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What to do On The Day Of Your Wedding // Bride Getting Ready

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One of my favorite parts of being a wedding photographer is helping brides and grooms prepare for their wedding day. I love lending my expertise to you when you want to know what to do on the day of your wedding. So much of the wedding day revolves around photography events you don’t encounter in everyday life, so understanding how to make those events work for you helps make your day magical, whimsical, and comfortable!

Planning a wedding day can feel like an enormous task. People pull you in so many directions and it can be hard to decide what to focus on. These pressures can make knowing what to do on the day of your wedding unclear. The thing is, you deserve to have the wedding of your dreams, and you deserve to enjoy it. That’s why it’s important to lean on people with experience to help your big day go well. In my fifteen years of photographing weddings, I have seen just about anything that can happen on a wedding day.

I hope that by reading this article you can get a few ideas for how you can help your wedding day go smoothly. These five things to do before your photographer arrives are all easily accomplishable and go a long way toward making your wedding day comfortable so that you can focus on the people around you and start your day with ease!

Collect all of Your Wedding Details To Be Photographed

A flatlay featuring details like a golden mirror and wedding shoes

One of my first and favorite parts of any wedding day is photographing all the pretty bridal details for your wedding. Wedding details are an undercurrent in pulling together your style and vision for your wedding, holding meaningful value, and adding a touch of luxury to your big day. I feature your wedding details in flat lays, adding custom styling with fabric, flowers, and other eye-catching items to capture the essence of your meaningful details and your overall wedding vision. I love how flat lays breathe whimsey into your details, representing your beautiful love.

Before your photographer arrives, collect all of the pretty wedding details you want to be photographed. I often make a list with my brides, detailing everything they want in their photographs. Refer to that list and put your items in an easy-to-access spot, like a box you can later use for your heirlooms. That way, when your photographer arrives you have them available and you don’t have to spend time finding them. Once the day gets going, you will find it harder to find things you might need, so preparation is key!

A small list of pretty items I often see included in wedding details shots

Wedding Details List for what to do on the day of your wedding. Shoes, Garter, Jewelry, Vow Books, Invitations, Hair pieces, Heirlooms

Have Your Bridesmaids Help Tidy The Room as much as possible

A bridesmaid helps a bride button up her dress before the wedding

Cleaning is often overlooked when the wedding day begins. Everyone is excited to start the big day and is thinking about the events approaching. However, tidying the room is a key component that helps everything run smoothly. It’s important to remember that the room will be in your photographs. Of course, that doesn’t mean that the bride should tidy the room alone. This is a great opportunity for everyone to get involved and feel togetherness on the wedding day.

Cleanliness is a friend of elegance.

Your photographer needs a nice space to photograph the wedding details you’ve so generously collected, so go ahead and clear out a good corner (next to a window is best) for them to take those pictures. Then, tidy up the rest of the room to guarantee a polished look in the getting-ready photos. I take candid photos of people around the room and you want to remember beautiful moments with your bridesmaids without clutter everywhere.

Comradery is beautiful, and cleaning together is a wonderful way to build it! When you tidy the room, everyone feels like a team, working to make your wedding day the best it can be. It’s a great way to start the day on the right foot and helps you avoid rushing around when your photographer arrives.

Try to have your makeup completed before the photographer arrives

A bride's lipgloss is applied during the getting ready phase of her wedding

In my experience, there is a 50/50 chance that hair and makeup run late. It is better to be done early and have a mimosa in hand than to be late and panicked. I tell my brides to schedule their makeup artists to come early, or at least to be in the middle of the makeup lineup and NOT at the end. Hair and makeup is a beautiful part of the wedding day, and I want my brides to enjoy their time without feeling rushed. This is often a moment where brides can feel rushed, and it is a great place to prepare for so that you can start your day with calmness and joy.

Beyond that, the bride should have her hair and makeup completed before the photographer arrives. Everything goes a lot smoother if the bride is ready and on time for her busy day. Once the wedding day gets started, things move quickly, and we want you to be ready with bells on when it does.

Get the Champagne and Glasses ready!

Champagne and glasses with bridesmaids names on them, ready for a champagne toast on a wedding day

Once the detail pictures are done, I tell everyone it’s time to get photos with champagne. Then suddenly, no one knows where the glasses are!! What follows is everyone running around, looking for glasses, which can instill a slight sense of panic.

Instead, get your glasses and champagne ready before I arrive to photograph your wedding so that everything can be more relaxed. Maybe even find a pretty spot to display them so you can build up the excitement! This part of the wedding day is so special. I love to see a bride spend a moment honoring the people who have been there throughout her life.

A bride and her bridesmaids hold champagne in the bridal suite of Hardrock Cancun during a Cancun Wedding Day

Make a go-bag

brown tote bags used as a go-bag for a wedding

Finally, put everything you need to take to your next event into a go-bag. Often it adds an extra thirty minutes to pack up and you end up paying for your vendors to sit around waiting. These things happen, but if you prepare a bag we can just grab it and head off to your first look!

Things you probably should include in your go-bag: Your second pair of shoes, Your phone, your Wallet, Your Vow Books, your rings, All the details you need to bring. It is especially important to pack everything up if you are not going to stay in the hotel room! Finally, pack any decorative items for your ceremony, and touch-up makeup. Everyone is going to have different needs, so make your own list for your go-bag.

Putting it all together

The bride and groom cross the street at the Lodge at Malibou Lake near the lake. They are smiling at each other and the streetlights have just come on because the sun is setting

Your wedding is one of the most magical days of your life. You are surrounded by people you love, marrying the person of your dreams. You deserve a comfortable and whimsical day, and you don’t need to be panicked about finding heirlooms or things you need. A great maid of honor (and experienced vendors) goes a long way, but you can do a few things on your own to ensure everything goes smoothly.

In the end, your wedding will unfold in its own way. There are twists and turns on even the most controlled wedding day so try to breathe through it, find all the beauty around you, and lean on the people you love. They are here to support you and so am I. If you take anything from this, I hope you decide to use the resources your vendors give you and lean on them, along with the people around you. And remember, this is your love story; lean into your love. And if you have any questions about what to do on your wedding day, I’m just a call away.

Your love, your story, your fairytale wedding

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