Your wedding day will go by in a flash. Just ask any Northern Virginia wedding photographer! We can tell that most wedding-day schedules are packed to the brim. You only get one chance to make it your dream wedding, so you are going to include everything that is special to you, right?
What that means, though, is that your marriage celebration ends up being a total blur. From the moment you sit down in the makeup chair to you say your last goodbye to your guests, you will be constantly in motion. There will always be something you need to do or the next place need to go to. People will be around you constantly, keeping you updated, asking your for something or rushing you to the next part of your nuptials. You will probably not have a single moment when you are alone. Which can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your point of view! But if you are not careful, the time you spend with your family and friends will be rushed. And that might make it less memorable than you hope.
Do not get stressed about this, though! There will obviously be little pockets of time for meaningful interactions here and there. For example, you could potentially have a few minutes with your mom as you are getting ready. If you have a separate space (and some extra time in the schedule) during cocktail hour, you can probably bond a bit with your bridal party. Perhaps you will share a private moment with your sister during your reception. And as your Northern Virginia wedding photographers, we will be there to capture every one of those beautiful moments.
But aside from those? Not as many opportunities for bonding as you might think. Your ceremony is not the time for interactions with anyone but your officiant and your future spouse. (That is how it should be, by the way!) You will talk with a lot of people during your wedding reception, of course. But that part of you day will be a whirlwind of activity. In between the speeches and the dancing, you will likely be hopping from table to table, greeting everyone who has come to your marriage celebrations. But those moments will be brief and fleeting. A quick thank-you, a hug, maybe a picture together. There just will not be time for more than that.
So the key to making the most of your wedding day is to be sure to make the most of the little real moments you are given. While getting ready, make a point of talking with your mom, your sister and your maid of honor. Not about the wedding or the schedule, but about your emotions. Tell them how much they matter to you. Thank them for being there for you at your wedding venues in Northern Virginia. Let them know that you could not imagine anyone else standing by your side on that day. And do not worry about the time these interactions take. It is YOUR wedding. YOU set the timeline, not anyone else. Even if you are running late, nothing is going to start without you!
Keep looking for those kinds of moments throughout the rest of your day, too. They do not all have to be deep and emotionally significant. A few tears on your wedding day are super sweet. Spending the entire celebration sobbing as you tell every guest how much they mean to you? Maybe not so much! No, just take a few extra seconds to have a meaningful conversation with the people you love when you get the chance. Those little interactions will become treasured memories for you later on. They will keep your wedding from becoming so much of a blur in your mind later on. You will not find yourself wondering if you even saw your cousin. If what you talk to her about is something that matters, then you will not forget it. And again, do not worry about the extra time it takes. You will never regret choosing to spend your wedding day that way.
With all this in mind, make sure that you also spend a few meaningful moments with your best friends. Whether they are part of your wedding party or not, you will want to make memories with them on your wedding day. A great way to do that is to take a few pictures with them. Sure, they will probably be in your formal portraits — especially if they are your bridesmaids. But let’s be honest here. How much are you really going to value a photo of you and your besties standing stiffly with pained smiles on your faces? No, the pictures you will really love are ones in which you are having fun! In 20 years, you will want something that reminds you of why they are your friends in the first place. Something that says a little something about your relationship with them and the shared memories you have. Something that captures your personalities and spirit.
Naturally, your reception will be the best time for getting shots like this. Your main priority while getting ready is (duh!) getting ready. The ceremony is all about exchanging vows with the person you love (again, duh!). The reception, though? That is when you can just relax and have fun. No more nerves, no more sweating the little details. You can just enjoy yourself, dance and celebrate! And you can hang out with your girls a bit and get shots like this!
There is nothing fancy about this picture. We took it at a barn reception during a fall wedding at Bluemont Vineyard in Northern Virginia. It is just the bride and a few of her closest friends wearing silly props from the photo booth. (Which can be a great addition to your wedding reception, by the way!) But is this not the kind of image that you and your BFFs will treasure forever? Will it not still bring a smile to your faces in 20 years when you see it in your wedding album? Will it not represent one of those meaningful moments that will make your wedding day less of a blur? We certainly think that it will be all of these things for you and your friends.
© 2020 Potok's World Photography -- Husband & Wife Washington, DC, Wedding Photographers