1) Hire a wedding planner! Brides, I can’t stress this enough… hiring a wedding planner is one of the biggest stress relievers in the wedding planning process. If you’ve never done this before, or you’re not in the wedding industry, you can QUICKLY get overwhelmed with all that has to be planned and accomplished in the coming months. Hire someone who makes it their priority to make sure that your day goes smoothly! I know many times brides feel like they can’t afford to hire a wedding planner, but honestly, most times you can’t afford not to! Not only will they take an in depth look at your budget and make sure you are allocating your funds correctly, but they also know TONS of amazing vendors in your price range that you otherwise may have never found! Below I’ve listed some of my favorite wedding planners, and the ones I consider some of the best in our area. Not only are they amazing at what they do, but they all have such a great personality that will definitely be an addition to your big day! I also have their instagram linked to their names so you can give them a follow! <3
2) Give yourself more time than you think you need. Many times, brides don’t realize how long the “getting ready” process takes. Though I do my best to try to help my brides by providing them with a photography timeline that outlines their whole day, that timeline can quickly get thrown off during the getting ready portion of the day. If hair and makeup runs 30 minutes over, then that means we have to make up 30 minutes somewhere in the timeline, which means less time for us to get photos of your bridal party, you and your groom, etc. I always suggest that my brides time their hair and makeup trial, and add 30 minutes to the time that it took your hair and makeup artist at your trial. It is much better to have your hair and makeup done a few minutes early and be able to relax, than to be rushing through your day because the beginning of the day ran late. Give yourself a few minutes to relax with your bridesmaids and take everything in, rather than getting overwhelmed and stressed!
3) Breathe! Let me be honest with you. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a wedding where every single detail went exactly to plan, everything ran 100 percent on time, and there were no hiccups. It just doesn’t happen that way (usually). More than likely, there will be a minor mishap here or there. The flowers may be a little late due to traffic, the weather may not be cooperating like you hoped, or there may be a mix up where you receive silver table numbers instead of gold (like what happened at our wedding!) But I can promise you, this is normal! With SO many moving parts to a wedding, it’s rare for everything to be 100 percent flawless, BUT that isn’t the end of the world. Most things like this that will come up are very minor, and when you step back and look at the big picture, they will not ruin your day, unless you let them. Your attitude about the things that go wrong will GREATLY affect the impact they have on your day. If you remind yourself that it can still be an amazing day, and remember the reason why you’re doing this in the first place, you will still have the time of your life!
4) The bridal suite… Oh how I could go on and on about the bridal suite. First of all, make sure you have plenty of room! Tight, cramped spaces are bound to be stressful. When you view your potential getting ready space, think about every person who will be in there with you. Usually you have the bride, photographer, videographer, hair and makeup artists, bridesmaids, and family all in one room. I encourage you to count all of those people, and then take another look at the space and figure out whether this is really a feasible spot for your prep, or if you should find another option! So now to my next point about the bridal suite… This one comes from a lot of experience. Do not feel obligated to let anyone in the bridal suite before the ceremony. I have seen numerous brides get stressed out because family members and friends find out where the bridal suite is before the ceremony, and walk in to see the bride. If you don’t want this happening on your wedding day, you’re going to have to make it very clear. If the bridal suite has a lock, use it! If not, put someone at the door and let them know who is allowed in ans who isn’t. This is your day and what you say goes. As I said, I’ve seen this happen so many times, and I’ve seen it make my brides stressed and anxious, and no bride needs to feel that way on her special day.
5) Last but not least, choose vendors that you love! Not only should you love their work, but their personality as well! Vendors and their energy can make or break the way that you feel on your wedding day, so choose them wisely! Especially if it is a vendor that you will have a lot of contact with on the day of (photographer, videographer, planner, etc) Some brides don’t realize that they will see certain vendors on their wedding day more than they see their groom! (their photographer, for example) When you think about it that way, doesn’t it seem pretty important that you love your vendors personality as well? We think so! Choosing vendors who feel like friends is one of the best decisions you can make for your wedding!
With that being said… If you’re getting married in the Jacksonville or St Augustine area, you have a lot of great options to choose from! I listed a few of my favorite wedding planners above, but here are a few other AMAZING vendors in other categories that are not only talented, but have a great personality as well! Again, I’ve linked all their instagram handles so you can follow their beautiful work!
Hairstylists – Blush and Mane , Elite Look Productions, Brush Glam Squad
Makeup Artists – The Porcelain Bride , Lia Croke Makeup Artistry, KC Makeup Artistry Jax
Florists – Let Destiny Design, Fox and Fawn Floral, Marble and Pine
DJ – Generation Y Entertainment , The Jeff Bell Experience
Videographer – Pine and Perfume , Ricker Films
Wedding Gown Shops – The White Magnolia , Beauty Within Bridal Boutique
Catering – Davoli’s Catering, Anthony’s Gourmet Catering (no Instagram, but you can google them!)
Wedding Venues – Casa Marina Jax Beach , The Ribault Club , The White Room St Augustine
Did you enjoy all of these wedding tips? Wouldn’t it be helpful to have a 76 page guide full of tips like this about your wedding, and how to make sure the whole day runs smoothly, and you can get the most out of your photos? Well that’s exactly what we have put together for our couples! Any couple who books Nikki B Photography receives their own bridal guide full of wonderful wedding day tips! To get in touch with us and see if we would be a good fit for you, hop on over HERE and send us a message!