Tips For Planning A Wedding From A Photographer

Some people ask if I get ideas for my own future wedding (if I decide to have a future wedding) from seeing so many and the answer is YES. I see what tends to work well and not so well, and I learn a lot about what would be important to me on the day of.

This guide is completely my own opinion based on personal taste. It is primarily based off what I have observed through photographing weddings for the last 5 years.

1. Get an event planner.  This is one of the BEST investments you can make for your wedding! Planning and executing a large party is not easy and there are so many little things to remember.  You might be organized but it’s the last thing you want to be thinking of on your wedding day.  That day is supposed to be an enjoyable (right?) so let someone else handle the logistics so you and your friends can HAVE FUN!

One of my favorite planners based in LA, Amber Events.  Photo by Troadec Photography.


2. Plan your wedding with the guests in mind.  This rule applies when throwing even the smallest dinner party.  Guests should NEVER be uncomfortable and that includes waiting around for long periods of time, being hungry, thirsty, too hot, or too cold. To avoid this:

-Start to serve drinks and apps before the ceremony.  Too often, guests will rush to the bar as soon as the ceremony is over.  After they get their drink and some food, then they start to relax and enjoy themselves.  Why not have them feel that way from the start? :)

-Think about the weather.  If you have an outdoor wedding and it might get chilly at night, you can provide heat lamps and pashminas for the ladies.  If the weather could be very hot, providing parasols could make it a lot more comfortable during the day time.


3. Keep it small. People are different. Cultures are different. But what I hear 99% of brides say when asked if they could do anything differently about their wedding is have a smaller one.  They want to spend more than 2 minutes with each guest.  They want quality.  They would have whittled down the invite list.

Possible alternative: Have a smaller (destination?) wedding, and then have a casual, larger dinner reception back home afterward for everyone else who wasn’t able to partake in the intimate wedding ceremony.


4. Clump the formal activities together. Example: If you are planning to do formal dances, a cake cutting, slideshow, bouquet/garter toss, etc. at your reception, try to do it all at once, one after another. That way you:

-Have everyone’s attention
-It all gets done so that you can relax and get back to hanging out with your guests instead of constantly getting interrupted by someone saying, “It’s time to do this now….”
-You have efficient photography/videography coverage of everything


5. End it on a high note. If most of the guests have gone home when there is technically still 2-3 hours left to party, it brings the energy down.  An hour for dinner and a couple hours of dancing is a good amount of time.  I’d rather have guests say, “Aw man, the night has to come to an end!” than yawn and say, “Can we go home yet?.” It’s nice when people leave a party feeling good.  The hard core party animals can always go out to a bar after.


I’m sure there are some other little things but of the top of my head, these are the main things I would take into consideration.  I guess I’ll REALLY think about it when I need to. ;)