As a bride and a photographer I have seen a lot of things that have caused significant stress or regrets for the bride and groom. They usually come down to some small things that could have easily been prevented. Below are a few of the things we have found helpful. Obviously there are always exception, but these are a few things that I have found helpful. Please don’t take this the wrong way, but I try to always have the bride and groom’s best interest in mind:
1. Girls: don’t wear white. Only the bride gets to wear white.
2. Formal portraits are for the photographer and couple. Leave your cameras and phone inside if you are family or wedding party (you don’t want to ruin a photo because your phone is sticking out of your pocket). If you are a guest, please grab a drink and have some fun.
3. Don’t stand in the aisle during the processional or recessional. In addition, watch where you place your purse, camera bag, or any other personal items so that they don’t interfere with the big day.
4. Don’t bring a guest unless on your invite you were allowed a Plus One. Be sure to always RSVP and if your plans change it is better to notify the couple later rather than never.
5. Don’t bother the bride or groom with things that are “going wrong.” It is the bridal party and coordinators role to solve problems without alerting the bride and groom.
6. It is better to be over-dressed than under-dressed. Be classy.
7. Be on time to the wedding ceremony. Actually, be 15-20 minutes early. If a ceremony starts at 5pm, that means this is when the processional is to begin. Give yourself time to park, sign the guestbook, and be seated.
8. Buy the couple something from their registry. As awesome or as cute as you think that thing might be, the couple didn’t register for it, so don’t buy it unless it’s on the registry. Don’t like anything left on the registry??? Give cash, no one will be upset with cash.
9. Be ALL there. Don’t spend the whole time tweeting, instagram-ing, texting, taking photos, or checking sports scores. Take a photo of the happy couple, and a photo with you and some friends. Then tuck the phone away and enjoy engaging conversation with family, friends, or new acquaintances.
10. The day isn’t about you. It is about the union of the bride and groom and what that represents. Keep the bride and groom the focus and leave your opinions at home.