If you subscribe to my newsletter, you know most of my weekly tips include pieces of advice about wedding day timelines. Though timelines may seem like a mundane part of the wedding planning process, they're actually pretty important! Whatever you can do to aid your wedding day timeline to stay on track as much as possible will lead to you feeling less stressed, and your day more enjoyable.
Since your day starts with wedding prep, these are the first wedding photos your photographer will snap! Take the time to gather your details before your photographer arrives so you don't have to worry about scrambling to get them. I know there is plenty happening on the morning of your wedding day, so set aside a few minutes sometime in the week leading up to your wedding to gather all of your details and place them in a tote bag. When your photographer arrives on your wedding day, you can simply hand them the organized tote without having to think about where any of your details are! If you're unsure of what details you should gather together for your photographer, I've compiled a list for you below. Keep in mind that this isn't a checklist for the whole day, but instead wedding prep:
- Tuxedo or suit
- Bow tie or tie
- Any personalized items
- Dress, veil and/or hair pieces
- Rings (engagement and BOTH wedding bands)
- Entire invitation suite (including your save the date)
- Your something old, new, borrowed and blue
- Any personalized items
Once I arrive at the bride's wedding prep location and give her a "Happy Wedding Day!" hug and congratulations, I'll start photographing her details before moving onto candids of all the beautiful ladies during wedding prep. I'm sharing a bit of what it's like on my side of the camera during the earlier part of the day with the bride, as well as some additional wedding prep detail tips!
Dress, Veil & Hairpieces
If you have a personalized hanger to display your dress on, that's perfect! If you don't have one do not fret; a classy wooden hanger will photograph just as beautifully! Your wedding gown deserves so much more than the plastic or metal hanger that it comes on when you pick it up from the dress boutique.
Several of my brides in the past have chosen to wear a beautiful pair of heels for a few portraits, then change into flats or other more comfortable shoes the rest of the day. On occasion, I've even had a couple brides hand me a stunning pair of heels to photograph that they never even wore on their wedding day! Let me tell you, those heels looked fabulous in the album!
I like to photograph ALL 3 RINGS (your engagement ring and both wedding bands) with the rest of your bridal details. Traditionally, I know the best man has the wedding bands at the start of the wedding day, but they can be given to him once the bridal party comes together after the first look. Even if you decide not to do a first look, assign one of your bridesmaids to give the rings back to the best man before the ceremony. Allowing me to photograph all three rings with the rest of the details ensures you'll be able to keep your bling on your fingers for the rest of the day!
A nice ring dish or box can add so much to your detail shots! Pick one that matches your wedding colors or theme. The Mrs. Box is a beautiful option, as well as the many wonderful ring dishes available on Etsy!
This includes any earrings, necklace, bracelets, etc, that you'll be wearing on your wedding day. I usually have my brides put their jewelry on after getting into their dress because this allows me to create a few additional bridal portraits for the final gallery!
Don't forget this bridal detail! You'll want to remember what fragrance you were wearing on the day you became a Mrs!
Invitations & Other Stationery
Your wedding stationery is often the first glimpse or insight your guests get of your wedding. They help to tie the story of your details together, since they'll often include your color palette, wedding venue, date, etc. Remember to pack a copy of your save the dates as well!
Bouquets & Boutonnieres
You'll definitely need your bouquets and boutonnieres if you're doing a first look (which I encourage all of my couples to do since it's such a magical part of the day!). Even if you opt out of doing a first look, we still love to photograph these floral details if possible during wedding prep!
Keepsakes & Personalized Items
Personalized items (a robe, flask, etc) can add to your wedding day to make it even more unique! Do you have a something borrowed? Maybe a something blue? Are you wearing or using any accessories that are a family heirloom? Don't forget to gather these with your details as well!
This includes gifts the two of you have exchanged or ones you've given to your wedding party. We love to photograph each of you opening your gifts and reading the card from your partner if possible!
If you want even more tips on getting the most out of your wedding prep photos, you can read about them here!