San Diego Wedding Photographer | Tips on how to slow down and enjoy your wedding day

7 tips from a wedding pro on how to slow down and enjoy your wedding day

San Diego wedding photographer

As a San Diego wedding photographer, I’m often looking to share tips with my brides + grooms on how to soak in and enjoy their wedding day. Welcome guest blogger Kim Hayes of Kim Hayes Photography! She will be sharing 7 awesome tips on how to slow down and enjoy your wedding day. Enjoy!

I know that as a bride, it’s important to slow down and be intentional about creating special memories for your wedding day. These will be the memories that you will treasure for years to come… The great thing is; that you have a photographer that will gladly document everything!

1. Work with your photographer and/or wedding coordinator to create your wedding day timeline. Create your timeline well in advance: Make sure that you include plenty of cushion just in case someone is running late. Send it out to all of your vendors, family members and the bridal party so that everyone will be on the same page on the wedding day.

2. Consider doing a first look: I have never had a bride say that she regretted seeing her groom before the ceremony. There are so many emotions that you will be experiencing on your wedding day, but if you see each other for the first time (without 100+ people watching) you will feel more free to enjoy that moment together. When I was getting married, I was really concerned that I would cry (the ugly cry where your eyes get puffy and your makeup is ruined) while walking down the aisle. My photographer suggested doing a first look, and I was so happy that we saw each other beforehand. My husband actually cried more than me (the grooms usually do lol). We were able to pray together and I felt so happy and calm afterwards. All of my stress from that morning was completely gone and I was ready to say “I do!” We also got some of my favorite photos from the day during that time. *You could also do a first look with your bridesmaids or dad.

San Diego Wedding Photographer

3. If you are close with your family or your bridesmaids, consider scheduling a time for them to give you a blessing or words of advice before the ceremony: This can be a special time in the bridal sweet toasting with the girls or maybe having the parents meet with you individually or as a couple after your first look. This can make for some of the sweetest moments, but make sure you bring some tissues.

4. Exchange gifts: There is something special about exchanging gifts and/or letters with your beloved on the wedding day. You both will treasure these items forever.


5. Request an unplugged ceremony: Think about posting signs or asking your officiant to announce that you would like for your guests to be in the moment with you, as you say your vows, rather than worrying about documenting it from their devices. You are paying a professional to photograph the ceremony. Smart phones and tablets being held up can get in the way and also be an eyesore in your photos.

6. Enjoy your first meal together: I have seen so many couples rush into the reception, excited to see their guest, or needing to get the dress bustled for the first dance, and hardly eat a thing. Even if you don’t feel like it, it is important to eat (especially if you are planning on drinking). Make it a point to sit down and enjoy your meal; maybe even have a private table or plan to eat in a different room. This will be the first meal that you eat together as husband and wife. Make this a meal that you are happy to remember. *Also, eat your cake! I was so busy at my wedding, that I only had one bite of my cake and didn’t even try the grooms cake. I wish that I would have.


7. Have a private last dance. As your family and guests prepare for your exit, enjoy a private dance together during the last moments of your night.


I hope that you will take the time to really enjoy your wedding and that it is the best day ever! It goes by so fast.

Kim Hayes
Dallas/ Fort Worth wedding photographerheadshot

About Kim: Kim of Kim Hayes Photography is a Fort Worth wedding photographer located in the DFW area. Kim is a wedding, engagement, family and humanitarian photographer serving Fort Worth, Dallas and the surrounding communities. Kim loves building relationships with her clients, taking fun, relaxed and beautiful photos. She also loves to travel with her husband and is the Child Sponsorship Director for Real 4 Christ Ministries in Mombasa, Kenya. You can see more of Kim’s work here.


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  • meganThese are wonderful. My husband and I definitely loved our first look photos! Your wedding day is so special but goes by so quickly. ReplyCancel

  • Lindsey HarwathThis is great advice. Some we did when we got married almost 10 years ago, a few of these I wish I had done that we didn’t, like the first looks. In fact, because of the weird way our day went, we never got ANY shots of us together in our wedding clothes other than the actual ceremony… we’ll have to re-create for our 10 year! Thanks for sharing!!!ReplyCancel

  • AnonymousReplyCancel

  • KarlaThese are great tips!ReplyCancel

  • PaulinaThese are such great tips. I love the last dance <3 So Sweet!ReplyCancel

  • StephanieGreat tips! Very useful information to keep in mind when getting married.ReplyCancel

  • EricaLove these tips! I wish my husband and I would have exchanged gifts. I’m a big fan of present though, so… 😉 ReplyCancel

  • KendraGREAT advice!!!ReplyCancel

  • LeighYes! Slow down and enjoy the day!ReplyCancel

  • CaseyLove all of these tips! I’m in the middle of wedding season, myself, and cannot stress enough to my couples how important the first look is. It gives you so much more time together on your big day! My couples almost always opt to do one and ALWAYS exclaim how glad they are that they did. It’s so nice to share that private moment together before the crazy begins!ReplyCancel

  • Allison CraigYes!  Oh my gosh, yes!  I remember feeling like a tornado hit me, and I looked back at my wedding day and was grasping at moments and memories.  This is a great post!ReplyCancel


michelle's photography style is composed of capturing emotion-filled images in soft & neutral tones. her use of natural light with simple, authentic beauty allows your family love and bond to capture the focus.

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