There are opportunities for beautiful photos the morning of your wedding while you are getting ready, but if you take some extra steps, you can make the most of these moments and ensure even more memorable photos.
- Choose the right space. The place you spend the morning of your wedding should be relaxing and calming. It should be filled with lots of natural light, and it should also reflect your design look. If you are getting married in an older, historic home in Charleston, then you may want to find a suite or a room at one of the historic hotels nearby. Likewise, if you're getting married in the mountains, you may want to try to find a cabin or mountain home to rent.
- Keep it simple. We believe in simplicity and less being more. The less people you have crammed in your getting-ready room, the better...not only for photos, but likely for your sanity, too. Also - CLEAR. THE. CLUTTER. One of the things we ask and remind bridesmaids to do is clear off the desk and table areas for the hair and makeup artists to be able to spread out. We also like to remind bridal parties to pick up the clutter...close the suitcases, throw the leftovers and trash away, and hang extra clothes in the closet. All of that background noise makes for messy photos. The only background noise you should have is some calm, light music...and maybe a bottle of bubbly popping :)
- Consider what you'll be wearing while getting ready. You're not going to be sitting around in your wedding dress all morning, but you do need to have something comfortable on that will also be easy to remove without messing up your hair and makeup. Our favorite options are pretty floral or silk robes, button up monogrammed shirts, or cute rompers you can slide off. These are also great options for your girls to wear, and they can double as bridesmaid gifts!
- Gather all of your details together. If you want your photographer to photograph your invitation suite, your rings, your jewelry, your shoes, your veil, your garter, and any other special mementos or accessories, then gather them all together in one place. You may want to consider keeping them in a pretty keepsake box along with some additional styling accessories. You know those pretty photos with ribbon or petals? A lot of times the photographer doesn't have that stuff on hand, so it's nice if you provide it. Some of our favorites include pretty vintage ring boxes, satin or silk ribbon in your wedding colors, and flowers/greenery.
- Remember the men. We like to ask the groom and groomsmen to be almost fully dressed by the time the photographer arrives. We suggest having pants and shirt on, but leaving the top few buttons of the shirt undone until the photographer can get some photos of the guys getting ready, too. Also, men, empty your pockets before photos start. There's nothing worse in wedding day photos than bulging pockets from car keys, wallets, and cell phones.
- Think through putting on your gown. It's a really good idea for you to take one of your bridesmaids and/or your mom with you to your final gown fitting so they can see how to help you get into your wedding gown. Something else you want to remember is to make sure your mom is dressed with her hair and makeup complete before you get in your gown. Most mothers don't want to look "undone" for these photos when they look back on them for years to come.
- Consider exchanging a gift with your fiance. This is a really sweet way for you to take a moment to breathe and really rest in the reason for the day. It can be as simple as exchanging handwritten cards, or it can be a little more elaborate with exchanging a gift. No matter what, it should be heartfelt, and your photographer will be sure to capture the emotion during these moments.
- Remember to eat, and stay hydrated! One of the worst things you can do for yourself is to go all morning without eating or drinking water. The first thing you should do when you wake up is a drink a big glass of water, and maybe add some lemon to it. Have breakfast or brunch catered, or perhaps your dad will go pick up something from the local deli that morning for the bridal party. We like to recommend fruit and cheese platters, bagels and cream cheese, and/or muffins. You want to make sure whatever food is lying around is easy to grab and eat...or to graze on.
Anyone else have any tips they want to share? We'd love to hear them!