cortnie dee photography | blog

Cortnie Dee Photography provides wedding and portrait photography, and is based in McKinney, Texas.

wedding do's and don't's - for to-be-weds, family, and friends

Y'all, we need to have a talk.

Eight years of weddings has taught me lot. I know what works, what doesn't, what is worth the splurge, what is worth a little elbow grease.

Let's talk a bit about how to BE on a wedding day, whether you're the one walking down the aisle, or the one sitting in a chair watching it all happen.

To a person getting married:

  • Breathe. Try-try-try not to sweat the small stuff. There will be small stuff, and sometimes big stuff, no matter how much time and effort you spent on the planning. A food truck may get a flat tire and be three hours late. A bridesmaid may have forgotten the right shoes. There is always something, and day-of, there generally isn't a whole lot you can do. But you know what you can do? Ask for help. Or let it go. Those are your options.
  • Be kind. The whole "bridezilla" thing, well, we're all going to say you're allowed to be a bridezilla. But don't forget that 9 out of 10 times, we're getting snappy towards people we love dearly. Refer back to the last bullet, breathe, and speak lovingly. (Or if you can't, get someone else to speak for you.) 
  • Be still when it is time to be still. When you are getting your hair and makeup done, or writing your vows morning-of (it happens), be. still. Remind yourself that this is YOUR time to be quiet and focus on yourself. Let other people do things for you. (That eyeliner isn't going to go on any faster or straighter if you're turning your head three thousand times answering everyone's questions.)
  • Remember what the day is for. Getting married. Celebrating with loved ones. The rest is fluff, y'all. It truly is. (Beautiful fluff, yes, but fluff nonetheless.)

To the parents of the bride/groom:

  • Do not lose sight of who the day is for. This is a VERY difficult thing to say, but it is true. If you are a parent who paid for the wedding, thank you for being generous to your child. But no amount of money will make this your wedding. You are doing a kind thing, and we should all stop and appreciate that. But do not make decisions on your child's behalf unless they have given you a go-ahead.
  • It is okay to be emotional. It is not okay to be mean. I don't think I need to say more than this.
  • Be patient. If there is a family photo you really want that didn't make it on the main shot-list, let me know. We'll get it at the reception if we can! But going back to the first point, we don't want to sacrifice the newlyweds' portraits if that's where they want to be. 

To the wedding party:

  • Know who you're working with. If the people getting married are incredibly laid-back people, don't ask them twenty thousand decor questions while they're getting ready. If something is clearly out of place and you were asked to fix it, ask anyone other than the couple. If no one knows, then ask, but always try to figure it out first. (Unless it's major, or the couple is very particular. Again, know your people.)
  • Be supportive. Your friend might be super stressed out about their big day and the least helpful thing is for you to be petty, angry, or cold. Even if tensions are high, remember that this is a person you love, and treat them as such. (This too shall pass.)
  • Be present. If things are falling behind, scrolling through instagram isn't going to save you. Ask what you can do to make the day smoother. Straighten up decor that the wind has blown over. Tell your friend how wonderful they are. Be present. Be of help. Be awesome.
  • Be coherent. It is more than likely that you'll be asked to help out at the end, so please don't drink fifteen cocktails and pass out before that point. 

To the guests:

  • Be present. Put. Your. Phone. Down. During. The. Ceremony. You were not invited to the wedding to post photos unless the invitation said "You and your camera phone are invited to our wedding!" Be in the moment. Get excited for your friends. 
  • Be respectful. Do not make comments about anything unless they are nice ones. Be mindful of the couple's time and don't ask them to take seventy variations of a snapchat. Let them enjoy their wedding. Enjoy it as well. (Oh, and don't wear white.)
  • Be responsible. Open bars are a party and we all know it. But this does not mean it is EVER appropriate to get to a point where you throw up on the dance floor. That's gross. Don't be gross.
  • Be a decent human being. No, weddings are not the best place to pick up a date. No, it is not okay to put your hands on the photographer. Ever. Never. In any situation. (Unless I reach out for a hug or a high-five, or you need to tap me on the shoulder because I did not hear you call for me, please do not touch me.)

 

Recap that applies to everyone:

  • Love each other.
  • Be a good person.
  • Help out.
  • Drink in moderation.
  • Don't get handsy with anyone who does not want you to be handsy with them.

Follow these suggestions and you're set for a fun, happy, beautiful day.