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There are so many articles out there about your wedding and lots of it is very useful. As a wedding photographer, I always try and help my couples as much as I can and give them advice throughout the day.
My advice differs slightly from lots of lists out there and comes from being with brides and grooms on their day and seeing what is genuinely helpful for them. Feel free to send this page to Brides and Grooms. There are Facebook and Twitter ‘like’ buttons at the bottom of the article.
Here are some top tips that should really help you.
1 – On the morning of your wedding, you can do no more! Everything that you have worked on has been done and its time to relax and take the day in. Things will go wrong but as long as you are there, your partner is there and you have someone to marry you, then everything else is a bonus.
2 – Don’t let others stress you out. I have seen lots of well wishing friends and family add to the stress on the morning without knowing it. “Your car is here already” or similar I often hear being shouted. The car will always be early and it’s not going without you. Just remember that you have the control. Those around you will often do things that can get your adrenaline going just let it wash over you.
3 – Dry the bottom of the stems of your flowers off. They can make a lovely wet stain on your beautiful dress if still wet.
4 – Take the stickers off the bottom of your shoes! Hairspray will help if they are really sticky. This is the first thing I check for when I enter a room on the morning of a wedding. Maybe task one of the bridesmaids with doing it for you.
5 – Get some food before you put the dress on. Lots of brides don’t eat the wedding breakfast as they are talking to friends and family. You will need something to keep you going.
6 – Get into your dress earlier than you think. Especially if its one that laces up the back. They are always trickier than they looked in the shop and need to be tied twice to make sure you are in properly. Plus you want a few minutes to settle into it.
7 – Take a bottle of water with you in the car. You will get a dry mouth on the way.
8 – Boys: If you are at the bar beforehand, have a short rather than a pint. You really don’t want a full bladder during the service!
9 – This is the funny one but the most useful and the one that gets the most reaction. I know it works as lots of brides have thanked me for it. If you have a long train on your dress, it can be tricky to go to the loo.
Typically, brides will have their friends lift the dress up behind them. But, the trick is…… Go forward onto the loo! Seriously, put your tummy where the systern is and straddle the seat! This means your dress goes behind you and doesn’t need to go up in the air! I know its funny but it works.
10 – Just before you get out of the car or enter into the wedding room, take 15 seconds to deep breath and take it all in. With the excitement of the day, it can flyby without noticing it
11 – If you are getting married in a Church, ask the priest or vicar if they are actually going to pronounce you ‘Man and Wife’ or similar. Some do it and some don’t. If you have grown up expecting that moment to happen and it doesn’t, it can be a bit of an anti-climax. If you know its not going to happen then you are better prepared for it. You may be able to ask then to do it even if they don’t normally.
12 – Have that first kiss. Even if it’s in a church where they don’t pronounce you “Man & Wife” still have the kiss. For many, it’s the moment you are truly married and if it doesn’t happen, it’s a shame.
13 – Book ample time between the end of service and sitting down for the wedding breakfast. Once the meal starts, the rest of the day flys by. Leaving a couple of hours to speak with friends and enjoy the atmosphere is fantastic
14 – Receiving lines can really eat into your day. Unless you really want one, think seriously about it. 100 people at 30 seconds each is nearly an hour out of your wedding day. You will rarely talk to everyone on the day anyway but going around the tables between courses will give you a much better opportunity for talking to key people.
15 – Buy some sparkly trainers (converse do a great pair) for the bride and bridesmaids. If you dance then so will everyone else. It will be a relief to change from heels (of so I am told!)
16 – Finally, of course you should book a great photographer. But more than that, book a photographer that loves shooting weddings. Not a frustrated landscape photographer that ‘has’ to shoot weddings to pay the bills. When you meet with a photographer, you want someone that is going to enjoy the day with you that will ultimately lead to better images.