Andy and Elizabeth travelled to San Francisco all the way from Miami for a weekend getaway. Andy surprised her by proposing at Muir Beach. He arranged for me to be there to covertly capture the moment. (she said yes)
Karyna and Ben contacted me about doing a maternity photo session and wanted to do it in an outdoor, natural setting. I had done two other maternity sessions up on Mt Tamalpais this year and suggested that we go up there again. To my delight, Karyna and Ben loved the idea. Needless to day, Mt Tam gave us a beautiful setting for this shoot.
Barbara and Danny had the perfect wedding day at Inn Marin & Suites in Novato California. The weather was ideal. The guests were warm. The bride and groom were gushing with love for each other. Jim Vetter Photography LOVED photographing this wedding.
Amazing evening with Marina and Spencer for their engagement photo shoot in Tiburon, Marin County California overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco Bay.
We started down on the water in Tiburon at Spencer’s family property which they call “The Ark” It is an old houseboat up on stilts and is incredibly charming.
For sunset we went up on top of the hill to an open space overlooking the San Francisco Bay, Golden Gate Bridge, and the city of San Francisco.
What an amazing location and awesome people to work with. Thank you, Marina & Spencer!
Your wedding day should be one of the best days of your life, filled with laughter and tears of joy. You should be surrounded by people you love who are having the time of their lives at your wedding – the wedding that they tell you is the best one they’ve ever been to! However, your wedding could be one of the most stress-filled days of your life, filled with arguments and tears of anguish.
Fortunately, there are some simple steps that you can take to prepare for the stress-free wedding day that you deserve.
We have collected the top tips from a large number wedding professionals to help you have a wedding day with minimal worry and frustration. Just follow our advice and you are sure to have the wedding day you’ve always dreamed you would.
Get Planning / Coordination Help
While not everyone has the budget for a wedding planner, almost anyone would have a smoother wedding day with a little help from a professional planner or at least a day-of coordinator.
You’re probably not a professional event planner so why put it all on yourself to plan the most important event of your life? You’re already too busy with your job, dress hunting, honeymoon planning and (admit it) dieting! A wedding planner can schedule meetings for you, attend them with you, help pick out invitations, linens and take care of all the details you just don’t have time for.
A professional planner knows the industry, they know the other vendors and they are simply very efficient and know where to find the best prices on everything. You can very easily save money on your wedding by hiring a wedding planner.
A good wedding planner will work with your photographer to make sure your wedding day flows smoothly and you have all the time you need to get the gorgeous photographs you’ve been dreaming of.
DOUBLE the time you think you need – for EVERYTHING!
This is the most important tip of all. Time seems to pass much more quickly on the wedding day. No wedding vendor we know (and we know a MANY) can think of one bride who didn’t run late for just about everything. This creates a huge amount of anxiety and stress for you and for your family and wedding party. Then add booze to the mix and chaos will rule!
The solution is simple. Double the amount of time you think you need for everything. If you think hair will take an hour – give it two. If you think makeup will take 30 minutes – give it an hour. Wedding planners can really help with this but if you don’t have a planner, you must allow plenty of time or you will not have a stress-free wedding and you will not have time to get the gorgeous photos you saw on your photographer’s website!
One of the most common causes of wedding day delays is getting from one place to another. If you will be in different locations for hair, makeup, getting dressed, ceremony, photographs, and reception, a lot of time can be chewed up getting around. This is why a carefully thought out timeline is so valuable. Having a limo is great because you don’t have to deal with parking but if you don’t have this luxury all day, select a designated driver to get you around.
Here are a few of the time-killing delays you can expect related to getting around…
- Getting out of the bridal suite – you may have to find things to take with you, get others to come along and in a messy bridal suite, this can take time.
- Getting from the bridal suite to the car – you may have a bit of a walk to the car and while you’re walking you are running into friends and relatives who want to greet you and chit chat.
