It's finally here, the morning of, the day you've been planning for so long, the day you've dreamt about. You want to have the BEST DAY EVER so we've came up with our top 10 tips for getting ready the morning of your wedding that will set the right tone and ensure you have the most amazing day from start to finish.
As photographers, we've been in countless rooms the morning of weddings and we've picked what we believe will not only set your photos apart but also help to ensure the positive vibes remain. All these tips also enable us to get the best pictures possible for you whilst getting ready with your i do crew.
Location, Location, Location!
First of all consider the location, choose somewhere that has tons of gorgeous natural light. Luckily for us in Portugal, we tend to have a lot of that flooding through the windows. The location should also be spacious. Whether you choose to have just a few of your closest friends/family members with you or a rocking bridal crew with a party atmosphere. It's totally YOUR decision. But either way, it's going to be a lot of bodies and stuff everywhere! Having a spacious area to get ready and chill out in for a few hours makes all the difference. As destination wedding photographers, most of our couples fly in from other countries and therefore get ready in hotels or villas the morning of their wedding. But you should also consider the style of the hotel or villa. Does it fit the style of your wedding? Does it have the same feel or vibe? You want the photos to be consistent throughout the day. If you're getting married in a hotel, it's always great to stay in a suite the night before, you can invite your bridesmaids over, have a pamper session and enjoy the build up. You will be spending quite a few hours here the morning of your wedding, so our advice would be to splurge a little on the luxury. You definitely won't regret it.
2. Keep it Clean!
Bridal suites in hotels are usually pretty luxurious, clutter free and amazing for pictures. So make sure to keep it clutter free and clean! Trust us you don't want to see all that clutter in your photos against beautiful backdrops and warm light. Having a spacious room definitely helps with this as it won't look too cluttered if there is ample space for your bridesmaids and their belongings. Having the room clean and clutter free also helps your mindset too. If the room is messy with things everywhere, how do you think your mind will feel! This one is also more directed at the groom and groomsmen, sorry boys but us girls are generally cleaner humans!
3. Have all your details ready for us to photograph, including your invitations
When we first arrive to your bridal location, we usually ask for all your details and we make a start on photographing them. It's pretty handy for us if you have all these things in a box for a few reasons. First of all, you can put everything in the box ahead of time and it ensures that you don't forget anything and also it helps eliminate the chances of anything getting lost while we are photographing them. We simply put everything back in the box and hand it over to a bridesmaid. Things to include in your details are shoes, bouquet, wedding rings, jewelry, invitations, perfume, charms, something old, new, borrowed, blue and anything else that is sentimental.
Also don't forget to include your wedding invitations in the box. They add a really cool element to your detail photos. Another reason we start photographing your details as soon as we arrive is just to get you used to having us around. We never go into a bridal suite and just start photographing paparazzi style! That would be weird for you and for us! We take our time with the bridal details and we let you guys relax while you're getting hair and make up done. Then we go full paparazzi... just kidding!
4. Think about Outfits
This one is entirely your decision. Some brides love to have everyone wearing all the same matching outfits and others just want their bridesmaids to be comfortable and wear what they want. However think about wearing something that you can easily slip in and out of and not something that you might have to lift over your head. You don't want to ruin your hair or make up you've just sat for hours getting done! Robes or buttoned shirts usually work best. Also these can be great gifts to give to your bridesmaids the morning of your wedding. We love capturing the atmosphere in the morning between you and your bridesmaids.
5. Cheers! Toast to becoming a Mrs
This is a morning like no other, the morning you become a Mrs. Take it in, appreciate the people around you and enjoy every minute of it. Crack open the champagne and have mimosas for breakfast. It's not every day you get married. Have a toast with your bridesmaids and we'll capture all the in between moments. These candid moments are great to capture as it sums up and tells a story of the atmosphere. Confetti cannons (i think i might have just made this word up) but you know what I mean! These can be awesome for photos and toasts with your bridesmaids.
6. Putting on your Dress & Shoes
It's always a good idea to practice putting on your dress before the morning of with the same person that will most likely be doing this on your wedding day. You want to know exactly how long it takes to do so and be confident that this person knows exactly what they are doing! It could be an easy zip or a full 20minutes to button each and every one. A good tip is to bring that person with you to your last bridal appointment and the dressmaker can demonstrate exactly how it works.
Also make sure that your bridesmaids are all fully ready in their own dresses before they help you into yours. Also mum should also be ready in her dress. Everyone being fully ready makes for better photos. If there is one bridesmaid ready and the rest still in robes, it can look a little chaotic!
Oh and another tip is to use the bathroom BEFORE you put on your dress for obvious reasons! So once everyone is ready, it's best to choose an area that has the most natural light. If you are not sure where, you can always ask us and we can recommend the area that has the best light. Once you are in the most photogenic area and have your dress almost fully on, we will come in and capture your bridesmaid/mum zipping you into your dress. Then you can choose someone different to help you with your veil, jewellery, shoes etc. All great photo opportunities!
Also when putting on your shoes, the same applies as your dress. Find a clutter free area with good light and a nice chair. Take a seat and let one of your bridesmaids help with this, it can also be a good photo opp.
7. A gift exchange from your Other Half
It can be a really nice gesture to give each other a gift on your wedding day. It doesn't have to be a super expensive present. A romantic letter or card can be more romantic that an expensive gift. These moments tend to be very emotional but it's always great to have photographic memories for years to come. They can transport you back to how you were feeling on your wedding day and can be really beautiful moments.
8. A gift exchange to your Bridesmaids
We talked about the possibility of gifting your bridesmaids with robes the morning of. But if you don't do this, you could also gift them with something small that morning. This is another beautiful moment that recognises your friendship and definitely memories to cherish. More great photo opportunities for us and for you to look back on.
9. Have a little emergency kit
This is one task that you can ask a bridesmaid to do and bring along that morning. An emergency kit could be filled with a mini sewing kit, small scissors, tampons, deodorant, hair clips, cotton buds, plasters etc. Anything that you think you may need, put it in there! You would be surprised how often these items are needed, especially if you have a big bridal party.
10. Savour all the moments of the morning
Your whole wedding day will go past in the blink of an eye. The morning though tends to be a little slower. You will be nervous, excited and will not be able to wait for the day to begin! Acknowledge the butterflies, take a deep breath and trust that everything will be just as you imagined it to be. Don't sweat the small stuff, twenty years from now you will not remember the tiny insignificant thing you were wasting time stressing over! Instead, you will have amazing memories of your first kiss, walking down the aisle as Mr & Mrs, laughing with all your bridal party, spending quality time with your family and dancing the night away. Getting ready shots are not just about the details, but more so the candid moments that make up your morning. You will look back at them and remember exactly how you felt in those moments.
Our approach is to be there as a fly on the wall and document all these moments as they unfold. Forget that we are there and if there is a specific shot that we need or want to capture, trust that we will ask you or set it up.
Enjoy the morning and savour every minute of it and this will set the day off with positive vibes.