September 11, 2020

My Top 10 Wedding Planning Tips

Santa Barbara Wedding Photographer - Marianne Lucas

Let’s face it. Wedding planning is HARD! It should be one of the most special times of our lives. But really, it’s stressful. Especially if you’ve only done it once. So, let me help you! I’ve been a professional wedding vendor for many years now. I’ve photographed lots of weddings. And, I’ve learned a lot of tips and tricks over the years. So, let me share some of my favorite wedding planning tips with you!

Hire a Coordinator

A good coordinator can make your life easy! You can choose to hire a full-service planner, a month-of planner, or a wedding day coordinator. Whatever you decide, having that support is so helpful for you, your guests, and all of your vendors.

Do a First Look

This is a really personal decision. I encourage you to choose the one that’s best for you. But, doing a first look makes things a lot easier on your wedding day! It gives you more photo time so you don’t feel so rushed. And, bonus, it gives you more time to spend with your bae, which is really what the wedding day is all about right?!

Choose Real Flowers for your Bouquet

Choosing a professional florist and real flowers really sets your wedding apart from others. Hiring someone to do this for you takes away one more thing from your to do list. Plus, they smell great all day long, which everyone loves!

Choose a Prep Area with Lots of Windows

Window light is the best light. If you want my usual bright and pretty getting ready photos, make sure you choose a location with lots of windows and great natural light! The brighter, the better.

Make Sure your Mother is Present During Prep

Or your sister or BFF or whoever you want to help you get dressed. And, make sure they’re dressed, with hair and makeup done, so that they can look their best in your getting dressed photos.

The Smaller the Wedding Party, the Better

Less people to wrangle means less stress for everyone. Try to keep your wedding party small. Be choosy about who stands by your side on your wedding day. Five or fewer people on each side is the perfect number!

Consider Transportation

If you’re planning on moving to different locations for hair and makeup, getting ready, photos, ceremony, and reception, you should hire a limo or bus to transport your wedding party. This will keep everyone on track and makes sure no one gets separated.

Or, Keep Everything at One Location

Even better than transportation is having everything at one location! Find a venue that has a prep suite, great photo backgrounds, a ceremony space, and a reception area. This will make it easier on you, us, your wedding party, and all of your guests!

A couple spends a quite moment together on their wedding day - one of my top wedding planning tips!

Give Yourself a Break

Make sure you leave 15-20 minutes in the timeline for you and your partner to step away and take a break together. The wedding day will be a blur, so use this time to relax together and spend a quiet minute with just the two of you.

Hire a Great Catering Team

One of the most memorable things at every wedding is the food. Make yourself and your guests happy by feeding them, and feeding them well. A good catering team should make good food, and also be organized, prompt, and service-oriented. This is the best experience you could possibly give your guests!

Well, friends, there are my top 10 wedding planning tips. For those of you who are married, comment below with your best wedding planning tips!

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