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Over the years, I've watched so many weddings happen, and picked up little tips along the way.  So I thought I'd share my thoughts with you, and hopefully they may make your day run a little smoother.

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IN GENERAL

• It sounds so obvious, but plan as much as you can before the day, so that you know everything is sorted. That way you can wake up on the morning and just focus on having an amazing day.

• Don't be late! Seriously, I know it's fashionable to be slightly late, but work out your time plan and stick to it, you want your day to run as smoothly as possible.

• Remember that once you've sat down with your photographer and wedding co-ordinator and run through the plans in the month before the wedding, your plan will all feel clear and you'll feel like you know what happening.

• Know that on your day, you'll be guided by the team through each step of your day. Once you're there.... all you need to do is concentrate on relaxing and having fun.

• For the larger venues, a toastmaster is worth their weight in gold for ushering people, helping to gather people for group photos, and helping the day run smoothly.


THE BRIDE'S OUTFIT

• Winter brides - have a shawl, or something that can add a bit of warmth, that blue look in your photos isn't the best haha.

• Your shoes. If its muddy, are you still happy to go out to get those shots? Does your venue have a lake or a waterfall which doesn't have a path, will you have to walk through woodland or over the lawn?  Perhaps bring a pair of old trainers/wellies. To stop your heels sinking into the lawns, have a look at heel stoppers. They're a clear plastic stopper which you can pop onto the end of your heel.

• Make sure your bridesmaids are shown how to pin up your dress for dancing in advance of the day. Trust me when I say trying to find that tiny button after an afternoon of drinking is a nightmare!

• Veils are simply beautiful, but be aware they do get on your nerves after a while. However, try to keep it on until you sit down for your meal as it looks beautiful in the photos.  Be patient with others when they pull it during cuddles, especially your other half. It always happens and people aren't aware they're doing it.

• Holding your flowers, It's natural to clench them so tight and hold them up high under your chin. But they look so much better to hold them down by your belly button, it actually lengthens your body and makes you look slimmer.  Don't worry though, if you forget on the day, which you will, I'll remind you another 600 times haha.

• You can always give me your lipstick etc to put in my bag. I'll have a tiny bit of space, and it may be quite handy to touch up as we shoot throughout the day.


THE GROOMS OUTFIT

• Men with tight trousers and phones and wallets......they don't mix. Another one of my ocds, the bulge really notices in your images. Hopefully you can pop it in your inside jacket pocket.


BUTTON HOLES AND CORSAGES

• Button holes for men, I cannot stress this enough, do NOT put the flower through the hole... I actually think I have bhocd (button hole ocd haha). Place the button hole on the left lapel and put the pin in via the back of the lapel and go through the stems, as you don't want to be able to see the actual pins. I will be making a little video to show you soon. In my opinion, forget magnets and safety clasps.... pins are always easier to hold it in place.

• Work out a way to get button holes to the men on the morning, as quite often they're searching for them when I turn up.

• Ladies corsages, are a little different, traditionally on the right, opposite way, stem facing up and Flowers facing down. However, I will say, put it on in a way that suits your outfit. Magnets can help with the ladies corsages, however if it's a little top heavy on the flower, the magnet may not be strong enough and a pin might be needed for added enforcement. So perhaps a wrist corsage may work better for you.


BRIDESMAID'S OUTFITS

• Bridesmaids.... get them to buy a suitable bra. So many bridesmaids haven't thought through their bra options before the day. And knickers too, seriously think through vpl's. Getting this right will alleviate so much stress on the morning.


MORNING PREPARATIONS

• Never underestimate how quickly the time in the morning actually goes. You think you have all the time in the world, and then boom, all of a sudden you're in the middle of chaos with no time left.

• Set  time to get in your dress.

• Work out a timeline structure for your morning, actually set a time to get in your dress.  So that the time doesn't fly away, that way we can get a couple of totally ready shots with your bridal party and parents before we leave the room.

• Work out a plan who is getting you in your dress. Perhaps take them to your fitting, so they know how properly fit you in your dress.

• Fiddly buttons, perhaps invest in a crochet hook which can speed things up. They only cost a couple of £'s.

• Lay everything out, like your dress shoes, jewellery, perfume, underwear so that you know where everything is, it makes it easier for me to take the detail shots when I know where everything is.

• Take off stickers and tags before the day. It's too fiddly and stressful for the day once you've got your nails on, and the scissors always get lost.

• Always have a Make-up artist, I can't stress that enough. Even if you like to look natural, and don't ever wear make-up. They can achieve a really flawless natural look for you, and your images will look so much better for it. Have a trial before hand, to put your mind at rest.

• Some MUA's leave the bride until last so that your make up stays perfect for longer. However, this means that everyone is looking glamourous around you for your morning’s photos, and you're bare faced. Perhaps, your MUA could give you a subtle base earlier until you're ready for the full application.

• Definitely have trials with your MUA and hair styler if you can.

• On the subject of make-up and skin, make sure you exfoliate in the build up to your day. A flawless completion will make you feel a million dollars, and close up photos will look smoother.

