MAGNOLIA WEST PHOTOGRAPHY

WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY IN LOS ANGELES, CA

Today we are going to talk about my top wedding planning advice and tips. My goal in this blog/podcast is to give you bite sized pieces of information and advice to help you plan your wedding just a little bit easier. So let’s jump in!

Hi there! I’m Ariel, Los Angeles wedding photographer and your guide to all things wedding related. Be sure to give me a follow for tips and resources on how to create your dream wedding.

Wedding Planning Tip

No. 1

Wedding planning advice and tip numer 1, in my top 3 tips for planning your wedding, is to hire a DJ, that is fun and interactive and is going to keep your party going. Honestly, a DJ can make or break your wedding reception. I have seen some DJs that are just terrible. They sit behind their DJ booth, they don’t talk to anybody, they just kind of do their thing, the music they play may or may not be good. Sometimes they cut music off in the middle of a song and just transition into another one. This is not the experience that you want in your reception. I have several DJs that I work with a lot that I highly recommend.

One DJ in particular does something super fun. You may want to request this of your DJ. It’s a great way to get people out on the dance floor. Right after dinner, the DJ will call everybody to the dance floor, and then he’ll have me the photographer take a group picture of everybody that’s at the wedding. It’s super fun, it’s really quick, it’s really easy. And then he transitions right into dancing from that group photo. That’s one way to get people out on the floor.

Another one that’s super fun… I have this other DJ that I’ve worked with. He gets everybody out on the dance floor, divides them into two groups, then he has a singing competition between the two groups. Then he’ll have a dancing competition between the two groups, and he makes me the judge standing right in the middle of the dance floor, and I have to choose a winner. Anyways, it’s super fun and really interactive. Check out the video below. If you want to look him up, his name is Joe from Rock Solid Events. I’ll also link his website at the bottom of this post. I highly recommend to him. He is hands down, the best DJ I’ve ever worked with. I recommend him to most of my brides, but go check him out for yourself. So that is tip number one–hire an amazing DJ. 

Wedding Planning Tip

No. 2

Wedding planning advice and tip number two–this is something that I do with every single one of my couples is to sneak away during Golden Hour, which is usually during the reception at some point. This is about 30 minutes or so before sunset when the light is really soft and glowy and gold. It’s my favorite, so be sure to sneak away during this golden hour time with your photographer and your spouse and just do some romantics.

I usually take my couples away from the reception for 15 to 20 minutes, and we just run through a few styled poses to get a few knocked out of the way really quickly and to make the couple feel comfortable. We’ll go and do some dancing, just the three of us, and these photos are the framers. They’re the ones that you want to keep. In fact, if you look at my Instagram, this is what I fill my portfolio with because they are my absolute favorites. These are the ones that you want to put on your walls. These are the ones that you want to print, and these photos in particular are why 90% of my couples book me–because they love the way that I use light in these golden hour photos that they see in my portfolio. They want them on their wedding day. So that is tip number two.

Wedding Planning Tip

No. 3

My final wedding planning advice and tips, tip number three is to only spend money on things that matter. At the end of a wedding, I hate it when I see the venue go through and throw away all of the wedding favors that were leftover after all of the guests have left. I see it at every single wedding. It makes me so sad. The brides spend so much time, energy, effort and money on these party favors that the guests don’t want. They either leave them intentionally or they forget about them. Anyways, they’re leftover at the end of the night, and they just go in the trash.

Instead, take that money and put it into your photography, put it into your videography, spend a little extra money on your venue, save a little money and buy those giant canvases of your golden hour romantics to put on your wall after you get your gallery back. Only spend money on the things that matter. In my professional opinion, and I’m a little biased because I am a photographer, spend money on your photography.

Here’s why I think that: because at the end of your wedding day, you’re going to walk away with two things: your spouse and your photos, so you want to hire a photographer, that when you look back on your photos, you are going to feel the emotion of the moments from your day. You can buy budget photos, and maybe I’ll make a podcast on this another day because it’s a whole nother can of worms. It’s a whole different topic on how much you should spend on your wedding photography, but invest in a quality photographer that is experienced and will deliver a great client experience and beautiful photos every single time.

So that is my last and final tip–only spend money on the things that matter, and in my opinion, that is photography. Just to recap, top 3 tips when planning your wedding: number one, hire an amazing DJ–one that’s fun, interactive and will keep your party going because they can make or break your party. Number two, sneak away during golden hour for those romantic photos because those are the ones that you’ll want to print. Number three, only spend money on things that matter.

Thanks for reading. I hope these wedding planning tips were helpful.

I’ll catch you next time.

If you found these wedding planning advice and tips helpful and you’d like to learn more wedding planning tips, drop me a message and let me know!

If you’re looking for a Los Angeles wedding photographer, be sure to check out my experience page (linked below) which will give you all the details on what it’s like to work with me along with resources on how to plan your dream wedding. Until next time, happy planning!

Wedding Planning Advice and Tips

DJ Recommendations: Joe with Rock Solid Events (pictured above) -OR- DJ-Dominiq with Bouquet Sound


Be sure to check out my EXPERIENCE page to find out what it’s like to work with me.

Wedding Planning Advice and Tips

January 25, 2022

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