One of the things that separates me from other wedding and life event photographers in Boston is my previous wedding planning experience. I was a wedding planner at Seaport Hotel for many years before starting my photography profession. My brides and grooms often take advantage of my vast knowledge of wedding etiquette, customs, and trends. Those conversations put me right back in planner mode and I love it! I could talk for days about the best wedding reception timeline, ideas for specialty linens, how ballroom lighting affects your photographs, and the opportunities to save your precious wedding funds. I hope to share a lot of this advice in the coming months. But for now, I’d like to share what I consider the most important piece of advice I could ever give brides and grooms while planning their wedding day (or any other special event).
Before you start your planning (before the Pinterest Board, excel spreadsheet or three ring binder even make an appearance) sit down with your spouse-to-be. I suggest doing this over a great bottle of wine, but it’s not a requirement. If someone else is paying for your wedding, you may want to include them in on the conversation. When you sit down together, I want you to make a list of three priorities for your wedding day. When making these priorities, don’t think of anyone but the two of you. Don’t think of the latest trends or what your cousin had at her wedding. Think about the things that are important in your lives and your relationship. Then, make your list. If you are really thinking of your own priorities, your wedding priority list will be completely unique. But it may include items as varied as the items below…
- The food at our wedding should be outstanding. (Notice how I put this first…It may or may not have been one of our top wedding day priorities)
- We don’t want my friends and family to travel too far or work too hard to be a guest.
- We love a crazy party! People should feel like they’ve been dancing all night.
- We want everything on my wedding day to reflect my fashion style and be beautiful.
- The event planning should be low maintenance. We don’t want to work too hard.
- My wedding day should be light and fun. Never stuffy.
- Everyone at our event should feel like a good friend. We want a great relationship with all my vendors.
- We want to remember everything. It’s important to capture all these moments for use and future generations.
- We do not want to be the center of attention. The day is to celebrate our friends and family as much as us.
- We want to share our family traditions and cultures with our guests.
There are thousands of possibilities. I suspect some are popping into your mind as you read this post. Once you’ve agreed on your top three priorities, write them down and put them someplace safe. Whenever you are struggling on booking that reception location, renting those chairs, hiring the perfect photographer or choosing your invitations look back at your list. Does this decision or purchase align with the priorities on your list? If it does, go for it! If it doesn’t, keep looking or give the idea up. You’d be amazed by the number of arguments and sleepless nights you can avoid by sticking to this one principal. Happy planning!