After an engagement comes wedding planning. From the venue, the food, flowers all the way down to the table placements there’s a lot to think of.
For some however, they bypass all of the traditional wedding planning and decide to elope. Somewhere in that planning process is the decision on who will be taking pictures on your big day.
There’s a lot to consider when preparing for your wedding day. This is arguably the longest photoshoot of your life. More specifically, we’re focusing on tips for the groom to best prepare for a long day of looking picture ready.
There’s not much content geared toward the groom, can you believe it? So, here are the top tips for grooms to prepare for their wedding day photo session:
1. Decide on a hairstyle.
Many photographers ask that their clients pay mind to their outfit choices. Given that we’re talking about preparing for a wedding, that tip is self explanatory. We’re focusing on the smaller details, like deciding on a hairstyle. It’s key to decide on a cut and style that will last through an entire day. You don’t want to start the day looking fantastic and then see you hair fall flat and disrupted by the reception. Practice makes perfect here. Do a test run of your desired style using the products that you’ll be using the day of. This will ensure your hair will hold, and avoid unexpected reactions like rashes to the products.
2. Tame your facial hair.
Whether you are partial to a beard or prefer a clean-shave face, it’s important to make sure you’re perfectly groomed on your wedding day. With your photographer getting shots at all angles, you want to ensure you have the closest shave, or trim as possible. Brands like Harry’s offer a variety of razors and shaving products that will guarantee the closest shave, no matter your preference. Much like with your hairstyle, take the time to master your shaving regimen and ensure that you won’t have any nicks or cuts after your wedding day shave. Better yet, you won’t have a single hair out of place.
3. Brighten your smile.
A wedding is an occasion of love and happiness, which hopefully translates into smiling. With the focus of the day being on you and your bride-to-be, give yourself an added boost of confidence with a whiter brighter smile. From getting your teeth professionally whitened, to trading in your standard paste for a whitening toothpaste like Crest 3D, there are endless options to eliminate those coffee stains.
4. Be well rested.
This may seem obvious but getting a decent amount of sleep can make all of the difference. I’m not talking the night before, you should try to rest up weeks before your big day. Stress can take its toll on us without realizing it, even altering our appearance. Get plenty of sleep and perhaps indulge in some exercise to help work off any hidden stress.
Even though we typically think of destination elopements as spontaneous, almost impulsive acts of passion, there’s still a little bit of planning that goes into one if you want everything to go off without a hitch.
They key to a wonderful elopement is knowing the right time to do certain activities, and how to get to where you’re going in the first place.
We’ve put together a little timeline to take some of the headaches away and act as a guide for your elopement planning.
Why It’s Crucial to Plan Ahead
You want your elopement to be as stress-free as possible, right? Doing a couple hours of planning can save days worth of headaches in advance.
Even though elopements are typically smaller than weddings, there’s still a lot that goes into one if you’ve invited some friends and family and want to treat them to a good celebration. Then there is simply the importance of holding your ceremony at the right time so that it doesn’t interfere with other activities you have planned.
A properly planned destination elopement is something that can make what could be a monumental series of headaches and hiccups into a streamlined series of connected events that fit like clockwork.
Start with When You’re Holding the Ceremony
This is the centerpiece of your celebration, of course. But there’s a lot to think about other than where to have it and what to wear. The when can be almost as important, and here’s why: the lighting.
You want to avoid having a wedding ceremony of any kind fall exactly at noon or even an hour before or after. There’s a reason why it’s so desirable to have intimate photography done at sunset: it not only looks beautiful, but it makes getting incredible shots that much easier.
If you really want your elopement photos to stand out and have perfect lighting, you’re going to want your ceremony either in the morning or early evening (approx 1 1/2 hours or 2 hours before sunset), especially if you are planning to have a good portion of the ceremony outdoors. Nothing worse than a bride and groom squinting into a camera or harsh shadows across their face.
Once you know when you want to hold the actual ceremony, you can plan the rest of your day and night accordingly.
Preparing for the Elopement Ceremony
With all the fanfare surrounding the actual elopement, sometimes it’s easy to forget that you have to actually prepare “day of.”
Specifically, makeup and hair for the bride is extremely important. Even if you are going for an extremely casual, carefree elopement with minimal fanciness, the bride is going to want to make sure she’s looking her best, which means an hour or two of prep time.
