Starting The Day

Every aspect of a wedding day is beautiful and comes with cherished memories that I love to capture. Getting ready for your wedding day is one of my favourite parts to photograph. As a bride is getting her hair and make up done, and while the Groom is tying his tie, they are hanging out with their closest friends and family, just having a fun time. Usually there is a great playlist, everyone is sipping on mimosas and feeling good. It is during this time that I show up ready to document your wedding. And as great as it is to capture all the fun you and your friends are having, as well as the details and accessories of your wedding day attire, this is the most crucial part of your wedding day. Because this is the part of your day that will make or break your timeline. So to keep things on track and moving along, I have some helpful tips for you to start your wedding day off right!

First, when a wedding day timeline gets off track, it is usually begins at the start of the day. Whatever time you think you need to get ready, add 20-30 minutes to be on the safe side, and even more time if you want to do a first look with your father and bridal party, or want cute mimosa photos with your ladies. Also keep in mind that some of the shots I take during this time will be posed or staged and if you have a videographer, they will need to set up their shots as well. All of this takes time.

Second, keep the amount of people in the getting area to a minimum. Preferably only those in the wedding party, your vendors and perhaps your parents should be around during this time. More people in the area means more distraction, more clutter to walk around, and more chance of drama. Limit how many people are in the getting ready area, especially in smaller spaces.

Speaking of space, the best area to get ready in is a big open one with a lot of natural light. Having even just a few people walking around in one room can feel crowded, and in small spaces there is more of a chance someone will get in my shot that is not meant to be. Remember that hairstylists, makeup artists, photographers and videographers need a certain amount of space to work. So the more room to move around in, the better.

Lastly, keep your dress and bridal accessories all together in one area of the room. Place anything you will want photographed in one corner, or in a separate room all together so I can access it without interrupting you while you're getting pampered. I will set up my shots and put everything back in the same place so you have easy access to them when it comes time to use them. Grooms, can do the same by placing all of his clothes and accessories in one place.

When I first arrive the day of a wedding, I start with the Bridal details. The dress, veil, and jewellery will be photographed before or during your getting ready process. My second photographer will do the same with the Grooms shoes, tie, boutonniere, ect. We will always be close at hand though if you need us. As mentioned above, I love it when I am just pointed in the direction of the bridal wear and I don’t have to interrupt the process of getting ready. The items that are usually photographed at this time are listed below.

Bride: Dress, Veil, Rings, Flowers, Jewellery, Shoes, Something Old, New, Borrowed and Blue, Garter, Perfume, Invitations and RSVP’s, Special Keepsakes or Gifts. 

Groom: Suit, Tie, Boutonniere, Shoes, Rings, Pocket Square, Socks, Belt, Suspenders, Cologne, Gifts.

Before you put on your gown, have your bridal party and mother put on their dresses first. This way everyone is looking perfect for photos. The gown should be put on in a room with a lot of natural light and again, the less amount of people the better. I usually start with a few poses of you looking at your dress and taking off of the hanger. Once you are in your dress, have your mother or maid of honour help do up the back. 

Once the dress is on, add your accessories. This is the time to put on your jewellery, shoes, perfume, veil and any other accessories to embellish your look. You can have someone help with this part as well. Once ready, this would be a great to take first looks photos with your bride squad and later, with your father.

If you have a garter belt that you will be throwing later on during the reception, I suggest staging the photos of you putting it on, but then keep it off for the rest of the day. Brides who wear the garter all day tend to fidget with it to keep it in place, or have it fall off all together during the ceremony or family photos. Take a minute just before the garter toss to head to the washroom with a bridesmaid and put it in the right before the toss. This way it isn’t sweaty when the groom takes it off.

Some of my favourite memories from my wedding day were of when I got ready. It was just my bridesmaids and I, and we just got to hang out and have fun while I anticipated getting married. We laughed, we cried, we got pampered and drank mimosas, ate snacks…. it was wonderful. My only regret is that I did not get photos taken of our morning shenanigans. 

My wish for you is that you enjoy your wedding morning as much as I did. Hopefully these tips will help start your special day off on the right foot.