As both a Washington, DC wedding photographer AND a former bride, I’ve pretty much seen it all! So today I’m sharing the top 10 regrets I hear about most in the hopes of helping future brides and grooms avoid them!
1. Not Hiring Transportation.
For any couple not getting ready, married, and partying in the same location, you should absolutely consider hiring transportation. The headache of trying to organize drivers and fight traffic is the last thing you need on your wedding day!
2. TRYING TO DO IT ALL… ALONE.
To save yourself a bit of money, it’s easy to think that you or your mom can set up all the decor the night before the wedding and ensure the timeline runs smoothly on the day of — trust me, I did the same. But you (and mom!) deserve a day off! There are so many fantastic wedding planners out there; even if you can’t afford full planning, many offer month/day of services that will help tie up any loose ends and allow you enjoy your big day.
3. DIY BOUQUET.
Your bouquet will be photographed endlessly on your wedding day. Generally, it’s carried to the first look, held in portraits, as you walk down the aisle, as you enter your reception and then it’s set on your sweetheart or cake table. Trust me, I know flowers are a huge expense and if you need to DIY some of the centerpieces, that’s okay! But don’t skimp on your bouquet!
4. NOT ENOUGH TIME BETWEEN CEREMONY & FIRST LOOK
Oh, I see this one ALL the time! Because it’s called “Cocktail Hour”, most brides assume it needs to be limited to one hour. But there are a couple caveats to this rule and they should definitely be considered! First, if you are opting not to do a first look, one hour might not be enough time to capture your family portraits, wedding party portraits, AND couples portraits. An extra 15-30 minutes goes a long way. Or if you are getting married at two different locations, transporation time may depend heavily on traffic. Buffer in enough time between locations to ensure all guests get to enjoy mingling at cocktail hour!
5. NO OPEN BAR.
Let’s be honest, this one is pretty universally agreed upon. If you want to ensure guests are having a good time, this is the easiest way possible!
6. AMATEUR PHOTOGRAPHY.
I might be biased… but I also might not! Many brides and grooms agree that photography is one of the most important aspects of their wedding day. After all, once the flowers have wilted, the cake has been eaten, and the open bar has been drained, what’s left is your photos of the day. It’s one of the few tangible takeaways and certainly not an area to cut back on.
7. TOO MANY RECEPTION EVENTS.
Besides #5, nothing kills the dance floor vibe like having to stop time and time again for event after event. If your heart is set on speeches, a cake cutting, bouquet toss, garter toss, group photos, and/ other events, try to organize them in clusters so you get as many done at once as possible. Bonus points for doing them before the dance floor even opens!.
8. DARK GETTING READY ROOMS.
Unlike #6, this one I am certainly biased on as a wedding photographer. But it’s also really important for photos and something to consider when looking for a getting ready space. If you cannot find somewhere available with a lot of natural light, be open to the idea of your photographer taking you outside — they know what will photograph best!
9. DIY HAIR/MAKEUP.
This one is so tempting to skip hiring a professional. After all, you do your hair and makeup every day, right?! Yes, but not like this and not under this type of pressure. Perfectly coiffed hair and applied makeup makes for a confident bride!
10. TRYING TO PLEASE EVERYONE.
The previous nine items? Those are just guidelines and if you don’t agree, throw them out the window! This is YOUR wedding day and I promise, you only get to do this once. I know you value mom or dad’s opinion, but focus on what you and your fiance want as a couple and ensure that’s the primary point of the wedding day.