Updated: Aug 26
To start off, you decide what you what for your wedding day. Not doing these things does not make your wedding a "bad" wedding, BUT if you have ever thought about doing these on your big day and just want another point of view, then this post is for you!
1) GOLDEN HOUR PHOTOS
Golden hour, or sunset photos, are the most common thing I try to add to every wedding to make sure my couples get the soft, warm, perfect lighting for photos. Even though you're often having to step away from the reception, it might be a nice way to get away from the crowd for a few minutes and take a breather with each other. Even if you took some couples photos after the ceremony, if they were earlier in the day I would definitely recommend carving out time for a second round with different (and usually better) light!
2) A Day-of Coordinator
Although this might not be in everyone's budget, even finding a friend or family member to designate coordinator roles to is incredibly beneficial for the day and often relieves stress off a singular person. A day-of coordinator can help work with the venue, vendors, setups, and timeline of the entire day and help make sure things run smoothly! This means your wedding party, instead of having to set up everything, can be in the moment with you.
3) A Florist
This is also something that entirely depends on your budget, but if you can find a good florist GET THEM!! Florals can add so much character to a wedding and offer colors that compliment the other aspects of your decorations. They are familiar with types of flowers, what is in season, how to create bouquets and boutonnieres, how to dress arbors, and so much more. They create the ultimate accent pieces and I highly recommend getting a professional!
4) Nighttime Photos
I'm sure you're thinking "seriously? a THIRD round?!" and ultimately it depends on your venue... but yes, a third round. If your venue has a beautiful nighttime setup with string lights, this would be a perfect opportunity for another cooldown and solo dance. I love getting my couples out of the crowd to reset and be with each other to enjoy the moment.
5) A Good DJ
Although it may seem like a second thought, you NEED a good DJ to be able to read the crowd and keep people on the dance floor. The last thing you want is people not feeling into the music and staying seating during the reception. Having a good DJ also means having a sound system setup for the ceremony and speeches and a timeline helper to keep the dance party going!
6) An Exit
Having an exit works particularly well with venues that need guests out by a certain time or couples leaving for their honeymoon right after the reception. Having the remainder of your guests line up to send you off is an exciting way to say goodbye and let your guests leave smiling!
7) An Unplugged Ceremony
As a photographer, I totally understand the sense of instant gratification and how good it can feel... BUT, imagine how special it would feel if, during your ceremony, you looked over to a special guest and they were looking at YOU instead of through their phone camera. Having an unplugged ceremony means guests have all of their attention on you and there are fewer chances for distractions. It also keeps phones out of the photographer's eyeline and the final photos.
8) A First Look
First looks are great NOT just for the sake of the timeline getting more photos, but also to give you and your partner some time to enjoy each other and talk about the excitement you're feeling. This helps relieve stress and wedding-day jitters, because you get to see your best friend and comfort human! Wedding days can seem to move fast and getting to soak up every minute with your partner can mean everything. If you are set on not having a first look, a first touch is a great alternative to be able to share a private moment with your partner without seeing them!
9) A Getaway Ride
This may only be really cool for people who are into cars, but how fun would it be to have a getaway car of your dreams? Or even a nice limo to take you to your overnight stay? This is a particularly great idea for couples who plan on drinking alcohol with their guests, as all limo and car rental companies for events will have drivers. The getaway cars also make for cool photos before you drive off to your forever!