A little preparation before wedding week arrives can really ease your mind and help keep things running smooth on wedding day. After nearly three years of photographing weddings, I've learned a few tips that can keep the day on track and save the day should a disaster occur. Brides that do the following ahead of wedding week, are always the most relaxed because they know they've done the preparation to make the day go as smooth as possible. Does every wedding have a hiccup, or two? Yes. But, when the bride is prepared, those little hiccups are quickly smoothed over. Do these five things before wedding week and you're sure to be able to relax and enjoy your special day!
1. Gather the Details
This is one thing you do not want to be worried about during wedding week because there are so many other things that require your attention during the final days before the wedding. Before wedding week arrives, take time to gather your bridal details that you would like photographed. Except for your wedding dress and your bridal bouquet, all of your smaller details should fit in a box, tote bag, or other container (shoes, wedding rings, other jewelry, invitation suite, etc.). Putting them in a container that will keep them together will make it easy for you to transport them to your getting ready location. When I arrive on wedding day and ask for those details, it will be easy for your Maid of Honor, mom, or sister to let me know where those details are if they are in one container. Trust me, you do not want to have to take a break from hair and makeup the day of the wedding to gather these things together once I arrive.
2. Try on The Dress
I can’t tell you how many times brides are putting on their dress for the first time after the final fitting on wedding day. Final fittings are a fun, often emotional, experience. The big day is SO close and your mind is racing over what all needs to be done. At the final fitting, there is someone there that knows the ins and outs of the zippers, the buttons and the belts to help you get into your dress. They are there to help your Maid of Honor, or mom, or sister to figure out the bustle. It all goes much quicker and much smoother at the final fitting than it likely will go on wedding day. On wedding day, that wonderful person from the salon is not there to help you get into your dress and getting into that gorgeous gown is often easier said than done. Doing a trial run ahead of the wedding is so helpful! If the buttons require a crochet hook, you are more likely to remember to pack that in your bag if you've tried your dress on ahead of wedding week without the help of the professionals at the salon. Bonus, if you discover something is out of order with your wedding day ensemble, you stand a better chance of getting it fixed before wedding day!
3. Break in the Shoes
Don’t wait until wedding day to wear your shoes for the first time! This is sure to cause blisters, something that will not only slow you down, but can also cause a lot of pain. What bride wants to deal with that on wedding day?! Wear your shoes around the house to break them in so that they don’t kill your feet on wedding day. As long as you’re wearing them inside, they’ll still look fresh and new for your detail photographs.
4. Share Contact Information
As a wedding photographer, I always make sure I have the phone numbers for the bride, groom and wedding planner saved to my phone ahead of the wedding, but most grooms do not have my contact information, or the planner's. It's easy to forget to make sure the groom has that information beforehand and there have been many times where I've found myself needing to call the groom on wedding day (one common time is when we are preparing for a First Look!).
Lets be honest. Today, pretty much everyone screens their calls. If you don’t know who is calling, you're unlikely to answer, especially if you're in the middle of your wedding day!!!! If your photographer needs to get in touch with your groom on wedding day, you want to make sure he has that number in his phone. Guys are often at a separate location from the girls and your photographer may need to reach him to coordinate a meeting place, or give him a heads up about a last minute schedule change.
It’s also a good idea to share contact information for your photographer and planner with your maid of honor, or your mom, just in case you are not able to answer your phone and they need to get in touch with you at some point during the day. Make sure you give their numbers to your photographer in advance as well.
5. Prepare an Emergency Kit
I’ve never photographed a wedding where someone didn’t need one of the following items: band-aids, pain reliever, snacks, deodorant, needle and thread, or a bobby pin. It’s for this reason that I have a small collection of “wedding day emergency items” in my camera bag just in case, but that emergency kit is small and the bare minimum. A week before the wedding, create a wedding day preparedness kit and fill it with essentials that could come to the rescue should something happen on wedding day. Some things I’ve seen brides bring to the getting ready suite that have saved the day are listed below. In all likelihood you won’t use the majority of these items, but being prepared will ease your mind that all will be fine should something occur. Pack all of these items in a cute bag (I love the small MB Greene cosmetic bags because they are lined with a waterproof material that is easy to clean) and you'll know you have something for nearly every minor emergency.
Wedding Day Preparedness Kit
- Tide-To-Go Stick
- Safety Pins
- Bobby Pins
- Bandaids (regular and blister types)
- Pain reliever
- Protein bars
- Sewing Kit (buttons frequently pop off of rented tuxes)
- Flip flops
- Super glue (seriously, I’ve seen this one save the day!)
- Crochet Hook
Bonus tip: Gifting your bridesmaids their own preparedness kit in a cute cosmetic bag makes a great gift and is something they can use after the wedding.
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