I remember it well, the night before my wedding. I was sat in my childhood home surrounded by my parents and my bridesmaids, drinking champagne and looking through a photo/memory book the girls had made me! It was so lovely and put into reality why I had chosen these girls to be by side, I felt in that moment that all the effort that had gone into planning and organising the wedding was worth it and I just sat and knew that nothing else could be done from then onwards. It was such a relief.
We played a great game the night before the wedding that I’d recommend to anyone who has kept their wedding dress a secret from everyone. Get your bridesmaids to draw what they think your dress will look like, every detail of it and score them on each aspect of the drawing, eg length, colour, detail, train length etc. Somehow one of my bridesmaids drew my exact dress to a T without me giving any hints about the style of it. It’s a funny keepsake to look back on and one of my bridesmaids has since followed the tradition and asked all her bridesmaids to do the same for her upcoming wedding!
Right, let’s get to it. I’ve been to enough bridal preps now and have been a bride myself to be able to list my top tips on helping the morning run smoothly.
TIP NUMBER ONE
Have a timeline! This is essential! From agreeing what time people will be showering to what time you need to be leaving the house, there needs to be a plan in place. It will help you relax, knowing you have already planned ahead and knowing you have enough time for everything to be done.
For my wedding I wrote a list out of what time each person in the household was showering to the minute so people knew what time their slot was in the morning. It seemed ridiculous doing it, and my bridesmaids laughed at me for doing it, but saved the whole polite ‘no you go first’ drama in the morning! That then allowed me to tell the hairdresser who could have their hair styled first etc. Then I worked out what time I needed to leave the house to get to the church on time so that I knew what time I should be in my dress. When planning this part do take into account how long it actually takes to put your dress in. You need to bear in mind if it has buttons, if you want pictures taken at the same time you are putting it on as this takes time, you need to factor in putting on all your jewellery and shoes and then decide weather you want pictures taken with your bridal party before you leave for the ceremony, all this needs to be considered when deciding what time to get in your dress. You’re not slipping on jeans and a tee and heading into town, you need time to enjoy putting on your dress, have a chance to actually look at yourself in the mirror and enjoy the moment. You don’t want to be rushed out the door feeling unprepared. I was running a little behind schedule and in the rush of putting my dress on I totally forgot to put on deodorant on what turned out to be the hottest day of the year, and then spent the rest of the day trying to source out deodorant from my guests.
TIP NUMBER TWO
Location of hair and make up! This is something that most people don’t think of or don’t worry about but as a videographer it is my job to make you aware of this. Natural light is your best friend! Wherever you are getting ready make sure there is a clear space near a window for your hair and make up to be done. Just making sure you are facing the window and not having your back to the window will make for much better photos and video footage. Discuss this with your hair and make up artist before the big day and let them know you have a good location in mind that includes a window and lots of natural light. You’ll thank me for this tip when you see your pictures and video footage.
TIP NUMBER THREE
Eat something. For obvious reasons. No one wants to deal with a hangry or cranky bride. Have a nice breakfast, something you don’t usually have, and you may find that even if you are filled with nerves in the morning, that having something a little different will be appealing. I didn’t have that problem, I’m known for being able to eat a lot and I didn’t disappoint on my wedding day, I even had a couple different breakfasts, that may explain why I was late getting into my wedding dress! You have to bear in mind that you probably won’t eat again for quite a few hours, so fill up whilst you can, or ask someone to pack you some snacks.
TIP NUMBER FOUR
Have everything you need layed out and ready. Most photographers will want to get artsy shots of your accessories, shoes etc, so having them out and ready to go not only benefits them and allows them to get on with their job, but also makes a huge difference in the timeline tip I mentioned near the start. If everything is to hand, shoes are de-labelled and so on it just makes the final preparations go smoothly. As a videographer I have peeled numerous amounts of labels off the bottom of bridal shoes minutes before the bride leaves for the ceremony, and have been told to rifle through peoples suitcases for jewellery and heirlooms in order to capture them on film because the bride is busy being pamperped. If you lay it all out the night before it’ll help de-stress you.
TIP NUMBER FIVE
Enjoy yourself. It’s your wedding day! You are the star of the show, enjoy being pampered, have a glass of bubbly, ask people to run around after you. It’s the only day you get to be the centre of attention so milk it! It’s true what everyone says, the day goes by in a flash, so make sure you soak in every moment, enjoy time with those you love and have a great day!