est. 2008

how to enjoy your wedding

Mary Dougherty

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ABOUT mary

I'm a fine art film photographer living in the mountains and traveling to tell beautiful stories





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Getting engaged is really exciting. Planning a wedding can be stressful. Sometimes brides are not able to shake the stress of planning and enjoy their wedding day. There are a lot of reasons for this : nerves, family pressure, lack of sleep, weather… but it always breaks my heart just a little bit when a couple is not able to step back at some point and relish the day they have planned. As a photographer I can see it, I work hard to capture the beauty and joy of the day and I work even harder when that beauty and joy is masked by stress or worry.

What do you need to enjoy your day? No really, ask yourself that and think about how you want to feel. Don’t make decisions because someone told you to or spend all of your time worrying about the decorations. Think about what you want to experience. There are ways to make family photos less stressful or to spend more time with your guests. Don’t forget that taking pictures is usually the one time when the two of you can get away. Enjoy that escape while capturing images you’ll remember forever, and in addition :

– don’t be in charge. Let someone else make decisions (the way you would want them) on the wedding day or if you are able to hire a planner that will execute your vision for you and save you hours of worry and crafting.

– make a back up plan. Find a place that will work for a change in weather or bring umbrellas for everyone

– figure out what is most important to you and communicate that with others

– get help. Let your bridal party/close family help you set up, make decorations, direct guests where to go, and definitely don’t try to do everything on your own.

– eat + sleep. Take a break to eat – really, make sure you do – and don’t under estimate the power of a good night of sleep.

– get away. Taking pictures is the perfect time to spend a moment alone. I ask for 30 min on a wedding day and it allows you to slow down and it allows me to capture gorgeous moments you will always look back on.

– calm your nerves. You might have a variety of remedies but if you are worried about your walk down the aisle consider a first look. Really, it lets you start the day together and puts everyone in a good mood.

– plan your family photos ahead of time. I send a document to all of my couples so that I have an exact list of what we are shooting. If family stresses you out, take less family photos and certainly have someone help you organize and communicate what’s happening both before the wedding day and on it.

– do something you enjoy. Don’t be afraid to stop for ice cream with your bridal party on a hot summer day.

– work with people you trust. If you do trust who you are working with, chances are they will do more than you imagined possible.

– dance your heart out

Gina + Manuel had one of the most relaxed and beautiful wedding days I’ve been a part of. It took place at both the Lake Placid Lodge + Whiteface Lodge and was a winter wedding you dream about. I can’t wait to share more of their story and until then follow me here.

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