Make sure you make room before the ceremony for hair and makeup. If you work this into the schedule ahead of time, you will save tons of stress when the day actually comes.
If you are having a stylist do your hair or makeup, triple check that they know the time of the day they are providing their service to you, make sure they know how to get to you if you’re not going to them, and above all, make sure you have a backup plan.
Guest Transportation and Venue Location
So you booked a fantastic hotel and you’ve planned a gorgeous little elopement – it won’t do your guests any good if they can’t get there to see it!
One of the least talked about wedding and elopement concerns is guest transportation. Not everyone will necessarily be coming by car, especially if your guests are coming in from out of state, had to fly to the destination, or if it’s taking place in the city.
Are you coordinating a couple buses? Are you relying on uber? Private car rental? Whatever the choice is, make sure you talk it over and plan ahead of time, and ensure that your guests have more than one viable option in case something goes awry.
If it’s the case where many of your guests can’t rely on their own transportation, it’s the bride and groom’s responsibility to see that your guests are accommodated. At the end of the day it’s their decision whether or not to utilize the services, but at least if you organize a shuttle or coordinate something, the option is there.
Venue location is also extremely important. All of your guests should have an easy time finding the courthouse, hotel, or ceremony location, and should have an easy means of double-checking where it is, such as on their invitation or on a social media site such as Facebook.
The location relative to parking and coordinating guests is also important. In the days leading up to the ceremony it might be wise to “scope out” the most important locations for your elopement and make sure they provide adequate parking and if not, suggest alternatives to your guests.
This is an area where the more homework you do beforehand, the less random snafus are liable to happen when you are having the ceremony. Parking can be a nightmare for dozens of people in a congested, unfamiliar area. Ease their burden (and yours) by planning ahead of time!
An elopement should be about romance first and the extras second. A proper schedule will ensure that you can focus a bit more on the former and less on the latter.
Make Reservations at Your Restaurant of Choice
One of the best parts of an elopement is not having to necessarily get tied down with a huge dinner party at a hotel. Instead, you can opt for a more romantic setting with only your closest friends and family, or even just you and your significant other.
The most important thing to remember is that a reservation is everything. The last thing you want is your heart set on a great restaurant only to be turned away. This is especially true of high class, high reputation venues that typically cater to celebrations. They’re bound to be booked, even if it’s off season or the middle of the week.
Even if you expect that there won’t be a problem getting in, you’re going to want to set up a reservation anyway. You don’t want to leave this kind of thing to chance. Also, if you’re celebrating with more than just a few people, any good restaurant is going to want to know ahead of time so that they can be properly prepared.
If you’re elopement destination of choice is indeed New Orleans, we’ve put together a must-have guide for choosing the best restaurant for an elopement dinner.
You’re also going to want to make sure you and your guests have an easy way of getting to the restaurant, so this is another instance of double-checking with uber, your private car rentals, or any kind of other transportation you are coordinating. Plan ahead!
After The Celebration is Over
What couples love about elopements is that they are like a wedding and honeymoon wrapped into one. Just because you just got married doesn’t mean the next day has to go back to the daily routine until the date of your honeymoon. The romance and excitement is just beginning.
There are a ton of amazing world-class restaurants in New Orleans, there’s no reason not to live it up and tour some of the best food the south has to offer. Attend a live jazz show, which are amazing and easy to find in the city, or tour the Mississippi river on a cruise.
With all of the art and culture in New Orleans, you can easily fill a day sightseeing the Historic district or visiting the various museums that pepper the city. Finish the night off with a stroll through the gorgeous French Quarter and stop for some drinks at one of the local lounges.
Whichever venues you decide on, make sure you do it ahead of time. Yes, there’s fun in spontaneity, but what’s even better is not having to stress about details when you should be having the time of your life.
Before the big day, sit down and plan out a time table for your celebration, including the days after, with all of the relevant times, dates, contact info, travel info, and anything else you and your guests need to make everything run smoothly. This is one of the biggest “secrets” to an unforgettable, flawless elopement. For more information and tips on Eloping, see more blogs here or email us at Info@ElopeToNola.com
For many women, finding the right dress can be one of the most important, and daunting parts of planning that goes into a wedding.
The same holds true for an elopement. Just because you’re looking to save money and have a small ceremony doesn’t mean you have to skimp on the dress. Despite what you may have heard, most women who elope still get a special dress for the occasion, and it can be every bit as fancy and elegant as a typical wedding dress.
