How to Encourage Meaningful Wedding Day Moments

I was talking with a friend a couple nights ago reminiscing about our own weddings - the good, the could've been better, and things that we wish we would've known. As we were talking, she mentioned how she wished her photographer would've told her about budgeting into the timeline of her day a special moment with her dad, close family friends, etc. 

That got me thinking about how much I take for granted certain day-of wedding timing expertise that I have because I'm just around weddings so much! Part of the reason I want to provide lots of useful tips and tricks and hop on Instagram stories every Wednesday for chats is because I want to make sure I share what I've learned as a wedding photographer (and also as a many time wedding guest) in order for others to have THE best wedding experience!

So, how do you go about creating room and time for meaningful moments to unfold on your wedding day? Below I'm sharing some of my favorite ways to do this.

A brief caveat to what I'm about to say: remember that your wedding day is just that, yours. It's going to be unique and different from every other wedding day before it because of who you are. It's definitely a temptation to want to follow to a "T" exactly how someone else has crafted their beautiful wedding day. But you do you! Without a doubt, that's what is going to make you the happiest and not be too worried with what other people think or if it's turning out exactly like "so-and-so's" wedding!

Ok...now, onto the good stuff!

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1. Think of moments you won't want to miss

Make a list of moments that are really important to you on your wedding day - your dad seeing you in your dress for the first time, your best friends all toasting to you and your hubs to be, etc. There are a lot of moments that "just happen" because your wedding day is laden with sentiments, and I'm there for all of those, but some that might require a bit more planning are good to think about in advance!

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2. Communicate your list

Make a list of moments that are really important to you on your wedding day - your dad seeing you in your dress for the first time, your best friends all toasting to you and your hubs to be, etc. There are a lot of moments that "just happen" because your wedding day is laden with sentiments, and I'm there for all of those, but some that might require a bit more planning are good to think about in advance!

Maybe this is obvious, but let your mom and dad know you would like a special moment alone with them right after you put your dress on or let your fiancé know you have a gift you would like him to open before the first look. That way they know what's coming in advance and mom and dad can be dressed and ready when you are, etc. I also make sure to ask about if you have anything in particular you would like for me to be aware of and that also helps me budget out our time photographing - super important!

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3. Remember to be flexible + free

Balance, always balance. As much dreaming and planning and preparation and list making go into your wedding day, the brides and grooms that I find enjoy their day the most are those who have planned well, but know when to relax and just enjoy because that day only happens once. Embrace the moments as they come and don't be so tied to your list that you can't enjoy the spontaneous delights of the day!