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The wedding photographer's wedding - 5 Things I See Differently as a Photographer Since our Wedding

After 10 years of being a wedding photographer and capturing nearly 160 weddings, I experienced the other side: what it's like to plan and live the big day as a bride. This experience has transformed my perspective on weddings in many ways. In this post, I share my reflections on these experiences.

With years of experience behind me, I rightfully thought that organizing our wedding would be a simple task. I wasn't wrong, as being a wedding photographer is precisely a role where I'm not just by the couple's side during the most important moments, like a guest, but I can also observe and often assist in the background work, organization, challenges, and even troubleshooting on the day itself.

Indeed, organizing the wedding didn't pose a problem. From the very beginning, we knew who and why we wanted by our side, what things would make not only our guests but us feel good too. And this vision was completely confirmed on our wedding day. I can honestly say we would do it all over again anytime! :)

I'd like to share these experiences and advice with you now, hoping that they can help you approach your big day with a similar mindset, and you'll look back on it with fond memories!

The 3 Key Pillars for a Smooth and Stress-Free Wedding Day

To ensure a stress-free and smooth wedding day, I used to think that only two things were necessary: the mindset that I am here today to feel good, nothing else matters, and a well-timed but less packed schedule. However, since experiencing being a bride, the list has expanded by one point: a good master of ceremonies who orchestrates the events for us.

I used to think it wasn't that important; you could ask a friend or even ourselves to say the few things that need to be said at such times. But in reality, this is just the surface. The real work happens behind the scenes, coordinating the guests is just the surface. Experiencing how much stress it relieved for us and our friends, I now truly see that it's not worth cutting corners on this.

As a bride and groom, on that day, the focus shouldn't be on where things are, how to get from point A to point B, or where everyone should be at a given time. It should be on taking care of yourselves and the guests, experiencing what you've worked so hard for, what you've dreamed of for so long. :)

A good master of ceremonies not only says what needs to be said on that day but also draws attention to those crucial little details during the planning process that will truly fall into place. These are things that might not even come to mind as a wedding service provider!

A good master of ceremonies on that day, if things fall apart, puts them back together, works under your guidance, and takes the stress off your shoulders by letting you know that they have everything under control for you too.

With a good master of ceremonies, you have complete trust, and you can let go, truly just enjoy - after all, you've already discussed everything in advance :)

Experience Over Over-Organized Itinerary

When it comes to wedding photography, I have often thought that couples try to cram too much into this one single day, and in doing so, they lose the experience. Instead of being present in the moment, it becomes a race against the clock following a strict timeline.

Now, I completely understand when they say: 'It went by so quickly, we barely had time for anything.' We intentionally tried to shorten things, yet I must say: This day is incredibly short! That's why, based on my own experience, I truly see that it's better to reconsider and include in the itinerary only what truly brings a change, whether for the guests or for your own experiences and memories. Otherwise, there won't be time for being present, casual conversations, carefree dancing, relaxed dining (!), and most importantly, experiencing these moments! This holds true for the guests as well.

Since this realization, I approach the itinerary and the couples' needs with much more empathy and flexibility as a photographer. It's not necessarily about the visioned photos being the priority, but ensuring that the couple can truly live in the moment, especially if I've managed to capture that flow :)

And that's precisely why I'd like to advise you too: Make sure you have the time, not only physically but also emotionally, to be there and experience the moment!

The Key to All of This: Authenticity!

I emphasize often that the most important thing in every aspect is to be carefree and true to yourselves in the moment. This holds particularly true for weddings, as it should remain a joyful memory for your entire life, a day that symbolizes your essence.

I already know how challenging it can be to navigate through the multitude of trends, well-intentioned advice, and parental influence to find and stay true to what truly suits you, where you can genuinely be yourselves and have it truly about you. However, it's crucial, as this is your day—it should be about you, your world, where you invite important people into your world for a day and share with them the most significant event of this world!

For us, it helped to sit down together and discuss what we love, how we envision our perfect celebration, and what we want to remember later. We stood firm despite all opposition.

