6 Non-Traditional Tips For Your Wedding Day

Are you engaged and excited to make it o-fish with your boo, but the thought of the actual wedding part makes you cringe a little? It’s ok, you don’t have to say it, I see you. (For the record, the word “boo” also makes me cringe.. but it just kinda happened so… 🤷🏼‍♀️)

Or maybe you LOVE the thought of planning your wedding and your blood is pumping with excitement to do all. the. things. Wedding fairs, food tastings, and guest lists, venue tours, etc – but you still want to do it YOUR way?
I’m assuming if you’ve found your way to this blog post then you’re not too fond of all the traditional wedding day stuff. Maybe you’re down with a couple of old-school wedding traditions, like walking down the aisle or a first dance, buuuuut …cake? Do you even like cake?! Or would you rather have Halva? Or a guacamole pie (I just made this up but if it doesn’t exist it should – Kickstarter coming soon..)? Or nothing at all for dessert?

I put together 6 changes I’ve noticed my brides embracing that’s made their wedding day feel “like them” – and amped their wedding PHOTOS up a SHIT TON as well.

Let’s do this.

1. Fuck cake!

Yooooo, if you love cake, more power to ya. Cake it up. But in my experience, most people just have cake because they think they should. Everyone who gets married has cake or cupcakes… right? WRONG.
I encourage you to ask yourself; do you want to cut a cake… or do you want to cut a PIZZA? Or, do you not want to cut anything? You guys just want to, like, eat bomb-ass sushi with your 10 closest friends? The point here isn’t to talk shit on pastries… it’s to remind you that you can eat whatever the f.u.c.k you want.

2. Baila, baila, baila! 
*in Ozuna voice*

No matter if you’re having a big reception, or eloping and keeping it suuuuper low key — chances are you’re going to dance.

And if you’re going to dance, you might as well fucking go for it.

And if you’re truly fucking going for it, chances are you’re having a blast.

If you’re having a blast, and you’re there with people you love the most, chances are it’ll be one of the absolute BEST nights of your life… and for the rest of your life you’ll love reminiscing back on how it felt to scream Beyoncé lyrics at the top of your lungs with your sister, or to act a fool busting out that dance routine you made up back in 8th grade with your BFFs who you’ve been DYING to spend time btw with for SO long but, as we all know, it’s difficult to make the time as adults… you’ll always look back and laugh at how many FUCKS your Aunt absolutely did not GIVE as she dropped it real low without thinking about how she’d get back up… 😂

So do it; DANCE, DANCE, DANCE, and don’t you even THINK about holding back!

3. Ditch the fields. 
(No offense to fields…)

If you’re not a run-in-a-field-of-flowers type of couple… then don’t run in a field of flowers.

That sounds obvious, but sometimes we see SO much “epic” wedding images in scenes of soft tall golden wheat grass,  or lush green fields busting with lavender, or a couple standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon, and while all of that is fine and dandelion, we just kind of assume we should do that too, even if it’s not really our thing.

I prefer concrete, neon signs, and a different kind of beauty — one full of grit, urban character, and signs of imperfections and worn-in-ness that seems to comfort me.

So, if you don’t want to frolic in a field on your wedding day, good news – you don’t have to! If you DO love the outdoors and mountains and fields and all that nature-y jazz, good news – DO take your pictures there!… just know that you aren’t obligated in any way to stand dance in a field, and that no matter what your mother-in-law says, concrete is just as good a backdrop as the local park *coughamilliontimesbettercoughcough*

4. Trust your photographer!

We know how good it feels to have a hair stylist you trust, a tattoo artist you trust, or even a consistent go-to entrée at your favorite restaurant… you just KNOW you can show up, sit in their chair, and they’re going to deliver exactly what you want. You can relax + you count on them. Guess what - the same is true with photographers!

The part where it gets tricky is a lot of people don’t have their photo taken consistently as they do with touching up their balayage. So, trust can get overlooked, or if you DO realize it’s importance - it can feel hard to find.

How can you find a photographer you trust so that you can relax in peace knowing they’re going to capture all of the little moments of your wedding day, including, but not limited to, ones where we are more vulnerable (like the photos below)?

