8 WAYS TO BE MORE PRESENT ON YOUR WEDDING DAY
WEDDING PLANNING RESOURCE
Hi! I'm Natasha! Your intimate wedding and elopement photographer, dog petter and donut eater. While photography is my first love, connecting with people is my love language. You'll find me lovin' on the big moments, the quiet moments, the silly moments – but especially the in between moments. The moments that are unadulterated and unfiltered. The ones where you are the real you. Here on the blog you'll find all of my favorite tips, tricks and resources for planning a wedding that's all about those moments.
INTIMATE WEDDING +
1. KNOW BEFOREHAND HOW
YOU WANT IT TO FEEL
There’s a lot of feelings that pop up on wedding day! Nervousness, excitement, maybe a little bit of overwhelm.
But it’s a good practice to be really intentional about how you want your wedding day to feel. Because then you can be much more intentional about the way you plan your day! When couples hire me to help plan their elopement days the first thing we always tackle is what's the most important thing to them about their wedding day and what are the things the want to feel as they're going through the day.
Do you want everything to feel big and exciting? Then maybe planning to have your morning full of friends and family and busyness is a great way for you to pump yourself up.
Are you expecting to feel a bit anxious and overwhelmed? Spending your morning alone to decompress and center yourself may be for you! On my own wedding day I knew that I wanted to be really present and just focus on the moment, so I opted to spend my morning hanging with my dog Fern, drinking some coffee, and getting ready with my fiancé Brian. It was the perfect way to start my day that just embodied everything I love.
Which leads me to my next tip….
2. GET READY TOGETHER
If the idea of getting your girlies together and wearing matching robes and being surrounded by tons of people makes you want to barf, then consider getting ready together!
There are no rules when it comes to your wedding, and if the traditional idea of keeping apart from each other doesn’t feel like you, then don’t do it!
Spending your morning on wedding day getting ready together is such a romantic and intentional way to make your day extra special. It gives you a chance to focus on just each other, without outside distractions, and really be present in the moment.
Brian and I opted to forgo a first look in favor of getting ready together because it felt so much more us. Throughout the whole wedding planning process we tackled everything together. He even helped me pick my wedding dress! So when it came to doing a first look, we felt that it would be so much more special to intentionally make a special memory before saying our I do’s.
3. BUILD IN BUFFER TIME
I can’t stress this enough, but building buffer time into your wedding timeline will be one of the best little decisions you’ll make for your wedding. Weddings are complex creatures and when they say your wedding goes by in a flash, it really does!
So intentionally building in buffer time to your timeline will not only save you some stress in case you’re running a little behind schedule, but also give you plenty of opportunities to take a step back, take a deep breathe, and be present with your partner.
Adding just 15 minutes before your ceremony to take some time to take it all in, and 15 minutes after your ceremony to decompress and feel all the feels is an amazing way to make sure you’re really in the moment. This is something I do for every couple when creating their elopement day timelines and it always ends up being greatly appreciated.
4. WORK WITH A PHOTOGRAPHER YOU TRUST
Your wedding photos are big deal. They’re often one of the only things that you keep from your wedding day, and it can be nerve wracking to thinking about everything that goes into getting the most amazing photos, right?
So working with a photographer you trust, someone you can communicate with about everything you want out of your photos is so so important. The key to getting those amazing photos of your dreams, is choosing someone that you know just gets you so you can spend your time enjoying your wedding day and not wondering if they got the shot.
Hiring someone you trust to capture you as you really are instead of creating cookie cutter situation is going to be the way that you get photos that feel like how it really felt that day. In order to tell the story of who my couples really are I take the time to understand what they're like as a couple, as individuals, what they love to do together, what their hobbies are, what their pet's favorite snack is, what type of music they like, anything and everything! By the time their wedding day rolls around, it often feels like we've been friends for years. It's important to know every detail of the story so that the photos feel like them and no one else.
5. WRITE PRIVATE VOWS
In your wedding vows, you’re telling the person you love more than anything in the world things that you feel in the deepest parts of your soul. But doing that in front of everyone you know and love during your wedding ceremony, even a very small one can be super scary for my fellow introverted folks!
So if you want to do something meaningful and intimate that you’ll remember for the rest of your lives, opt to do private vows instead. I’ve had couples read their private vows to each other during their first look, while they’re getting ready together, or right before their ceremony. And it’s always one of the sweetest and most romantic parts of wedding day.
Reading private vows is such a beautiful way to say the things you feel so deeply to your partner that will be between you and only you. Promises that remain deeply personal and intimate. Promises that you'll hold onto for the rest of your lives. You won’t regret it, I promise!
6. BE FLEXIBLE
Like I said, weddings are complex creatures. And on your wedding day something will probably “go wrong”. Most likely it will be something small, but be flexible and be prepared to just go with the flow. It'll save you so much stress in the long run.
Your wedding day is about celebrating your love for your partner, so instead of focusing on the things that may go off track or things that don’t go according to plan, try to focus on what’s important to you in the bigger picture. Being flexible with the specifics, whether that’s the weather isn’t exactly how you planned, or things are running a little behind schedule, take it all in stride and know that as long as you two are there, together, that’s all that matters.
You only do this wedding thing once, so being intentional about having a positive mindset will guarantee that your wedding day is truly spectacular no matter what the universe throws at you.
7. ELIMINATE DISTRACTIONS
In a day and age where we’re constantly being stimulated by our phones, the tv, outside noise at all times, making a point to eliminate distractions on your wedding day is HUGE when it comes to being present.
This means leaving your phone behind and delegating tasks to others so you can focus on what’s really important to you. If you’re worried about things that need to be done day-of you’re not going to be able to relax and let go, so make a point to make a plan beforehand with someone who will help you out on your wedding day.
Hiring a day-of coordinator is a great way to make sure you can fully be present, but you can also do things as simple as turning off your phone, or giving your phone to your bestie to hold on to, or asking a friend or family member to keep things on track and check in with other vendors, can do wonders for keeping you in the moment. If you're having an intimate elopement with just the two of you, I'm always happy to hang onto your phones too, so you know they're always just a stones throw away!
And if you’re thinking you want to keep your phone on you to take photos? No worries, that’s what you hired your photographer for! We’ll capture all of the special moments, and plenty of the in between ones.
8. BE INTENTIONAL
WITH YOUR TIME
Think about what’s most important to you on your wedding day. Do you want to spend it exploring a new place for your elopement? Do you want to spend it relaxing? Do you want to spend it partying it up with your friends and family? Be intentional with what you want to spend your time doing. If time spent with friends and family is your priority, plan your day around activities that allow you to spend the most time with them. If your priority is spending it doing what you love with just your partner, plan your whole day around activities doing what you love!