before. This allowed us to work out any kinks without being under pressure, and then plan for a day at the beach with friends and family who were coming in from out of town. Rather than running around the day before my wedding, there was literally nothing left to do, so we relaxed and visited with our loved ones and guests.
- We planned a first look. It was fairly dramatic, but I love a good story and a good setting. My husband hiked to the top of the cliffs near our ceremony location and waited there for me with our photographers, while friends played our favourite hymns on guitar and violin. My heart pounded out of my chest as I climbed to the top of the cliffs in my dress and heard strains of beautiful music flood the cliffside. As the morning sun rose above the surrounding mountains and lake below, I reached the top of the cliffs and we had our photos taken in the most peaceful, romantic setting I could imagine. We spent a good half hour by ourselves, uninterrupted, taking it all in before the day got going...it was our favourite part of the day and by no means diminished the anticipation we felt as I walked down the aisle. If a first look isn't for you, plan a post-wedding day shoot where you can capture all the romance with none of the nerves and agenda vying for your emotional attention!
- We kept the reception virtually clear of a 'program', and limited that aspect of the reception to a few brief toasts. Our videographer casually interviewed members of our wedding party which was just as special and now we have their thoughts and expressions to watch whenever we want. This gave us more time to mingle and connect with our guests as opposed to sitting at a head table for an indeterminate amount of time.
As both a bride and a photographer, I can't recommend these tips more, and I would love to hear your own ideas for how to ensure a couple can experience their wedding day to the fullest with minimal stress and maximum enjoyment.