The morning of your wedding is a special time filled with anticipation, excitement—and most likely a bit of anxiety. The best way to start the day is with self-care: Take a bath, practice yoga, or enjoy a cup of tea. Surround yourself with loved ones, stay hydrated, and be sure to eat breakfast! But there are some additional steps that will keep you calm and make the morning as organized as possible, especially when it comes to photography.
I spoke to Daniel Nydick of Daniel Nydick Photography in Scotch Plains, who is a pro at mapping out the wedding day and eliminating anxiety for his couples. He always tells me “no planner, no problem” when a couple chooses to work with him since he’s so organized. So I asked him to share some of his top tips, so that you, too, can have a relaxing morning.
Wedding morning tips:
1. Timing of photographer’s arrival
Schedule for everyone’s hair and makeup to be finished 30 minutes before your photographer arrives. If you want fun shots of you and your bridesmaids in matching pjs/robes/etc., these don’t happen until everyone is done. Why? Your hair and makeup artists won’t stop for photos, and none of your bride tribe will want to be in photos without their hair and makeup finished.
2. Hair and makeup
One big fear that brides have is running behind. The fool-proof way to alleviate this is to have your hair and makeup done first. The minute you are done, you can rest easy knowing you’re set up for success and just enjoy the fact that it’s your amazing wedding day. Let hair and makeup run behind on everyone else. It’s the bride that needs to be ready for the first look. Everyone else doesn’t need to be ready until hours later for the family photo session (except for MOH/MOB/anyone who’ll be in the “helping with getting in the dress” shots).
3. The wedding gown
Have your dress unwrapped, unstuffed and on a preferred hanger you’d like it photographed on before your photographer arrives. Remove tags and backings from all jewelry and all tags on dresses. Have all of the bridesmaids’ dresses laid out or hung on display (if they’re not already dressed). Have all bridesmaids’ gifts neatly placed on the bed, as well as bride and groom gifts.
4. Jewelry and detail shots
Brides should have their shoes, invitations and rings collected together so that your photographer can take detail photos of them. Your jewelry can be photographed on you—it’s a more human approach to show you wearing them. The maid of honor or mom will help the bride get dressed and/or put on jewelry during her photo session.
5. Keep the room neat
This may sound funny, but have your most OCD bridesmaid and groomsman make sure the prep room is clean, tidy and uncluttered. Your prep shots will pop when backgrounds/surroundings are neat.
6. The groom
The groom should have his shoes, tie, cufflinks, belt, watch, flask, gift or card from the bride and any other pertinent details collected and all together before the photographer arrives. Groomsmen should be fully dressed no later than 30 minutes after the photographer arrives. The best man or father will help the groom get dressed during his photo session.
Following these tips will allow your photographer and second shooter to shoot more and stage less, have more time to capture candid moments, and also shoot more efficiently.