• Your flower bouquets generally come in little cups of water when they're delivered, hidden under the boxing. They will need to be wiped down, use a towel to take off the excess water so it doesn't drip and make marks on your dresses.

• If giving them, give bridesmaids presents out earlier in the morning as time runs.  Don't leave it until after you've got your make-up and hair done, as this is the time you need to be focused on getting into your outfits.

• Perhaps have a think about a big reveal moment, where your Dad or Mum can see you in your dress all made up for the 1st time. It's a really special moment between you.

• Last minute deodorant spray before getting in your dress always works a treat.

• Have plenty of supplies for the room, drinks to keep everyone hydrated, toasting drinks and glasses. Especially if your wedding is at 2pm, organise food for your bridal team as you'll be getting ready over lunch.

• Perhaps have a fan. Especially if you're in a hotel room.... sometimes the windows don’t open very well, and there's nothing worse than feeling all sweaty when you're getting your make up on.

• Include Mums in with hair and make-up, they'll appreciate it more than you know.


ARRIVING AT THE VENUE

• You'll need to see the registrar beforehand. Factor this into your arrival time.  We'll run though your schedule.

• Also factor in time for a few photos with your Dad and the car.

• Give any bags etc to your wedding co-ordinator who greats you.


THE CAR

• Work out an actual time that the car is needed. They will generally be booked for a set time. Is that time enough? Factor in if you're having photos at the church etc. Is the car staying for photos of the couple after the ceremony? Lots of things to think about, but there's nothing more awkward than a Chauffeur feeling like he's having to stay for longer than he's actually booked for, he may have another job he needs to be at after.


WHEN YOU'RE ALSO A MUM AND DAD

• Your kids may probably get overwhelmed. There's so much happening for them on the day, and it may sound obvious but give them as many cuddles as possible.

• Have a team of friends and family, who will help take the pressure off of you with nappy changing, feeding them snacks etc. Also dedicate a baby bag carrier person so that you've always got everything to hand that you might need.

• Go with the flow. It's their day too.  Let them be part of the ceremony.   It's OK to hold your bubbas during your ceremony, or hold their hands.  

• If they're really young, have their buggies available for a snooze.


THE CEREMONY

• Be yourself, interact, have fun.  Ceremonies don't have to be stiff and formal.

• Wide dresses, and non-straight aisles, take your time and make sure that you’re side by side as you come around the corner,  so that whoever is walking you down isn’t tripping over your dress.

• Candles either side of your aisle.... Will your dress make it through?


DRINKS RECEPTION

• Canapés. Make sure your venue has put aside your own plate of canapés, and most definitely stop mid pictures to enjoy them.

• Keep topped up with drinks. If your venue doesn’t keep you topped up along the way, don’t be shy to ask your bridal party to help grab you one.

• Giant garden games , musicians and singers are always a winner.

• Factor in time to mingle and relax..... this is so important.


GROUP PHOTOS

• Don't have too many combinations,  everyone gets fed up standing in a line for too long. We sit down and run through a list around a month before the day so we can talk about it then.

• Dedicate someone to gather people for the shots, maybe a bridesmaid, an usher or bestman. Let them know that this is their specific job. This person will be an absolute diamond on the day, who will save you from waiting around unnecessarily. Trust me when I say it’s a nightmare trying to find people for group shots when they've gone AWOL.


YOUR COUPLE PHOTOS

• Enjoy it, I can't stress that enough, have a bit of banter between you and laugh... like really laugh out loud.

• Rain….. Dedicate 2 ushers/best men that can come along with umbrellas if it's raining. If its torrential during your drinks reception, be prepared to sneak out at random times of the day when the rain lets up.

• If the venue is huge, factor in more time to walk down to a lake etc.

• Don't be too stiff, cuddle like you always do and it will all happen naturally.


DURING YOUR MEAL

• Does your venue provide someone to co-ordinate and announce? If not then dedicate one person to announce, best man, brother, dad, who will be able to announce everyone to sit down, when to stand to cheer you coming into the room etc.

• Walking in through the chairs can be really tight. Let hubby go first, otherwise they end up trying not to tread on your dress, or pin it up so train out of the way.

• Grooms if you’re nervous, have your speeches 1st, or even in between starters and main course.

• Get up and walk around the tables, so you don't feel like you're sitting at the top table and watching your party happen in front of you.

• Occupy the kids throughout the meal with selection packs, tick lists of fun things to acheive, colouring books etc.  Happy kids make happy guests.

• Musicians, singers, and magicians during the meals can really add to the atmosphere.


THE EVENING

• Sweet carts always go down a treat.

• A good DJ is SO  important, like really important.  Always go for one that comes highly recommended.  I can recommend some amazing ones.

• Lighting is important to add to the atmosphere. Uplighters will make your images pop.... without them your images could be a little flat and dark. Chat to your DJ to find out what they can include in their package.

• Cutting of the cake is always good before 1st dance, unless of course you want it served earlier in the day.


I hope that helps, and you've picked up a couple of things that hadn't crossed your minds. 

Happy planning folks.

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