Your BEST Wedding: Part 3: Wedding Planning Tips – Maids & Men, Looking Your Best, Flowers, Invites, & TIME!


Here it goes.  The second to last installment in my mini-series of Tips, Tricks, and Wisdom to help you pull off “Your Best Wedding!”  Again, please share this information and the previous 2 posts with all of your family and friends who may be planning a wedding or about to get engaged!  Information does no one any good if it’s not shared! I also welcome your comments.  Check out the 1st Segment here and the 2nd segment here  then stay tuned for the 4th and final installment!

Sparkler Exit Wedding Photo
Annnnd of course a littler sparkler heart 😉

6) FOR MAIDS AND MEN! This is for you! The friends, the family, the hard workers, and the go getters who without you and your devotion to the Bride and Groom their wedding day just wouldn’t be possible! It is you and your sometimes tireless devotion to your friends that add so much to the atmosphere of the wedding! If you’ve all been fighting and bickering we outsiders can feel it, and nothing says “Oh yay, here goes the fun!” like a rift on a wedding day amongst friends and family! Get this: It’s NOT your day! It’s theirs! If you can’t be there to fully support your girl or your boy, then DON’T volunteer to begin with when they ask you! You can say “No”! Harsh? Yes, but just because you’re asked doesn’t mean you have to say “yes!” Ask yourself “How close are we?” “Can I stand with seeing him/her naked?” (Hey, it’s more than likely going to happen so just be prepared!) “Can I hold her dress up while she goes to pee?” “Do I have the TIME?” “Do I have the $$??” “Do I like them enough to spend my time and $$ on them?” “DO I SUPPORT THIS UNION COMPLETELY?” (If you can’t stand the person they’re marrying do everyone a favor and bow out! A bridesmaid or groomsman is supposed to be there to support and witness a blessed union….if you’re not supportive of the union why would you want to stand up there and basically say “I’m here to help you all make this day and this marriage all it can be because I love and support you… both!” when you don’t?)

I addressed Brides and Grooms in my earlier writing in suggestions in how they should go about choosing you, and I say to you that you need to ASK questions before saying yes! Ask them what’s expected of you, what all you’ll need to help plan/be expected to plan, what all you will have to buy out of your own pocket and what they’re paying for, what events they’re going to have that they absolutely need you at, etc… If you can’t be at the majority of the events, can’t be available at the drop of a hat for last minute runs to the store, gas station, alterations, fittings, etc… or have so much other stuff going on in your family life, kids, husband, illnesses, career, and so on so forth that you barely have any free time for yourself, or your funds are limited, then being a part of a wedding party, no matter how badly you love your friend and want to be a part of their big day, probably isn’t going to be good for your friendship! You can still help them out by volunteering to help put together programs or favors, etc… many fun bonding moments have been had knee deep in tulle and bird seed or ribbons and bubbles! Weddings = STRESS And $$, and $$=stress too so Weddings+$$+STRESS can =disaster! Don’t let it! Don’t be the maid who’s dying to be up on that stage in that bridesmaid dress and shoes carrying that beautiful bouquet so badly that you lose sight of everything else and have to tell your friend when the time comes to pay for that dress and/or shoes and jewelry that you just can’t do it, and then they have to either cut you, replace you, or try to pull the extra $$ to cover you! I advised the Bride’s and Groom’s to be considerate and flexible and now I urge you to do the same! A little pre-thought before you say “YES!” isn’t going to kill anyone, and in the long run I can guarantee you if you’re honest with your friend, the Bride or Groom, about why you have to decline now instead of causing the all to familiar mad dash to get a fill in, feelings hurt, angry “why didn’t they think of this before now?” scene then you’ll all be much better off for it in the long run! Again, weddings either make or brake a friendship….which do you want?

Fun Wedding Party Pose Photo
Pretty Maids

7) WHITEN!!!! Your teeth will thank you, your photos will thank you, WE who are shooting your photos and videos will thank you! Photoshop can help a lil, but those family/friend pics and videos just won’t be the same! And if nixing the Java Chip Frap from the Bucks or turning off your timer on the coffee machine in the morning is just NOT an option then grab one of the very wonderful, very affordable teeth whitening kits on your local grocery or drugstore shelves! Your dentist is another great option if you can spring the cash for it. NOTE: From personal experience those “2 times day for 14 day” kits don’t work for me….I CAN’T do 2 a day…I can’t do everyday…I have to roll every other day at once a day because my teeth get so sensitive I can’t sip AIR!! My BFF’s mom, a dental hygienist, advised that rinsing a few times a day though with a fluoride rinse will help ease the sensitivity faster soooooo do your teeth, and your photos, a favor and don’t wait til 2 days before the big day to start…give it at least a week or 2, a month would be nice, and brush your teeth with a whitening toothpaste to help the process along too! J

