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The complete wedding morning guide – from your photographers point of view

Hi all! If you’re reading this, chances are you’re getting married soon. Yaaaas,  Congratulations! 

We’ve been wedding photographers for 12 years now and have been to quite a few weddings, so we wanted to share some of our wedding morning top tips that we’ve learned over the years. Every wedding day is different and personal, so some of the below may not be applicable to you, but hopefully you find a good handful of golden nuggets in our complete wedding morning guide below to take away with you.

wedding morning timeline - father seeing daughter in dress for the first time

Plan your wedding morning timeline

The time old saying ‘expect the unexpected’ could not be more true for any wedding day. Even the best made wedding plans will alter and time slippage is almost certain to happen at some point. However, if you can stick to your plan for the wedding morning, it’s better than no plan at all right?

Speak to your Hairdresser and your MUA about how much time they comfortably need. Speak to your vehicle hire (if you need to travel to your ceremony venue) and make allowances for vintage cars as they tend to be quite a bit slower. Also consider potential traffic. Aim to be fully ready and in your wedding gear at least 30 mins before you need to leave, an hour if you can spare it. This allows time for portraits and group photos, if you want them and if you don’t, it gives you time to pop that champers. It also gives you time to have a special moment with that person who is walking you down the aisle. Don’t forget that your registrars will want to speak to you too. It’s going to be an early start! But trust us when we say, the adrenaline of the day will pull you through, who needs sleep anyway!

Bride getting her hair and makeup done on her wedding morning
The wedding morning timeline, bride getting her makeup done

It’s both your days

Just as you have visions of your wedding morning, your partner will have theirs. If possible hire a photography team so that you both can maximise your time and so that nothing is missed whilst the photographer tries to squeeze you both in. We always work as a two person team because it means that you can each have one photographer with you. We can be there to capture your individual stories whether that be hair, makeup and getting into your dresses, or going to the local pub for some Dutch courage. It’s all part of your day and when you reminisce, you’ll want to look back and see what each other got up to on your wedding morning.

It's both your wedding days Grooms in window light fastening tie
It's both your wedding days brides reflection getting ready

Choose a room with lots of natural light

If possible, choose a room with lots of natural light. Artificial light is ok, but natural light is much more flattering. Your MUA and hairdresser are likely to want to set up in front of the natural light, let them! They will thank you and so will your photographer.

Bride getting her makeup done during bridal preparations
Bride in window light getting her makeup done

Keep the room tidy

It’s easier said than done.

Wherever you can, keep your preparation rooms tidy. If space allows, allocate one small room as a dumping ground. Everyone can store their bags in there, you can shove the leftover hotel breakfast trays in there, used towels and the random sainsbury’s carrier bag that’s appeared in there too. There’s always a carrier bag lurking! Your photographer may be able to edit some things out of your photographs but that’s within reason and it’s not possible to remove everything. If you can keep it tidy then your photographs will look less cluttered and more timeless.

Prep time can sometimes feel a bit busy and a little hectic, so whilst on the topic of keeping it tidy, have a good think before your day about who you want to be there with you in the morning. Sometimes you can be over crowded by a lot of (well-meaning) people.

Bride getting into her wedding dress

Put on the tunes

Everyone gets nervous before their wedding ceremony. So put some music on. A good playlist will keep the mood relaxed and excitable. There’s nothing worse than a silent room, filled with nervous people whispering whilst the tension builds. If that alone doesn’t persuade you then just think that you get to be DJ for the morning. Everyone has to listen to all your favourite tunes whether it’s their cup of tea or not.

Groom playing pool during wedding preparations
Groom looking out the window wedding ready

Consider the details that you’d like photographing

Spend time prior to your wedding day prepping the details that you want photographing. Thankfully, times have moved on from the cringy ‘wedding ring balanced on your wedding heels’ days and creative flat lays of the details you’ve spent time on are in. Think about your wedding invites, your colour palette, your flowers and your jewellery. Bear in mind that your wedding rings may be in the Best Man’s possession, so if you want them photographed make plans to keep them with you until the very last minute.

wedding details layflat photograph, soft greens, pinks and bold oranges
Tilly Thomas bridal tiara
lay-flat photograph of wedding details, sunflowers and dusky pink

Hanging the dress

This paragraph may ruffle a few tail feathers and it might be controversial, but we’re going to say it anyway. The dress hanging in a doorway or above the stairs does not always look good.

Have a really good think about your dress, does it actually look good hanging? For example, my own wedding dress was more of a skirt and top combo, which looked a lot better on person than hanging like a large, white, lacy sack of material.
So ask yourself if the dress hanging, empty from a random tree, is something that you really want? If the answer to that question is yes, then find yourself somewhere impressive to hang it. A large window or a character wall will work well, but the back of your childhood bedroom door will not.

An alternative to the dress hanging empty is to allow yourself time with your photographer to get some portrait photographs of you wearing your dress. This way you can see the shape of the dress, you can see the details clearly and you get some beautiful photographs of yourself, fully ready just before you walk down the aisle. Remember, a dress is made to be worn!

Silhouette of lace wedding dress hanging in the window
Bridal preparations, photograph of a bride getting into her wedding gown

Don’t overplan and have some fun!

In contradiction to our very first paragraph about planning, we’re now going to tell you not to over plan.

It’s a fine line balancing act 🙂 

Truth be told, the overplaning is not the problem. Worrying if your plan doesn’t go to plan is the problem. Make sure everyone around you knows the timings and has heard the plan, then let it go. Trust the professionals around you to guide you through. Join in with the pre-wedding drinks, make sure you eat something, dance to your playlist, laugh and spend quality time with your friends around you. The wedding morning isn’t just preparation for the main event, it’s a big part of the main event!

Grooms wedding preparations putting on buttonholes
The big dress reveal bride showing her bridesmaids
Father seeing his daughter (the bride) in her wedding dress for the first time

The complete wedding morning guide – from your photographers point of view

  • Plan your wedding morning timeline
  • It’s both your days
  • Choose a room with lots of natural light
  • Keep the room tidy
  • Put on the tunes
  • Consider the details that you’d like photographing
  • Hanging the dress
  • Don’t overplan and have some fun!

Head on over to The Best of 2022 to see what else we got up to in the 2022 wedding season.