A Guide to Wedding Planning for the Modern Bride

Okay, so, they proposed. Maybe it was magical and elaborate in a gourmet restaurant on your birthday, or maybe he slipped into your popcorn at the movie theatre – sidenote: has anyone ever done this because I swear people would still ‘shush’ you – now you have to figure out your wedding planning. As photographers, people sometimes forget we’re around at weddings, and we get to witness all the awkward issues that come up. There are a few things that have become more relevant in the past few years that make wedding planning more difficult for the modern bride, and I’m here to help you slip by them as painless as possible.

As a gluten-free vegan myself, I understand how much extra stress it can put on a couple to accommodate the diets of 200 of your closest friends and family. What used to be as simple as ‘check here for steak, check here for fish,’ has now evolved into a mess of endless questions. My solution for the modern bride? Have an allergen-free vegan meal as an option at dinner – get them all in one swipe. Even if that means people who live to eat meat but can’t have the gravy have to live without it, remember that your wedding is about a lot more than the food. For the wedding cake you have a couple options – either make an allergen free cake (like the ones they offer at Petit Lapin), or special cupcakes! Having cupcakes for your vegan, gluten-free friends is a wedding planning dream – seriously who doesn’t love cupcakes.

Okay, so we can all agree that technology has made some amazing strides that make so many delicious wedding aspects come to life, but it’s not always reliable. In order for you to be confident and avoid making your loved ones roast in the sun while the audio gets set up, make sure to do multiple tests before the wedding. Ask your wedding planner or bridesmaid to keep a close relation with the people in charge of technical aspects, and have a checklist so that nothing gets overlooked.

If you’re on board with everyone at your ceremony taking pictures for Instagram, then more power to you. Personally, I think it’s always a good idea to trust that your wedding photographer will capture the important moments (I mean that’s why you choose them right?), and encourage everyone else to be present and in the moment. I’ve been to ceremonies where no one had phones out, and some where everyone did. I couldn’t help feeling bad for the couple’s future wedding album that would be missing beautiful reaction shots from their loved ones, because they’re face is hidden behind a screen.

Create a friendly sign encouraging people to turn off their phones, or you can ask your officiant to do so (you can even make a joke of it, like it’s a movie theatre). As long as you remind them there is a professional photographer there to capture everything, they should feel comfortable putting the phone away.

We love traditional weddings as much as the contemporary, but sometimes brides have trouble sharing with their families that they may not have the wedding they’ve envisioned for them. I once met a bride who was forcing herself to wear a dress she hated because it was her grandmother’s, and could see how much happier she was when she finally told them the truth. The best thing to do is always be honest from the very beginning, and make sure you and your future hubby are on the same page, because that’s the most important thing. Never put yourself in a position where your wedding planning becomes more stressful than it has to be.

I say it all the time, but your wedding day is about your happiness first and foremost. Your family and friends will be happiest when you’re happiest, I promise.