Category Archives: new york wedding

engaged!! now what? 7 wedding planning tips from a photographer

Wedding planning tips by me, a photographer.

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Happy New Year and congratulations on getting engaged! It’s fairy tale romantic, until the gargantuan task of planning a wedding hits you. Fear not, what you perceive as big issues are just brimming with possibilities. You may not want to hear some of this, but trust me things will go more smoothly if you consider the following wedding planning tips.

  1. It’s not all about you and your dream wedding, at least not in every situation. Recently I had a bride who wanted to dress like a ‘boy’ but she didn’t, because she wanted to make her terminally ill dad happy by wearing a dress.

Let’s talk about moms. It is about them too, like it or not. They also want to look gorgeous, and they often have a dream of what the day will be like. Humor them. They love you more than you’ll ever know. Unless you have kids, then you know.

  1. Choosing a bridal party is often a sensitive task. Especially if you want a big group and you have a lot of friends. Personally, I think people will get over it. And in many cases, be relieved that they weren’t chosen. But don’t be surprised if someone outside of your bridal party ends up being your angel on your big day. There is always, always someone who comes out of the blue and saves the wedding day. It may be your sister or your maid of honor, but often it’s a random friend who sews your dress back together, who finds your earring, who decorates the last minute indoor setting plan B. Just appreciate it and know that angels do exist. Not wedding planning tips, but a fortuitous aspect to consider.

  2. Please please don’t fret about the weather. Just be zen about it, not just on the outside, but deeply. We all know that there’s nothing you can do to control the weather. I have been to dozens of too hot, too rainy weddings, and nothing was lost. Rain is like a special effect. So is fog and wind. Some of my prettiest pictures were from rainy weddings.

  3. Pick vendors you personally like. A snobby florist, a pushy photographer, and an inflexible caterer has no place in your special day. Save all your compromises for your loved ones, not vendors.

  4. Cut costs wherever possible, but realize that you will pay in other ways. Sanity, time and money. Pick two. Even if you’re uber-organized and can DIY like no other those projects are very time-consuming. If you love it, go for it! But beware of the dream that you can do all flowers yourself. Once, as guests were arriving at a wedding the bridal party was still arranging the centerpieces. Avoid that kind of hustling whenever possible. And know that everything takes more time than you think.

  5. Related to #5, don’t worry about every little detail. I hereby give you permission to dump those ideas you just saw on Pinterest. No, you don’t have to make cookies in a handmade bag as a parting gift for each guest. Before Pinterest, before the sea of wedding blogs, people still got married. Weddings don’t have to have a theme. I’ve gone to weddings where essentially nothing was done to the table settings. Just some nice cloth napkins and a simple centerpiece. And I’ve been to weddings that were more elaborate than the Taj Mahal. While it’s wonderful to have those special touches it’s not essential for a festive wedding.

  6. When things get stressful, repeat after me, HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHA! Don’t take it too seriously. Watch a lot of comedies on Netflix. I won’t go so far as to say your problems are first world problems, but they are. Remember what you’re doing, marrying that love of your life, that person who is on the same team as you, who will always go up to bat for you. Now knock it out of the park and happy wedding planning. Call if you have any further questions or would actually like solicited advice.

Bonus piece of advice. Dress for the season, and make sure your shoes are comfortable or at least broken in.

Central Park Shakespeare Garden wedding

Central Park Shakespeare Garden wedding

Mr. Shakes would have been proud. Every time I photograph a wedding in Central Park, NYC, and I do this often, I am in awe of the beauty and magic of the places. This was a wedding from a while back, that I haven’t gotten around to blogging about. Why? Because the father of the bride is a photographer, and I gave him the RAW files. So editing wasn’t first on my list. But I did, and there are a few observations that make this wedding special. Seriously special.

The first thing is that they were an excessively kind and nice group of people. Now, all my brides and grooms are nice, but few insist, after my job is over, that I come to the Plaza Hotel Palm Court for cocktails, and insist that I join them for dinner at Tavern on the Green. This wasn’t a large group, and they wouldn’t have it any other way. I had to be there. Kindness. Thank you!

First, the fairy tale beauty of Central Park (and before that the Roosevelt Hotel):

Here are pictures of the couple in front of the Plaza, facing 5th Avenue:

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Some quirky things…. I always take pictures in elevators….

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Father of the bride writing me a check on the bride’s back:

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Peter Boruchowitz,

Wedding officiant, and his lovely smile:

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Not to be ignored, this group did something amazing. They stopped in the crosstown tunnel in Central Park to get out of the car and go up the stairs to their wedding. Now, I am a local, and I wouldn’t have dreamed of stopping a car on the busy street. But they did, and it worked out just fine. I discovered something that I have never noticed in all the years in NYC: the stone staircase. I have always marveled at the tunnel, but never knew about the staircase:

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Another thing that I love from this wedding is the pictures from and involving the car. It’s a special time, and many photographers forget about it:

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Columbus Circle:

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