We’re here to help you find a dress that’s the right combination of stylish and affordable – perfect for a romantic destination elopement or small wedding!
Finding the Right Elopement Dress
An elopement dress doesn’t have to be this $5000, showy thing, but it also doesn’t have to be informal. The best part about an elopement is you don’t have to stick to the norms and you can think outside the box a little.
Having more freedom with wedding dress choices is one of the best parts of an elopement: you’re also not pressured to invest so much money, because an elopement should focus on the romance and fun, not the extras!
One of the important points to remember in searching for your elopement dress should be comfort. Don’t settle for a stuffy dress that you feel like a fish out of water in. Sometimes simple and elegant beats extravagant by a mile. Besides, part of the fun of an elopement is that you can make it yours: don’t stick to norms if you don’t want to, and choose the dress that best fits your elopement theme and your style.
Dressesonline Women's Bohemian Wedding Dresses Lace Bridal Gown
This simple yet elegant bohemian style dress is the icing on the cake for a perfect elopement. It was modeled specifically for informal kinds of weddings yet still retains plenty of that effortless elegance you want for your special day.
An elopement dress doesn’t have to be a typical traditional white lacey deal with a long train, veil, and sequins, but if your idea of a simple romantic destination elopement includes a white dress for the ceremony, this would be the one to set your sights on.
Ellenhouse Women's 2018 Lace Vintage Country Style Bridal Wedding Dress
Want something a little more classic, but with a lavish twist? This dress from Ellenhouse is fashioned after classic southern ball gown styles, yet has a distinct wedding aura that makes it perfect for any size ceremony.
The simple style accentuated with lace gives this dress a truly vintage feel, which makes it especially ideal for a New Orleans style wedding or elopement ceremony!
Babyonline Women's Double V-Neck Tulle Appliques Long Evening Gown
Looking for something a little more flashy? This dress might be what you’re looking for.
Technically a cocktail dress or fancy party gown, this number caught our eye for its sheer simple elegance mixed with stark color and beautiful design. The best part of an elopement is you’re free to choose how formal you want to go, and if you want to stray from the traditional white wedding dress trope, you can’t go wrong here.
Lace, tulle, flowery yet simple, this quality dress is also extremely affordable. The last thing you want to do if you’re planning an elopement is getting caught up with spending a fortune as you would planning a traditional wedding. You absolutely don’t have to spend a month’s pay just to look stunning when you’re getting eloped. This dress definitely proves that!
Elleybuy Women's Two Pieces Beach Wedding Dresses
Want something good for an outdoor ceremony? There’s nothing more romantic than an elopement in a beautiful park or beach. This dress fits that niche rather nicely!
It’s actually a two-piece style dress, something you don’t see very often at weddings, but it works. With lace and a light gown that’s meant to catch the wind, it makes it a stunning choice for an outdoor elopement.
Lovelybride Elegant Empire Chiffon Bridal Beach Dress
As far as elopement dresses go, if you’re looking for something a bit more spicy and elegant, this one from Lovelybride might catch your eye.
Simple, shoulderless chiffon with a cinched waist and undeniable class, it’s the perfect answer to the quandary of finding a stunning elopement dress for any kind of ceremony. What makes this dress stand out compared to some of our more traditional selections is that this one is unabashedly modern, so if that is your taste, you’re going to love it!
Obqoo Gorgeous Sweetheart Beaded Lace Appliqued Ball Gown
Our last selection is possibly the most unique one. Your elopement should be special and if you want to go all out and feel like Cinderella at the ball, you should. And you can with a dress like this!
Like something custom made for a fancy ballroom dance party, this shoulderless dress features tulle lace with sequins, a corset style bodice, and a true classic ballroom skirt, for a purely eye-catching fantastical look.
Your Elopement, Your Style
Regardless of the look you choose for your ceremony, the thing to remember is, make it yours! Don’t feel tied to traditional ideas of what wedding dresses are supposed to look like. An elopement is your chance for a romantic celebration of your love with your partner. Don’t get pigeonholed into a “classic” kind of dress if that’s not what you want.
Whether it’s a ballroom look you’re going for, or a colorful outdoors feel, the first principle you should follow when looking for your elopement dress is: does it fit your style? This is your day, live it up! For eloping tips, affordable packages or to find an elopement photographer in New Orleans, contact us at ElopeToNola.com