Are you planning a wedding? If you are, you know that there are so many details to keep track of. And if you head over to Pinterest to get ideas, you will quickly see that everyone (EVERYONE) has an opinion, list or plan for how to make your wedding extra special.
It's easy to get overwhelmed and spend a ton of money on things that don't really matter (I could write a whole post just about that!)...but today, I want to take my 10+ years of wedding industry experience and tell you about 10 details that really do matter.
We’re going to do this countdown style…and at the end, stay tuned for something EXTRA special.
#10 Prep your details ahead of time.
I start every wedding day with an hour of detail coverage. This helps me get warmed up for the day. These images include the beautiful captures of your wedding day attire, so have your dress out of the bag and ready. Your veil should be steamed and waiting too. Plan to have your bridal bouquet delivered in the morning, along with a few loose flowers left over from the florist’s work. Your shoes, jewelry, and perfume are on the list. Make sure you have all the rings cleaned and ready. And finally, a complete invitation addressed and stamped. We document it all. If you take time to get your details prepped the week before your wedding, you won’t be scrambling on the morning of.
#9 Have your hair and makeup done on location.
Adding the extra time and effort of going to a salon on your wedding day can be stressful for you and your wedding party. There are excellent hairstylists and makeup artists in the Indy area that will travel to your venue or hotel, bringing all the goods of salon care right to you. These people know the tricks and tips of wedding hair and makeup, which need to stand the test of weather, tears and time.
#8 Leave transportation to the professionals.
If you have additional locations where you are hoping to take pictures, you’ll want to think about how your wedding party will get there. Managing multiple cars and drivers can cut into your wedding day timeline. It’s especially challenging if we’re downtown, where there are always weekend events with traffic, closed roads and tricky parking. Investing in professional transportation is a great way to relieve stress and guarantee that the groomsman who’s always is missing, won’t miss the photos. It’s also really great to have a car waiting so you don’t have to walk too far in those beautiful Badgley Micshkas.
#7 Hire a Wedding Planner.
If you’re overwhelmed with the details, don’t want wedding planning to consume your life, have a demanding schedule or just don’t know where to start, consider hiring a wedding planner. Wedding planners do more than just organize your wedding day. They connect you with a variety of vendors and options you probably didn’t know existed. They can help pull together a strong theme and style and will orchestrate all the communication with your various vendors (and even family members). If your budget is tight, or you really enjoy the planning process, consider hiring a Day-Of Coordinator. A professional wedding day Coordinator will be the point person that knows what you want and can help answer questions, solve problems and implement your timeline. You will have someone taking care of the details, which means you’ll be free to enjoy them!
#6 Plan a proper send off.
Where did all my couples hear they had to do a sparkler send-off? They make for really romantic photos, but everyone is doing them. Think outside the box! Consider planning your “send-off" for a time of the day when you’ll have more guests (who will be more sober) and better light to see their faces! Your big moment could come at the end of your ceremony, a mini celebration that will make your guests burst with smiles and laughter. I am obsessed with confetti poppers. Rose petals tossed in the air are so romantic. Even birdseed, bubbles and ribbon sticks make for great images. We can always venture off together when it gets dark for some dramatic light shots…but save the all-guest shots for a better, and brighter, part of the day.
#5 Get Ready Somewhere Beautiful.
A good portion of the morning will be photographed in the room where you’re getting ready. A simple modern hotel room will do wonders for these treasured images. After all, putting your wedding dress on is one of the most exciting and emotional parts of your day. Some of my favorite Indy locations (with awesome bridal suites or getting-ready spaces) include: The Alexander, The Regions Tower, The Barn at Kennedy Farms, The Bridal Suite at MGD Salon, and a number of Airbnbs. Pick a location that has space to move around, clean and simple decor and lots of natural window light.
#4 Splurge on your bridal bouquet.
Your bouquet will go with you throughout the day and can be a perfect compliment to your wedding day style. Tell your florist about your wedding dress and what flowers you love, but listen to their expertise on flowers that are in-season and will hold up to the temperatures of your wedding day. Also, consider adding an heirloom charm or custom silk ribbon to create another detail that helps tell the story of your day.
#3 Hire a killer DJ.
Do you want your dance floor packed? Do you want your guests laughing and staying for the party? The DJ is a crazy important hire for your wedding day. His personality and ability to “feel” the mood on the dance floor will help make the entertainment at your reception a fantastic memory. It’s more than just being able to play music — it’s being able to read the dance floor and help keep the party going. DJs have different personalities and styles, so you’ll want to find the right fit for you. Don’t overlook the hunt for this hire. He’s going to introduce your wedding party, keep track of the reception timeline and host nearly HALF of your wedding day.
#2 Do a First Look.
(I almost made this one #1) A First Look will change the entire feel of your wedding day. I won’t pressure you into one, however, I will tell you it’s the best option for a number of reasons: (1) The moment you see each other for the first time will be set up to allow for maximum impact. You can savor those face-to-face moments with no distractions and with two photographers perfectly positioned to capture it all. (2) At the ceremony, you’ll have the same exciting emotion again as you walk down the aisle in front of all your closest family and friends. (3) You’ll get all the photos done early, when your makeup is fresh, and before you feel the pressure to mingle with your guests. (4) Your family will thank you profusely when they get to go right to cocktail hour, following the ceremony. (5) You’ll get to go to cocktail hour — where you’ll enjoy greeting your guests and sipping those custom cocktails.
Remember why you’re doing all this planning? The wedding is about your marriage. It’s about the commitment of becoming husband and wife. Sit down, put the planning on pause, and write a letter to your future spouse. Remember all the reasons you’re spending the money and stressing over centerpieces, favors and timelines. Then, go back to your list and cut out the things that aren’t important to you. (Are your guests really going to miss those favors?) Honor your parents, (especially if they’re footing the bill AND because they raised you) but don’t add things to your wedding day out of obligation. No detail is worth that kind of stress.
Here’s to the first day of your life TOGETHER.