This is the first in a series of posts to help you get the most out of your wedding day. This is from our personal perspectives, as a married couple who loved our own wedding, and as professional wedding photographers who love capturing a real connection between our couples on their wedding days and want nothing more than you to have the wedding you'll love and remember. 1. Create a vision for your wedding day
Simple, right? But you'd be surprised how many couples start planning their weddings, booking their venues and hiring their vendors before they've even thought about what they want their wedding to say - the story they want to tell. How do you come up with a vision? It could be as simple as each of you writing down the 10 most important things to you about your upcoming wedding (but make them meaningful), and then combining your lists to come up with your top 3 items as a couple. And "fun" will probably be part of your vision - it's a huge piece of what weddings represent - but we'd suggest that you look for more meaning in your wedding that goes beyond having fun on your big day! Need more help? Feel free to get in touch with us and we can suggest some ways of approaching your own individual vision.
2. Make sure it's your wedding and not someone else's!
OK, so this is a little tongue and cheek, but whose wedding is it? Really? You know what we mean - you've seen weddings with all of the pieces that make it look them look a wedding but say nothing about the personalities of the couple! Sure, it's great to browse magazines, the web, and Pinterest for ideas, but remember that it's YOUR wedding, YOUR vision, YOUR personality. By the way, we're huge advocates of couples working with wedding planners - just make sure you pick one that represents YOUR vision!
3. Decide what matters and forget the rest
There's one universal truth in life regardless of our backgrounds or our income - we all have exactly the same amount of time in this world. So use your time wisely - focus on those things that you care about. These are the things that become far more obvious to you once you've decided on your vision for your wedding day, so if you skipped past the first item on this list then please go back to it now!
4. Design a timeline that let's you enjoy your day
If a strong vision is what allows you to create a wedding experience you'll love, it's time and space that will give you the opportunity to enjoy it. Don't ever rush on your wedding day. Do you have too many things to do on your day? Do less rather than doing them quicker. Distraction is the enemy of a great experience. When's the last time you lost something for forgot something because you were distracted? Do yourselves a favour and make sure you design a timeline that works for YOU!
5. Involve your friends and family - they have a part too!
When you were asked whose wedding it is, were you thinking about how involved your family and friends are? We understand that family in particular have a huge role (sometimes too large a role) in creating wedding days - from influencing the ceremonies to the guest lists. So involve them early, but only AFTER you've created your vision (although it's never too late!). Having a clear idea of what IS important to you is an important first step in including them in your plans.
6. Make your wedding more about experience than about things
We're huge fans of 'the experience'. Have you ever noticed that your best memories probably involve something that you experienced rather than something you simply saw or heard? That's no coincidence. Research has shown that events combined with a deeper experience of those events makes them much more memorable (and pleasurable). Crazy! Now of course, things we have or buy can contribute enormously to our experience, provided they hold a lot of meaning for us, but the most important thing we can do is to understand what the difference is.
7. Have fun along the way!
Wedding days are hours long at most and a couple of days in some situations, but wedding planning runs into days, weeks and months! That means that if you're not enjoying planning your wedding together, you're selling yourselves short. It's also important for both of you to be involved in creating your wedding together. We understand that not everyone is into planning a wedding (listen up guys!) but there are some simple things you can do to make sure you're both enjoying the process.
We hope you find this list useful - let us know what's important to you as you create your own memorable wedding day. If you're looking for suggestions or ideas on planning your own wedding day, just send us a message. Happy planning!
Meralon Shandler is the Cofounder and Studio Director of Randal Kurt Photography, and was instrumental in creating the LOVE² Sessions. Meralon received a Master's Degree in Psychology from the University of Auckland and prior to starting Randal Kurt Photography, worked as a family and group counsellor in Vancouver, BC. In addition to running the studio, Meralon practices as a certified doula in Vancouver. Meralon and Randal have been married for close to 10 years and have two beautiful and active boys, aged 3 and 6.