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  • Linda

10 Things to do Before Your Photographer Arrives on Your Wedding Day

Updated: Feb 15

Your wedding day is going to be one of the most exciting days of your life. It can also be a little overwhelming. There's a lot to plan and prepare, and for most couples, this is their first time doing this, so it's easy to feel a little lost. Never fear! Your wedding vendors are here to help. Chances are, we attend a lot more weddings than you do, and are happy to hold your hands and guide you through every step of the process, right down to the morning of the big day. Here's a checklist I put together to help brides know what they should do before their wedding photographer arrives on the wedding day. It's not necessarily exhaustive, nor do all of these things always need to be taken care of before she arrives, but it's a great place to start if you're feeling lost. Be sure to talk to your photographer to see if she has any specific requests for you. And let me know in the comments if there are any must-dos you think should be added to this list!

1. Choose a room where you will be getting dressed. It doesn't necessarily need to be your bedroom at home. It could be any room in the house or a hotel room/Airbnb or the bridal suite at your ceremony venue. Regardless of where it is, it should:

  1. Be free of too much clutter. Put your bags, etc. in another room if possible, or put them on the other side of the room from the window.

  2. Have good natural light. I like to turn off the overhead lights and shoot with window light for a softer, more romantic effect, so the more natural light, the better.

  3. Have neutral-coloured walls. Bold wall colours can reflect onto your skin and clothing in an unflattering way.

  4. Be large enough for you and your attendants to move about comfortably and for me to be able to step back far enough for full length photos once you are in your dress.

2. Put on your getting-ready outfit. Many brides choose matching robes or pjs with their bridesmaids, but this isn’t necessary (unless you want it!). It’s most important that you feel comfortable and pretty! You should also choose something that does’t have to go over your head so that you don’t risk ruining your hair or makeup.

3. Remove your dress from its bag, hang it up and steam it if necessary.

4. Gather your details and set them aside in a safe place. I will likely be photographing these things first when I arrive. They may include:

  1. shoes

  2. jewelry

  3. flowers (bouquet & loose blooms - ask your florist if they can include a few for photos!)

  4. invitations & other stationary (rsvp cards, menu, envelopes, etc.)

  5. perfume or makeup in pretty packaging

  6. any other special accessories.

5. Have your hair and make up done or almost done. Most brides don’t want bare-faced photos of themselves with half-curled hair. You’ll be happier with the way you look in your photos if these things are done before I arrive.

6. Decide who will be helping you get dressed. Most brides have their mother and/or sister(s) and/or bridesmaids present to help do up their dresses, buckle their shoes, and put on their jewelry, etc.

7. Decide if you will be doing a “first look” with anyone in the family. Often brides will a do big reveal for their father or their bridesmaids once they’re all dressed and ready. After showing off her dress to her family, Jenn went to her Grandma's house to show her as well, and it was the sweetest thing! Check out the pics below!

8. Eat something! It may be a long time before you get to eat dinner and you do not want a grumbling stomach to distract you from the happiest day of your life!

9. Brush your teeth. After you eat. Food in your teeth isn’t the best look for wedding photos ;).

10. Finally, relax and take a moment to yourself. It’s likely going to be a busy, fast-paced, and exciting day, so now is the perfect time to breathe and reflect before all the hustle and bustle really kicks off. Today is going to be amazing! Enjoy it!

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