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Top Tips for the Morning of your wedding

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Yorkshire Wedding Photographer

Top Tips to Ensure your wedding morning runs as smooth as clockwork.

Being a yorkshire wedding photographer usually means I’m up with the lark and driving to spend the morning with lots of lovely ladies and slightly hung over grooms.
However, I’m not really the kind of photographer who documents every single thing happening at prep. I’m not the kind of photographer that wants to shoot your shoes and all the bridesmaid dresses hung up in a row or your expensive wedding gown hanging from a chandelier. I’m not there to photograph cufflinks in a box or the fact that all the boys have matching socks. I’m there for the fun, the emotion and the stuff that is real. So with that in mind, I figured it was time to give you some top tips on what to do and expect on the morning of your wedding to ensure it runs as smooth as clockwork.
1. Time – there’s no doubt about it, time slips by real quickly on the morning of the wedding. There’s so much to do, so many people to see, and someone will inevitably have forgotten something. If jobs need doing, delegate. If someone has forgotten something, let them sort it out. The morning for you should be about being as relaxed as possible, and sitting down for hair and make up so that you look your best. Do not let time run away with you, otherwise you’ll have ten minutes to throw on your dress and cram yourself into the back of the car getting all hot and sweaty in the process. And try to ensure your bridesmaids and mum are dressed and ready ahead of you.

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2. Hair – Always, always employ a great hair stylist. This does not necessarily mean your hair dresser. A lot of wedding hair stylists specialise in this so it pays to find a style you like and you’re comfortable with. Pinterest is great for looking up ideas but take them and talk to your stylist so that they can see what works best with your barnet! And if you’ve decided on some hair adornments, whether that be a flower crown, a jewelled accessory or a simple veil, take them with you on your trial so you can see how they work with your finished style.  From a photography point of view, I’m not interested in seeing you in your curlers, but I love shooting the bit where you get your hair accessory put in place, so remember to inform your photographer what time the hair stylist will do this so they can cover it.  You can check out my Pinterest board of wedding hair styles here: https://uk.pinterest.com/toastofleeds/wedding-hair/

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3. Make-up – for me, bridal prep is about finishing touches. A little bit of mascara, a touch of blush, a whole load of lippy. Timing wise, I prefer my brides to be last on the list for make-up so I can be there for all those finishing touches. And no, I won’t be asking your make-up artist to ‘fake it’.
4. Highlighter – ok, we know the girls love the highlighter, but here’s the rub… whilst the highlighter might look great in real life, on camera, things are a little different. A little is great, too much and you look like tin man. Photographers do not love the highlighter (unless it’s on our faces, obvs!) because too much of the stuff and your face is shinier than a tin can. And no, we can’t fix it in post. A matte finish on your make up is ideal for photographs and I’ve lost count of the times I’ve shown the bride the back of the camera the effect highlighter can have on your images only to have the make up artist wipe it all off again. So save yourself some time and keep the highlighter for the evening. Slap that stuff on just before you hit the dance floor once all the major portraits are done.
5. Windows – I work with lots of amazing make-up artists and their skills are incredible. But still, on occasion, I have to ask MUAs to move brides into the window. The window is where all the natural light is – it’s where your make-up should be done. If your make up artist sits you in front of a mirror in a dark corner or in the centre of a room, then just ask her to move. Some make-up artists bring their own fancy lights which are great if you’re getting ready in a darkened room, but window light wins every time. You want great prep images?… step into the light!

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6. What to wear – ok, first of all, you can wear what you like. Pink fluffy slippers, tiger onesie, an original rock band t-shirt… it matters not a jot to me. But bear in mind that first, once you have your hair and make up done, you have to get that rock star t-shirt over your head without destroying what you’ve spent hours creating, so something with buttons or a zip might work best. Secondly, if you’re cool with the onesie, then so am I – but these are the pictures that are going to be around for a long time. I do love a onesie by the way, but then I also love a glamorous lace dressing gown!

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7. Ties – Boys, please practise how to tie a double windsor before the big day. Do not google ‘how to tie a bow tie’ on the morning of the wedding. Practice, practice, practice. And pocket squares…. pick a style, classic, rose bud, or multi-point, but fold it before the big day and maybe give it a press with a warm iron to ensure a nice even fit.

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8. Emergency kit – If you’re getting ready away from home, pack yourself a little emergency kit. Mini scissors to cut off any rogue labels or tags, a crochet hook to do all those tiny little buttons on your wedding dress, paracetamol for stress headaches, tweezers, mini sewing kit, tissues, safety pins, nail file, and throw in a nice smelly candle with matches for good measure. If you’re planning on wine, bring a corkscrew… and don’t forget the snacks!
9. Music – bring a little speaker and a ready made playlist. We all need a few tunes in our life and music will relax you, energise you and make you feel good – let’s not play the radio through the hotel TV.

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10. Finally, Relax… I’ve got you covered. No need to stress about what I’m shooting. Just enjoy yourself, soak up all that atmosphere and leave the photography to me.