May 17, 2023
Hi! I’m Alli L! I’ve been a Sudbury photographer for 10 + years. I mostly document, you guessed it, weddings. Over the last 10 years I have seen my fair share of wedding days. I started to notice there was a theme I was hearing repeatedly from various couples, “it just went by so fast’ or ‘where did the day go or ‘I wish I could remember these moments for ever’. As a Sudbury photographer, I already have the upper hand out of all of your wedding vendors to help make this a possibility. With the images I document, you will be able to look back and see the moments over and over and over again, but my goal is to help you do better, for you to remember the smallest details of the day and how the day FELT and not the way it felt through my eyes but through your own experience.
A wedding day is full of fleeting moments. It can be so easy to get caught up in the hustle of it all. It can also be so easy to get swept into an ‘everything needs to be perfect’ mind loop.
Below are 4 tips to help you stop these things from happening and to help you develop vivid memories.
How to stay present on your wedding day.
I know this sounds funny to say because aren’t we all just walking around breathing all day, every day?
Well, yes but I mean, breathe with intention!
I read an article (that I now can’t find to source) that talked about deep belly breaths help to slow your breathing, reduce any stress and help you to remember. It went on to say using a 4-3-8 breathing count for a few rounds is great to improve memory retentions. Deep belly breathe in for 4 counts, hold for 3 and release slow for 8 counts.
When we take intentional deep breaths through out the day it helps us to imprint the moment. So maybe in the middle of the dance floor you can’t break into a 4-3-8 breath work practice but you can take a few intentional deep breaths while allowing your senses to take in the moment to be imprinted.
2. Use your senses.
Sight, Sound, Smell, Taste, Touch.
Name 5 things of each sense to help you remember. (This is also a great practice to ground yourself or someone when they are anxious) but the senses are parts of the strongest memories! Think, have you ever been transported to a moment in time just by smelling something? I smell homemade bread and I’m back in the kitchen watching my mom kneading dough.
Take in the things around you, talk about them out loud with someone or even tell yourself a story in your head about them so you can later recall these moments better later.
Involving multiple areas of the brain creates multiple pathways for greater recall.
Curate these things through out your day. Have a scent specific to your day. Maybe a perfume you wear for the first time and on every anniversary you bring it back.
3. Take off those shoes!
If you have ever seen me documenting a wedding there is a good chance you have seen me with no shoes on and it’s not because I was wearing uncomfortable shoes. I do it to ground myself. I know you may be thinking this sounds kind of woowoo but hear me out!
We are much like the electricity that is surrounding us in all the things we use in our every day lives. Now if you know anything about electricity, you know there is ALWAYS a ground wire. The purpose of this wire is to allow excess electricity to flow to the ground and without it, we overload the circuit board. You know the moment when you are trying to use the kettle, coffee machine, microwave and who knows what else all at the same time at camp and everything just stops.
Well we humans are much like electricity. With too much of it (feeling like anxiety, overthinking, stress, worry, fear) we just can’t keep up and this may cause us to shut down or not function at our best so we need to ground the energy. There are many ways we can do this, meditation, breath work or other somatic practices to regulate the nervous system but in the middle of a wedding, these just don’t seem realistic! So kick those shoes off and let the grass tickle your toes!
Maybe you are asking yourself why take your shoes off. The materials shoes are made of these days blocks the flow of energy so unless you are wearing earth runners or a company similar, it just isn’t achieving the same results as you would if you were barefoot!
4. Take photos!
Yes you have hired a photographer to document your day for you but the act of taking photos can help imprint the moment in your memories more than just observing the moment. Why you ask? Because when we are focusing on how we want to crop the image, how it looks in the view finder, we are taking in details that we may not have otherwise noticed. So pull out that cell phone, place disposable digital cameras on each table or maybe thrift an old film camera to have with you through out the day.
Here in Sudbury there is a wicked little shop called Café Obscura on Kathleen. The owner sells used film cameras for really reasonable prices and sometimes he has new disposable cameras as well. He also develops the film and sends you scans of the images. He is also a wealth of knowledge and up for a chat to teach you a thing or two any day!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Hi, I’m Alli L – a heart centered documentary-style wedding photographer servicing Sudbury, Muskoka, and Ontario. Nature, connection, beautiful light and real emotion are my jam!