Picture it with me; it’s the morning of your big day, and all of the little details are in motion. You’re getting your makeup and hair done, and all of your best friends are with you. There may be some last-minute items on the to-do list, but that’s what your friends are for! Hand off everything else and delegate work so you can focus on being stress-free on your wedding day. As a person who loves controlling event details, I know it’s tough to let other people take over. Still, it is necessary for you to be happy on your wedding day. Once you get going, your wedding day will fly by, so take advantage of this time to relax.
When you’re getting ready, there are some things to keep in mind that could happen in this time frame. Will you and a parent have a first look, or a grandparent, or maybe someone else special? Are you and your partner going to exchange gifts? If you’re exchanging gifts, is someone delivering them, will you be on opposite sides of a wall, or something different? Who will be in your room when you get into your clothes? Will multiple people take turns buttoning your dress? It’s totally up to you!
A few other things to consider…as you get ready to put your outfit on, refrain from putting on any jewelry. I love shooting all of those final steps once you’re dressed. If your dress is on a plastic hanger, no big deal! I always carry wooden hangers to weddings to give your dress photos a more editorial feel. Keep reading along for more “getting ready” tips to help you prepare.
Another tip to have in mind is for lighting. The yellow light from the lamps creates this not-so-pretty orange glow on everything. I suggest having your wedding party swap those lights with daylight (5000K) bulbs. Although I will bring my own to change out as many as possible to keep that natural-light look that makes photos cleaner. Even if we can’t change the lightbulbs, there is always the window! Having just a simple window in the getting-ready area can create beautiful portraits with soft light. I prefer natural light, so the more windows, the better!
The whole day begins with the DETAILS! This is one of my favorite parts of the wedding day because it allows me to prepare and get my creative side warmed up for the rest of the day! I photograph wedding details in a way that matches and showcases the style of the entire wedding day. So, in some ways, the details set the stage for the look of the whole wedding, and I love having ample time to style and shoot everything from the dress to the jewelry to grandma’s handkerchief!
Below is a list of the most common details that I shoot. I ask couples to gather any details they have before I arrive so I can begin quickly and have more time for some “getting ready” shots of you and your wedding party! I always start with the dress first (Please assure your mom that I will take GREAT care of the dress, I promise!).
Sometimes, depending on the theme and “look” of the wedding day, there may be some extra elements that you could include when you gather your details. For example, if you’re having a country-themed wedding, you could have a piece of burlap or lace. If you have a rustic-themed wedding that includes some wooden elements, save small wood pieces to use when I’m shooting your rings and jewelry. This REALLY makes for beautiful, consistent album spreads!
The most common detail missing when I arrive at weddings and engagements is rings. Parents, officiants, and planners will tell you to hand over your wedding band to the best person before the day begins. However, it’s actually better to hand it over during the wedding party portraits so that I can shoot some great ring shots in the morning.
Don’t forget the bouquet! Have the bouquets and bouts delivered before the first look so that the flowers can be in the solo portraits. No worries, if it’s hot, we’ll be sure to keep it in the water as much as possible before the ceremony!
These are typical details that my second and I shoot regularly, but they are not mandatory in any way! This checklist could also include heirloom items like a pocket watch or something handed down to you, and while you may not wear it on the wedding day, you would like a shot of it.
When you’re planning a wedding day timeline, the best advice I could give is to ADD CUSHION TIME! Sometimes the most simple things can take an extra 20 minutes, and then suddenly, the whole morning is thrown off. I have seen “getting into the dress” takes almost 40 minutes because of a button malfunction. It’s a brilliant idea to add in an extra ten minutes here and there so that we have some wiggle room to work with! If one part of the day gets thrown off by 20 minutes, I can help you compensate for that time in other areas.
There are so many different things to think about when planning a wedding day, so here are some tips for the pre-ceremony timeline! I realize that every wedding day is different, so not all of these tips will apply to every wedding schedule. Something else to consider is that not EVERYTHING will go as planned, and I promise you, that is completely normal!!
Something else that is super helpful during getting ready is keeping the space neat and organized. The organization helps keep the day moving by minimizing time spent looking for things you packed for that day. Get cute, custom bags for your bach party, so everything is in one place. Keep the room tidy so photographers and videographers aren’t capturing empty beer containers, Acquafina bottles, piles of makeup, etc. Having clean photos really gives your photos an elegant and editorial look.
I know it’s a lot to take in, but that’s why I prepare you ahead of time and why we sit down about two months before your wedding day to work out the details.
TM Grey Photo is a Wedding and Portrait Photographer, as well as a Private Editor in the New Jersey area. TM Grey Photo focuses on bright and bold stories and genuine smiles. Check out more weddings, portraits, and engagements in the gallery. Want TM Grey Photo to tell your story? Let’s chat.
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May 17, 2023
If you're new here, then let me welcome you to my blog! I am Taliya Michelle owner of TM Grey Photo. I am a New Jersey based Wedding & Portrait photographer as well as a Private Photo Editor. I of course serve New Jersey couples, but I travel to Connecticut, New York, Eastern Pennsylvania, and wherever happy couples need their love stories told.
This is a place where I can journal about my lovely clients, what's going in my world, and of course give tips to all the future spouses and photographers alike. Be sure to check my instagram for the latest!
All the latest TM Grey Photo including blogs on recent sessions and engagement and wedding planning, as well as updates, sales, discounts, behind-the-scenes with Taliya, and special model call sessions.
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