- Getting the car – your car may be in valet so make sure you call down before you leave the room.
- Getting into the car – you may be wearing the largest garment you’ve ever worn and getting into a car may be difficult.
- Finding your destination – you may not be familiar with the area or how to get to your destination. Be sure to print directions to all destinations before the wedding day.
- Traffic – what else is going on in town on your wedding day? Any parades or big sporting events that might make traffic a nightmare? Find out ahead of time by asking your hotel or checking a local events website.
- Drive time – calculate the expected drive time taking into account the time of day and any other possible issues such as detours or weather.
- Parking – scout out the parking situation ahead of time for every location you’ll be going to on your wedding day. Use a limo or designated driver to avoid the parking dilemma.
Really take the time upfront to think through the flow of your day and pad the schedule. It will make ALL THE DIFFERENCE.
Don’t Overdo the DIY on the DAY
If you are the Do-It-Yourself type, that’s awesome! However, there is a time and a place for the bride do it herself. That time is before the wedding day. Get it out of your system or designate someone else to do it on the wedding day. You should be getting pampered, sipping Champaign and laughing with the girls before you walk down the isle. No glue sticks or step ladders for you!
Do as much preparation as possible BEFORE the Wedding Day
The more you can get done before the wedding day, the better. This will free you up from running around like a headless chicken on your day. You want to be able to relax and enjoy your wedding day.
Here are some of the last minute pitfalls that can be avoided by completing them in the weeks and days preceding the wedding day…
- Confirm all details with your vendors the week before the wedding to avoid any last minute surprises.
- Pay your vendors ahead of time so you’re not thinking about money on your wedding day.
- Have all clothes cleaned and pressed and hanging in your closet ahead of time.
- Distribute directions, parking information, schedules, etc. to your guests before the wedding day so you’re not acting as concierge all day.
- Create a detailed timeline with your photographer and planner so you know how the day will flow and you’ll have time to get all the photos you really want.
- Generally speaking, get as much completed as possible before you wake up on your wedding day!
Remove Yourself from the Chaos
Now this may be very difficult for you control freaks (and you know who you are) but the less you are involved in all of the wedding day operations, the better. Let the Planner or Day-Of Coordinator deal with all of the little “emergencies” that arise or designate a family member or friend for this role. Ask your family NOT to involve you in issue resolution on the wedding day unless is it absolutely necessary. Ignorance is bliss and this should be a blissful day for you.
Stay Hydrated and Fed on the Wedding Day
The day will fly by and you can easily forget to eat and drink water – especially if you’re drinking any kind of alcohol. Hungry becomes grumpy which leads to a downward spiral. Don’t let it happen to you or the people around you!
Stock the bridal suite with plenty of water and healthy snacks for everyone. This goes for the guys as well. The groom should not be starting his hangover before the ceremony begins!
Start the Day Well Rested
This is one of the most important days of your life that you want to enjoy more than any other. Don’t start it with a hangover and/or with bags under your eyes. Ideally, you’d complete your own personal preparations two days before the wedding so you can take a pamper day the day before the wedding but if that’s not possible, make sure you get a good night’s rest on the eve of your wedding day.
Remind Yourself to Relax
Remind yourself throughout the day that this is YOUR day and it is only happening ONCE. Take a little time out every so often to look around and appreciate all that is happening around you. Think about the family and friends that have traveled to be with you. Look into the eyes of your maid of honor and thank her with a hug. Don’t miss the magical moments as they fly by. Experience the full richness of the day and create the memories you will cherish for the rest of your days!
About Jim Vetter Photography
Jim Vetter Photography is a high-end, experience-driven wedding studio based in Fairfax, CA and serves California as well as destinations worldwide.
We specialize in sharing amazing experiences with our clients as we create the most beautiful images. Our style has been described as intimate, elegant, emotional, and fun. We capture the essence of the relationships between you and your spouse and your guests because we believe that these types of images really tell the story of your day.
