San Francisco City Hall wedding

Top Tips for Wedding Planning

Every wedding day is a frenzy. There are usually so many expectations, either from the bride and groom or from their family, and you only get one chance to get it right! I’m sure no couple wants to turn their Big Day into a disaster, but with all the details to take care of, it’s easy to overlook something.

As a photographer, I’ve seen so many different weddings – from vineyard to monastery, cultural to religious, casual to formal – and they all have certain commonalities. It’s essential to get your wedding running smoothly and have all of your important moments documented. These are tips from my perspective as a photographer, to help you get the best out of your wedding day photography. No matter where you’re at with your wedding planning, I hope these tips will help!

San Francisco City Hall wedding

Have a clear vision

I’ve heard brides complain about how their vendors have disappointed them. Everyone has different priorities so make sure you communicate what yours are and select vendors who can reflect your sense of style. Just because something is trendy doesn’t mean it’s something that you would love!

In terms of wedding photography, there are so many choices you can make here in Hong Kong. Think about what images really speak to you – for example, the photos could focus on the scenery or on your facial expressions – then find someone who fits that style. If you enjoy a natural photography style that emphasizes on story-telling, let’s talk!

San Francisco engagement photography

Meet your vendors

This is especially crucial for hiring your wedding planner and photographer. A planner ensures that your wedding goes exactly how you want, and a photographer ensures you will have great photos to remember with later. Part of your interview process is to see if you like their working styles. Since you will be working closely on every detail, it makes the process so much better if you get along! Once you’ve found your photographer, schedule an engagement session. It’s the perfect opportunity for you to get comfortable in front of the camera and you actually can get hands-on experience working with your photographer.

Purple flowers and candles at a wedding

Plan ahead

There are 2 things I make sure my clients prepare: a time line and shot list. With a template of standard events and photos, I encourage my couples to think hard about who and what is important to be captured on the wedding day. Things tend to run late at a wedding, so always have a buffer for common delays like road traffic, forgotten items, or wardrobe malfunction.

My shot list usually includes what formal group photos to take, special moments to take note, and any special items the bride really wants to document. I have to clarify, don’t go too crazy with preparing the shot list and send your photographer images you’d like to replicate from Pinterest. Your photographer’s job is to be creative while documenting your day!

Fun groomsman photo

Get help

I know it’s easier to just take up everything instead of delegating, but you need to be able to enjoy your wedding day. I’d recommend hiring a professional wedding coordinator to help plan or at least be your day-of coordinator. If your budget is restrictive, ask a dear friend who’s married and has experience to help; make sure you show your appreciation for her time and effort!

Also, during your family group portraits, it’s nice to have a family member (someone who knows who’s who) to round everyone together. That way you minimize wait time and frustration.

Most importantly, have fun!

Don’t forget that the whole point of your wedding is a celebration! It doesn’t matter how perfect your outfits, makeup, flowers, or food are if you’re wearing a frown on your face. Cherish every moment of your big day and just enjoy yourselves!

Fun, casual bridal party photo at sunset

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