Choosing Your Bridal Party

"A friend is what the heart needs all the time."
-Henry Van Dyke

It's Wedding Wednesday!  Today's post is going to be short, sweet and to the point, with a few tips for my wedding couples out there.  While choosing your bridal party, there are a lot of things to consider when thinking about who will stand by your side as your say your vows and start this next chapter of your life with your new spouse.  

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When considering who you want these people to be, think about choosing people who you trust, who are organized, and also helpful!  Wedding days can be a bit hectic (especially before the events of the day truly begin!), so having people around who are willing to help keep you on track is something you will be thankful for when the day finally arrives.  Think about your relationships with family and friends.  Who do you have a strong bond with?  Who do you go to for opinions or advice?

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Many of us have a lot of people we're close with, which makes it that much harder to narrow down who we want in our bridal party.  I've photographed weddings with bridal parties that included 20+ people (not counting the bride and groom)!  I know we often don't want any friends or family feeling left out if they're not asked to join the bridal party, but let's be real here for a second... the bigger the bridal party, the more hectic things can get-- I'm not even talking about on the actual wedding day.  As much as Arturo and I would have loved to include more people in our bridal party, we decided to keep it smaller and more intimate, with three groomsmen, three bridesmaids, a junior bridesmaid and a flower girl.

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If nothing else, choose friends and family members whose presence makes you laugh and fills you with happiness.  A joyful wedding party will make all the difference in your wedding photographs!

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to see more wedding planning tips here!

Tips for Brides: Delegate, Delegate, Delegate!

It's Wedding Wednesday!

A few weeks back, I wrote my first Tips for Brides blog post on wedding planning.  I mentioned the importance of delegating some wedding planning duties, to help reduce your stress levels.  Take it from me, this is something you'll definitely want to do!

If you're the type that has trouble delegating tasks, don't worry, I'm right there with you!  When I was planning my own wedding, I didn't take anyone (aside from my husband) up on their offers to help me out.  That was probably my biggest mistake!  Others WANT to help the bride-to-be!  We all know how crazy wedding planning can get, with to-do lists to finish, vendors to talk to, and seating charts to build.

So if nothing else, let your maid of honor help you pick out some wedding decorations, let your mom give some input on the seating chart, and let your future sister in law help you choose the reception music.

What are some other things you could use help with during this busy process of wedding planning?

Tips for Brides: Advice from One Bride to Another

It's Wedding Wednesday!  Today I am starting a new blog series to help all of my lovely wedding couples with the many steps of wedding planning. 

In today's post, I'm writing to you not as a wedding photographer, but as a past bride.  There are plenty of things I learned during (and even after) the time my husband and I were planning our wedding, that I wish I had known or given more thought to beforehand.  Today, I'll be sharing a few of those things with you!

1. Take the time to figure out your budget.
I touched upon this in my previous post (and will do a more detailed post about wedding budgets in February).  Figuring out your budget is essential if you want to move forward in your wedding planning.  Once Arturo and I figured out how our parents would be helping us out, we decided out how much we wanted to set aside (we chose to over-budget, just to be safe).  Knowing your total wedding budget will help you to figure out how many guests you'll invite, which dress you'll buy, which venue you'll host your reception at, and more.  Speaking of wedding venues...

2. Don't waste your time looking at dozens of venues.  
Now, I didn't look at dozens of venues (we actually only looked at Tashua Knolls in Trumbull, and decided it was perfect for what we were planning), but I did email with about thirty different wedding venues around Connecticut and New York.  I had found plenty of venues that I loved, but was aiming WAY out of my price range on many of them.  To be honest, I started venue hunting before we had the budget chat with our parents, which is why I had fallen in love with several of the locations I'd emailed.  It's a good thing I didn't take a tour of any of these, otherwise I REALLY would have been upset!

3. Delegate, delegate, delegate!
I will admit, I am a terrible delegator!  I loved planning my wedding, and had such a hard time putting other people (aside from my husband) in charge of even the tiniest tasks, even if they offered their help.  Trust me when I tell you, as hard as it may be, take others up on their offers of helping you out.  It will definitely keep your stress levels down!

4. Write a wedding day timeline.
As a photographer, you would think I would have written out a wedding day timeline for my own wedding!  Psssh, no, that did not happen.  Overall, the day went smoothly, because I knew how long each portion of the day would take (and I had my wonderfully talented friend and fellow photographer, Heather, to keep everything in check!).  I HIGHLY suggest writing out a timeline for your day.  If you're unsure of where to start with this, no problem!  I work with each of my wedding couples to write out a timeline for their day to ensure each portion of the day is as relaxed as possible, without feeling like we're short on time.  See more about wedding timelines here.

5. Stay calm and enjoy your day!
When your day comes, just remember that YOU'RE GETTING MARRIED!!  This means that you shouldn't be preoccupied with the little details that aren't perfect (because in the end, few people (if any at all), will notice those things but you).  The day is to celebrate you and your partner, not the tiniest of imperfections.  Relax, take a deep breath, enjoy your family, friends and most importantly, this new chapter of life with your partner!

I could go on and on about these tips, and more.  Stay tuned for more Wedding Wednesday posts for more information on the bits of advice listed above, plus many other ideas for wedding planning!

Photo Credit:  Heather Testa Photography