February 4, 2019
I hope you’re getting excited for the big day!
My goal is to help you have the most fun and stress-free wedding day possible. So with that in mind, I wanted to share some helpful tips on how to have a stress-free wedding morning (‘cause it can get pretty hectic)!
As much as we’d like to think the beginning of the wedding day is not nearly as important as the other parts (the ceremony, the portraits, the reception, etc.), it does serve a crucial part in your day. There are ways to make this part seamless for you and your attendants, as well as your photographer and other vendors! Here are just a few tips for rocking the prep portion of your wedding day that will filter into smooth sailing for the rest of the day!
- Lighting is everything. The worst thing you could imagine for a photographer or hair and make-up artist is a windowless room or a room with very small windows. Look for a bridal suite that has an abundance of natural light coming in! As professionals, we always bring our own lighting with us just in case, but we always prefer natural light!
- Give yourself, like, two more hours than you think you’ll need. I can recall countless times where the prep ran late and cut into our portrait time, or worse, the ceremony had to start late. This can happen for a million different reasons but it’s usually because hair and make-up time was underestimated. (For more hair and makeup timeline tips, click here.)
- Brides: DON’T GO LAST for hair and make-up. If you’re doing a first look, it’s essential that you be ready on schedule. If things are taking longer than expected, we want to make sure that it’s a bridesmaid that is still getting ready while you go to your first look, and not you. But follow tip number 2 and then you’ll be safe.
- Have a bridal emergency kit. I always bring one, but in case I’m not there yet, your attendants should come prepared with the essentials: Tide pen, toothpaste, bobby pins, sewing kit, double sided tape, a hot glue gun-(yes for reals! Need to remake your bouquet for some reason? Hot glue has got your back!), pampers baby wipes (they get stains out of anything and I’ve seen people use them to get mud off of dresses!) and the list goes on. I have an entire bag of “emergency items” and it always seems to come in handy!
- Know how long it takes to get your dress on. Some dresses have a corset back and take forever to get on. Know how long this takes and let your photographer know so they are prepared with the timeline! And while we’re on the subject of dresses, make sure the person who will be helping you get your dress on comes to your fittings with you so they can practice. Another part of this is your bustle: make sure someone is there with you when your seamstress demonstrates the bustle. Have that person take a video of where the bustles are. Trust me on this. If possible, have your seamstress put different colored ribbons inside of your dress to make it easy to see what hook / tie goes where.
- Eat. This should go without saying but more times than not I see the wedding party without any food in the morning. Or more importantly, a bride or groom without food. This is the last time you’re going to get to eat before cocktail hour, and if you don’t do a first look there’s a good chance you’re missing that too, which means the reception dinner is your next chance to eat! That could be upwards of a 12 hour difference between eating, so to ensure you don’t faint walking down the aisle please eat something! Being hangry on any day isn’t good but being hangry on your wedding day is pretty much the worst.
- If you’re not getting ready in the same place as your ceremony, you’ll want to choose a getting ready location that is close to your ceremony venue. A lot can happen when a lot of travel is involved, so to ensure things stay on time make sure you’re close! This also gives you more time to hang out with friends and family and less time driving around stressing out about things!
- Check out the local Airbnb listings in your area! Most Airbnb’s are super cute with minimal things on the walls (and everywhere else), making prep pictures look much more clean and inviting. The times I’ve had the pleasure of shooting prep in an Airbnb are my favorite prep photos to date. You can also typically find an Airbnb that fits the style of your wedding so all your pictures are cohesive.
- Keep all your bags in one room (preferably the room with the worst light!) When I get to the prep location, I take all the details (shoes, dress, flowers, etc.) and photograph them. It makes things a lot harder when there are purses and duffle bags and plastic store bags and McDonald’s bags cluttering every corner of the suite or house so make sure to confine the clutter to one area and keep one area clean. They we don’t need to do a massive clean-up before you put your dress on because we will already have one clean room for that!
- Bring nice hangers for the dresses! When the timeline allows (and we can find a place to hang them), bridesmaids dress pictures are super cute. Nothing makes it stick out more than a plastic hanger though, so get some simple wooden hangers or decorative hangers! If you don’t know where to look, check out BHLDN. BIG MUST SEE TIP: Make sure the actual hanger part of the hanger swivels, and isn’t fixed to one side. This is imperative since the best place to hang the dresses is usually in front of a window… which we can’t do if the hanger part doesn’t swivel.
- Have all your details in a bag or box with handles that I’m going to photograph. That way, when I arrive, I can whisk your details off and start shooting right away and don’t have to chase down your shoes or your rings. That means you should have the rings in the morning, and if someone else (like the best man) needs them before the ceremony, we’ll get those to them! I’ll give you a full list of things I need before the wedding so don’t freak out about that!
- Remember not to drink too many mimosas the morning of. We just want to calm your nerves and celebrate a little! Leave the rest for the reception! Keep yourself super hydrated the day before the wedding so your skin looks great and you’re feeling top-notch.
- Use the restroom before putting your dress on! It’ll be a while before you get another chance!
So there you have it! My tips for a seamless wedding morning. This can truly make or break your wedding day timeline and your stress levels, so be sure to follow these simple steps for a great morning with your favorite people! This is truly a special time for you, your friends and your family. Cherish this time and have fun the morning of.