From our over 14 year old experience in working in the wedding industry, and having had the experience of being a bride and groom ourselves, we notice that there are situations that can either help or interfere in the smooth flow of a wedding day. Therefore we ensemble some suggestions that we think might be of help to all prospective brides and gooms :)
1 – Vendors
There is a wide array of wedding professionals in the market and social media helps you to reach to the ones that you like most. After shortlisting your vendors and checking their online reviews, make sure to have a chat, video call or if possible a personal meeting with them. Hiring someone that you feel comfortable with and that understands your vision is essential in keeping your mind at ease later on. And that refers to your wedding photographer too :)
2 – Wedding planner / helpers
We notice a significant difference in how the bride and groom enjoy their big day when there is a wedding planner involved that coordinates the flow of the day. The couple does not have to worry about the details of the party and can enjoy their wedding day. If however you don’t intend on hiring a wedding planner, we suggest you delegate certain tasks to your family members, friends, bridesmaids or best men. That way they can participate in every process of the wedding preparation and they will be ready to give you the support you need on the big day. And from our experience the delegates usually feel very honoured to be of service and enjoy the task altogether.
3 – Venue
Portugal has no shortage of beautiful wedding venues: from stunning villas overlooking the Ocean, gorgeous palaces, all the way through to lovely, family-run wineries. The choice is vast, and most venues offer picturesque settings for an outdoor ceremony.
When looking for your wedding venue, ensure that the place has an alternative ceremony location in case it rains on your wedding day. If you have a chance, check out personally the venue´s Plan B location for your wedding vows location. That way you´ll know what to expect in case mother nature decides to open the heavens.
4 – Before the big day:
If possible ensure that the last minute wedding preparations are completed 2 days before the big day. We recommend to all our couples that on the eve of their wedding day, that their only worry is to relax. Some of our clients opt of spending the day in Spa, massage parlor or spending it having fun with friends and family.
5 – Location of the Bride and Groom´s preparations:
We really like the Portuguese tradition of the Bride and Groom preparing at their parents´ house. A symbolic gesture of leaving one´s nest to set off on a new life adventure.
Increasingly however, couples decide to prepare in a nearby hotel to your venue or in the accommodation facilities offered by the wedding venue. Such an arrangement helps the couple to become more calm and relaxed without the pressure of logistics, traffic and tight timing . The decor and well-lit rooms of hotels also greatly contribute to the final outcome of the photographs.
6 – The bridal hairstyle
Different hairstyles arise according to current trends. However the classic loose hair never goes out of fashion and proved quite universal throughout decades . By being more natural, the hairstyle makes the bride more comfortable during the day without risk of getting tousled. A lovely piece of personal accessory can make your hair style stand out and any good hairdresser can help you with their professional advice.
7 – The wedding Dress:
A lot of wedding dress ateliers offer nowadays a wide range of beautiful wedding gowns. When choosing your dream wedding dress take into consideration the weather conditions likely to be on your wedding day, the logistics of bringing your dress from overseas, and how important comfort is to you during the dance party.
Some dresses can be gorgeous looking but might leave you gasping for air if the weather is hot and/or feel heavy if you want to dance till the early hours of next day.
8 – Bride and Groom position at the Ceremony
One of our favorite moments, the ceremony can also be planned so that both the bride and groom and guests can take advantage of the amazing moment, and which also favours great photographic outcomes. We advise that during the time of ceremony the couple stand facing one another. That way, not only do you get to bond with the one you are about to say your vows to, but your guests will also feel more involved.
If such is not possible, try to face one another during the exchange of vows and placement of your rings.
9) Allocate enough time for your session.
Wedding day is one of the days in which the couple made the extra effort to look their very best. Therefore it is a great occasion for a beautiful portrait session! There is a question of time that needs to be taken into consideration: we need between 15 and 30 minutes to achieve good results. Extending the session for too long isn’t very considerate with the guests, and they can feel the absence of the bride and groom. This could affect the party later on, and your wedding day is also your day to enjoy the company of your family and friends. A suggestion that we always make is to do this session while the guests are looking for their places at a table for dinner. Meanwhile, we have enough time for the session, the guests will not miss the bride and groom and it is usually a good time for sunlight. A good wedding planner could also help you decide when would be the best time for a portrait session.
10 – Party Lights & DJ
One of the most neglected details in the wedding organization is lighting that can completely transform your site from ordinary to spectacular and make everything look even more beautiful on your big day. Colorful lights on the slopes or spotlights on the walls are simple resources that can dramatically influence the image result. There are tastes for everything and everyone, but one can avoid an empty dance floor by hiring a professional that has the ability of “reading their public”. And along the years we noticed that professional DJs always get a better result, attracting both younger and older guests to the dance floor.
11 – Speeches
As much as giving them could be nerve-wracking for most of us, we noticed that wedding speeches during cocktail party, or in between meals, are a very uniting aspect at weddings. They are an incredible tool for livening up the party atmosphere, bringing the families and friends together, and making sure the room is filled with joy and laughter. These are the perfect ingredients for amazing photo and video material the couple would cherish for years to come.
12 – Enjoy the moment
From our own experience and hearing from dozens of our couples the wedding day flashes by. So try to relax, be present and make the most of having your loved ones around you. So what if some things didn´t go according to schedule- chances are, the minutiae go unnoticed by your guests.
Feel the moment and feel the love!