Weddings are a complete whirlwind. Years in the planning and then it all happens in one day. This is part of the joy of a wedding but it does mean some things get forgotten along the way. Having been to hundreds of weddings over the years we have picked up on a few practical tips to help our brides! Making sure the day runs smoothly and hopefully to time will only help you get the best wedding photos too.
Practice wearing your dress
This does sound a bit silly we’ll admit. However practicing wearing your dress can save time and stress on the day. You do not want the first time you put on that complicated lace backed dress to be the day of the wedding. Some dresses take numerous people and a lot of time to get into. Getting into the dress too late could set the whole schedule behind time. When we photograph bridal preparation we like to have around half an hour with the bride all ready in the dress for photos. If other elements of preparation overrun then this part of the photography is comprised. Pre planing and understanding your timings will ensure everything runs smoothly and you get the best possible photos. You’ll also feel more confident having worn your dress a number of times previously. Practice makes perfect!
Prepare your footwear
Brides love natural photos in green spaces and we do too. Taking a stroll in a field or through the grounds of a stately home is a big part of getting the most beautiful couples portraits. One fantastic tip is to prepare your footwear. Britain is not blessed with amazing weather so often the ground is a little soft. Asking your maid of honour to slip some heel stoppers in her bag for you could save those gorgeous wedding shoes. There is nothing worse from a photography point of view than a bride who misses out on beautiful photos because she’s scared to ruin her shoes. A bit of preparation can go a long way.
“Thinking about the practicalities of the wedding day in advance can really help make sure things run smoothly on the day. For those who hate pre planning there are lots of wedding professionals who can be hired to making things easy!”
Shane Webber Photography
Have Tissues To Hand
Ask one of more of you bridesmaids to carry useful items in their bag. We have already mentioned heel stoppers as a great practical tip but there are plenty of other helpful items! The main one has to be a packet of tissues. Tears are inevitable on the wedding day, it’s a beautiful and emotional time. But the last thing any bride wants is running makeup. A little pack of tissues could save the day!
Don’t forget detail photos
Any details that you would like photographing need to be brought along to bridal preparation. We love to capture a photo of these items, they look great in the wedding album and it’s really nice to remember all the things you spent so long choosing! Other things to consider getting photographed are all the dresses on bespoke hangers, a card from your partner, your wedding shoes. Just set these up in a clear space before your photographer arrives.
Make Sure To Eat Something!
There will be plenty of chances to grab some food during the day, make sure you do so! Nerves can wreak havoc on our tummies so it’s essential to eat some food to keep things settled. Have a simple breakfast and not too much bubbly in the morning! When the canapés are going round during the drinks reception make sure to grab a few. You can always get the bridal party to help out and make sure they hand you some as you will be busy taking photos and mingling with everyone!
Bring your wedding bands
Tradition has the best man looking after the all important wedding bands. But, if you want photos of these they need to be accessible to the photographer. If the photographer is with you that’s where the bands need to be. Your engagement ring looks best when photographed alongside the wedding bands. Sounds simple but in the hustle and bustle of the morning many brides forget all about them!
Consider Hiring A Planner
Some couples take to wedding planning like a duck to water. They are natural organisers and really thrive off all the decision making. Whilst others really aren’t very practically minded. Or they have significant life commitments that mean there is no time to dedicate to planning. For these couples we highly recommend hiring a wedding planner! There are different levels of planning offered by different suppliers. Some only plan all aspects of the day, whilst others do on day coordination. If a planner is really out of budget then consider hiring a toastmaster. They can help make sure the day runs smoothly. For a full list of the best wedding planners in the North West read our blog post below.
Plan your Group Photos
We always ask our couples to pre plan which group photos they would like capturing on the day. 5 to 10 group photos are our recommended amount, but you can choose to have more or less. One of the biggest things to think about is timing. The drinks reception is typically 1 and an half hours to to hours. If possible go for two hours! Group photos take 2-3 mins per photo to set up and complete. A photo of the whole wedding party takes 10-15 mins. Too many group photos will eat into your time and will result in less time for the couples portraits. Below is our example group photo list:
Bride & Groom + Bride’s family
Bride & Groom + Bride’s parents
Bride & Groom + Groom’s family
Bride & Groom + Groom’s parents
Bride & Groom + Bridesmaids + Groomsmen
Bride + Bridesmaids
Groom + Groomsmen
Plan Your Speeches Before Food
There are two conventional ways of planning the speeches into your wedding day. Either before the meal or after the meal. We strongly recommend planning the speeches before the wedding breakfast is served. It might be tempting to go the other way around as all the guests will be looking forward to the meal. But in our experience everyone giving the speeches really prefers to get it out of the way. Plus it encourages brevity, nobody wants a full on power point presentation on their wedding day.