top tips for the morning of your wedding

Top Tips for the Morning of your Weddding

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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.


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 / 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 or suit and cram yourself into the back of the car getting all hot and sweaty in the process. And try to ensure your bridesmaids, groomsmen and mum and dad are dressed and ready ahead of you.
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Always, always employ a great hair stylist. This does not necessarily mean your hair dresser. A lot of wedding hair stylists specialise in wedding hair 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! Ladies, 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.  Guys, do not have your hair cut the week of the wedding! From a photography point of view, I’m not interested in seeing a bride in 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: 

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bird cage veil by philip treacy stoke park wedding photographer
bride putting on mascara at taitlands creative wedding photographer


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’.


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 and grooms 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 in the middle of winter, but window light wins every time. You want great prep images?… step into the light!
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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 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. 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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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. Don’t get me wrong, I love the confused looks when all the boys are trying to figure out how to tie a double windsor, but I’d prefer you less stressed if at least one of the groomsmen is a dab hand when it comes to knowing their knots!

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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!


Every wedding morning needs a little speaker and a ready made wedding 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 (not only does it look awful of pictures, but we can’t skip through tracks that we all hate. Give the job to a bridesmaid to put together a playlist, or just hop on over to Spotify… they usually have a wedding playlist you can download.


Girls… no matter what those wedding dress shops say, do not put your shoes on before your wedding gown. Spiky heels and delicate lace or silk, do not play nicely together and I really don’t want you to be upset if you put your heel through your dress just because the woman at the dress shop told you to do it. Instead, on the morning of your wedding, you usually have an ample supply of wonderful bridesmaids or helpers who will get down on their hands and knees and help you put your fabulous shoes on. Don’t take the chance, live like Cinderella for one morning only, and let someone else buckle your shoes.

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If your dress has a simple zip, then there is absolutely no need to put your gown on until the last minute. If however, your dress has a hundred buttons down the back and along the sleeves, it’s best to give yourself a bit of time – again, don’t forget the crochet hook for just this job. No-one wants to rush, getting all hot and bothered in the process. Instead, take the time to ensure you’ve taken all the tags off (don’t forget the scissors!) and the strappy bits that hold the dress on the hangar… you’re never going to need them ever again, so cut those bad boys off. Otherwise they have a tendency to slip out during the ceremony or party. If you’ve got some amazing jewellery to wear, earrings, bracelet or necklace, put these on AFTER your dress is on. Pictures of you wearing your wedding gown rather than your dressing gown are way better. Plus, this is again a job for the bridesmaids or mum. Fiddling with little clasps trying to put a bracelet or necklace on can be a nerve wracking experience when you’re just ten minutes away from walking down the aisle, so let your helpers take the pressure off.

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Ensure your hair dresser is sticking around to put your veil in. It might seem like a simple thing to do, but trust me, once you’ve got an up do or a down do, a million pins are usually involved and I can only do so much! If your hair dresser can’t stay for the 15 minutes it takes to put your dress on, ensure your bridesmaid or mum goes with you to the trial so they can see how it’s done. Get them to FILM IT so they can refer to it.


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.

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