8.) Get your tan ON! This is a touchy subject for many because there’s the “no tanning bed” side and then of course the “tanning bed” side! I’m not going to debate that here, it’s your body, do the research and what you’re cozy with is what you should do. My personal preference is the Spray Tan! On this subject I can say I’m a bit of an expert…I mean I have had oh, say, over 20 something in the last 4 years. Do yourself a HUUUGE favor, and put your mind at ease, and get a Spray Tan of the exact wedding day tone (from the same place of course) a few weeks before the wedding date. I’d recommend getting it at least a day, if not 2 days, before the big day. Here’s the basic pre-tan prep (though calling your salon and asking about their recommendations/prep is also a fantastic idea, not to mention some of it you may need to go to the salon a day or so before the tan to buy) 1) Loofah! Not that puffy thing in lots of colors, but that yellowish, rough, weird looking sponge thing…some body wash or a scrub and…. Scrub (again calling your tanning salon may also be a good idea because they usually have a scrub/wash to help with the tan/make it last longer) You will not be able to shower for at least 8-12hrs after the tan (I usually sleep on it…jus’ sayin’) DON’T LOOFAH or use a scrub when showering post tan! ! 2) Do yourself, and your tan, the favor and buy the stuff the salon associate tells you too! The “Amplifier” at SunTan City is by far my fave item…and as someone who got sprayed with AND without it…DEF. spend the $ and buy it…WORTH.EVERY.PENNY! 3) Wear DARK/BLACK clothes, underwear, and bra, and I can’t stress this enough, wear LOOSE clothing and put your hair up and away from your face (there‘s a hair net involved so panicking about not having a hair tie when you get in the booth can be avoided)! It WILL stain your clothes (if not immediately from the tint, later after it’s rubbed off and “developed”…and some of it will wash out in the washer but not all…so save your Vickie‘s undies!) 4) Note: If you get a tinted tan (you’ll see instant color rather than the up to 8 hours developing time of the tan itself) don‘t worry…this is NOT the actual color of your tan as it‘s usually darker so you can see instantly where the tan got…or didn’t ;-( and it‘ll look like all your tan is washing down the drain in the shower later…don‘t panic…it‘s only the tint!) 5) You’re gonna smell funny and NO scrubbing after the tan…well until it starts coming off in 7 to 10 days, then loofah to help it come off evenly!!! I gotta plug Sun Tan City though, their “Sunless Tanning Booth” is awesome! Don’t forget to pay close attention to the video or ask the sales associate for detailed info…and ask them to show you a time or 2 if you’re just not comfortable! It’s that important to get the positioning just right!!! Being the not comfortable being naked in front of strangers gal that I am, the booth is my zone! If you’re comfortable though then you may prefer the Spray Tans from someone who actually sprays you. Bottom line though: 1) Know when to STOP….we can do some things with editing, but if you’re an “oompah loompah” and your hunny is a snow king…there’s not much we can do for that…especially not in B&W! Plus, we may be able to retouch your skin tone a smidge but those photos that will pop-up instantly on your Facebook page from friends and family who were there will DEF. not be retouched…unless of course they’re a photographer too, but that’s pretty rare! LOL! Just something to think about!!!

