Wedding Planning & Setting Expectations

Hello lovely Brides-to-Be,

When I spoke at the Pre-Wedding Extravaganza event hosted by MyList.ae, I shared insights on how to prepare for the wedding, setting timelines, communication, and expectations.

Here is another installment of UnOfficial Bridesmaid‘s post, for those who weren’t able to attend the event, to help brides-to-be with the pre-wedding planning & how to set expectations for wedding vendors & for yourself!

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1. Setting Time

  • remind all the vendors of your wedding date and location.
  • discuss timeline with the decorator, makeup artist & hair stylist, photographer, ballroom staff, DJ, etc. All of Them!
  • make sure the checks/payments are made/cleared a week before the wedding.
  • keep grace period for everyone. If the makeup artist told you she will be there by 4pm, don’t expect that your makeup is starting at 4pm. She needs time to arrive, parking, setup her stuff, and then she starts her work.
  • set aside plentyyyyyyyyyyyy of time for the photoshoot.

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2. Communication

  • please make sure to discuss details with all appropriate vendors.
  • ask questions & explain yours concerns so the vendors can answer them.
  • if you have a certain concern about photography, like one side of your face better than the other, don’t like the curtain colors of the bridal suite, make sure you discuss it with your photographer.
  • don’t assume you will receive things (projectors, screens, extra pages in the album, extra tables/chairs in the ballroom) that are not mentioned on contract. If you want/need something, discuss the details beforehand with the specific vendor.

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3. Setting Expectations

  • how you set expectations of the wedding vendors is what you will receive. If you are late for a meeting, the vendor might think it is okay for you if they are late. Set their expectations right.
  • make sure to explain each vendor how important time is for you. If everything is going in a timely manner, you will enjoy your wedding to the fullest. I PROMISE!

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I hope these tips help you plan a wedding of your dreams. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to ask them in the comments section and I will be more than happy to answer them.

Your UnOfficial Bridesmaid,
~ Rima

 

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Pre-Wedding Extravaganza – Bloomingdale’s Dubai

I feel so humbled when MyList.ae invited me to speak again (for the third time to be exact) at their Pre-Wedding Extravaganza event to help the future brides-to-be hosted at Bloomingdale’s, The Dubai Mall.

Pre-Wedding Invitation

I was able to speak alongside some wonderful wedding vendors including We Do Weddings & Events (wedding planner), Pret A Papier Design (invitations & stationary), MyList.ae (party favors & gifts), Magnolia Bakery, The White Boutique (catering), Bloomingdale’s professional team of makeup artists & jewelry specialist, and florist. All the wedding experts gave extremely useful tips to the future brides to help them plan their fairytale wedding.

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I spoke about how to prepare for the wedding, timelines, budgeting, communicating with the vendors, and setting expectations. I will blog about these in details under UnOfficial Bridesmaid category for the future brides who were not able to attend.MyList_Event_Wedding_Female_Photographer_Dubai_Rima_Hassan_0001

Thank you super much to Line & Stefanie from MyList.ae for inviting me to speak at the event & for such an educational and successful event. I hope the brides use all the ideas, tips, and tricks while planning their wedding day and it helps them achieve the day of their dreams.

Love,
~ Rima

P.S. The past two MyList.ae’s events that I spoke at can be found HERE & HERE.

Planning Wedding Timeline

Dear Brides & Photographer Friends,

This blog post is for both of you ❤ ❤

Lets chat about Wedding Timeline because it is not one of the mostttttttttt, but THE MOST important thing when planning a wedding (for brides) and setting expectations of the clients & getting things done (for photographers).

those who Fail to Plan,
Plan to Fail!

That’s exactly why I love talking to each bride and discuss their wedding timeline way in advance. This gives me insight of their plans, how the wedding day will unfold, & helps me not to miss any details.

While discussing the timeline, I always ask all the vendors’ names for credits, give tips and insights of the wedding to my brides and answer any questions/concerns they might have. I also make sure to let them know how much time I need for specific section of the photoshoot and to keep some grace time for prayers, late makeup artist, hairstylist, mishaps, etc.

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Following are some of the questions I always ask my brides and write them down.

