12 insider wedding planning tips and tricks you probably haven’t thought of

 

So you’re engaged – yay! The wedmin has begun, and your evenings are now spent browsing beautiful wedding inspo on Pinterest.

I’ve attended countless weddings as a pal and as a wedding photographer of 14+ years, and over this time I’ve picked up a whole bunch of tips and tricks for things that are often overlooked during wedding planning.

These might seem like insignificant lil thangs, but they can add so much to a wedding day as an extra special touch or just by making the day run that bit more smoothly.

Psst! Make sure to bookmark this blog post to revisit before your wedding day, or send it on to a recently-engaged pal.

 

 

1. Change up the wedding ceremony seating

During a traditional wedding ceremony, guests sit on the side of the aisle corresponding to the member of the couple that they’re closest to. So, when you’re at the altar, your family and your friends will be seated on the same side that you’re standing.

I think it’s pretty lovely to have your guests sit on the opposite sides to tradition, that way they can watch you, and see your face during the ceremony rather than your partner’s.

Or you can sack off having “sides” altogether and totally mix it up, letting people sit wherever the heck they like, as guests never seem to be 100% sure what the tradition is anyway.

 

2. Reposition your wedding celebrant during the wedding ceremony

To make sure you have the best wedding photos possible, think about where your registrar or celebrant might stand during the ceremony.

If the celebrant stands in the middle of the couple, they’ll get in the background of all the photos during the wedding ceremony. Sometimes they won’t move out of the way for the first kiss (even when your very lovely wedding photographer asks them to (politely) beforehand) and you end up with a totes awks third-wheel photo.

As an experienced wedding photographer, I’d suggest the celebrant stands to the side, while the couple stands directly in the middle, as it makes for perfect wedding photos.

I always have a lil chat with the celebrant of my wedding couples beforehand, but it’s good if you guys let them know you want them to stand slightly off-centre too, so that they know ahead of the big day.

 

 

3. Stop and smooch at every opportunity

If you’d like some super romantic photos of you and your partner on your wedding day, give your wedding photographer a few extra chances.

Kiss your partner at every moment which could make a good photo – like halfway down the aisle for a photo with all your loved ones’ faces smiling at you, and halfway down your confetti line for a truly epic confetti shot.

An added bonus is that it’s just pretty nice to make kissing a priority on your wedding day, when it’s ironically tricky to get some time together.

 

4. Go for the roomy wedding ceremony space

Of course you want to make your wedding venue as beautiful as can be, with lots of decorations, flowers and maybe even candles too, but take a moment to think about your wedding photographer while you’re planning this.

There needs to be enough room for your wedding photographer to move around for photos. Otherwise, they can get stuck on one side, and they’d always prefer to get lots of lovely angles of the both of you.

 

 

5. Make a wedding day essentials kit

To minimise the chances of things going wrong on your wedding day, it’s a great idea to make a little kit of things that you might need throughout the day. Here’s a bunch of things you could include:

  • Lip balm for all that kissing you’re going to do
  • Chewing gum or breath mints because, well, ditto
  • Hand cream to make sure your hands look gorgeous in photographs
  • Hair pins if you’re having an up-do, plus hairspray or hair gel
  • Extra earring backs if you’re wearing earrings
  • Face powder or blotting paper to minimise that face-shine
  • Cotton buds are a super versatile item to fix all sorts of messes
  • A small mirror to check you look like a 10/10 hottie all day
  • Deodorant – we all get a little sweaty when we’re nervous
  • Tissues, because even if you don’t cry, someone will
  • A small sewing kit including a needle and thread, scissors and safety pins
  • A crochet hook if you have an outfit with lots of buttons
  • A lint roller to get any fluff, hair or bits off your outfit
  • Super Glue – a shoe could break with all that dancing you’re gonna do
  • A small snack to keep the hanger and dizzy heads at bay
  • Rescue remedy or calming essential oils to keep you totes chill
  • Period products if you’re a person who menstruates (even if you’re not due)
  • Plasters, hayfever tablets, painkillers, and any other meds you may need

 

 

6. Consider an alternative wedding guest book

Wedding guest books are great in theory – wouldn’t reading back on all the sweet messages from your fave people be the perfect heartwarming Sunday afternoon activity?

