I was talking with a friend recently about wedding photography and how fun it is to experience all of the elaborate decor, little details, song choices, hysterical toasts, garter retrieval pranks and so forth. I have a plethora of ideas for my own somewhere-in-the-future (no I’m not engaged yet) wedding. I’ve also been there, behind the scenes when things haven’t gone as smoothly as everyone would have hoped. It’s usually little things, not deal breakers. But most of them could have been avoided if only *insert what you wish you had done the day/week before the wedding here*. I am ALL about planning ahead. And it’s easy to plan when you know what to plan for! But you, bride to be, have likely never been married before and even if you’ve been to a few weddings you probably haven’t been behind the scenes when something threw a wrench in the works. So I am starting a new series on the blog: Tips for Brides (and grooms!). Your day should be stress-free, easy, and fun, and planning ahead makes that so much more feasible. All of the tips in this series are based on my personal experience. I really don’t want to make it a negative thing by telling “horror stories” so I will leave out the details but trust me.. these tips are worth following!!

Tip #1 – Try on your dress the week or two before your wedding. You may have lost weight. That’s definitely the goal for a lot of brides. But if the dress is particularly heavy and now too big it may slide down exposing your bra. You may have picked up the wrong dress from the shop. Really. Just make sure that before your wedding day while you still have time to alter it if necessary your dress is looking the way you had envisioned it. Really, try the whole darn thing on. Undergarments, fluffy slip (does this have a technical name?) dress and all. Even shoes! Is the dress long enough? Too long?

It gets better. Practice walking in it. Especially if you have a poufy dress (there I go again with technical terms). I’ve seen more than a few brides struggle walking down the aisle. Picture this. You have a bouquet in one hand and your other arm linked into your father’s. You can’t pick up the front of your dress to walk and sometimes it’s hard not to step on the front of your dress. Practice what I call the kick-walk. Kick the front of your dress out as you go.

And lastly, if you have a train, take the dress out of the bag and hang it so it has a chance to un-wrinkle. Preferably before the wedding day.

(Photo is of Thalia’s dress, who’s wedding I shot a few weeks ago. Beautiful couple, great location right on the edge of the world by the sea in Ocean Beach.. will blog soon!)