I love capturing bridal preparations. From a photographers point of view, it allows me to get to know people a bit more before the ceremony – and capture some super fun and emotional moments! It also gives your bridal party a chance to get used to the camera being there (with me blending in the background as much as possible) resulting in more relaxed photographs.
Here’s some tips to enjoy and make the most of your wedding morning…..
1. CONSIDER WHERE…..
Consider where you’re getting ready – and not just based on the location to your wedding – will it be at home, a family or friends house or a hotel?
If you go for home, its familiar, it’s free, and you’ve got your stuff there…of course, this could be good or bad. (depending on how much of a hoarder you are hah!).
If you get ready at your family home, this could be extra sentimental. Imagine getting ready for your special day surrounded by family photographs and granny’s ornaments.
If you go for a hotel, ask for a room with plenty of window light – this will be helpful to everyone getting ready- including your hair/make up artists and of course your photographer!
The size of the space is important, 8 bridesmaids crammed into a tiny hotel room may not make for a stress free experience! You could ask to see the room beforehand when booking.
If your wedding venue has accommodation, getting ready on site may be a more relaxed experience. With no worries about traffic or what the weather’s doing. But do check when you book your wedding if it will be available. Some venues may have weddings the day before and reserve the rooms for the wedding day couple only.
TOP TIP- If you’re checking out of the hotel en-route to your wedding, definitely enlist a couple of helpers to help pack and transport your stuff from A to B!
2. DON’T HAVE A FREE FOR ALL!
Consider who will be there. Just your bridal party? What if your bridesmaids have children, will they need to get ready with you too? (Super cute photo alert!) Will your annoying uncle swing by?
I’d advise against ‘the more the merrier’ on the wedding morning. You want people who can help you get ready, not cause you stress or leave you feeling overwhelmed. Know their skills, is your Auntie Margaret a whizz with a needle and thread, is your brother an epic cook? Enlist their help!
3. WHAT YOU EATING?
No-one wants to be hungry on their wedding day.
If you’re getting ready in a hotel, it might be a great idea to get some food sent to the room – say breakfast pastries, or a sandwich platter, depending on timings. So you can nibble whilst you get ready.
If you’re getting ready at home, a greasy fry up around your wedding and bridesmaid dresses might not be the best plan. Food that is less messy to eat is probably a great idea….. ketchup and wedding dresses…nopeeee!
If you’ve got a friend or family member who is a bit of a ‘mother hen’ getting them to put on some nibbles will be awesome! I’ve seen many an Auntie, Mother or Father of the bride put on a simple buffet for everyone getting ready. Fruit, pastries, sausage rolls, sandwiches, crisps, are all decent options!
4. ALLOW PLENTY OF TIME
Timings are super important on a wedding day – see my previous blog post here . No-one wants to feel rushed on their wedding morning.
Leave plenty of time to get ready, and ask your hair and make up artist how long they need to work on you.
As a photographer, I always aim to be at the wedding ceremony space at least 30 mins before the wedding, so that means leaving ahead of the bride. The photos of getting in your dress – and being ready to leave, need to be taken before that.
Allowing a bit extra time for traffic or unexpected delays is good.
5. TIDY UP!
If you’re getting ready at home, it can be a good idea to have a declutter or clean up prior to your wedding day. It’s easy to look past the clutter when you’re so used to being there, but it can make a difference when you look back on your wedding photos.
If you’re getting ready in a hotel, I usually try to have a quick tidy around just before the bride gets in her dress. I like to hide the dress bags/underwear/empty coffee cups/labels & stray deodorant cans in the background. This saves me hours of photoshop time hahaha.
6. HIRE PROFESSIONALS
Even if you are going for a natural look, everyone wants to look the best version of themselves on their wedding day. I can’t recommend enough booking a hair and make up artist for this.
Ask for recommendations from friends, or your photographer.
I’d also recommend a ‘trial’ before the day to try out different looks, and just to check that they are a lovely human that you’d also like to have around on your wedding morning.
As well as the obvious of making you look beautiful, i’ve seen hairdressers and MUAs: fixing dresses, advising Mums on their hair accessories, and helping diffuse family politics. They are worth their weight in gold.
Another service that you could book is from your wedding dress boutique – if your dress is particularly tricky to get into, or requires some tape or positioning, you can be reassured having a professional on hand to help you get dressed and feel confident!
7. MUSIC – CREATE A GREAT ATMOSPHERE
Music is goooood- make a playlist in advance for your wedding morning. Perhaps with tunes on that bring back some memories for you and your bridesmaids or just some cheesy, lighthearted music?
I’ve been to bridal preparations dozens of times where the bridal party has resorted to using the radio station on the TV and it’s definitely less personal. Plus – who wants to hear car insurance adverts when getting in their wedding dress?
8. DON’T FORGET THE SMALL STUFF
Scissors, body tape, safety pins, a sewing kit, phone charger, mints…super handy!
Perhaps even put these in an easy-to0-find box in advance.
TOP TIP – A nice wooden coat hanger (doesn’t have to be personalised etc!) for your dress/bridesmaid dresses is so much nicer for photographs than a plastic one.
9. GET YOUR S**T TOGETHER
Shoes, dresses, confetti, jewellery, ‘old/new/borrowed/blue’, underwear, bridesmaids presents. I recommend putting them all together in an easy to find space. This is great for your photographer to see what to capture and means you’re not running around to find everything on the morning.
TOP TIP – Remove labels from shoes & clothes before the day, this will save plenty of time on the wedding morning. Especially those stubborn little ones that stick to the sole of the shoe!
10. THE BIG REVEAL
You may wish to get ready away from your mum/dad so that you can do a ‘big reveal’ – them seeing you ready to go get married. This can be quite an emotional moment, which I love to capture. Although I’ve found that at least 50% of Dads just make a joke about the bride ‘scrubbing up well’ instead. Hahaha!
Or perhaps the big reveal is to each other, as Jane & Amber on their wedding day.. ‘A first look’….
Anyway, hopefully the above has given you some great insider tips for getting ready.
After all it can be quite a big part of your wedding day, less stress and more fun is what we all want right!?
All images and text copyright Katie Byram Photography and must not be copied without written permission from the photographer.