Wedding Insights From REAL Couples | Christopher Duggan Photography

Wedding Insights from 2021 Couples (Part 3!) | Christopher Duggan Photography

by | Mar 24, 2022 | Wedding Insights | 0 comments

After photographing weddings for 19 years, I’ve developed a lot of knowledge in how to make your wedding an easy-flowing day.

A few years back, I wrote about having a tech-free wedding, how to prepare for your family portraits on your wedding day, why engagement sessions have an impact on your actual wedding day, and more.

In addition to those professional insights, I’ve made it a habit to reach out to couples I’ve worked with to get their expert advice, too. (Find Part 1 & Part 2 here)

I ask them to tell me one or two things (photography-related or otherwise) that helped them have an easy-flowing and relaxed wedding day. I wanted to know the wisdom that they gained while planning their special day.

This way, I can share expert insights from REAL couples. And because my clients are the best, I’ve been able to collect some really awesome feedback. = )

This year I asked, “What’s one thing you wish you knew before your wedding?”

So, without further adieu, here are some key pieces of advice from REAL couples…

Wedding Insights From REAL Couples | Christopher Duggan Photography
Wedding Insights From REAL Couples | Christopher Duggan Photography
Wedding Insights From REAL Couples | Christopher Duggan Photography
Wedding Insights From REAL Couples | Christopher Duggan Photography
“This one is for the Type-A planners: You can plan and plan all you want, but the day will turn out to be nothing like what you expect. So just go with the flow and enjoy yourself in every moment even if it’s not what you thought you’d be doing. Let the day surprise you!

Mistakes were made:

Mistake #1: At one point my dress bustle came loose in one spot and I was dragging a piece of dress around. I thought that piece came from the inside and it was an unimportant piece of tulle… so I cut it. DO NOT CUT YOUR DRESS… use a pin to collect any loose pieces and pin it on the inside. I ended up cutting a piece that had some trim so it will need to be repaired if someone were to re-wear it in the future. My priorities were getting back to the dance floor ASAP, so I regret making that rash decision.

Mistake #2: My veil annoyed me on the way to the venue from the church (it kept pulling my hair back), so I took it off thinking I already had plenty of photos with it on. I regret not having more veil photos, especially in the gardens… it would have added a nice touch.

Of course, we couldn’t be more thrilled with the photos that we have and the moments that were captured! Thank you again for everything!”


– Patricia, Bride

Wedding Insights From REAL Couples | Christopher Duggan Photography

“I was SO happy that we did our couple portraits before our ceremony. I know some people really want the traditional walk down the aisle moment. But for me, the minute I saw my husband all my anxieties, nerves, and worries went away. And then we were able to spend an hour together connecting, laughing, and taking photos together (with Christopher and my sister/MOH of course). It really grounded me before the whirlwind of the event itself began. Plus, we were able to visit with our guests at cocktail hour instead of disappearing for a photoshoot! Don’t worry: the walk down the aisle moment was still incredibly special – seeing each other in advance did not “ruin” anything!”


– Mariclare, Bride

Wedding Insights From REAL Couples | Christopher Duggan Photography
“Do not underestimate the ceremony. It was my favorite part of the day and the most memorable in my mind. This seems like a no-brainer, given it’s the moment you get married to your partner, but weddings can be big events with a lot of moving pieces and it’s easy to get caught up in all the details and minutia of the party planning. Sometimes the ceremony can feel like it’s been put on the backburner. My sister was our officiant and planning the ceremony itself and then experiencing it and reading our vows to each other was the highlight of our wedding day.

Don’t worry about what you cannot control (in my case, wild card family members and the weather… but I’ll give an example about the weather!). Everyone says this and everyone still worries… I get it! But, there really is nothing you can do except to try and be prepared.

We had a farm wedding that was entirely outside, albeit tented, and a massive rainstorm was forecast to come through the day of our wedding. I was a mess of worry leading up to the event! But my partner and planner, Rachael Solomon at Bad Boss Bride, took charge and just planned for any scenario, adding tent walls and other backup tents if we needed more space for the ceremony. Having backup plans gave us all peace of mind. Then the day came, and, guess what!? The rain held out. We got through the ceremony under the sun and were surprised with a DOUBLE RAINBOW as a background for photos before the showers started in the evening. Sometimes the most stressful things can turn into the luckiest omen and most beautiful photos!”


– Nickie, Bride (View more wedding photos here!)

Wedding Insights From REAL Couples | Christopher Duggan Photography
“Below are some things I learned:


  • Engagement Photo sessions are important, even if you don’t plan on using the photos themselves in your Save The Dates/Invites. It was so nice for us to get comfortable with you / getting our photos taken before the wedding itself (there’s SO MUCH going on during the wedding day… it was nice to have that level of comfortability).  
  • You are going to want more hours of photos than you think, as it’s not ONLY the Ceremony and Reception that will need to be photographed. Some of our favorite photos are of us getting ready, and candid shots from our After Party (which we ended up adding on the day of the wedding!)
  • It’s important to write out the photos that you definitely want taken prior to the wedding. I wouldn’t have thought of this without you asking us, but it was so nice for us that you knew what we wanted & were able to guide us through it.
  • If I did it again, I would hire two photographers for when we were getting ready. My husband and I were in separate places leading up to the wedding, so it was really fun for us to see moments in each other’s day that we didn’t get to experience directly ourselves.
  • I wish I could go back in time and tell myself not to stress so much. The vendors you are hiring are experts in their craft. Believe them when they say that they know what they’re doing… they want things to go well just as much as you do!”

– Meagan, Bride

Wedding Insights From REAL Couples | Christopher Duggan Photography
“I learned that your wedding day goes by in a blink of an eye. Try to take in and enjoy every second of the day because it flies by in one second!

Leading up to your big day, try to make every effort not to stress about the small little details. You have to trust that everything will fall into place! Just remember that nobody will notice if one small detail may not be exactly what you envisioned.

Use vendors who specialize in weddings to help you remain confident both before and on your wedding day. The videographers on Christopher’s team were trustworthy, organized, and captured every special detail of the entire day! Thank you to Christopher and his entire team for creating our amazing wedding films that we will now be able to enjoy in the years to come!”


– Lauren, Bride (Watch her wedding film trailer here!)

I have some pretty amazing clients!

If you’re currently planning a wedding (or if you’ve already tied the knot!), do you have a piece of advice that you would like to add to this list? Send me a DM on Instagram or leave a comment here!



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