10 Tips to help your wedding day run smoother (photographer’s point of view) / by Lauren Dinh

1.     Emergency wedding kit

This should be an essential kit to stash in your bag for the day. You might not think its important but the last thing you want is your strap breaking (which has happened!!) and you not being able to fix it. Tip: Most wedding coordinators will have their own wedding kit so be sure to ask them if they have one handy!

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2. Timeline details

Of course your wedding timeline is super crucial. I always try and follow up a month prior to any wedding to get an updated timeline. From there I’ll be able to give suggestions on any changes you should make to maximize photo time cause that’s what I’m all about! On top of all this, be sure to remember to include a wedding detail section such as the one below. It should provide all the important addresses (getting ready location, ceremony, and reception) and day of contact (which btw should not be you!). Tip: Day of contact should be your wedding coordinator or a bridesmaid/groomsmen that is good with answering their phones. If you’re going to put someone on the bridal party as day of contact, I’d choose one from each team.

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3.     Bring a wedding dress hanger

You might not think to look at what your hanger looks like on a daily basis but when it comes to your wedding day it makes a huge difference. Professional photographers (aka Playful Soul Photography) and videographers will be documenting your dress up close and you won’t want to your gorgeous dress being hung on a plastic hanger. Tip: Get a hanger with your name, word “bride” or even just a beautiful hanger like the one we have pictured! Also if you have a bridal squad make sure they all have the same type of hanger so it looks all consistent in the photos. You don’t want some girls to get the nice wooden hangers and some to have the plastic ones.

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4.     Clear out the space for getting ready

Pick the best spot in your house to get ready in with big windows for that natural light! Be sure to try and keep that area nice and tidy for your photographers and videographers to come in to get right to doing what you paid us to do….photograph! This minimizes clean up time and maximizes photo time! Tip: Have your wedding party get ready in one area of the room and to tidy up once they are done! Move everything away from the “getting ready spot” as much as possible. Another thing you might want to consider is booking a hotel room. Its already furnished and prepped to be photo ready so there’s less hassle on your end.

5.     Bride should keep the rings

The groom still keeps the rings PRIOR to the ceremony. However, in the morning/getting ready time, the bride or maid of honor should hold onto the rings. This way, we can document close up shots of your rings with all the other pretty details! Tip: After we are done photographing the ring, your maid of honor can bring the ring back to the groom’s side!

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6.     Prepare a bag of details

The day before the wedding, have a bag of wedding accessories available. Put every wedding detail in there that you can possibly think of. Everything from invites to jewelry, veil, vows, and even shoes! This way when we arrive, we can get right to photographing your wedding details as you finish up your final makeup touches. Tip: Label the bag FOR PHOTOGRAPHER or WEDDING DETAILS so anyone can easily locate it. Trust me, your getting ready area will be a war zone.

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7.     Coordinate with makeup artist

Be sure to have your makeup artist finish the same time your photographer arrives on site. This way we can get straight to photographing you! This also is one of the most common parts of the timeline that causes major delays. Tip: Just tell your makeup artist she should finish up at a certain time!

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8.     Family shot list

Have a family shot list available and printed out! It should be as detailed as possible (similar to the one pictured below). This helps increase our family photo efficiency and allow us to knock them all out in timely manner. Tip: Have your wedding coordinator or maid of honor stick around and call out each group off the list. This will help ease my process and help keep us stay organized.

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9.     Vendors should eat when guests eat

It doesn’t make sense to have us standing around and waiting for guests to finish getting their food before we (as vendors) start eating. No one wants to be photographed while they eat, so instead have the caterers bring us our food when dinner time starts this way we can be sure to come back right before the next activity is about to start! This is both efficient and also gives us more than 5 minutes to eat (which we REALLY appreciate). Tip: Just tell your coordinator or catering company to feed your vendors when guests are also getting theirs.

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10.     Have an amazing wedding coordinator (or extremely amazing maid of honor)

Trust me when I say it is worth it! It makes our jobs easier as well when you have a solid coordinator who is keep everyone on schedule. Your best friend could also do the job but she may be too busy having fun especially if she’s in your bridal party. Tip: if you have it in your budget, DO IT!

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Bonus TIP:  Remember to smile and have fun!

Lastly, just remember to smile and have fun. You’re getting married!!! This is a joyous occasion, don’t let the small hiccups bring you down!

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