5 Tips for Planning Your Wedding Day | Oregon Wedding Photography - Blog - Georgia Ruth Photography

5 Tips for Planning Your Wedding Day | Oregon Wedding Photography

January 12, 2019

Oh, friends… it’s been a long time, hasn’t it? I have been terrible at keeping this blogging habit, but 2019 is a year of change for this little business of ours. Before the year ended we finished a total overhaul of our website including a huge revamp of our about page. It now has tidbits about both of us, how we share the workload of this business and the story of how we got here. Ted has been a behind the scenes partner for as long as we’ve been in business so we decided it was finally time for the website to be more than just about me. If you missed it, head over to read our story and get to know Ted better!

Along with our website changes, we’re making a huge push to share more on this blog. I think I posted a total of four blogs in all of 2018? Oof! That makes me sad because we have so many great things to share with you guys! On top of finally getting around to sharing more of our client’s stories here, we’re also tackling a fun new series over the next few months all about wedding planning! We’ve photographed more than 40 weddings since we started this journey and have learned a thing or two in the process. Today we’re sharing 5 tips for planning your wedding day that we know will keep things running smoothly!

Bride and Groom walking up the aisle after being pronounced husband and wife.

Think About the Lighting

Okay, I know what you’re thinking… the lighting is our job, right? You’re right, it is! We’re always prepared to make the best of any lighting situation but there are some parts of the day where a little help from you can turn okay lighting into ideal lighting.

The getting ready part of the day is all about hair and makeup, but if you’re having a photographer or videographer capture those moments, you want to think about what kind of lighting you’ll have in your getting ready space. Natural light is especially important if you’re hiring film photographers like us. Choose a room with lots of windows to let in lots of gorgeous natural light. If your getting ready space doesn’t have many windows, don’t worry! The second best thing is to set up your hair and makeup station close to or directly in front of a window.

Another tricky lighting situation is the ceremony. Summer weddings in Oregon often mean bright hot wedding days with the brightest part of the day lining up with the ceremony time. Depending on your venue, there might not be a whole lot you can change, but if you have the option, consider having your ceremony in a shady spot. Your guests will thank you and your photos will have beautiful soft light! If you’re planning to get married in full sun try to set up your ceremony so that either your officiant or your guests’ backs are directed towards the sun. Putting the sun directly in front or behind you prevents odd shadows from covering your face.


Always Have A Rain Plan

If you’ve lived in Oregon for a year or more, you know – the weather is basically unpredictable. We’ve seen wedding days that were supposed to be sunny and warm turn into torrential downpours. We aren’t afraid to get caught in the rain, so we’ll encourage you to push forward anyway to make sure you have gorgeous wedding images rain or shine. But it’s always a good idea to have a rain plan in place so that you can keep your guests comfortable just in case it does rain.

If your venue has an indoor and outdoor space, ask how they accommodate changes in the weather and what plans they have in place for rain. If you’re planning an outdoor wedding in spring or fall, plan to have a tented reception and have tent handy for your ceremony just in case. Umbrellas are also great to have on hand in between portraits, and even for photographing portraits in the rain! And if it does rain, just remember that rain on your wedding day isn’t as bad as Alanis Morissette says it is. 😉

Bride and bridesmaid getting ready, putting on the bride's veil.

Give Yourself More Time Than You Think You’ll Need

Building a custom wedding photography timeline is something we do for all of our wedding couples, either by working directly with you or with your planner. And the one thing we stress more than anything about planning the schedule for your day is to make sure you have enough time for each part of the day. This starts at the very beginning of your day. It’s recommended to plan for at least four hours of getting ready time, or more if you have more than 4 bridesmaids. The end of the getting ready part of the day is usually where we see the timeline start to slip.

If you’ve ever been late to a meeting or a date because you had to finish your hair and makeup, and then pick out that perfect outfit – you get it! Now imagine that times 5 or 6 girls. It’s pretty easy for things to get behind during this part of the wedding day. But don’t worry, we’ll have you covered! We recommend building in extra time during each part of your wedding day just in case things start to run behind. This way if the schedule gets behind you’ll be able to stay stress-free knowing we’ll still be able to get all those portraits you want. And if everything runs smoothly and perfectly on time, then you’ll have even more images to look forward to!


Consider Having a First Look

We know first looks aren’t for everyone, but if you aren’t attached to the traditional first look down the aisle, or are more interested in getting all your photos done before the party starts – a first look might be for you! We love first looks because we can head right into formal portraits after you’re done getting ready, starting with a first look moment with your love, and then knock out all your formal portraits, bridal party portraits, and even family portraits if you choose. Getting all your portraits out of the way before the ceremony means you can join your guests for the cocktail hour or skip it completely! Not to mention it’s one of the only times you’ll be able to have a quiet moment alone with your love throughout your whole day. If you choose to go traditional then we recommend setting aside time during your reception for sunset portraits to give you another opportunity for a private moment with your new spouse.

Groom crying during first look with bride.

Remember that your wedding day is about you!

Our last piece of wedding planning advice is just to remember that your wedding day is about you and your fiance, the love you share, and the life you’re going to live together. When it comes to weddings everyone has an opinion. Everyone has ideas about what you *should* do, but the only opinion that truly matters is yours. If you couldn’t care less about having Jordon Almonds wedding favors even though your great aunt Alice says you just have to have them – it’s okay to say no. If something you’re planning makes you happy, but no one else agrees, do it anyway! Keep envisioning what’s most important for you and your fiance on your wedding day and remember those things as you make decisions and consider advice from friends and family (and even vendors like us 😉 ).

That’s all of our advice for now, but we can’t wait to keep sharing all of the tips and tricks we’ve learned with you over the next few months. What do you think of our 5 wedding planning tips above? Did we leave anything out? Weigh in in the comments below!


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Comments >>

  1. Jen says:

    Such thoughtful and practical tips for your couples! Well done providing them with more than just beautiful photos!

  2. such great advice for your wedding day! nice write up and pretty photos to go with!

  3. Mallory says:

    So many helpful tips! Leaving buffer time in the day is key to a stress free day. I’m sure all of your clients are going to find this so useful for planning their day. 🙂

  4. malina says:

    I love that you suggest a rain plan…110% necessary for PNW weddings! great advice!

  5. Olivia says:

    Such great and important tips!! Thank you for sharing your wisdom!! x

  6. Kyle Carnes says:

    These were great tips for planning a wedding. Couldn’t agree more with them, especially giving yourself more time than you’d think!

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