Planning a wedding is a massive task, and it can be stressful coordinating so many details all at once. If you work full time, have kids to care for, or family travelling from overseas for the big day, prioritising the big tasks (rightly so!) can sometimes cause couples to overlook those smaller, on-the-day details.
Rest assured, I’ve got your back. Having been involved in hundreds of weddings now, here’s a list of the top 10 most-forgotten wedding to-dos, and how to avoid missing them. I hope it helps!
WEDDINGS CAN BE STRESSFUL. HERE'S WHAT WILL HELP.
Have a back-up weather plan
While having a wet-weather venue option is a no-brainer for most couples (especially if your venue is outdoors), considering other bad weather scenarios often falls through the cracks. What if there are strong winds on the day, or your guests have to sit in the sun during 40 degree heat? Having umbrellas, fans or other solutions can make a world of difference.
If your wedding is outdoors and you haven’t planned a wet weather alternative, please do so. I’ve met too many couples who think they’ll manage without it, but end up having their day ruined. It’s also very stressful for us photographers trying to create this fun relaxed environment that often leads to those natural genuine moments while you're worrying about how the rain will affect everything. Trust me, having a backup is cheap insurance and will greatly help your peace of mind.
Don't forget what time the sun sets
Usually the best time for our on-location photoshoot is during golden hour—just before the sun sets. Sunset can occur any time between 5pm and 8pm during peak wedding season (September to April) in Sydney. There’s also daylight savings to consider. So planning your ceremony and reception times around golden hour is a great idea. Don’t worry, I have lots of experience with this and will make sure to guide you so we can get some stellar photos together.
Make sure you consider lighting
From a photography perspective, good lighting is key to getting the perfect shot. Harsh sunlight, fluorescent indoor lights or low-light scenarios are going to play a big part in your photos and not in a good way. Of course, we make magic with whatever we're given but if you're willing to keep this in the back of your mind in your planning when your photographer isn't there to guide you. it'll go a long way to leveling up your photos from the day. I speak more about this here.
Arrange transport for your bridal party after the wedding
Most couples will organise cars to transport the bridal party to the ceremony and reception, but it’s easy to forget about getting them getting home again. Having left their transport behind to join you it's not uncommon to see a few stranded VIPs. Have a chat with them early about the plans - Getting an Uber is always an option, but a cheaper idea is to organise rides with guests heading home in a similar direction, just remind them so they don't do it last minute on the night.
Designate a contact person for the big day
The last thing you want is to be on the phone answering last minute questions, when you should be enjoying your big day. Asking someone to be your on-the-day contact person can take a huge weight off. They can help with welcoming or directing guests, answering vendors’ questions, or organising pack-up at the venue and transporting your gifts home. If you don't want to take a friend of yours out of the party for this, amongst many other things, a professional on the day planner can do all this and more - Chat to me about my recommendations.
Designate a photo wrangler
Gonna be honest, this one’s for me. Assigning someone to coordinate group photos on the day saves a huge amount of time and stress. Ideally, this should be someone who is acquainted with both sides of your family and can identify anyone who is missing from each shot. (It also helps to have someone who can chase rogue Aunt Agnes if she goes astray during photo time). But don’t worry, I’ll walk you through this process as we’re working out our photography timeline.
Don't forget to eat, drink and bring paracetamol
I’m sure you’ve heard the classic, “I didn’t get to enjoy the food at my own wedding because I was busy talking to people.” Unfortunately, it’s a cliché for a reason. Too often, I see the bride and groom forget to eat or drink water on their wedding day, which can lead to headaches and fatigue later on. Remembering to take time to eat and drink helps—but having a Panadol on hand is always a good idea.
Get your jewellery cleaned
This is a small but often overlooked detail. As a photographer, I’m looking to capture everything, and that includes those detail shots—of your rings, holding hands, the bouquet etc. In other words, your ring will be in frame quite a lot, so if it’s looking a bit worse for wear, getting it cleaned before the big day is a great idea. If you don't have the time to get this done, there are some great at home options online that are quick and easy.
Budget those extra on-the-day costs
Everyone knows that weddings can be expensive, but for destination weddings, few budget for the hidden costs. Buying your bridal party coffee on the wedding morning or providing breakfast could set you back $100. If you are in a foreign country, it's not uncommon to have to throw a few coins to get access to certain private locations and these costs can add up quickly, especially if you’ve got a large family or wedding party. So it’s good to have a bit of wiggle room in the budget for those unexpected expenses.
Bring extra layers and shoes
I’ve seen all kinds of weddings, but there’s one thing they all have in common: they leave the bride and groom exhausted. Standing and making small talk for hours, walking to photo locations, and dancing all night is not the sort of thing you want to do in heels. Taking a spare pair of comfy shoes, or a wrap or coat in case it gets cold, is always a great idea. Prioritising comfort over fashion is something you won’t regret. If you have the time and like the idea you can even wrangle a box full of dance-floor slippers so all the guests can out all night long.
This is a bit of a longer post than normal, but I wanted to be as helpful as possible. As always, if you have any questions, I’m always here to help. Happy wedding planning!