MANDA RENEE

10 Tips for the Bride to Be

These Bride tips from St Louis Wedding Photographer will make your wedding day smooth as possible! Do you have other tips to share? Comment below!

Before the big Day…

HAIR & MAKEUP TRIAL

Ok, chances are you are going to do a trial run with your hair & makeup artist, why not use it the same day as your engagement session? You can even go out with your fiancé for a night out on the town all dressed up after your photo session. Win Win.

Hair and makeup getting ready by the talented Flawless

THE BRIDAL DRESS

Having trouble finding the right dress that is both beautiful and affordable? Look through the bridesmaid dresses and order it in white or ivory. This bride did just that for her romantic outdoor wedding. She’s stunning!

Bride wearing a bridesmaids dress ordered in ivory

 

# YOUR RSVP CARDS

This one sounds funny, I know. However, you WILL get that one RSVP returned without a name, I promise. By simply writing a small # and coordinating it with your guest list you can avoid wondering who is bringing 8 people to your reception. Here is an actual RSVP from my own wedding. I posted the photo to social media trying to find out who it was… No one wanted to claim it. (Excuse the iPhone photo)

Funny RSVP

HIRING VENDORS

Make sure you meet them in person. Make sure you actually like them. You will spend more time with them than your husband on wedding day. Make sure you “click” for lack of a better word. Meet them in person. Another important detail is to actually have the details of what is included and what is not included. Make sure they go over all of it with you. Ask them if there is anything they offer that is not included in your contract. This is so important because it will affect your budget.

COMMUNICATE

Communicate with your vendors. I have this run for my brides, no surprises for the photographer. I have them tell the future groom and all parents and bridal party that if any of them have a surprise planned they need to let me know so I can be prepared. I’m good at keeping secrets, I promise!! I would hate for mom and dad to pull you aside at the reception and give you the sweetest, most meaningful gift with tears and hugs all over and I’m photographing your guests dancing. It’s also important during speeches. If your best man has a special flash mob planned, make him tell me! I want to make sure that I have the lighting planned in advance as most venues are pretty dark. The best man at this wedding called in the SWAT team as a promise to her husband to always protect the bride. #forreal

SWAT team shows up at wedding

On the day of….

DESIGNATE A “GO TO” PERSON

Before wedding day, assign someone as your “go to” person. Introduce them to your planner, your photographer, even your DJ and the venue coordinator. Should any of your vendors need help, they can go to them instead of you. For example, I utilize my brides “go to” to help ensure that the immediate family stays put following the ceremony for family formal portraits. Chances are your “go to” knows your family and can help the formals go quick and easy.

LIST OF DETAILS

Ask for a list of details from your photographer. They will vary, so talk with them about this prior to wedding day. Some standard details are: flowers, stationary, dress, jewelry (including both his and her rings), perfume, etc. Have these all together in one location upon the photographers arrival. Better yet, have your “go to” prep and organize them for you. 🙂

Romantic bouquet shot on film in New York

EAT

This tip doesn’t sound like a tip at all, right? Wrong. You are going full speed all day long. The average timeline for a wedding is 12 hours. Yes, 12 hours. Get sandwiches, water, snacks like granola bars, power bars, almonds, etc that your “go to” can grab at any part of the day for you. (You can thank me later) Even consider planning late night munchies after the reception. I photographed a wedding once that had IMO’s Pizza delivered an hour before end of the reception for the remaining guests. I’ve never witnessed such happy guests!

Don't forget to eat on your wedding day

FIRST LOOK

Consider a first look. They are so intimate and romantic. I personally suggest them for many reasons. If you are a shy person, the thought of 100+ people standing at once to turn to look at you can be terrifying. When it happened to me at my wedding, the last thing I was thinking about was looking at my husband. I was worried about my cleavage, my hair, walking in heals, anything and everything besides soaking up my best friends reaction. I really regret that. Thankfully, my wedding photographer managed to grab his reaction. When I got my photos back, it was one of my favorite immediately and I instantly thought, “I wish I would have witnessed that”.

If you do choose to have a first look it can save so much time after the ceremony and you can focus on getting to your reception and actually celebrating with all of your loved ones.

First Look at Ballpark Village Hotel

DON’T FORGET ABOUT YOUR HUSBAND

Haha! Even typing this cracks me up. I have photographed so many weddings and I know first hand that time feels like it is literally flying by with all of the excitement, anticipation, and 20 other emotions you will feel. I see brides and grooms get separated from each other once the party gets started. It’s so easy to be stopped by guests who want to congratulate you. Hold hands with your new spouse. Great your guests together. Most importantly, dance together. Take selfies together. Be together. *Again, you’re going to just have to trust me on this one.

Reception photo of bride and groom at Mahler ballroom

 

 

  1. Jesi says:

    Love this list!! So many good tips!! The food tip is so important!! My friend spent the night after their reception in the hospital because she was so dehydrated she passed out!!! Not something you want to do on your wedding night!!

  2. Thank you for sharing your tips. I hope that they will be beneficial for many people.

  3. Misty says:

    These tips are GREAT!!! SO perfect for any bride-to-be!

  4. Candi says:

    Great tips!!!

  5. Jill says:

    These are such GREAT tips!!!

  6. Great tips!

    AND OMG – A SWAT TEAM!?!? lol Randy would be in heaven!

  7. Holly says:

    Love these tips and especially love your RSVP card!

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