Hi there, I'm Manali! A wedding photographer & educator serving Charlottesville VA & DC. Click through for all my favorites from recent sessions, adventures and travels, as well as tips & tricks for clients! Grab a cup of coffee, relax, and feel free to connect with me elsewhere as well! Cheers to you!
Manali is a wedding photographer & educator based out of Charlottesville, VA. When she's not making couples laugh or teaching other photographers how to save time & grow their business, you can find her at a vineyard with wine & cheese in hand with her friends & fam!
For Brides – Tips for Getting Ready On Your Wedding Day!
April 28, 2020
Tips for Getting Ready On Your Wedding Day
I’m hoping to kick off a mini-series of blog posts within the upcoming weeks focusing on tips for brides to help them ensure that their wedding day runs smoothly! This will feature some of the tips and advice that I guide each of my brides through during their planning process to help ensure that every wedding day that I work is as seamless as possible! I have an ENTIRE bridal guide that each bride receives right after they book their wedding to read through and use to help them plan a stress-free wedding day that gives them plenty of time to relax and enjoy every single moment with their family and friends. This guide is PACKED with information and sending this out each time someone books is one of my favorite things to do!
I actually went a little bit further to create my very own Week of the Wedding guide that condenses all of the information included in the Bridal Guide down to things a bride should make sure she covers one or two weeks before her wedding so she doesn’t have to worry about it on the day of the wedding! All of these tips help ensure that everyone stays on time and that a bride is able to get the most out of her wedding photographs on her big day!
Today, I’m including a bunch of these tips (plus some more, because you know how I get with these informational posts) for all my fall 2020 and 2021 brides to consider for the getting ready portion of their day so let’s jump right in!
This is most definitely the part for which I have the most tips on for the day. I’ve noticed a pattern where if a bride is able to get ready and make it to her first look/ceremony on time, the rest of the day tends to follow the expected timeline very easily! So having your maid of honor, a sibling or parent keeping everyone on track while getting ready is KEY!
For the getting ready portion of your day, make sure to include a box full of any details you’d like photographed ready for me when I walk in the door! This will save so much precious time and avoid a mini scavenger hunt to find any details or accidentally miss photographing something that you really wanted covered! Your box can include any of the following details you may have:
Your rings (please include ALL 3, I’ll give your fiancé’s to the best man after they’re photographed)
Stationary/invitation suite (please include 2 copies so I can photograph the back & front simultaneously)
Any jewelry you’ll be wearing (earrings, necklaces, bracelets, etc.)
A wooden hanger to help photograph your dress!
Any gifts, letters, vows
Any special family heirlooms
Make sure your dress is steamed and ready to be photographed when I walk in! Also, arrange your florals (bridal bouquets & boutonnieres to arrive by the time I am there) so I can include these in the detail shots. Any loose florals that your florist can provide are also incredibly helpful to style your details! I promise I will take great care of your dress, your rings and all of your details while I photograph them in a space with great natural light.
COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR HMUA TEAM
Make sure your makeup & hair artists know the exact time you need to be ready to step into your dress so that it isn’t delayed and so that they aren’t rushed to get everything done or do their final touch-ups. I will be sure to grab a couple of pictures of the final touches or your hair & makeup as they finish up!
KEEPING YOUR SPACE CLEAN
Designate someone to keep your getting ready area clean! As I take pictures of the details, I will also make sure to capture some candid shots of you and your bridesmaids getting ready. This is why it’s so important to make sure that you keep the area where you’ll be getting ready clean.
It is SO easy for things to pile up on a wedding day when you have so many people sharing the same space to get ready! Also, I may move around a bit of clutter or any furniture so we can capture these pictures against a clean, neutral background that lets you be the central focus of the picture!
A NOTE FOR YOUR BRIDAL PARTY & FAMILY
Make sure that your bridesmaids and family members are dressed before you get into your gown. Same thing goes for over at the guys! Since we will be photographing the final moments of you getting into your gown, you’ll want to make sure that everyone that helps you in that moment is also dressed for it! We want to make sure they’re looking their absolute best in your wedding day photos as well from start to end! To make sure to stay track on time, have your bridesmaids and family members get into their dresses at least 20 minutes before you get into your gown.
It is incredibly important for these pictures to be in a room that has a lot of natural light (meaning at least two large windows) to get those gorgeous shots that you always see on my website or blog. If your venue or getting ready space does not have a well-lit room, we will be sure to take the final pictures or mock pictures of you getting into your dress & putting your shoes and jewelry on outside where there is enough natural light! We can make sure that the guys are staying put while this happens so your groom doesn’t accidentally see you before your first look or ceremony!
ALL ABOUT THE GUYS
If your groom is getting ready at the same venue as you are, either me or my second shooter will be sure to hop on over to where the guys are getting ready and take a couple shots of any details your groom has. Please make sure he knows to keep these in a box ready for me as well so I can say hi and then get right to photographing these details for you guys! These can include any of the following:
Any gifts you have exchanged
Me or my second photographer will be sure to photograph any of these details as well as some shots of the guys hanging out, and some pictures of the best man or the groom’s father helping the groom get his jacket on and his tie straightened out.
I will also take a handful of portraits of your groom after he’s all ready and looking sharp! I promise these portraits take no more than a handful of minutes to capture! During this time, I will be sure to return the rings to the best man so he can have them ready for the ceremony!
If your groom is getting ready somewhere very far away, we can always make sure to have portraits of just him when we do your bride & groom portraits later in the day!
AND THAT’S IT FOR NOW!
This just breaks the tip of the iceberg, but as I said, the getting ready portion of the day is extremely vital to staying on track with the timeline for the entire day! The bridal guide that I have created goes very in-depth for each part of the wedding day and the week of the wedding I provide my bride with a list they can go through to make sure they can remember and delegate these tasks!
I hope this helps any potential brides planning their wedding day out there! Be sure to check out the next post in this series where I dive into tips to help portraits, family & bridal portraits, and ceremony go smoothly!