  1. Is the bride getting ready at a salon, the venue, bridal room, or hotel suite?
    • helps me determine travel time to/from the ballroom.
  2. Who is the makeup artist, makeup start & finish time.
    • Is the makeup artist doing makeup on family members or only the bride? This can make/break the entire timeline.
  3. Who is the hairstylist, hair start & finish time.
  4. Is the groom coming for the photoshoot before or after the ceremony?
    • Brides, feel free to read my recommendation about first look – it is super useful, promise!
  5. Ballroom/kosha ready time.
  6. Expected number of guests. Expected arrival time.
    • helps me plan how much time I have for the ballroom decorations’ photos.
  7. Bride’s entrance time.
    • helps me know time for bride-groom’s photoshoot from her prep until her entrance.
  8. Any entertainment, singers, performers, Zaffa, belly-dancers, violinist, etc.
    • anything the couple spend time/effort/money on must be documented.
  9. Groom’s entrance time.
    • I also ask if the groom is coming in alone or with family/friends. Helps me choose the right lens in advance 😉
  10. Cake cutting & drink exchange times.
  11. Family photos time.
  12. Expected exit time.

I hope this post helps you plan the wedding day even better. If you have ANY questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments below and I’d be moreeeeee than happy to answer them.

Love,
Your UnOfficial Bridesmaid & PF (photographer friend) 😉
~ Rima

20 Must Haves – Bride’s Emergency Kit

My darling Brides-To-Be,

Writing the last blog post about the 5 things brides forget on the wedding day, I thought a detailed post with a bride’s must haves is essential. Although you may buy Sephora’s Minimergency Kit that is ready to use but making one with things from your favorite brands is more fun (& useable).

Bridesmaids, it is a wonderful idea to make this emergency kit for your girlfriends 😉 Just saying….

Following are a handful things that you may need/want on the day of the wedding day and honeymoon.

  1. BreathMints/Chewing gum – to get your mouth ready for that first kiss.
  2. Tweezers – for stray hair and clamped lashes.
  3. Blotting Paper – to absorb the oil & remove shine.
  4. Face Mist – to refresh the makeup & calm the skin.
  5. Tissue Papers – to dab away happy tears.
  6. Safety & Bobby pins – always come in handy.
  7. Stain Remover – God forbid you need to use them.
  8. Adhesive band-aids – for small cuts/injuries.
  9. Earring backs – I lose them like a magician.
  10. Deodorant towelette – in case you are not carrying a deo.
  11. Nail polish remover pad – for girls who need to pray.
  12. Tooth paste & brush – are not included in most hotels’ toiletries.
  13. Lip balm – for chapped/dry lips.
  14. Nail filer – always carry one. Alwaysssss!
  15. Hair spray – to hold hair in place.
  16. Dental floss – for a picture perfect smile.
  17. Mending/Sewing kit – I had actually sew a bride’s ripped dress.
  18. Double-sided tape – for falling hemlines & plunging necklines.
  19. Pain reliever – for head/stomach aches.
  20. Lipstick – Ladies, don’t ever underestimate the power of lipstick 😉

Here is a bonus tip – if you are a hijabi (mohajibba), a few hair-ties and a nude-color scarf will definitely come in handy!

I hope the list helps you prepare your emergency kit. For any questions/concerns or to add something to the list, feel free to leave a comment.

Your UnOfficial Bridesmaid,
~ Rima

5 Things Brides Forget On Their Wedding Day

Words can never explain how much I love my brides. To the moon & beyond…

While my brides have proven to be very organized and amazing planners, I’ve seen a constant pattern of things that most brides tend to forget on the wedding day. Although it is never intentional and totally understandable as the wedding planning is not a piece of cake, but a little reminder is always nice.

Here is a list of 5 things that most brides forget & my two cents about those things. May this post helps you plan your dream wedding day even better, inshaAllah.

5 Things Bride Forget On their Wedding Day

  1. Have the groom’s wedding ring with you.
    You’ll need all two/three for the detail photos so make sure the groom’s ring is with you on the day of the wedding.
  2. Wedding invitation card. 
    Invitation cards/suite/stationary often tends to get lost years after the wedding. Have them incorporated within the photos. Also, invitation cards provide great ring shots with bride & groom’s names/logos.
  3. Hangers/mannequin for the dress.
    Make sure the hanger is not colorful/flashy to take the attention away from the dress. Also, the hanger should be able to bear the weight of the dress & its hook should be TWIST-ABLE! If you are getting a mannequin, check if the dress fits on it properly and the base is stable.
  4. Emergency kit.
    A sewing kit, bobby pins, safety pins, Tide pen (stain-remover), tissues, face-mist, small scissors, double-sided tape, mini deodorant, nail-filer – are just a few things you might need on the wedding day.
  5. Eat!!! Pleaseeeeeeeee.
    OMG! There is nothing more frightening than watching a malnourished bride faint on a wedding day. I HAVE SEEN IT!!! Not only it is terrifying, it sucks out all the fun and also reduces so much time for photos. Make sure to eat well before the makeup starts.

