Congratulations on getting engaged! How exciting to now be planning your dream wedding day. As a photographer, it is my absolute joy to capture beautiful wedding portraits. I have learnt many tips over the years from seeing so many weddings. There is no hard and fast rule on wedding days. They need to be unique to you. Thankfully, this is your upcoming day, and you are obviously preparing for your wedding by researching tips and photography.
Below are 10 tips for getting ready on your wedding day morning.
1.Enjoy getting ready
This is your special day. Every moment spent on planning your dream wedding has arrived. Whether you like the focus and attention or not, this day is about you and the one you will marry. The wedding vendors and wedding venue staff will be looking for your cues and approval on the day. Your excited guests will have smiling eyes on the bridal party, that is the way it is meant to be. So please remember, the best advice is to relax and enjoy your special day. Have fun getting ready surrounded by your special ones. Soak in the pampering from hair and makeup stylists. Take time putting your stunning attire on that you have dreamed of wearing on this day. Enjoy accessories and special momentums. Communicate any gift exchanges you want to photograph to your photographer (remember we do our best but we aren’t mind readers).
2. Create a schedule
Believe me when I say that you will think you have all the time in the world, especially if it is an afternoon wedding. Wrong! The time absolutely gallops by. I highly recommend having a wedding planner or your own outlined plan that has generous time slots. Hair and makeup alone take at least an hour or more for each person. A professional photographer will want to capture many priceless moments on your day. First the pre-ceremony pictures of all things important: gown, tux, accessories, rings, floral bouquets, bridal party getting ready, gift exchange and then first looks. If you have any surprises that you would like the photographer to capture, please ensure you have let them know. Time is of the essence and as photographers we know a generous time schedule is essential.
3. Share the details with your photographer
This day is a once off and I know you have put your heart and soul into it, so please share the details with the photographer. What you may think is not important may be a perfect picture moment. Share the invitations, newspaper announcements, sentimental letters, old photos, and photos of past loved ones. At one wedding I had the honor to photograph the receipt the couple had saved from their first ever date! That’s gold!
So, take your time at least a week before your wedding to gather details for photos. Check that you have everything that you would like highlighted in your wedding portraits. Put them in a keepsake marked box and while you are getting ready the photographer can carefully get to work with them. Ensure you have a checklist of everything that needs to go to the wedding venue. I suggest have someone special delegated to double-check it’s all packed.
4. Have a hanger for the dress
I’m sure your wedding dress is absolutely stunning, and we want to showcase it! This is a one and only time for this beauty to be worn by you, so cherish it. Place it on a lovely coat hanger, I’ve seen some amazing, personalized ones! Make sure it is wrapped completely when transporting. Hang it carefully where there is no food or drink and away from makeup too.
5. Create a vow book
These are some of the most intentional and personal words that will ever come from your mouth. Vows are from the heart; they are promises publicly declared. They become an accountability and foundation for loved ones to exchange on their wedding day and action them forever after. I recommend writing them down in a beautiful vow book that you can keep for a lifetime. They will become a family heirloom for generations.
6. Consider natural light
As a photographer when it comes to quality images, we can work a lot of magic especially when outdoors. Indoors is entirely different and it is imperative that whenever possible request a room or venue with excellent natural lighting. Look for ample windows, doors, high ceilings and good old natural lighting. It is without a doubt the best tool a photographer can have.
7. Floral delivery location
Ensure your floral bridal bouquets arrive at the getting ready location. I have seen too many times where they are all delivered to the wedding venue. The guys are struggling to put their boutonnieres on. The bride and bridesmaids miss out on classic pics with the beautiful florals.
8. Don’t forget to eat!
Leading up to your wedding day, things can become a little stressed. Healthy eating habits and time for relaxation can go out the window. My advice as a photographer – keep eating proper meals and drinking plenty of water. It will show on your skin as you shine beautifully, and you won’t faint or be sick on your special day. Have a friend or the wedding planner have platters of fresh fruit, wraps and plenty of water to replenish your wedding party as they get ready.
9. Use polaroid cameras
You will no doubt have a professional photographer and perhaps a videographer, but I suggest two polaroid cameras. One for each partner to have a little fun with. Go crazy and have your own personalized perspective wedding album.
10. Take time to celebrate
Finally, this is YOUR WEDDING DAY, make it unique. Have as much of your personalities, character, and vibe into your day as possible. Celebrate with your style. Take time to be on your own together. Plan for you both to absolutely love every second of every moment of your day. Your friends and family are there to join in celebrating your marriage, so if you are loving your wedding, they will too.
Bonus tip: create a checklist of all the getting ready items
I have created a sample checklist below:
- Gift exchange, love letters
- Veil or headpiece
- Boutonniere or pocket square
- Special socks
- Both rings
- Invitation suite
- Vow book
- The Perfume/Cologne you’re using that day
- Anything special that’s a part of your wedding attire. I once had a bride wearing a suit with part of her grandma’s dress inside
- Anything special you want to be photographed like a letter, honeymoon tickets, something memorable from a special date, something special from a loved member of the family.
Looking for more wedding inspiration?
If you’re dreaming up your own wedding or elopement, check out more inspo below!