by Ben Branson – Emily Jean’s second photographer
My name is Ben, and I’ve been working with Emily as a second shooter since last year.  It’s been a wonderful experience to get to see the love in these young couples as they promise to spend their lives together.
After spending an entire year at weddings, I’ve seen some good ideas and some GREAT ideas. Scroll down to see my top 7 tips to help you as you plan a seamless and smooth wedding day.
Brown_961. Make sure to have food for yourself and your wedding party.
The start of your day until the time you sit down to eat dinner is going to be a long time.  Some brides even have 11 hours from hair and makeup until dinner time.  You’ll be much more comfortable if you’re not hungry.  Bring snacks to have throughout the day and serve lunch for your wedding party. Also, don’t forget to drink water!
2. Make a list of family photos and stick to it.

Family photos can take around 5 minutes per photograph to get everyone in the shot and posed.  It takes even longer when someone who you want in a photograph is nowhere to be found.  Make sure to tell everyone on your family photo list where to be and when to be there. Don’t worry about not putting your whole extended family in these formal photos, your photographer will get shots of the guests throughout. Need help deciding what formal photos you want? Emily and I are here to help!
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3. Consider doing a first look.

A first look before the ceremony is a great opportunity to spend some alone time with your spouse-to-be on your wedding day and provides for some gorgeous photographs. Beside that, we can photograph your bridal party before the wedding and you can focus on partying after you’ve officially tied the knot!  Overall, a first look makes the day go smoother, cuts down on stress, and allows you more time with your guests.
4. Ask your guests not to photograph the ceremony.

Your wedding is a special moment, and chances are that some people are going to want to capture that for you.  The problem is that cell phone cameras can get in your photographer’s way and ruin some images of important moments.  Additionally, you want all eyes to be on you and your spouse. When your guests are trying to get the perfect shot, they may miss the best moments. Packages with Emily include digital files, so your guests can download images from the day if they so choose!
5. Get out on the dance floor!

The newlyweds set the tone for the party, so if you’re not out dancing, your guests won’t be either.  If you want to have a successful dance, it’s essential that you get up and have your bridal party come with you!  DJs are experts on wedding dances, so ask yours for ideas to get everyone on the floor.
6. Give your bridal party a timeline.

Your day will go so much more smoothly if everyone knows where they’re supposed to be and when they’re supposed to be there.   The easiest way to do this is to write out your ideal timeline and make sure everyone has a copy including applicable vendors. Emily will work closely with you to design a timeline that fits your wedding.
7. Don’t sweat the small stuff!

Nobody’s wedding day goes completely as planned, but that doesn’t mean it’s not the perfect day.  You’re there to celebrate the love you and your spouse have with your friends and family. Let the day unfold and cherish the moments; it will be over before you know it!

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