The ONLY thing I actually wish the brides forget on their wedding day is worrying! Don’t get caught up in the midst of tiny imperfections, a loose thread, a missing flower from the bouquet, etc. Try to enjoy your day to the fullest despite of the small stuff.

May you have an UNFORGETTABLE wedding day, ameen.

Your UnOfficial Bridesmaid,
~ Rima

A Step Forward…

She had tons of questions…
Being the first one amongst her siblings to get married, she was lost in all the wedding planning process. As I was answering her questions, a past bride of mine came in to meet me. I asked her to join in and the conversation went to a whole new level.

I sat back and watched both of these amazing girls. It was like watching an amateur meeting an experienced one. The crazy idea popped into my head and I asked the bride-to-be if she’d be interested in meeting my other past & future brides to help her plan the wedding. She agreed in a heartbeat. Before leaving, she turned back and said thank you several times to my past bride and myself for being the reason that so much of her stress was reduced.

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In that moment, I felt like I was the missing link! I decided that I haddddddd to take a step forward & plan a friendly get-together for my future brides-to-be. To help them connect the dots, help each other with the tiring wedding planning, bring and share ideas to plan and have the best day of their lives.

With that being said, I feel sooooo very nervous & super excited at the same time because I actually did take the step…..the venue has been booked, invitations have been sent, and I can’t wait to see what this small step will result into…

Cheers to a step forward!

The Missing Link,
~ Rima

Things Worth Seeing…

I cherish spending time with the couple beforehand as well as on the wedding day and getting to know their love story. I love watching their chemistry and writing about it. When I am unable to express my severe joy and/or sadness, I write – hence this specific post is a byproduct of my extreme happiness & dedicated to the bridesmaids who put their hearts and souls to make it the best day of their friend’s life.

This past weekend, I was honored to document wedding of a bride who was loved and cherished and taken care of beyondddddddddd measure. The bride’s family and school-friends since childhood, along with her teachers were so immensely involved throughout the wedding planning process. She had an entire army of absolutely adorable bridesmaids. Their love & compassion for the bride showed in every conversation & gesture.

Not only I thoroughly enjoyed watching their excitement, my heart was doing its happy-dance the entire duration of the wedding and even until now for being able to observe them take love to a whole new level…

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Sometimes, reading between the lines leave me speechless. It’s not about how much money is being spent on the stage, decorations, overall wedding. I absolutely enjoy to witness care & love of the family and friends for the bride and the groom. It shows how good-hearted the people giving the love are, but it also shows that people receiving that love are more than deserving.

And that is exactly the type of brides/couples I feel humbled & honored to work with. Who give and receive love with pure heart. Who do things selflessly. Who see beyond what is visible. Who see things worth seeing….

Choosing THE Wedding Photographer

Dear Brides-to-be,

You are probably on a hunt to find the best person who can document your wedding day. Let me take a minute and explain why choosing a wedding photographer is a lot more than choosing someone to take good photos.

Wedding photographers are the only wedding vendors who will be with you throughout the day, witnessing your love story unfold, and documenting the union of two people beginning a new journey. We are in the business of love.

To enhance your experience and to make sure that your day goes smoothly, here are some tips to make sure you choose the right wedding photographer to document your big day.

