Wedding Day Tips from Your Cleveland Wedding Photographer

Hello sunshine! If you’re planning a wedding but feeling overwhelmed with all the questions & what if’s, no worries, I’ve got you friend! I’m an experienced Cleveland wedding photographer, and I’ve been in the game for quite some time now. I’ve created a list of wedding day tips to help your day run smoothly, making sure you’re having the best time ever!

I’ve been photographing couples all across Ohio, and beyond to Southern states. So that being said, I think I’ve seen just about everything at this point (lol) and ya girl definitely has some tips stored inside this creative brain! One thing I feel so passionately about, is making sure my couples get to enjoy their wedding days – despite the timelines, chaos, photo-ops, and busy-ness that unfolds! So, take a look through some of my go-to reminders for your big day, and never hesitate to reach out with any questions!

Timeline Wedding Day Tips

We obviously help you come up with a timeline that fits in all your big moments, and of course time to create some beautiful photos. Here are a few tips that can help your overall timeline stay on track!

Let important people know about your timeline!

Send your detailed timeline to parents, bridal party members, grandparents, and anyone else that might need to know about the agenda.

*this is crucial* Let your family members know that immediately following the ceremony, we will be doing family portraits

a lot of times family members will get excited to talk to people (rightfully so! it’s a wedding!!) grab a drink from cocktail hour or leave without realizing they are needed. I’ve seen my couples get really stressed during this portion of the day, and that’s the last thing we want!! So, one thing I always recommend is to definitely let the necessary family members know to stay put, don’t go anywhere, and be ready for photos! Doing this will really help us get through your family photos efficiently, and then we can move on with your bridal party pics, or your reception! (Depending on what we planned for you!)

Piggy-backing off of my last tip, sometimes it helps to have your officiant announce for family members to stay put after the ceremony for photos.

Just be sure to have your officiant announce whether its immediate family (parents, siblings, grandparents) or if it’s extended being photographed. If you planned for only photos with immediate, and then all 50 of your cousins stayed back, that might be a bit surprising and hectic for your original plan (totally not speaking from experience or anything 😂)

Wedding Day Getting Ready Tips

These are just some little things that i’ve thought of throughout the years! Some of them aren’t nearly as crucial as planning for an efficient timeline, but nonetheless, they’re still helpful!

Depending on your dress, avoid any type of bra or undergarments that will leave an imprint on your skin.

If you have a dress that shows some skin on your back, lower back, shoulders, etc. remember to avoid bra straps & underwear that can leave marks. If you feel comfortable, I recommend even going bra-less or wearing a comfy bralette to make sure of this.

Take off your Apple watch off & black hair-ties

We’re kinda obsessive about making sure our bridal parties take off their apple watches or black hair-ties. However, for the sake of busy mornings and candid photos – I always like to give a little reminder to set those aside!

Have a designated box for your wedding detail photos

have everything inside one box, and then designate one of your bridesmaids or loved ones to be in charge of your box. This way, we don’t have to bug you while you’re getting your hair and makeup done, and we can get straight to photographing your detail photos with not searching!

Here are some of the items you can put inside the box for us!

  • Anything you’ll be wearing!
    • Jewelry
    • Shoes
    • Perfume
    • Hair-pieces
    • Garter
    • Lingerie if you’re feelin something special for your hunny 😉
  • Your wedding invitation
  • Greenery or flowers from your bouquet or your decoration
    • Only if you have extras! If not, we will just grab your bouquet or some decorations and incorporate it ourselves
  • Anything sentimental
    • Vows
    • Love-notes
    • Gifts from loved ones
  • Rings (if you have them and the groomsmen don’t)
    • If the groomsmen have the rings, we will just grab your engagement ring and incorporate it for some sparkly effect
  • Fabrics from your color scheme
    • Sometimes you’ll have extra fabric from your bouquets, or even color swatches from your bridal party colors. If you have them, include them in the box! Ya never know what creativity we will come up with 🙂

If you’ll be doing a wedding first look with any special family members, make sure to let them know to stay hidden!

Whether its grandma, dad, or your aunties, definitely let them know to not walk in the bridal suite when you’re getting ready. Bonus points if you put someone in charge of making sure they know when to arrive for first look / when to stay away!

Wedding Reception Tips

Getting to your reception means you finalllyyy get to slow down on the timelines and formalities, and just dance the night away with your hunny! Some of these tips are helpful for us photographers, when capturing your moments! And some are just things we’ve heard from our couples over the years.


One thing we’ve really noticed allows us to capture all the emotions from a speech, is when the person speaking stands next to the couple. Often times the DJ will bring the microphone to the speaker, we’ve found it’s best for the speaker to come to you, and speak directly to you.

Doing this not only gives you a closeness with the person sharing their stories, jokes, and sentimental feelings, but it also allows for some really awesome photos of both the speaker and your reaction in the same frame.

How to get your wedding dancing

Every wedding is different, and some receptions are jumpin, and some are a little more lowkey. Definitely think about what you want the vibe to be for your reception, and keep that in mind when talking to your DJ about song choices! If your dream is to have people dancing on the floor alllll night long, here are a few tips we’ve noticed our couples utilizing in the past with lots of success!

  • Tell your DJ you would like a slow song to get people on the floor, but then go right into a well-known banger or even line dance to keep people on the floor, and continuously dancing.
  • Speaking of slow dances, keep those to a minimum. We’ve seen a lot of dance floors instantly clear out once a slow song interrupted everyone dancing their butts off to hype songs.

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