Important Advice for Brides | Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer | Jacqueline Binkley Blog

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Jacqueline Binkley Photography

You are a wedding planning machine.

Pinterest. Google. Magazines. Blogs. Friend’s Advice. Family Recommendations. Bridal Shows. All of it! They are all giving you SO much information to process! So many ideas, tips, tricks, recommended vendors, why you should do this and not that… it can be overwhelming at times!

The purpose of this blog is not to add more to your already long mental list of “things to keep in mind”, but to help relieve some stress from your planning process and wedding day. Below I am going to highlight a few pieces of advice I always try to pass on to each of my brides. These tips helped me put everything into perspective during my wedding planning process and helped keep my day as stress free as possible. (Is that even a thing? Uh… speaking from experience… yes!)

Figure out what aspects of the wedding details mean the most to you and ask for help on the rest. For me, I was most concerned with finding a photographer (go figure, lol), getting a good DJ, and picking the wedding colors. The flowers? Nope… so long as they matched the color scheme, I was going to love the roses, ranunculus, or whatever else the florist created for me. Seating chart? Nah… I wasn’t bothered where people sat. (Although I do HIGHLY suggest marking a table as reserved for your parents/grandparents/etc)

Choose the style of wedding then pick your color scheme. Once you choose how formal or informal you want the day to be, it helps set the tone for the dress you choose, your invitations, the bridal party outfits, the favors, basically EVERYTHING! Because if you want a black tie event, obviously a whimsical boho inspired wedding dress with long natural curly hair and a baby’s breath flower crown isn’t going to fit in beside your long formal satin bridesmaid dresses. Find what style speaks to you, choose 2-3 complimentary colors, then go from there. I promise, everything will start to fall into place!

Choose your vendors wisely: you REALLY do get what you pay for. This is your wedding day! It lasts one day. One special, amazing day. You can’t go back and re-do any one part of the day. You can’t. It is in your BEST interest to hire a professional. Someone you can talk to, who listens to you, who has a track record of happy clients, and can overdeliver on your expectations!

Don’t rush your timeline. We do this enough in our normal daily life. We leave ourselves just enough time to get from point A to point B. Leave time for a glass of champagne with your girls after you get your hair done! Give yourself an extra 15 minutes here or there to account for that-thing-that-would-NEVER-happen! Trust me, I have been in enough bridal suites to know that zippers get stuck, an anti-theft ink tag was missed during checkout and is still attached, one of the groomsmen left his tie at the hotel, etc. It’s better to plan for a little hiccup and it not happen than start stressing because one little thing is delaying the rest of your day!

Soak it in! I knew… the day before my wedding, this was going to be a big life experience for me. Of course I had been helping my parents build the venue I would be saying I Do at for the previous 5 months (The Barns at Maple Valley Farm), so I had ample time to soak up the planning period with every nail I drove into the rafters. (No joke!) But the day before the wedding, I walked through the venue, helped with the centerpieces, and enjoyed the company with a joyful attitude because I knew all of the time, money, and decisions were about to all come together for one unforgettable day!

The morning of my wedding day, I woke at 6am from excitement and grabbed my camera to take photos! (Oh how I wish I was kidding!) Later, I sat at the head table in the Great Room wearing my silk embroidered robe with my bridal cowgirl boots kicked up on the table, eating a protein chocolate chip cookie with a mug of almond milk to dip it in, and taking in every. single. feeling. The cool end-of-September morning breeze blowing in the doors, rustling the sheer fabric that hangs over the door way. The sound of the John Deere gator driving around the farm feeding the horses. The distant neigh of an all-too-eager mare awaiting her breakfast. And the thought that this was it… the day I would be marrying my best friend.

Lastly… keep in mind what this day is truly about. Two people coming together to be one… You have chosen each other for the rest of your life. Friends and Family are coming in from all over to witness your vows of love and devotion. At the end of the day, the food is all eaten, the wine bottles are empty, the custom napkins are in the trash, the flowers will soon fade, your dress now needs to be cleaned and preserved, and the wedding decor will be tucked away or passed on for future use. But each morning, you will wake up beside the love of your life. You will have someone beside you to love you, cheer you on, lift you up, and grow with you. That is the ultimate wedding experience. And it is truly priceless.

January 23, 2019

Important Advice for Brides | Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer

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  1. Maria says:

    such good advice. you truly do get what you pay for.

  2. Stacie says:

    Great tips! Especially ‘don’t rush your timeline!” 👏

  3. Alissa Moore says:

    Such good advice! Thanks 💕

I adore creating images that are BRIGHT, COLORFUL, JOYFUL, & TIMELESS!
Images that make you feel... because I don't just document your life event,
I capture the                and emotion... 

With each session you will receive a curated gallery of beautiful portraits you will cherish,
along with candid images that bring a smile to your lips and,
of course, small sweet moments that make your heart happy.

I will guide you every step of the way with gentle prompts to evoke natural embraces,
laughter, and genuine emotion true to your personality. 


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