New Jersey Wedding & Portrait Photography

Starting to stress about all the moving parts that need to happen on your wedding day?

We’ve got you covered!

We planned our own wedding, and we’ve been in the industry for a few years!

Along the way, we’ve learned a thing or two! We can help make planning for your wedding and the photos a little less stressful.

Here are a few of our wedding tips and tricks!

1. Be Sure to Have a Hair and Makeup Trial at Least a Month Before Your Wedding

This one is for the bride!

Having a make-up trial will give you peace of mind to knowing exactly how you will look on your wedding day.

It will give you the opportunity to get to know your make up artist and for them to get to know you and your personal style. It will also let you change things in advance if you want.

Pro-tip: Make sure to bring all jewelry to the trial to see how makeup shades work with the pieces!

2. Have Your Flowers Delivered to Where You Are Getting Ready

wedding at Perona Farms, wedding portraits, J&R Photography, The Reserve

Chat with your florist before the big day and let them know you’d like your flower delivery to your getting-ready go-to rather than the ceremony venue.
Since you never know when the mood will strike for a great photo, you’ll want your flowers there and ready to go.

Plus, each bridesmaid can be responsible for her own flowers! One less thing for you to worry about.

And trust us, the more others are responsible for on your wedding day – instead of you trying to juggle everything – the better!

3. Find out What the Rules for Photographs Are at the Ceremony Location

All venues are different. Some restrict the location of photographs. Some even restrict the times in which they are permitted. This is especially true of churches or religious venues.

Make sure you know exactly what your venue’s rules are. Be prepared to follow them and share them with your photographer. How awkward would it be if they got yelled at in the middle of your ceremony?

While it may make for a great story later, you probably won’t think it’s funny in the moment, so don’t take any chances!

4. Pick a Friend or Family Member to Assist with Gathering Your Loved Ones for Formal Portraits

Guests love to wander off!

You’ll find them saying:

“Oh! Cocktail hour this way?”

“Where is the reception? When do the doors open?”

“Are we sitting together? Let’s try to find our table number!”

You get the idea. Having someone to wrangle up your family members for portraits will be needed (and appreciated!).

5. Have Food Delivered to Your Getting Ready Location

It may be hectic but take the time to have a bite before the wedding.

You will THANK yourself for that half sandwich later!

It will be a while before you can eat something during the reception. Remember, you are the host of your event!

Even if you opt for a first look (see why you should here!), you may only get a bite or two during cocktail hour because you’ll be so busy running around greeting everyone!

Then, when it is reception time, you have the introductions, the first dances, and making your way through the tables.

Not to mention everyone and their mother will want a picture with you to post to their own insta! You are the star of the show, food may take the back burner.

Nosh on something early while you are getting ready. You won’t regret it.

6. Prepare an Emergency Bridal Kit

In your emergency bridal kit, make sure to have:
Clear nail polish
Sewing kit
Stain treater
Safety pins
Bobby pins
Pain relievers
Mini deodorant

You’ll be prepped and ready for any emergency that comes your way!

7. Allow 50% More Time for Hair and Makeup than You Think

This alleviates the number one reason wedding schedules end up running late.

This will guarantee you have plenty of time for all the portraits you want to take before the wedding!

8. Make Sure You Discuss a “rain Plan” with Your Venue

It’s like rain on your wedding day, it’s a free ride…. Sorry, we had to.

Anyway, just because it’s your wedding day doesn’t mean Mother Nature will have sunshine in the cards.

If you are planning for an outdoor wedding, have a plan B that you are A-OK with. If you don’t, you may be setting yourself up for some major disappointment. Or last-minute scrambling. Nobody wants that.

Set yourself up for success by discussing what a rainy day will look like at your venue long before it’s showtime.

9. Strongly Consider Doing a First Look

There are so, so many reasons doing a first look is a great idea. See our post on it here.
You will end up with beautiful pictures of an intimate moment and so much more.
Seeing each other and taking photos before the ceremony allows for you, your bridal party, and your guests to attend your cocktail hour.

Everyone will be excited about this! And it will make you feel like your wedding lasted way longer.

With how much time, energy, and money you put into planning this event, you want it to last as long as possible!

10. Prepare a Family Shot List Before the Wedding Day

Include all possible combinations, so no photo is missed! Include family members’ first and last names too.

This will help your photographers know exactly what you expect and help them organize the shots with you. None of this, “hey you!” while trying to get Uncle Jim to smile at the right time.

This will help the family portrait session go much faster. Which means you get to the party faster, and that’s what it’s all about!


We hope you feel a little more at ease about planning your big day! If you are looking for more wedding tips and tricks like this, give us a follow over at @jnrphotony on Instagram. Can’t wait to connect with you there!