In reality, they’re often forgotten about, or end up with lots of silly drawings in them by the end of the night. So why not go for an alternative?

Audio guest books are a bloody lovely idea – you can get vintage rotary phones that your wedding guests can leave voice notes on. They look so cool and retro, and it’ll give you the warm-and-fuzzies to hear the love in your pals’ voices. I love At The Beep for audio guest books, or there are some cheaper options on Etsy.

You could get guests to sign Jenga pieces, or sign a vinyl record – get a sticker made for the centre of your vinyl with your wedding info on, and let guests sign away. They look awesome displayed on a gallery wall.

A couple who I took wedding photos for asked for song or album recommendations, which I thought was a cracking idea, as they’ll listen to those songs and they’ll be forever reminded of that person and their special day.

An Instax/Polaroid guest book is a great idea too, as you’ll end up with loads of awesome photos of your favourite people. My top tip for making sure everyone joins in is to assign a wedding party member to go to each table to take photos, with a permanent marker to sign it.

 

 

7. Ditch the disposable film cameras

A lot of betrothed couples love the idea of leaving a disposable camera on each table for wedding guests to take photos throughout the day. However, this can lead to a lot of terrible photos that you have to pay to be developed.

Ditch the film cameras and download POV – a disposable camera app. You can set up how many photos your guests can take in the app, and release all of the photos at a set time the next day – no one can see the photos until then.

An easy way to organise this is to print out a QR code which links to the app, and display around your wedding venue.

 

8. A dab of glue for your jewellery

If you’re wearing a necklace on your wedding day, this is one sneaky little tip that I love – pop a dot of eyelash glue underneath and it’ll stop your necklace from turning over.

This is a very handy little tip to make sure your necklace always looks its best throughout your wedding day and in your wedding photos.

 

 

9. Invest in a steamer for your wedding outfits

Steaming your wedding outfits can make a huge difference to how good they look, so make sure to buy one or even borrow one (although I think they’re a wonderful gadget to have for everyday life too).

I love this super sleek one from Steamery, this Tefal steamer is great, and this Swan steamer is a good budget option.

It’s best to steam your outfits the night before and let them air out, if you can. Most steamers are pretty small, so you can have them on hand for any de-creasing you may need throughout the day.

 

10. Wear comfy wedding shoes (or bring a spare pair)

It’s likely that you’ll be on your feet a lot on your wedding day, and even if you’re not, you don’t want achy feet, right? There are so many comfortable and cool wedding shoe options these days, you don’t need to scrimp on style to have comfy toots.

If you have your heart set on sky-high wedding heels or shiny new Dr Martens, bring some comfy shoes to change into after the ceremony and photos. My comfy wedding shoe of choice would defo be a pair of crocs.

 

 

11. Write a lil love note to your darling

Having a little note from your partner to read on your wedding morning is just so nice. It can be really reassuring when you’re feeling anxious about the day ahead.

It also makes for a super special moment for your wedding photographer to capture too, and I’m all about those special moments.

 

12. Ask your wedding guests to send a selfie

Before the ceremony, get one of your wedding party pals to ask guests to send a selfie and a message to you and your partner.

It’s a mega cute way to see and hear from your guests before the wedding day commences, and it’s absolutely lovely to look back on after the big day too.

 

Make sure you take your time planning your special day, and focus on the things that are most important to you as a couple, and your wedding day will turn out perfectly.

I’ve got so many more blog posts packed with wedding advice from my perspective as a wedding photographer, so if you’re struggling, have a read of these: The ultimate 11-step wedding day timeline from a wedding photographer of 14 years, 13 wedding regrets and redo ideas from real-life married couples and maybe even 12 fab ways to have a more sustainable wedding (and save some cash too).

 

 

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