Long story short, obviously you look at their work and make sure they are consistent in what they make… there is no shortage of talented photographers out there in all styles of photography – that’s the easy part… the part you might have to work a little harder at to find that trust is finding someone you click with. (Ha, get it, CLICK with? 🤓)

Start searching for your photog early on in the wedding planning process. Connect with them, converse with them through comments on their IG, DM’s… see how they are conversing with other people in their comments already… based on their language, style, and interactions — do you get a feeling like you’d get along with them? That you’d like how you look through their eyes, their perspective? Do you want to have them around you, as part of your squad, all day on your wedding day? Do you think their personality would be an asset to your day?

Long story short; It’s super important to trust your photog and ALL of your wedding vendors. You want to be able to wake up on your wedding day and just KNOW that these people - this team that you’ve assembled - are going do their thing and work their asses off for you that day, no questions asked.

And once you have that trust - just breathe, and try not to worry. I know it can be stressful and we’re all a little (or a lot) self-conscious… we’re stressed, we’re excited, we’re this, we’re that.. but the feeling of knowing someone’s got your back… that shit is PRICELESS!

5. Give your details a SOUL!

A picture of you 𝘸𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 your jewelry > pictures of your jewelry laying on a table. They’re your details, and they’re better on you.

Obviously you can’t wear all of the details of your wedding day, and that’s not the point. What I hope to capture when it comes to wedding day “detail shots” are things like, for example, people 𝘴𝘪𝘨𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨 the guestbook vs 𝘫𝘶𝘴𝘵 the guestbook… your shoes peeking out from your dress as the wind picks up your lace vs your shoes meticulously setup in a window…. your rings on your fingers as you sip on a pre-ceremony Modelo vs your rings hanging on a branch.

Of course some details are beautiful on their own, and having a moment to shine without movement or human interaction can be cool too —  but the majority of the time, I believe details are better remembered with a little soul.

6. Do your “Wedding Portraits” on a different day – aka a “Day After Shoot”.

You might have heard of this thing called a “day after session” – even though it rarely occurs the day after the wedding (we save that day for hangovers and brunch) but more often 2-3 days after the wedding. I’ve only had a handful of couples choose to do this but every single one that elected for it will say that they were sooooo freaking glad they did! Over the last couple years, this has been the most impactful tip/decision as far as making a difference in your wedding day, and actually allowing you to enjoy it with your guests.

Unless you’re eloping, I imagine that the people you’re inviting to your wedding are people you want to hang out with (I hope) and maybe people that haven’t seen in years. So… spending your cocktail hour out in the streets taking photos with me vs. hanging out + making memories with your guests (who maybe even traveled far to be here with you) seems like kind of a bummer… right?

In addition to spending more time with your guests, doing your wedding portraits on a separate day than the wedding also gives US more time to take the pictures. No timeline, no running around like crazy people. Just you, your spouse, and me — your favorite third wheel who makes you look really good in photos. Plus – with no timeline, we can do shit we want to do in the locations we want to do them, which might not otherwise be possible on your wedding day.

It’s a huge stress relief to not worry about “squeezing in” these important images, plus — it’s just super fun to get back in your wedding attire and fuck it UPPP a little (or a lot, whatever you want). Think about it - no one gives a shit if your dress gets dirty now… no one is waiting on you to give a speech, no one is watching you pose. Nahhh… it’s just us, probably in a bar, dark alley, or some random roadside diner that just so happens to look kinda cool.

Oh yeah - and just because we take your wedding portraits on a different day doesn’t mean you won’t have ANY pictures of you two on the actual wedding day… I’ll be sure to get some of those too! Mainly candids, but we’ll find 5-10 minutes to snap some cool stuff at some point in the day.

I could go on and on about this one – but I’ll just stop right here and say that if you are the slightest bit curious or have any questions about “day-after” wedding photos, just let me know — I’m happy to walk through it all with you and see if it’s right for you!

With Erika + Chad’s “Day After Session” we were able to do ALL of the following without feeling rushed or anxious, and it also allowed us to make their wedding photos really unique to them:
- have beers in a dive bar (and they made out in the bathroom 🔥)
- get tattoos 
- cuddle in the parking lot
- grab pizza at Spinelli’s

- roam around South Mountain during sunset

Long story short, just remember; WHATEVER you decide to do, wear, eat – there are no rules… there is no right or wrong way, so fuck it… let’s have some fun.

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