Our clients love and value great photography and fabulous experiences. If this describes you, we’d love to hear from you! Please contact us or give us a call at +1.415.789.6150.
Katherine & Huy had an amazing Vietnamese-Catholic wedding day with wedding ceremony at St Leo the Great Church in Oakland followed by a gorgeous wedding reception at Casa Real at Ruby Hill Winery in Pleasanton.
Casa Real is setup to really cater to vendors as well as wedding couples. This makes it a great place to have your wedding and your vendors will love it too!
This was a BIG wedding day! The girls started before sunrise. We joined them at 7:00am as they were finishing getting ready for the day. By the time we arrived, hair and makeup was already complete and the bride and groom had given gifts to one another and to the bridal party.
We then loaded up in a giant stretch limo (Best Time Limousine) with Daniel at the wheel.
The first limo ride to everyone to the Groom’s house where there was a party going on already and we’d be picking up gifts to take to the Bride’s family at another party – the Tea Ceremony.
At the Tea Ceremony there was a lunch feast and gifts were exchanged with family members.
From the Tea Ceremony we went to the beautiful St. Leo the Great Church in Oakland where Father Joseph led an inspiring service and pronounced Katherine and Huy, Man and Wife!
The reception was held at Casa Real at Ruby Hill Winery in Pleasanton. Such a beautiful space for weddings. The indoor shots below were photographed in the bridal suite at Casa Real.
Casa Real on on the Ruby Hill Winery and is surrounded by vineyards. It is a great location for artistic wedding portraits.
One of my favorite things about Casa Real is the Amber Room seen below. A wood burning fireplace and beautiful lighting make it an amazing spot for photographing the bride and groom.
A wedding of this scale can only be possible with a team of top notch professionals. Our team included the following vendors.
Florist, Cake Maker, and Draping – Ann’s Bridal
Limousine – Best Time Limousine
Ceremony Venue – St. Leo the Great Church
Reception Venue – Casa Real at Ruby Hill Winery
Photo / Video – Jim Vetter Photography – special thanks to Beth Barton and Colin Pattison
Hair – Gary Patrick Salon – Nicole Medina
Makeup – Nicole Meadows
Catering – Phu Lam Restaurant
Bridal Gown – Trudy’s Bridal
DJ / MC – Northstar Entertainment
San Francisco City Hall weddings are always beautiful. The building and the neighborhood have so much to offer visually and are so iconic of San Francisco. For the wedding of Saba and Sia, we photographed in and around city hall and then took them on a wonderful city tour for photos all over town. We went to the Palace of Fine Arts, the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park, and Baker Beach. What a beautiful day with a beautiful couple!
Kaitlin and Joel were married on a gorgeous day in Livermore California at Las Positas Vineyards. Las Positas is an awesome spot for small to medium sized weddings. It is surrounded by vineyards and the property is recently renovated and feels very clean and kind of rustic-modern. We love being a Las Positas Vineyards wedding photographer!
Below, Sookie the amazing wedding dog psyches herself up for the walk down the aisle.
Wedding Professionals who made this beautiful wedding possible:
Hair: Hair by Missy
Makeup: Vanessa Van Krieken of Beauty Lounge
Cake: Cake Delight
DJ: DeBorba Events
Catering: Faz Pleasanton
Venue: Las Positas Vineyards in Livermore
Floral: Stems of Brentwood
Photography: Jim Vetter Photography
Monica and Eusong were married at Casa Real at Ruby Hill Winery. We love photographing there because the venue is so beautiful and the staff is always awesome!
The fantastic wedding professionals who made this wedding a beautiful success:
Hair & Makeup: PD Artistry
Venue / Decor / Catering: Casa Real at Ruby Hill Winery
DJ and Lighting: AmosPro Enterprises
Event Planning / Florals: S&V Collections
Videography: Max Video Productions
Cake: AA Bakery
Photobooth: A Little Scene
Photography: Jim Vetter Photography