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Ready Tips? I gotchu! Check it Out!
Your wedding day is one of many days that tell the story of your life. A quick Google search tells me that the average lifespan is 27,375 days. Damn. Why doesn’t that seem like a lot?? One of those days though, is the day you get to marry the love of your life. There is 600 minutes in a ten hour wedding day. In those 600 minutes are 36,000 seconds. If someone asked you what chunk of those seconds don’t matter…what would you say? The first 120 minutes don’t matter? I hope not. In fact, I am a big supporter of those first 120 minutes. During that time, you’re building up to the climax of the day, to the “I Dos,” that give the other remaining 10,000 days a different meaning. Wouldn’t you want that build up photographed?? Sure, it’s easy to say that those moments don’t matter, but will you always feel that way?
So clearly, I’m a big supporter of getting ready images. I get to be there for the build up of excitement, for the gifts exchanged, the first time people see one another, for the quiet moments of deep breathing. Sure, it’s one day out of thousands, but it isn’t like the others. In theory, you aren’t grocery shopping or doing chores on your wedding day (a recent bride DID mow her lawn that morning though). It isn’t like any of those thousands other days. It’s the day you say, “hell yeah!” to the form of commitment you agreed to with the one you love.
To make the best of this part of the day, I wanted to give some wedding getting ready tips from my 9+ years of experience! Of course, you can cherry pick what is the best for your own experience, but definitely keep this stuff in mind!
Organize Your Details
The first thing I always ask when I show up, aside from “how are you feeling?” is “do you have any details, such as rings, shows, jewelry, anything sentimental.” It’s better to gather it all ahead of time, keep things simple. I LOVE photographing these kinds of things. I usually do it in a way that captures the textures and colors of your wedding day. I like to have at least thirty minutes to do these shots. Sometimes, I have clients that insist they don’t care about these kinds of things and that is totally valid. However, I have had over half a dozen times clients have used my ring images for insurance and ring repairs! I’ve had clients loose vitally important pieces of their wedding day, like their grandmother’s trinket but they have my photos to keep, forever. You never know when those memories will be important.
Wear Something Nice. Matching Outfits are Fun.
Now, I’m not the type to say, “you must look perfect on your wedding day!” but come on, if you’re not going to look your absolute best on your wedding day, when will you? And it DOESN’T have to be fancy. I recently had a bride who had everyone wear a onesie on their wedding day! Matching robes are gorgeous too. Shirts with phrases and sayings can be good, as well! Just keep in mind, if you don’t want to see it in your photos in 20 years, do not wear it.
Make Sure There is Gorgeous Light!
I know this isn’t always possible. Some venues don’t even value windows. LOL! However, if you’re given the option of a getting ready location and these types of images are important to you, pick a spot with lots of light! I can work around dirty kitchens and messy bedrooms, as long as there is gorgeous light!
Don’t Forget a Wedding Hanger
You love your dress, right? Why not show it off in the best way possible, by getting a nice wooden or custom hanger? Because those plastic hangers are…yuck. Not sure where to get one? ETSY! But make sure to get a hanger with indentations or else there is a 90% chance your dress won’t stay on!
Remember to Give Thoughtful Gifts
Okay, this isn’t vitally important, but who doesn’t like gifts? Even a handwritten card to parents or your friends is a delightful touch. I’ve seen all kinds of gifts and the cost doesn’t matter. What matters is that you show gratitude! Starting your marriage off with gratitude is an excellent foundation.
Plan Some First looks
Of course, I’m a big supporter of first looks, which you can read about here. However, there is a new trend or two you might not be aware of! First looks with parents and/or the wedding party! Some people might think this is overkill, so it entirely depends on where you stand emotionally and mentally with the people around you. A lot of my clients don’t even have wedding parties! However, it could be nice to have a little one-on-one time with someone important, aside from your impending spouse.
Keep the Space Clean
Oh man, do you know how often I show up on the wedding day to a completely trashed getting ready space? If you can, try and designate a spot in the room for everything. There is a chance I’ll still show up and change things though. I usually put the responsibility on the bridesmaids to clean up the space, since they’re normally 60% of the mess. hah! This goes along my advice of keeping in mind what you want to see immortalized in your images. I’m not a photojournalist, so I want things to be cleaned up and I’m sure you will too!
Eat and Drink Something!
I’m not even going to patronize you and tell you to get sleep. Most of my clients are up into the wee hours, functioning on less than six hours of sleep. However, if you aren’t going to get enough sleep, at least hydrate and nourish your meat suit! And no, alcohol does not count as hydrating! Obvs, though, it’s totally allowed!
Oh gosh, there are few things more awkward than an entirely silent room of people beautifying themselves. Usually, if there is no music, there isn’t a lot of talking either. Sometimes, I even put my own music on but since I can’t charge my phone normally, I tend to avoid this. Instead, I’ll mention how quiet it is and someone turns on music. It just keeps the vibes going!
REALLY Cushion Hair and Makeup Time
I cannot emphasize this enough. Hair and makeup is the #1 reason weddings run late. Sometimes, it’s the vendors fault. Sometimes, it’s the client. Recently had a wedding run later, because the MUA was late, BECAUSE the prior bride was late. More often than not, hair and makeup artists are doing multiple gigs in one day, especially on Saturdays during busy season. It is VITAL that you a) go first (HMUA’s will cringe when I say this) b) add an extra 30 minutes, at minimum, to the timeline for it. Sometimes, even friends and family decide last minute they would like a service, which can push things back further.
So there you have it! Some of the best getting ready advice I can offer! Please let me know if you have any questions! This isn’t my first rodeo, by any stretch of the imagination, but take my advice with a grain of salt. Every wedding and individual is unique. Honor yourself, always.