As a wedding photographer who's been shooting for almost a decade, I've seen...... Things. And I'm willing to share a few GOOD TO KNOW wedding day life hacks that will save you time and frustration... There's no order to these and this list will likely continue to grow over the years, so, without further adieu, here's what wedding vendors don't tell you.
If you're wearing a gown of any sort on your wedding day, when nature calls you're going to be in a very awkward situation. The best wedding day life hack for using the John is to SIT ON THE TOILET BACKWARDS. Thank me later...
If your wedding attire has a bunch of loops/buttons, bring a crochet hook with you so your significant other can help you get out at the end of the day!
When booking vendors, FRIDAYS and SUNDAYS are usually more flexible on pricing. If you're on a budget, this information is GOLD.
If you have FOMO (fear of missing out) and would much rather participate in your cocktail hour than spend an hour taking photos, CONSIDER A FIRST LOOK. This allows you to see each other before the ceremony/before the guests arrive AND therefore allows you to get all of the "formal" photos out of the way. Remember, it's your day, do it YOUR way.
You only take 3 things away from your wedding. Your rings, each other and your photos. Invest in what matters! And on this note, if you have a "friend" as a vendor, be sure they're committed to the role. The saddest thing I hear is when a couple hired a friend to photograph/DJ/cater their wedding and then their friend either had NO fun or TOO MUCH fun and their services were compromised. <3
Tradition DOESN'T MATTER unless it does. I'll say it again. Tradition DOES NOT MATTER unless it DOES. Take this information, sit down with each other and rethink your wedding. Do you WANT to do a bouquet/garter toss? Is a cake absolutely necessary? Are you going to wear white? Are you going to spend the night away from your partner? Do you WANT your extended family to come? Must there be a wedding party? Do you NEED to be walked down an aisle? Do you want to be announced? Have a first dance? Etc. Your wedding is YOURS and the LAST thing you're going to want to look back on are all the weird formalities you didn't actually want to do but thought "Well, it's tradition." You make up the rules, how will you celebrate?
Wedding Vendors book 1-2 years out. The FIRST vendors you need to book are VENUE, PHOTOGRAPHER and CATERER. These vendors are usually the most sought after and book up quickly because they can usually only book 1 or 2 couples per day.
MOST vendors offer payment plans if you ask. This is a huge bonus if you're planning a wedding without financial help. One thing I wish I had for my wedding was a wedding planner/day of coordinator. This service may seem like a luxury, but NOTHING is worse than directing your own wedding day. Plus, a wedding planner is almost like a travel agent. They can help you shop around for cost-effective, good quality vendors and they aren't as expensive as you think. :)
When creating your wedding guest list, channel your inner Marie Kondo and ask yourself if the person your inviting "Sparks Joy." It sounds bad, yeah. But this is one of the most intimate, important and beautiful moments in your life. And it should be a privilege to take part. It's up to you and your partner who you share your day with, not your parents. #ThankYouNext
It will be stressful, planning this whole shindig. Y'all are going to be exhausted and annoyed and ready for it to be over, that's just the truth. You're going to spend thousands of hours and as many dollars investing in this celebration. But, when the wedding day gets here, ONE THING YOU MUST REMEMBER THAT WEDDING VENDORS FORGET TO TELL YOU IS: No matter what happens, everything is going EXACTLY the way it is meant to. <3 Yep, it's that simple. Every little detail, purposeful or surprising are all just a part of your story. Embrace whatever happens, rain or shine. And remember to be PRESENT. Don't get caught up in the details/order of events. If you feel yourself getting stressed, go to your partner, steal a moment together. Watch the sunset. Have a glass of champagne outside together. At the end of everything this is for you, about you and should be enjoyable. <3
Happy Planning, and if you are searching for vendors in the Ithaca area, check out the Sweet Bough Wedding Collective. https://www.sweetboughcollective.com/
Chelsea Fausel, Wedding Photographer/Owner, Fausel Imagery