Think about the amount of time it would take for you and your bridesmaids/families to get ready. Then add two hours. Yes, seriously. Hair and makeup frequently goes overtime and you want to be able to relax and breathe. The most important part of getting ready is just being able to hang out with the people you’re surrounded by! Accompanied by Beyonce and mimosas, usually. Bonus: the more time you have leftover, the more time you have to get some photos done of yourself and the bridal party! The more photos you knock out early, the more free time later on.
This is typically the first thing your photographer will take photos of. Make sure to get everything that’s important to you in one place! For example: jewelry, shoes, invitations, garter, something blue, old, new, borrowed. All that stuff!
Natural light is the best light. The more sun you can let in the room, the better! Also, turn off any harsh lights in the room. Your intuition might tell you that having all the lights on in the room would be better for the photographer but that actually isn’t the case! If florescent lights are mixing with natural sun, the colors tend to get a bit wonky.
Along the same lines as the previous tip, the more natural light that falls on your face, the better. Doing this separates you from the rest of the room and gives your face an even, sunkissed glow.
In my six years of shooting weddings, you would not BELIEVE the amount of Dunkin Donuts cups I’ve seen scattered around a room as well as plastic bags, half eaten bagels, and rogue hangers. This ones super hard to keep up with for sure! But the more minimal and clean the room looks, the less distractions there are in the photos to take away from the moment.
I know it’s super weird to have someone you don’t really know that well taking photos while you just hang out! But please try your best to ignore them. Trust me, we’ve seen EVERYTHING! We won’t judge you for anything at all. We want you to be your normal, crazy selves. We want you to be excited and loud and will accept all your dirty jokes and potential tipsiness. We love it. Please don’t feel like you need to be on your best behavior, or try to look like a model. Being yourself is the absolute best bet.
This one is absolutely crucial. This time of the day has the potential to be so stressful. Your head can be racing, people are blowing up your phone, the boob tape might be missing. Take so many deep breaths, assign people to different roles ahead of time, and just relax. Accept the possibility that things can go wrong and keep the real meaning of the day at the forefront of your mind. The most important thing is marrying the person you love. Everything else is just details. Drink that mimosa and allow yourself to feel good.