Expert Wedding Planning Tips For Brides

Being a wedding photographer from Chicago, I get to meet with brides from all over the world. Obviously, we chat about everything wedding related, as well as some personal things – which helps me to get to know my couples. Throughout the course of our relationship, I’ll share some of the tips I’ve learned from my own experiences and from my fellow wedding photographers.

And now I’m sharing them here. Below are the planning tips I think every bride and potential bride will find helpful:

When meeting with potential photographers, ask if they will help you build your timeline

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If the photographer you’re meeting with says “no” – move on. You need a photographer who has done this enough to know when certain events should take place in relation to your ceremony, and how much time to allow for each event. Your photographer also needs to advise you on the logistics of your day (i.e. moving large groups of people from one location to the next, allowing enough time for traffic, etc).

Plan your engagement session early!

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Engagement sessions are awesome in many ways. One of the benefits of scheduling one – and scheduling it early – is that you’ll be able to use the photos for wedding-related pieces, like your Save the Dates or your invites. Save the Dates are typically sent out 6 to 7 months prior to the wedding (8+ months prior for destination weddings). If you have the engagement session early, you’re already ahead of the game and that’s one less thing to worry about. It’ll also allow you to build a rapport with your photographer early on, which is extremely important when it comes to wedding day photos – it makes you more comfortable in front of the camera and helps build your confidence!

Makeup: Who, why and when

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I could write an entire guide on makeup tips based on the horrors I’ve witnessed and heard about. Here’s a few quick tips:

  • Avoid Dirty Makeup.Exceptional makeup artists keep their makeup and brushes super clean, disinfecting everything after each client with a trusted product, like ‘Beauty So Clean’. If you’re in the middle of a trial and the makeup looks dirty, it might not have been cleaned after the previous client. Move on to avoid any possible breakouts on your wedding day.
  • Early Trial. Some blogs recommend doing a trial 4-6 weeks before the wedding. That is WAYYYYY too late. If you want to have your pick from the best makeup artists, start looking 6 months before your wedding and try to do a trial 3-4 months in advance. The better the makeup artist is, the earlier he or she books up. You don’t want to get stuck with a bad makeup artist for your wedding because you waited too long.
  • Allergies. Talk to your makeup artist about possible allergies. Maybe you’re allergic to silicone-based products. A good makeup artist will have alternatives to avoid any risk of reactions on your wedding day.
  • Makeup + Sunscreen = Fail. Some makeup, usually foundation, may contain titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which protect your skin from UV rays. That’s great, right? The problem is that titanium dioxide and zinc oxide react with the photographers flash and will make you look pasty and white. Not a good look for your wedding. Talk to your makeup artist about what kind of foundation they use and if it contains titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.
  • Want a recommendation? Check out!

Prep For the Groom

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The groom’s prep usually consists of him and his groomsmen getting dressed while watching football and doing shots. Let’s change things up a bit. Encourage the boys to do something fun and active – maybe play some golf in the morning, or billiards. Something that shows the groom connecting with his boys like they did when they were younger. Not only will they have a blast, but the photos will be that much more memorable.

Plan to Delegate

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Weddings are hectic and stressful enough, especially here in Chicago. Chat with your bridesmaids early on and let them know you’ll be delegating tasks to them on the wedding day. For example, bridesmaid A is in charge of the flowers and bridesmaid B is in charge of making sure the hair girl and makeup artist get paid. If your bridesmaids know what they’re responsible for prior to the wedding day, they’ll be better prepared. Delegating tasks last minute may have disastrous consequences.

Wedding Dresses with Pockets?!

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They’re pretty epic – it’s like wearing a purse on your wedding day! That’s all I’m going to say about that.

All of these tips come from personal experiences. Hopefully, you’ll find them helpful when planning your big day.

Peter – Your friendly neighborhood Chicago wedding photographer

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