9) TIME! How much to you book? Best Answer….THE WHOLE DAY!!! I can’t count anymore the number of Bride’s who’ve said “I wish I’d have had them take photos of this….” or “I wish I’d have had them come then to grab that…” and it goes on! Why wish after the fact when it can all be avoided up front!Have you ever been to a wedding that started RIGHT on time? How many photos have been lost due to running out of time from delayed bouquets, lost socks, bad hair days, last minute alterations, etc…? PAD. YOUR. SCHEDULE!!! If you say your hair will take an hour, block off 1.5 to 2 hrs, if you say it’ll take ALL of your party 30 minutes to dress, then block off an hour, maybe 2! It’s FARRRR Better to be running early because your wedding day timeline was padded and you’re making up time by everything going smoothly (hahaha…riiiiiight;-) then to be scrapping precious photography time (which you paid for) to make it to the Church on time! Think about those hilarious moments you and your girls, or your future hubby and his boys, have while getting your nails/toes done, getting your hair and make-up done, or putting on your clothes, shoes, accessories….that will be missed if the photographer is not there! Some of my personal favorite images are from those random times either before or after the ceremony! Rehearsals are wonderful too! If you can’t get your photographer in there at booking or a few weeks in advance then getting them in the rehearsal/ in to the ceremony site to shoot some test shots is key! Not to mention those tears your dad lets slide while he’s practicing walking you down the isle or giving you away are something you’re going to want to remember…and if your photographer isn’t there chances are everyone else is going to be too busy to notice…or be able to grab a camera in time! So, when deciding how much you want to book with your photographer of choice remember this, if you want those sweet random moments to be caught on camera too then you best allow time for them! Otherwise the only photos you’re going to have time for are the one’s your moms and grannys are going to frame…the traditional poses of you and the fam! If you want to be able to sneak off with your new hubby for some you and he shots after the ceremony you better allow for it! If you want to do all of the pictures before the ceremony (it’s the biggest trend right now in Weddings…”First Looks”…more detail in a minute) so you, your families, and the wedding party can get to the reception and NOT get there an hour or so later and still have some food to eat…that’s actually HOT and before some guests start to leave, then you better allow for it! It’s FAR better to “overbook“ (never gonna happen btw) than to underbook and be in such a rush to get the “must haves” that you forget about grabbing shots with your or his siblings, his Mom, your grandparents, or *gasp* your wedding party by saying “we don’t have time” or “we’ll get it later”…but later doesn’t have a breath of hope of coming!

Now, as I mentioned the “FIRST LOOK”! It’s no skin off my back if you or your family believe that “it’s bad luck to see the Bride…” bit, but I will inform you there’s an AMAZING option if you don’t believe in luck, or superstitions! Just You+Him+your photographer hiding out of site = un-obstructed First Look! No one else to take your attention, or his, off of you and he! No one else to look at as you’re walking down the isle… Just the two of you fully reveling in your Wedding Day glory, a private prayer, a gift exchange, just. The. Two. Of. You!!! Imagine taking a few minutes to relax and enjoy the pay off of the hustle and bustle before the big show…and another HUGE plus…you really can do ALL of the photos before the ceremony and get to your reception WITH your guests! BUT….You must allow plenty of time! These sessions allow for you and your whole wedding party to travel out and grab some killer shots out of the norm! Just think about it! Like I said though, it’s nothing big to me to wait and do you and he after the ceremony if you wish…but be sure you allow plenty of photography TIME…and guest entertainment while they await your reception arrival! You do want people there to dance, catch the bouquet and garter, and see you off with your beautiful, slaved over, favors of bird seed, flower petals, sparklers, or the like…don’t you? Then get to your reception and start that PARTY…and really let the fun, random shots begin! 😉

Football Wedding Party Pose Photo
It’s Football Time in Tennessee Folks!

10) You NEVER shoot a “fluffy” person (I speak from experience here) or a new mother straight on, directly from their side, sitting Indian Style, and/or looking UP at them… you should really avoid these postures/poses on skinny people too as they’re just not very flattering usually, but especially not on the slightly larger or new mother crowd. Everyone wants to look thinner than they are, and this is ABSOLUTELY possible with some time and posing before you ever snap a picture. Think “Would I like someone to shoot ME from this angle?” or “Does this pose make them look larger or smaller than they are?” when you compose a shot.

11) BOUQUETS! This.is.VITAL! Bridesmaids bouquets should be sized according to the largest/ bridesmaid. Smaller bouquets or single stems on larger frames only make them look larger AND really mess with the overall aesthetics of your pictures. Same goes for Brides…. larger bouquets tend to make the Bride look smaller…though you don’t want a petite Bride overwhelmed by her bouquet, you also don’t want it to be too small and make her look larger.  Make sure your florist is aware of this sizing info and proportions the bridesmaids bouquets to the largest bridesmaid!

Bridal Bouquet Wedding Flowers Photo

12) I get this question A LOT “Who do I invite?” Well, simply put If you don’t invite someone to the Wedding (or a local reception if the wedding is out of town/state/country) then you do not invite them to a shower. So, if gifts are your game then you should prepare to have a large guest list…or one heck of a reception for the masses! 😉

3 thoughts on “Your BEST Wedding: Part 3: Wedding Planning Tips – Maids & Men, Looking Your Best, Flowers, Invites, & TIME!

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