I'm glad that we did the engagement photos, it's definitely going on my list of advice for brides-to-be. Lots of friends will surely be getting engaged in the next few years and I'm slowly compiling tidbits of advice based on our own wedding-planning follies. Here are a few pieces of annotated advice from the journey thus far.
Test out DIY wedding invitation designsWhen we did our DIY wedding invitations, I knew it would be a lot of work, but we faced problems I definitely hadn't anticipated. Did you know that printers won't print a full bleed if you have custom-sized paper? Neither did we. In the end, we worked it out, but there was probably a better way of doing things than buying and returning 4 printers just to make the design work.
Do engagement photos with your photographerPosing for "candid" photos—an oxymoron, I know—is awkward enough. But pile on a couple of strangers and wedding day nerves, and it's probably going to be a lot more uncomfortable. So if you have the chance to do a photoshoot and get to know your photographer pre-wedding day, do it! It's actually pretty fun!
Plan ahead for your engagement photo shootWe played it pretty casual when choosing the location: the train tracks by our house, which didn't turn out terrible, but probably wasn't an ideal location in the photographer's eyes. We also picked our outfits the night before. And as it so happened, the dress I was supposed to wear was very wrinkly from a trip to Saskatchewan in April, and our steamer...broken. I took the dress to the dry cleaners this morning at 7am, went to pick it up after work and they were already closed. Luc pulled off a total knight in shining armour move when I showed up at home in tears, 45 mins before the photoshoot. He wandered over to the dry cleaners, worked some magic, and voila, arrived home 5 mins later, dress in hand. Moral of the story: get organized more than 24 hours in advance.
Don't pay for wedding hair pricesThis nugget of wisdom hasn't been fully tested yet, but you'll know where I'm going with this when you see how much salons charge for a "bridal updo." My friend Liz is doing my wedding hair, so all that will cost me is a nice bottle of wine. And when my friend Kate gets married, she's telling the salon she's a bridesmaid, not a bride. Not a bad way to avoid the inevitable "because you're a bride" markup.
And unfortunately there's nothing you can do from preventing your reception location from burning down.