The perfect wedding to me has several layers that have to all come together. I love large weddings because I am surrounded by many aspects of the wedding that all deserve great photography. The reason why I want to discuss large weddings is because small intimate weddings are easier managed while larger weddings have more to scale of a production set like a movie. What is the same between large and small weddings is the love between the couple. Everything else on the wedding day that is custom designed is simply a party celebrating their love. I am such a romanticist at heart, I always get 100% involved with my couples on their wedding.
OK so let's talk about the first thing you need to do so you can design the perfect wedding. Hire vendors who are the best at what they do. I had someone at the studio not long ago telling me they just don't understand why the cost of flowers are so expensive these days. I asked her if she knows what kind of flowers and floral artist is she talking about? She couldn't answer me because she was simply regurgitating a price she heard from a friend. I then brought her to my computer and showed her two different weddings with two very different pricing structures and designs. After seeing these two different bouquets she then understood why this one florist was more expensive than the other. The visual showed her the difference in the quality of flowers selected and the artistry of the florist who designed that bouquet.
Wedding vendors that are true professionals will always enhance your wedding day to its fullest. It does not matter to me whether we are talking about your florist, videographer, limos, church, reception, etc.
I have truly seen beautiful weddings be less organized than other weddings simply because of a wrong vendors hired for the day. If you notice I just said the vendors who are the best at what they did, not the most expensive! Nine out of 10 times quality does equal the dollar amount therefore our train of thought is, if it's expensive it must be good? This is not always true therefore getting referrals from other long time working vendors such as reception halls and photographers are so important.
The second aspect I would like to speak about is your theme. Everything you choose to create for your wedding day from your dresses to your flowers to your photographer should mimic the color tone of your wedding and it's theme. If you want a simple wedding and a huge party at the end like you're on Bourbon Street then your wedding album delivered to you from your photographer should look like it. If you love how wedding imagery looks in the daylight, most likely your evening wedding will disappoint you because the two are very different. I always enjoy working with a wedding planner/coordinator that knows how to get the job done. Getting advice for your wedding day is like someone telling you the truth about how you look in a dress. You know you want the truth even if it stings a little.
The third aspect I would like to talk about is time management! Here in the New Orleans our weddings are not like my northern weddings. We do not have sit down dinners, cocktail hours or any kind of break between the ceremony and the reception for that matter, therefore we are extremely pressed for time from one location to the next. What I find is very important is creating a blueprint of your wedding day with your photographer or planner. The key is to have help accomplishing these goals on paper. If you have a wedding planner then I expect this person to do a fabulous job of staying organized and on time. The people you decide to be in your posed family portraits should be at the right place in time so you and your photographer can work as quickly as you can while creating the beautiful images you want. A good wedding planner knows how to run this part of the show and target for can concentrate on his job and his job only. Asking your vendors the correct questions will also help you have a good time management. Something as simple as asking your florist if they deliver flowers to your getting dressed location and the church and leave or do they make sure all of the groomsman or pinned on correctly.
If I get to the church to photograph the guys and their boutonnieres are not pinned and correctly, then someone needs to correct the situation before I can take their pictures. This small issue always takes up time that we simply cannot be wasting.
If you were not a traditional bride you may want to consider doing a first look with your groom. A first look is usually captured two hours before the ceremony. After the sweet moment between the bride and groom, we then have time to do fun creative shots at the bridal party and knock out all of your important family portraits. So if you are not adding a fourth hour to your reception then a first look is the answer to giving yourself more time to enjoy your wedding reception. My bride and groom for last week and did not do a first look but did add a fourth hour to their reception, and man did it make a difference with time management. They had all the time they needed to tell everyone hello and still party till they dropped.
The last thing I want to talk about is actually the most important. After you do all the things I just mentioned the only thing I want you to concentrate on is "Being the Bride". I understand how many details go into the wedding creation, However never ever lose sight of what this event is for. Your wedding day should be all about you and your groom. People are coming to this event to watch you guys show the world the love you have between each other and the celebration of two families coming together as one.
I have told many of my brides in the past that look a bit stressed on their wedding day, "Take a deep breath and let go of the details so you can think about that person waiting for you at the other end of this aisle!"
So do yourself a favor and hire the best vendors for your wedding and reap the benefits of why we are as good as we are. It's because we do this every weekend, we understand how to run a large production, and we are perfectionists at our jobs because we are always trying to outdo ourselves. The one thing all of your vendors have in common is captivating your happiness. That is the goal which we all work towards… Your happiness!
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