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  1. Research Well – during the tiring wedding planning, don’t just hire a photographer that your best friend and/or cousin hired. Make sure you choose someone who fits your budget as well as your aesthetic vision. If you are planning an indoor wedding, do NOT choose an outdoor photographer merely based on how much you like their photos. Choose someone who’s style matches yours especially based on the type of wedding you are planning.
  2. Meet the Photographer – after cutting down the list of best choices, email the photographers to set up a meeting (given that they live in the same city). If you are planning to have a destination photographer, make sure to have a Skype session to explain your wedding planning and requirements.
  3. Personality Matters (a lot!) – Once you meet/Skype with the selected photographers, then decide to hire one you can imagine having around on your big day. If you gel well with the photographer during the initial meeting, chances are they are the ones you want to spend your special day with.
  4. Communication is the Key – make sure to keep your photographer in loop via email sharing special details, décor design, asking for their feedback. Do not hesitate to ask questions regarding lighting, timelines, and stage layout. Also, make sure you are comfortable enough with the photographer to discuss any family and/or timeline issues that may occur on the wedding day.
  5. Timeline is Essential – If a photographer is not asking for a timeline, make sure you take things in your hands and discuss how your day will go. Discuss what time you expect them to arrive and for how long you will need them for. Ask them how much time they need for bride & groom’s formals and family photos.
  6. Trust is a valuable asset – when you choose a photographer after research, trust them. Refrain from asking to see every photo that they click.What you see is unedited and may make the photographer hesitant and under pressure.
  7. Go with the Flow – it is crucial to understand that things will go wrong on the wedding day. They always do. The bouquet is not the right size, the makeup artist is late, the centerpieces have pink peonies instead of white. Don’t let things ruin your day (and photos). Brides who are angry will look angry in the photos despite of the efforts to smile. Believe that your wedding day will end well and it will.

May you find the best photographer who’s intention is to provide you an experience along with beautiful photos. May the photographer with happy memories of your wedding day. Oh and in case you want to get in touch with me, fill out the contact form to holla at your girl 🙂

Love,
~ Rima

MyList Wedding Workshop – Dubai, UAE

My heart frequently desire to do things outside of the box. I come up with crazy ideas but most of the times I end the thought with ‘may be one day…’ or ‘soon’ because I simply don’t know where to begin.

When Anne from MyList.ae asked me to be a part of their Wedding Workshop in association with BetterLifeUAE, I felt so honored & agreed with all my heart! Better Life event  invitation

The workshop was held at BetterLife’s showroom in Mall of the Emirates. It was absolutely fun, educational for the brides-to-be, and free. Yes, it was FREE!MyList_BetterLife_Event_Mall_Emirates_Dubai-UAE

I was so honored to be speaking alongside some of the best professionals in the industry such as May from WeddingHaven, Olivia from HelloChef, Mirna from MyPediaClinic, and Kiah from ToniqueConsultancy.

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Because the event was targeted towards brides-to-be, I spoke about how to choose your wedding photographer. I will be blogging about it under my “UnOfficial Bridesmaid” series soon for those who missed the event.MyList_BetterLife_Event_Rima_Hassan_Photography

Thank you to Julie & Anne from MyList.ae for inviting me for this workshop & to put together such a wonderful (and successful) event, to Johanna from BetterLife for being a wonderful host, and to all the attendees. I hope that the event was as educational and fun for you as it was for me.

Much love,
~ Rima

Six Tips for Engagement Photos

Dearest Brides-to-Be,

Congrats on saying YES to the proposal…
If you are planning your first party (milcha/engagement) to announce being officially together, this post is perfect for you!

After documenting countless engagement parties, I jot down a quick list to give brides some thought provoking ideas to think about while planning their first day as husband & wife.

  1. It is OKAY to be nervous! It is the first time you are being professionally photographed together as a couple. A little nervousness is okay but don’t let it hold you back from enjoying the party.
  2. Be on time. This is very important. Discuss the timeline with your makeup artist, hairstylist, and of course your photographer. Make sure everything is running smoothly and you are ready on time to make the most of your investments.
  3. Confidence is the key. The first 20 minutes of photo-session will be awkward. It is normal. Don’t let your nervousness make you more nervous. Make sure to smile a lot & enjoy your time with him. When you are confident, it shows in the images.
  4. Prepare the groom. If you are planning on having him put jewelry on you, make sure to tell him to practice. If he knows how to open and close the jewelry pieces, it’ll be easy for him to do and will result in more natural photos.
  5. Set priorities. Having props with sentimental value for both you and the groom is awesome but having 10+ props & expecting the photographer to take photos of each one might not be a great idea. You & your husband are the stars of the night. You are the priority. Don’t get lost in the props game.
  6. Relax & trust your photographer. You probably chose your photographer after much consideration and for a reason (hopefully their personality is your #1 priority). Trust them. Allow them to be creative & you’ll have an awesome photo session.

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I hope these tips help you and result in the best of photos ❤
If you have some tips for the future brides-to-be, I’m all ears. Share them in the comments below.

Happy Planning,
~ Rima