Wedding Do’s & Don’ts

So much goes into the planning of your special wedding day that a lot of important little details might be missed or you’ve never contemplated.  Things like arrival time of your hair & makeup artists, off- or on-site photos of the bride & groom, not enough time between ceremony & reception, a first look, even what time your bridal party should be dressed!  No to mention some of the pre-wedding day delicacies like attending your final dress fitting alone or with someone & etiquette on whether to invite children to the event.  At one point during the planning process every bride has thought of most of these things & maybe not known where to turn.  Here’s a few Do’s & Don’ts to help you plan that beautiful wedding day of yours a little more stress-free.

Don’t attend your dress fitting alone.  It takes time to get in your dress, let alone the lacing up, buttons, bustle & countless other adjustments that will have to be made.  It’s best to take the crowd with you that will most likely be helping you with all of this throughout your day – IE, maid of honor, mother, sister, etc.  It’s also a good idea if your dress is a button-up style to raid your grandmother’s knitting bag & take along one of her crochet hooks to speed up the buttoning process.  Who wants to ruin that fresh manicure??

Do schedule enough time with your artists.  When making your appointments with hair & makeup, it may sound crazy how much time they state they’ll need.  But trust them – & allow cushion.  If possible, work with professionals that will come to you; less travel for you, the better.

A lot of brides feel as if they should be the last in the hands of the hair & makeup artist as well.  But toss this idea out the window.  Depending on your schedule with the photographer, it almost always is best to go either first or second as your style most likely will take the longest (it is your day, after all).  Plus, most professionals are well verse in wedding day etiquette & tend to stick around for touch ups after you’ve got the dress on & such.  So try to relax & enjoy this!

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Don’t blow your budget.  In fact, take a step back; set a budget before you dive too far into planning!  And don’t overdo it.  Less can be so much more elegant than extravagance & a huge debt when the day’s over.


Don’t – as a guest – take your own photos.  The bride & groom have gone to great lengths to hire a professional photographer, & perhaps even a videographer that will undoubtedly allow access to the final product to everyone.  Your desire to capture your own images to cherish is understandable, but the effort to do so can not only be distracting & alter the final images due to your flashes, it can also affect the timeline that these professionals have customized for the bride & groom & may affect the amount of time spent capturing their most precious memories.  Sit back & enjoy the day!  That hefty camera the photographer’s toting – no doubt – takes a better photo than your phone anyway, right?


Don’t wait till the last minute to have your bridesmaids get dressed.  Parents too.  Ideally, everyone else should be dressed & ready about a half an hour before you.  That way they’re completely ready to assist in whatever might come up & are ready for the photographer’s candids!  Imagine that gorgeous shot of your stunning, expensive, one of a kind wedding dress being laced by your maid of honor & mother in their jeans & tank tops…  Need I say more?

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Do plan with your photographer to shoot as many formals as possible on premises.  While that dreamy, one-of-a-kind photograph of you & your new husband strolling by the lake at dusk may be the one in your head already hanging above the fireplace, the logistical nightmare of actually driving (in traffic, I might add, depending on time of day) to & from location in your gown, trying not to get the hem dirty while still leaving enough time for all of your bridal party formals as well as the various immediate family combinations could take that simple cocktail hour into more of a slumber party..  Besides, why not plan a post-wedding shoot with your photographer to spend an ample amount of time shooting just the two of you?  What a great excuse to get back into that dress!

Do do (haha!… ok sorry…) a ‘first look’.  The first look has become quite popular over the last couple of years & there’s a number of reasons.  The biggest maybe would be based on logic; it allows for ample time beforehand to complete about half – if not more – of your formals.  What better way to break up the monotony of that pasted-on smile then have a few shortened spells of formals instead of one big long one??  My favorite reason for the first look though, is the intimacy of it.  It’s literally a moment created for just the two of you… That ‘magical moment’ the bride dreams of when her handsome groom sees her walking down the aisle is usually dampened by the fact that her groom is very nervous, he’s standing in front of his family, friends, brothers & any other combination of people that would cause him to button up his emotions, & most likely thus far, the day has flown & he hasn’t had a chance (nor the bride for that matter) to really let it sink in that this is his wedding day!  The first look is that intimate opportunity to literally see each other for the first time in privacy & tell each other how amazing the other looks while slowing down to let everything sink in.

To date I have not had a single couple regret doing a first look.  Most, in fact express gratitude for deciding to do it!  

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Don’t feel bad deciding to have an ‘adult only’ wedding.  More & more couples are footing the wedding bill themselves & are due the right to choose their guest list carefully.  Not only that but some locations (ie, near water) are not necessarily kid friendly.  If you do decide to have a wedding that doesn’t include children, be sure to get the word out verbally, alerting those key people (mom, sister, grandma) that will help spread the word.  Depending on your style, it might be a tad inappropriate to state in your invitation to find a babysitter, though, be sure that all of those that are helping you address the invites aren’t too distracted by the wine party you promised to get them over to help you with this task that they inadvertently put the child’s name on the envelope.  And a note to parents receiving an invite to a wedding: trust that the lack of your child’s name on the envelope is not an oversight & start planning for a nice, adult evening.

I hope this has helped with a couple of ‘ah ha’ moments & will make the planning more enjoyable!