Tips for your
Wedding Day Preparations
How to turn your prep time into photography gold & cinematic moments.
Wedding preparation is a beautiful part of your wedding day. There are so many emotions, from nervous anticipation to full on joyous party atmosphere, and the photography for this absolutely sets the mood for your gallery.
I LOVE PHOTOGRAPHING PREP
It absolutely is my favourite .part of the day to photograph! So here are a few tips for your preparation time for a dream gallery.
This is the single most important element. And window light trumps every other type of light in its sexy slice-y-ness. If needs be, move some furniture around so your HMUA can work in the window light. (Leave enough space for me to be able to photograph you too!) Expect me to turn off the ceiling lights, especially if they are harsh downward spotlights. Soft table lamps glowing however add to the atmosphere of photographs.
Your HMUAs will bring LED lights to work with if they know it is a dark room. It is often surprising to me when a wedding venue has a windowless room for preparation. Yes it does happen.
You do not want to rush your preparations, AND you will want to be ready in good time. The day will whizz by and its really valuable to give yourself some space before you depart for the ceremony. It also stops anyone else flapping around you. Being ready an hour before you leave allows time for some intentional portraits of you if you want them, before the whirl wind of the day.
Physical, emotional, and mental space will honestly help you throughout the morning. If you are getting ready at home, or in a tight space, designated different areas for different elements of preparation. You will be amazed just how much stuff there is in preparation, and your hair and makeup artists will add to that greatly! If you have rooms at a hotel or venue, which you are sharing with your bride and groom squad, spread out! If you can choose the best rooms with the best light.
And being the lead players in the day, everyone will want to know from you where stuff is and what is happening. Delegate that to your MOH or BM to field other peoples questions.
You have spent a lot of time no doubt creating thoughtful details for your wedding day, from the save the date and invitations, to the order of the day and menu cards. So pop your spares in a bag or box so I can create a flat lay of them. Other details are of course your rings, sentimental jewellery, flowers, shoes and perfume, which I will hunt down. Lads I am not after your belts and briches, but are there hip flasks, cuff links and aftershave that you have spent time to include in your day?
There is likely to be stuff everywhere. From huge suitcases, to plastic bags with boob tape and nail clippers. Be organised to reduce the amount of bags! I often scoop things up off a bed or sofa to a “stuff” corner, so I do advise being super organised and know what bag has what.
I use mirrors a lot in my photography, and quite often the surface between you and the mirror is a host of toiletries and make up. Free up that space to enhance the images.
From my Bride, Sheryl
1. We had 10 people getting ready
2. We had 1 large room but with 3 hair dressers and 2 make up artists with all 10 of us was a bit manic. I wish I would have arranged a separate room for the make up artists and we could have been more relaxed.
3. When it comes to timings add on an extra hour just so you can enjoy every moment and not rush and panic putting your dress on.
4. If I was to do it again I would just plan more time. Get hair and make up in an hour earlier so you have time to take as many photos as possible and deal with any dress related drama.
5. Give your bridesmaids jobs they are there to help and support you on your big day don’t be afraid to boss them about a little, they are your closest friends and family they want to help.
It is lovely to get the a gorgeous picture of your dress beautifully hung before you put it on. Try to make sure to pack a lovely hanger (A wooden Ikea is better than a black plastic one). However many preparation rooms do not have the height to hang a dress full length and some un structured wedding dresses look so much better on a body than without. I am often reluctant to go walk about with your dress to photograph it (so it doesn’t get spied before the ceremony) so if I do I like to nab a bridesmaid to assist with hanging and act as look out.
Also don’t forget a steamer and some scissors to snip off labels and hanging ribbons.
A rush of emotion may hit you at some point. My advise is to reduce the amount of people around you if you have a big wedding party and just stop what you are doing and take a breather.
Space, and time are key players in reducing the possibility of it all feeling too much. If you are into meditation… do it for a while!
The nerves may give you the jitters but do hydrate and do eat. I can be a long way before you get the chance to eat. The venue hosts will hunt you down to give you canapés but there is good chance you will be busy your guests congratulations and hugs. So do eat during the preparation time.
You can bring elements into your preparation time which enhance your story and in turn your gallery. Most importantly however the best practise is to IGNORE MY PRESENCE to allow me to document this time creatively. Writing your vows in a leather keepsake journal, or reading a letter from an absent loved one, or your partner add REAL DEPTH OF EMOTION to your preparations. These personal moments of calm and reflection, I guarantee, will enhance this special time and the EXPERIENCE OF YOUR WEDDING DAY.