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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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

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

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

First Look – Before or After?

Dearest Brides-to-Be,

If you have been worried about whether to have your grooms-to-be look at you before you go into the ballroom or on the stage, then this is the post for you. I’m a huge supporter of having the bride and groom do the First-Look (yani, meet each other before the party begins) for several reasons.

Now before we continue, I want to put a disclaimer: my clients are not required to do the first-look at all…It is totally up to the brides. Some families are more conservative than the others and that is absolutely okay with me. I respect my brides’ decisions regardless of our difference of opinion. But over the years of documenting weddings, I can only make suggestions to the couples as I want the BESTESTEST for them (yeah, I made that word up 😉 ).

So, couples who choose to do first-look before going to the reception/ballroom experience the following advantages:

  1. Fresh Make-up & Hair – oh lord, have mercy! I think I don’t even need to explain this one…
  2. Get the Reaction – every bride wants that from the groom. The experience of having your life-partner standing there with a dropped jaw, mesmerized by your beauty is priceless. Because UAE’s local weddings are segregated 99.999% of the times, the groom get too nervous entering the ballroom full of covered women and don’t express their feelings of looking at their beautiful bride. First-looks are the best remedy for that.
  3. More Time for photos – couples who do first-look get the photography done and are relaxed during the party. Remember, the more time you give to your photographer & videographer, the better job they’ll do.
  4. Recover the Investment – you invest a lot in wedding photography & videography, and by doing the first-look before the reception, couples generally get 40% more photos. These are the photos for the albums, house decorations, photos you’ll show your grandkids, your legacy! Make the most out of your investment….
  5. Time to Yourselves – this is the only intimate time you’ll get with each other during the wedding before its 12 am and the day changes. By having the first look before the party lets the groom tell you privately how beautiful you look. Believe me on this one!
  6. More romantic photos – the more time you get to yourselves alone, the more chances there are to share compliments & make lifelong promises that result in more of romantic photos together.
  7. More Energy – guess who’s wearing the heavy dress, high heels, and make-up? You are my dear brides. YOU are. Having the first look allows you get the photography and videography done when you have lots of energy. Not only that, the photographer & videographer have a lot of energy to be creative.
  8. Enjoy the Party – now put all the points together….you got the reaction, recovered the investment, had some time alone with your groom, got very creative & romantic photos while you had energy….now what? It’s time for you to relax & enjoy the party. Dance the night away my friend…

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With that been said, I’ll sign off with the hope that this post helped you make your decision regarding the first-look. May you enjoy your night to the fullest!

If you have any questions/concerns, please send me an email on info@rimahassan.com. If you have tips, feel free to leave them in the comment box to help others.

Shine on!

Your UnOfficial Bridesmaid,
~ Rima