Laura Stiles is a wedding photographer serving Central Texas, Georgia, and worldwide

My Top 5 Wedding Planning Tips

September 26, 2022

We all know that when it comes to planning a wedding, it can be super stressful and overwhelming! As a wedding photographer, I’ve experienced plenty of mishaps over the years with planning. So, that’s why today, I’m here to share with you my top 5 wedding planning tips!

These tips will all serve to hopefully take some stress off of your shoulders! And, it should help to make some of the aspects easier and give you more of an overview of how to navigate it all. So let’s get into it, shall we? Here are some of my biggest wedding planning tips!

Texas bride and groom wedding photo

1. Create a Mood Board Together

Let’s create a mood board together! Ideally, this would be done before you begin to nail down any design elements or rentals. As your photographer, we will work together on things like the way your color palette is photographed, attire, and your florals. (Bonus! My mom is a florist and preferred vendor, so I come with some good floral knowledge as well!) We can use this mood board to solidify your vision altogether and it also helps me to get a better idea of what the day is going to look like.

2. Hire a Day of Coordinator

I highly recommend hiring a wedding planner. If that isn’t feasible I would say at minimum hire a day of coordinator. Coordinators are invaluable in making sure that your wedding day has minimal hiccups or mistakes. The coordinator will be there to answer any questions other vendors would have otherwise asked you on the wedding day. This means a fairly stress-free day for you because there aren’t a million questions being asked of you throughout the day. They will be there to take care of anything and everything that comes up and you won’t have to worry about a thing!

3. Review Your Timeline

Whether we created the timeline together or I just input in one created by your planner, allowing me to review the timeline with you at least 3 weeks prior to your wedding day means there will be minimal surprises! I love to go over a list of “must have” shots with brides to make sure that one, they get the images they’ve dreamed of, and two, that I am able to accomplish those photos within the correct time slot and location.

Bride and groom Texas wedding photo

4. Create a Family Photo List

Family photos can be one of, if not the top, most stressful moments during the wedding day. Go into your planning with a CLEAR-CUT list of family photo combinations. If Aunt June tries to spring a “Stiles Cousin Photo” on you, have no fear! With my trusty list, I am able to politely decline as we are following a plan. It’s hard to say no and make up some excuse, but when I know that this is a well-thought-out process I have a clear idea of want is wanted and what to disregard.

5. Stay Away From Being Too Trendy

I know it can be hard to stay away but read through my own personal story first before you make up your mind! When I got married, Texas barn weddings were ALL THE RAGE. So I made my wedding as rustic-themed as I possibly could. And while everyone loves to Texas two-step and enjoys homemade pies, I’m sure they weren’t too thrilled looking at my dad’s giant size 14 boot on the table as a centerpiece. Yes. I did this…. boots as centerpieces. I am not knocking this if it is your style. But, it wasn’t my style… it was me following a trend. And now I look back and wish I had not done that. Trends can come in all forms, from the decorations, to the color schemes, and the florals. Just about anything! My biggest suggestion is to try to choose elements that will stay timeless. If you want to go “trendy” make it a smaller element of the wedding. For example, I could have done a few boot arrangements as aisle markers or on the guest book table. And I could’ve left the more timeless, classic centerpieces for the main tables themselves!

Texas wedding photo

I hope my top 5 wedding planning tips helped! For more wedding day inspiration check out this Mississippi wedding by clicking here. To book me for your big day click here!


“There are not enough stars I could give this photographer! My husband and I were having a very small and intimate wedding that turned last minute into a monsoon. That didn’t stop Laura from providing top notch photography. The photos she took of our wedding will be the best photos I have ever been in. She came all the way to TN and it was more than worth it. I wouldn’t hesitate for a second to book her again. You will not be disappointed.”

– Lauren Smith

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