To Do Or Not To Do

 Photo of my own special day by  Keely Montoya/ The Montoya Collective

Photo of my own special day by Keely Montoya/ The Montoya Collective


This year has been a jam packed year for me. I was engaged, I planned my wedding, had my bridal shower and bachelorette night... and best of all, I got married!

Now although I had been a wedding photographer for quite sometime and thought I knew the rigamarole of wedding planning, it was a totally different thing to ACTUALLY plan my own wedding. Shooting weddings while in the midst of my own plans too gave me quite a bit of insight!

As I went along, I compiled my very own "Do's and Don'ts" list for all of you future brides to consider. It's taken me six months to finally sit down and write this, so here it is!

  • DO  pick a photographer that is great with communication! It can be very frustrating to feel like you are not being heard. Wedding planning is stressful as it is, it helps to have vendors who can reply in a timely manner (even if it is to say they will get back to you later) so that it is one less thing to trouble your very crowded mind. 
  • DON'T spend hours looking at bridal things on Pinterest and/or give your photographer a list of Pinterest shots you want. This one is twofold: in the world of your very uniquely individual wedding, Pinterest serves to create unrealistic expectations much like Photoshopped models in magazines give unrealistic body expectations. Photographers post the very best of the best shot(s) of any given wedding on these sites, which hinges much on personality of the wedding party or couple, the location, the lighting, the timing, etc. Another thing to consider is that you are hiring your photographer and trusting that he or she will be able to get the shots that will capture the essence of your day based on what you have seen them do for other clients. It is totally ok to let your photographer know of a few shots here and there you might particularly want captured, but use soundness of mind, please!
  • DO ask your photographer to see more photos from any given wedding he or she has photographed. This will give you a more comprehensive idea of what you will be receiving as a client.
  • DO ask for a copy of your contract if you have not  received one as well as a receipt for any payments you make. Follow through if you do not hear back! It is so much better to have everyone on the same page and to cover your head in the event something goes awry!
  • If you are a guest at a wedding, DON'T ask the photographer to take a separate photo for you and your own family and offer to pay the photographer separately. This is a disrespect to the bride and groom who have hired a wedding photographer to focus on documenting their day as well as a disrespect to the photographer him/herself who has a job to complete.
  • DO a First Look! I cannot tell you how much easier this makes the day flow as well as puts you at ease when you get to see your significant other in a private setting. 
  • DO realize that your wedding is particularly special and memorable to you, and your photos are meant to capture a great milestone in your own personal life. Getting caught up in the idea of having your wedding featured or posted on a wedding blog/website as opposed to understanding what having photos taken on your wedding day means in the first place can result in you being possibly disappointed. 
  • DO thank your guests in one speech. Trying to get to every table, especially if you love to talk, robs time from the event and is very difficult to complete. With a reception being only so long, no one will mind a bit if you thank them as a whole.
  • DO enjoy your wedding! No matter how much people tell you to savor the moment and capture it, the truth is that the day goes by very, very quickly. It is hard to do it all. Take the time to slow down time when and where you can. I promise, you won't regret it!

I think I have covered what I can recall for now! Past brides and Brides-to-Be,  if there is anything you would like to add, please feel free in the comment section below! :)

- Adriana -