Lukas & Suzy International Wedding Photographers » Blog

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  • WELCOME!

    Welcome to the blog! If the banner doesn't make it obvious enough I'll just spill the beans and let you know that we are a full time husband and wife wedding photography team. We love life, God, weddings, and if you slide over our names to the left you'll note a few other things we love.

    We are based out of Los Angeles, and when I say that, I mean our studio is right in the smack dab center of downtown. However, if you start browsing through the blog history you will soon note that we shoot weddings all over the country and world. We put a lot into making our images so I hope you enjoy checking some of them out!

    If you're up for having a great time at your wedding, and our photos have the look you are going for, then feel free to shoot us a note and we would love to chat some more!

    - Lukas and Suzy VanDyke

14 Simple Ways to make Your Wedding Day Better

I’ve photographed over 100 weddings in the past couple years. Through it all I’ve seen a lot of simple little things that people have done, or could have done, to remove stress from their wedding day. There are literally thousands of different tips out there that may or may not apply to your wedding. But I tried to narrow this down to a few which will apply to almost every wedding.

The top 14 in no particular order:

1. Have an appointed Starbucks person. It’s rare that I go to a wedding where I don’t see Starbucks drinks in everyone’s hand as they get ready. But sometimes people end up being late, get lost looking for a Starbucks, or fall asleep because they could never find one. So who knows, maybe uncle Ted really wants to help with the wedding and this could be his job.

2. Have food available for the bridal party. I can’t tell you how many weddings I have been to where people run off, are late getting ready, or are just grumpy because they are hungry. If you’re all getting ready somewhere, buy a 24 pack of those big fluffy muffins from Costco. Or if it’s in the afternoon have a sandwich plate available. It’s a cheap easy solution to save a lot of hassle and stress when the bridal party might not have time in the schedule to find food.

3.  Plan enough time for everything. When I meet with couples I always tell them it’s better to have extra time and be able to chill with the bridal party than having to stress about getting to the wedding on time. Things almost always get delayed somehow. So it’s good to leave a little buffer in the schedule.

4. Bring a Tide Bleach Pen. Every now and then something will get on your dress and that’s an easy way to get it off. But only use it if you have a white dress. For ivory dresses have some soap and laundry detergent available.

5. Have a bag of multi sized safety pins, bobby pins, needle and thread, and two sided tape available. I’ve seen or heard about no end to problems with wedding dresses on the day of the wedding. Be ready for adjustments here and there as you go. You may need to get sewn into your dress if the zipper breaks, but it’s better than not having a dress at all!

6. Bring comfortable shoes. Sometimes the elegant high heels are my favorite part of the brides wedding outfit. But it’s a good idea to have some cute sandals or something else available in case you need to walk over some grass or sand to get to wherever you are doing your photos. It might also be nice for later on the dance floor.

7. Sleep the night before. I’ve been to a lot of weddings where the bride or groom only got 2 hours of sleep. It makes for a really long day. Seriously plan to be in bed 10 hours before you need to get up. Then if you get to bed later or can’t fall asleep you will still end up with near 8 hours.

8. Bring some tums, aspirin and cold medicine. You never know what your body is going to do the day of the wedding and it’s nice to have something available for quick relief.

9. Email a schedule to everyone. It’s a good idea to send it the week before, then just foward the same email to everyone again the day before. I’ve also seen people print the schedule on business cards or little 3×5 cards and hand them out at the rehearsal dinner. It’s a simple way for everyone to keep it in their pocket or purse and not be calling the bride 20 times on the morning of the wedding asking when and where they should be.

10. Plan the ride situation. Make sure everyone who needs a ride has one. I’ve been to many weddings where people end up making multiple trips between locations to get everyone to the right place. Make sure you know who’s driving who where so that the bride and groom won’t need to worry about it.

11. Make sure someone is responsible for clean up. Make sure someone other than the bride or groom is in charge of  making sure the hotel room where you got ready, or the dressing room at the church is cleaned and all the left over stuff is collected.

