Bridal Prep is up there with my favourite parts of the day. It's extremely special and I always feel so grateful when I am asked along to capture these most intimate moments.
There's a real buzz in the air, nerves are building, glistening eyes, glasses clinking and music filling the room. It is beautiful.
As the Bride - The Main Event - Queen Bee - Star of The Show - you want to enjoy the morning with your nearest and dearest and be present (not running around like a headless chicken, so to speak!). I've collated a few hints and tips to help this ideal vision become your reality..
Start At The Very Beginning
How do you envisage your morning? At your parents/sisters/friends house in familiar surroundings? Dad on the bacon rolls, feet up on the couch, a nice cosy start to the day? Or do you see yourself and your bridesmaids staying over at/closeby the venue the evening beforehand – kick starting the party early?
Either way – fab! Just make sure you have a rough idea when booking your venue as not everywhere can accommodate your ‘perfect view’ and some venues have the very best suites/accommodation you just would NOT want to miss out on!!
Pass It On!
The day before your Wedding, give yourself until midday/late afternoon to tie up all the loose ends, prep everything you need to and then..pass it on! Make a list of which ‘finishing touches’ need to be arranged and leave this with your Maid of Honour/Parents/Wedding Co-ordinator. You’re there if anyone really needs you but, by this point in the Planning, you want everything to be ready to more or less go. Time to put your feet up and pop open a bottle!
Water. Juice. Prosecco. Whatever. Just stay hydrated!!!
You can expect to be up early, early on the day of your Wedding. Whether this is because hair and makeup are arriving or you have excited butterflies fluttering around in your tummy..it can be a long morning. That being said, think of fuelling up. Yeah, you’ll have accounted for breakfast but you’re Dinner is usually anywhere between 5pm – 6pm. That’s a long time from breakfast. No one want’s you being hangry during the ceremony. Perhaps, plan a little mid-morning platter of sandwiches/sausage rolls etc. and you’re Wedding Party can dig in too.
Prep a playlist. You probably don’t want the TV on in the background of your Morning Prep photos which may happen if you don’t think ahead. Make sure you have your ‘Morning Music’ planned on an outlet such as Spotify or linked up to a Bluetooth device. Upbeat tunes. Dreamy, chilled melodies. Old Classics. A bit of Spice Girls. Anything and everything you like. It’s your day, you choose!!
Another one to plan ahead of time. A little ‘just incase’ pouch will always, always be needed. This is a good one to pass on to MOB; or the wisest of the group. Think along the lines of kirby grips, mini sewing kit, plasters, body tape, tweezers, scissors, paracetamol…you get my drift?! Just incase..
Kids Will Be Kids
It’s very true – kids make a Wedding. They can be funny, cute, inappropriate (much like some of the Guests as the day goes on). But if you have kids with you on the Morning of your Wedding, you want to keep them entertained. Unless they are in their own house, this can be a challenge. I have two kids, I know the score! Top tips; magic colouring books (no coloured felt tips to worry about stains), card games such as Happy Families, snap. Let them fill a little bag of their favourite toys/Barbies/cars and have them bring it along for the morning. Surprise them with a magazine. Ipads/tablets are a great chance to allow them some ‘quiet’ time; it can be a very long morning for them as well. Fill a snack box – do kids ever stop being hungry?!
Timing Is Key
As Guests start arriving and it gets closer to the Ceremony, you may find yourself becoming less and less chill. This is absolutely normal. And very expected, even with those that have been most relaxed all morning. The secret to staying calm here is knowing what is coming next. For example, plan with your hair/makeup artists when ‘touch ups’ will be happening. Have a rough idea when you will be getting into your dress – this goes for your Bridesmaids too. If your dress is a little tricky getting in to, have a practise run. Your mum/bridesmaids will need to know beforehand how to ‘hook you in’ to your Wedding Dress. This part can often catch people off guard. If you are having a dress reveal, talk this through with your photographer and videographer prior to the day. And breathe.
It’s your Wedding Day. Finally! Starting from the moment you wake up. Which means… do it your way. I insist! The above tips should help make you feel present and free up some time to have a mimosa and croissant at breakfast, zen out whilst your getting hair and make-up done, throw a mini PJ party with your best guys/gals, feel the excited nerves about marrying your soulmate in a matter of hours. Do it your way. I promise you won’t regret it.
Make your Photographer Smile :-)
Okay, some practical tips from a ‘photography’ perspective for the Morning Of;
- Natural light is a gift sent from Heaven. Please allow it to feature in your morning by opening windows, blinds where possible.
- If you can remove the tags and labels from Dresses, Shoes, Jewellery this saves time on the day and allows us to do what we do best; capture the details.
- With the above in mind, have your dress hung up (don’t worry where, I’ll more than likely move it when I find the ‘perfect’ spot) and all accessories laid out somewhere accessible.
- The room/accommodation will likely become very busy with people and belongings. That’s okay. If there is somewhere cases/bags can be generally stored or ‘hidden’ in the corner of a room that would be a dream. I know, not always possible. I totally get it. Just trying to avoid the off Sainsbo’s bag appearing in your photos. I do tend to make a sweep of the room every so often anyway.
- Do you! Yep – said it again. There’s nothing us photographers want more than to see you genuinely happy and as relaxed as possible on the morning of your Wedding. Have fun…the rest will follow.