Honest Thoughts on My Wedding Day: From a Wedding Photographer

Honest Thoughts on My Wedding Day: From a wedding photographer by Alyssa Ashley Photography

I cannot believe that it’s already been almost 8 years since I married my person! And while I’ve had plenty of time to reflect on what I wish I had done differently and what I’m glad I did, I definitely see things in a different light now that I am a wedding and lifestyle photographer. If you’ve spent anytime on social media lately, you’ve probably caught a few videos exactly on this very topic. So I’m here to share my honest thoughts on my wedding day: from a wedding photographer. Let’s dive into it and journey back to 2016!

Before we dive into the nitty gritty on the “highs and lows” of my wedding day, here’s a little bit of a backstory as to why my husband and I had the wedding we did. My husband (TJ) and I tied the knot right out of college. At that time in our lives, we had the most incredible circle of college friends, high school friends, and family surrounding us. Because we had so many people that we valued, we knew we wanted to have a large, traditional, local wedding. We got married in a local church and had our reception in a huge reception hall.

As you read through my honest thoughts on my wedding day, I want to encourage you to take it with a grain of salt. I can wholeheartedly say that I wouldn’t have actually change anything looking back, solely because it was the chapter that we were in. While our circumstances may be different now when it comes to our values, we chose what we did back then because it made sense. So if you find yourself in a season where things make sense, go for it! I want to encourage you to stay true to who you are as a couple above all else. 

Enough of that now, let’s get into what you’re really here for: the tea. 😉 

Honest Thoughts on My Wedding Day

3 Things I Wish I Did on My Wedding Day

  1. Spend money on a wedding videographer. While I’m so grateful that TJ and I chose an incredible wedding photographer to document our day, I find myself wishing we had hired a wedding videographer. In 2016, wedding videographers weren’t really a huge thing, so I don’t even think we felt like we were “missing” something. But nowadays, it seems like everyone has a wedding videographer. I know it would’ve been really special to watch interactions with everyone unfold. There’s something so special about being able to reminisce on your wedding day, especially through photo and video. 
  2. Not focus so much on decor. Looking back on my wedding day, I placed a lot of time, importance, and effort in the appearance of the day. I genuinely just wanted things to look nice for everyone and for our photos. Nowadays, I probably wouldn’t have wasted so much valuable time on making decor or even spending money on it. 
  3. Choose a wedding venue that had everything in one space. One of the biggest hassles on our wedding day was having to transport decorations, gifts, guest book, etc. from our ceremony space to our reception space. I’m so grateful that we were able to have the church wedding we dreamt of, but it really would’ve been nice to have a space that could’ve housed everything. Figuring out transportation, carpooling, and where to stop for photos was definitely a stressor that I could’ve done without!
Honest Thoughts on My Wedding Day: From a wedding photographer by Alyssa Ashley Photography

3 Things I’m Glad I Did on My Wedding Day

  1. Had a private first look. Although my wedding day was more traditional, I’m so thankful TJ and I decided to have a first look. To this day, that is my favorite memory from our day! We were able to hug one another, read letters, cry, and soak up some time one-on-one. Our day flew by so quickly, but it felt like time stood still during our first look. 
  2. Had a large wedding. If that’s not a hot take, I don’t know what is! Since the pandemic, it definitely seems like intimate weddings and elopements are all the rage. And while I definitely get the appeal of both, I’m so thankful we chose to stay true to our desires and have a large wedding. Again, at that time in our lives, that’s what made the most sense. Looking back on photos, it’s so heartwarming to reminisce and know that all of our favorite people were there for us. We had nearly 300 guests, and I loved every second of that.
  3. Dedicated ample time to photos. I promise this isn’t the “wedding photographer” coming out in me! Our day felt so much less stressful because we had added in buffer time for our photos. I didn’t want to feel like I was buzzing from place to place or running late. Our wedding photographer helped ensure that we got every photo we wanted. Our photographer also spent almost the entire day with us, capturing every moment. She was there for our getting ready photos all the way through some of our dancing.
Honest Thoughts on My Wedding Day: From a wedding photographer by Alyssa Ashley Photography

Minnesota Wedding + Lifestyle Photographer | Alyssa Ashley Photography

If you’re a past bride, I’d love to know your own honest thoughts from your wedding day. Head over to the ‘Gram (@alyssaashley_photography) and send me a DM! If you’re a future bride, be sure to follow along ON THE BLOG for wedding planning tips and wedding day inspiration. 



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