12. Plan a getaway time and make it adjustable. It kind of depends on your crowd. But It’s usually better to leave when people are still excited and enjoying the party instead of looking at their watches cause it’s 1:00am and they are wondering when you will leave. Plan a time, but be ready to leave a little earlier to stay a little later depending on how the crowd looks.

13. Have your honeymoon bag packed and in the right car. This has also caused many delays and awkward moments when the bride and groom hop in the limo as everyone cheers them off, but then the limo backs up and the groom jumps back out to find who has the keys for the best man’s car because the bride’s suitcase is still in there.

14. Don’t stress. I put this last but it’s probably the most important. Things might go wrong, and delays might happen. But in the end you’re still getting married and it doesn’t really matter. Enjoy the day, laugh about the bloopers, give people lots of hugs, and smile.

Be sure to post a link to your Twitter, or Facebook, or email this to any future brides or wedding coordinators you know who might benefit.

January 13, 2010 - 11:07 am

Amber of Amber Events - Or knock out numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, AND 13 in one fell swoop by hiring a good Wedding Coordinator! ;)

January 13, 2010 - 1:43 pm

bethany - ahahaha i didn’t read amber’s comment but i was going to say the exact same thing!!! a good wedding planner/coordinator (or friend with a gift for planning) can help TONS.

January 13, 2010 - 4:59 pm

Amanda - Thanks for the tips! I really liked the business card idea!

January 14, 2010 - 10:50 am

janie - very perspicacious. loved it. :)

January 14, 2010 - 4:41 pm

Timothy Wallis - 15. Don’t forget your wedding license!

I was the second photographer for a wedding where they left the wedding license at the groom’s house. The minister wouldn’t start without it. So the wedding happened about an hour after it was originally scheduled and we were left shotting the wedding outside after the sun went down, not fun.

Brian & Emily: Wedding -Atlanta Georgia

I’m glad we shoot in all digital now days, because film tends to freeze solid when the temperatures drop down to where they were when we tried to do some of Brian and Emily’s wedding photos outside. We got some good results, but in the end wound up finishing the session at the Ritz in downtown Atalanta. It made me me thankful that I live in Southern California. =).

The rest of the day was pretty chill and laid back! I never knew Maggiano’s Little Italy catered weddings. But an all inclusive package like that really made for a cozy evening. Thanks for letting me be a part of your day, and enjoy the slideshow!

People I Love!

Yesterday I bumped into someone I hadn’t seen in awhile and they asked me how I was, and what was new in my life. I don’t know what I was thinking, but before I  realized what I was saying it had escaped my mouth. The words which I always dread to hear from other people had passed through my lips. My reply was “ohh nothing new, how about you?”.

It was a lie. There is always something new and exciting happening in life. No matter what one’s circumstances, life can be exciting as you make it. It could be a new book, or a goal to excel at work. It could be the desire to heal a broken relationship, or for those who are Christians it could even be the last few days dying from cancer and the excitement of getting to see Jesus face to face. I mean no matter what your circumstances the possibilities are endless. And for me that makes everyday more exciting than the last.

But in that moment, when I was asked that question, I succumbed to a flippant, passionless, insincere, copout of an answer. I wish I hadn’t, but I did. But that brings me to the point of this post. It made me think of all those people I love. You know who they are, the people who when you see them from across the room they make you excited. The people who have so much passion and so many ideas that it overflows in every conversation they have. These are the people who live their life with zeal, they make the mundane fun and exciting. They see the color in activities most would label black and white. These are the people who represent an attitude I want to shine in my life.

And in the future if you ever catch me giving you a weak sauce answer to a question like that again, feel free to give me a kick in the pants and remind me that I’m either lying or in an incredible state of apathy.

Philippians 4:4  Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.


On another note here’s a quick preview from Joe & Ashley’s engagement session yesterday. You two are just so good looking I can’t wait for your wedding. No really, I can’t wait. Can we do it tomorrow?

January 12, 2010 - 7:45 am

Moe - Great post. I always fall into that category of stating that nothing new is happening. Life is a journey and you are either making things happen or just “living”. As Christians, the Lord encourages us to “make” things happen. Thanks again for the reminder.

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