We envisioned an informal and liberating, colorful summer celebration with our dogs, the forest, birds, and our closest friends and immediate family.

For instance, we wanted only a personal ceremony where a friend would officiate because we don't believe in organized religion, and we know most registrars say the same things to every couple. It was important that it be about us, narrate our story, and involve our invited guests in this atmosphere.

We didn't want to cut a cake or have a formal, seated dinner because our daily meals are usually unconventional. On the contrary, we love junk food, so we had a food truck for the entire evening, and instead of a cake, we sliced a giant burger :)

In the end, every feedback we received was a perfect confirmation of this idea. Experiencing it was even more carefree, and the memories still bring a smile to my face and joy to my heart :)

Regarding the most debated question: Who to invite?

I know that the most challenging, delicate, and simultaneously the most family-dispute-inducing question is always who to invite to our wedding.

As a photographer, I've seen the pattern that guests invited out of obligation and formalities tend to disrupt the atmosphere and mood of the couple and the wedding.

I know it's bold to put it this way, but I'll tell you why this happens: Just as emotionally distant they are from you, you are equally distant from them. That's why they will also attend out of obligation and formality, and they won't be able to connect with you in a meaningful way, so they won't truly enjoy themselves - and as a couple, you'll stress about this, just like so many before you.

That's why both Balázs and I shared the same belief in this: Only those with whom we can genuinely connect, and who also find us important, will be present at our wedding.

Of course, this caused conflicts and hurt feelings within our families as well, but our wedding only further strengthened our conviction:

- We felt that those who were there loved us just the way we are; we didn't have to conform to anyone's expectations.

- Everyone present brought joy, had a good time, and experienced the moments with us. This made us carefree and happy.

So, dear reader approaching your wedding, stand up for yourselves courageously. This is your day, your memories! Create beautiful moments with those for whom you also matter! :)

What Remains: The Captured Memories

I know, you might be thinking it's professional bias, and it's obvious that for us, photography was the most important. :) And to some extent, it is true. It was so important to us that we even adjusted our wedding date to match our photographer's availability. BUT! and here comes the 'but': What being a bride taught me in this regard further transformed my perspective on the significance of the captured visual memories.

Up until now, it was always essential for me to preserve not only the major moments but also the little things that the couples choosing me could not see during the event. However, experiencing this side of things has intensified this belief, especially because I can barely remember anything!

Seriously. Several of my brides have said this after the wedding, that the day went by so quickly, they can hardly recall anything beyond the main highlights. I never believed it until I truly experienced what it's like to wait for the photos in the weeks after the wedding—photos that will help us relive and remember. This is why I'm especially grateful to our photographer, who focused not only on us but also on our guests, the ambiance, and the details!

Hence, it's crucial to choose a photographer who not only focuses on creative photography but also on those around you because as a bride and groom, you won't be everywhere.

Moreover, the toughest experience for me was joining the events later as a bride. Due to the first look arranged for the ceremony, I wasn't there for the guest reception. So, I truly only got to know about that busy hour and a half through the pictures!

Since then, I've been even more focused on capturing the invisible, the personal, and the experiences of the guests, as these are now their memories and stories too :)

And to ensure that these memories of our big day truly exist and simultaneously witness the reactions, experiences, and stories of our guests beyond our own memories, I am incredibly grateful. All of this was made possible because our photographer also aspired to achieve this.

This is why it's absolutely crucial to carefully choose the photographer who will be by your side, as these captured images will be the bearers, the guardians, and the storytellers of your memories :)

Thank you for reading, and I hope I could provide an extra something that may assist in planning your own wedding. :)

The vendors who made this day beautiful for us:

Venue: Annafürdő

Foodtruck: Gringo bár

Dj: Dj Tes

Ceremonimaster: Balla Szilárd

Photographer: Walla Ádám - Kivonatok

Tiara: Rienne bride

Skirt: Nora Sarman

Decor: Made with our friends 🤍

Bouquet: Blush Wedding decor Letti 🤍

Flowers: Virágos Pagony

My top with full of flowers: Made by me :)

Here are some other pictures:


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