For Brides | Part One: My Best Advice for the Wedding Day

“Do you have any advice for our wedding day?”

It’s a question I get asked all the time from my couples and I’m SO happy that my couples trust me enough to ask for advice. My response has two parts and I don’t think either answer is what my couples had anticipated — is it about the timeline? Our family photos? Doing a first look? While yes, I do have recommendations on all of those questions, I have two even bigger pieces of advice that I think are far more valuable.

– Allow yourself to be 100% in the moment, tears and all –

At first this seems like a no-brainer, right?! Well after photographing nearly 100 weddings, I can honestly tell you that its not as straight forward as it seems. As bride’s, we’ve been dreaming of this day for our entire lives… from the flowers to our hair style, we all have a vision of exactly how things are going to look. So when it finally comes to the big day, it’s so easy to get caught up in ensuring every detail is perfect that we forget to live in the moment.

Pictured above is Macauly reading a note from her soon-to-be husband. This moment goes down in history as one of my favorites because she TRULY let herself feel every single word of his letter. Macauly lost herself in his words and in that split second captured, her emotion seeps through the photo.

“As long as I don’t cry, I’ll be happy.”

Countless times I’ve heard the phrase “As long as I don’t cry, I’ll be happy.” — but why?!?! Tears are a beautiful & meaningful display of our emotions and why suppress those moments? Trust me, your makeup can be touched-up but that rush of emotion your experiencing cannot be documented if you don’t let it happen.

I’m here to tell you — Men cry too. And you know what? ITS OKAY! In fact, it’s more than okay… it’s absolutely beautiful. Pictured above is Calvin seeing his bride Lacey for the first time and the thing that I LOVE about this photo is that he allowed himself to feel every emotion that rushed over his body. Before the first look, Calvin said to me “I’m definitely going to cry. I’ve just accepted it.” YES!!! If Calvin hadn’t allowed himself to react, they would never have this emotional photo to cherish for the rest of their lives.

I love this photo of Cait & her Mom moments after she slipped into her wedding dress. It would have been so easy for this moment to have never happened but it DID because Cait stopped what she was doing to look at the tears in her Mom’s eyes — the second they made eye contact, magic happened.

Tried & True Tip: Take a moment in the morning and stop what you’re doing to make eye contact with your loved ones in the room… the eyes are truly a window into our hearts & the love inside.

Andrew & Melissa’s first look (pictured above) is another example of a couple losing themselves in the moment. This photo is so special because they both forgot I was there — they snuggled into each other and laughed together in pure bliss.

Another favorite moment from Cait & Dave’s wedding happened during the commute to the reception. In a trolley filled with 30+ people, Cait & Dave shared SO many moments of privacy snuggled forehead to forehead, completely in their own world of newlywed joy. This moment is the perfect example of what happens when we allow ourselves to forget the world & live in the moment.

Would you believe that it rained ALL day for the couple above? Ryan & Tess could not be phased by anything on their wedding day — it didn’t matter how wet their shoes got or how dirty their clothes became. If they had each others hands to hold, Ryan & Tess allowed themselves to feel the joy of their marriage over anything that happened that day.

You will NEVER regret the smiling, laughing, or crying that happens on your wedding day if you allow yourself to be 100% in the moment. Stay tuned for another post in the coming weeks where I share Part Two of my best advice for your wedding day! Xo