Imagine going into a job interview and telling the interviewer that you have zero experience! Suffice to say, that would be pretty daunting. When it comes to planning your own wedding, experience is not a common qualifier. For most couples, this is the first and last time they have to plan an event of such significance with a big price tag. Sometimes this lack of experience can lead to stress or disappointment as a result of some easily avoidable mistakes. Here are some tips on what common mistakes I have seen people make, and how to avoid them.
Mistake #01: Not Aligning Your Wedding to Personal Values
People often make the mistake of not aligning their wedding to their personal values and beliefs. This can ultimately lead to disappointment on what should be one of the most special days in life. Don’t discount the significance of how your values can shape your wedding to be unique and utterly memorable.
Personal values come in many different forms, but at their core, they are guiding principles that make you who you are. Things such as cultural background, family traditions or sexual orientation all influence what your values are and how you may choose to express them on your wedding day.
A vegan bride might want to cater their menu accordingly; a socialist groom might ask for gifts to be made in the form of donations to their favourite charity. Think about any and all ways you want your values to shine through. This could include what you wear, who you invite to speak in the ceremony, or how the day/weekend is structured.
Personally, I encourage everyone to consider the importance of incorporating a Welcome To- or Acknowledgement of Country in their ceremony. You can read more about that in my blog post, How to do an Acknowledgement of Country at Your Wedding.
Mistake #02: Not Planning Around ‘Golden Hour’
The second mistake I often see from couples planning their wedding is not fully grasping how crucial sunset is for the portrait photo session. In the industry, we speak about something called ‘Golden Hour’. Golden Hour is typically the hour prior to the sun going down. (Pro tip: there’s an equally beautiful golden hour at sunrise. This is totally an option for those brave enough to have their portrait photos taken at the start of the day!)
Golden hour is the best time to take wedding photos because of a few reasons:
- Number one, it is the most flattering sunlight for your skin. Harsh sunlight often amplifies imperfections. It also casts dark shadows in your eye sockets that make it look like you’ve got a black eye!
- Number two, the low angle of the sun lends itself to beautiful backlighting and lens flares. There are some fun lighting conditions for an experienced photographer to play with!
- Number three, golden hour lights you and your surroundings evenly. Consider if you’re wanting photos on top of a mountain, on the beach or in a whimsical forest… Sunset will allow for all aspects of the background scenery to be lit as beautifully as you are, thus providing your photos with a gorgeous palette of colour and light.
Practically, what this means is that couples need to know exactly what time the sun is setting on their chosen wedding date and plan their whole wedding around it. I wrote about this at length in another blog article, Your Wedding Timeline – A When-To Guide.
Mistake #03: Not Investing In Exceptional Wedding Photography
Of all the things you spend money on for your big day, the photos are the only things that gain value the older they get. And no, I’m not suggesting you’ll be able to sell them in 20 years for twice as much as you paid for them! I mean sentimental value. Shared by you, your spouse and your family. Generations from now, these images will form a part of your legacy and the family narrative.
By not investing in an exceptional wedding photographer, you are leaving yourself vulnerable to potentially being disappointed with the photos you have received. Remember this: In 20 years from now you want to love how you looked and remember how you felt. That’s what good wedding photography can do. It is a window into the activities and the emotions from the day, so you can hold on to all of the romantic feelings, even when your spouse leaves their underwear on the floor for the millionth time.
In summary, the three most common wedding planning mistakes are as follows:
- #01: Not Aligning Your Wedding to Personal Values.
- #02: Not Planning Around ‘Golden Hour’.
- #03: Not Investing In Exceptional Wedding Photography
Hopefully, this list has given you some insight into what not to do and instead give you peace of mind as you embark on some of the most exciting days ahead! One of the most important aspects of planning a wedding is finding someone who can capture these memories in a relaxed and romantic way. If you are looking for an experienced photographer with a keen eye, I would love to be there on your big day – please head to my contact page and get in touch!