Planning Your Wedding – Bridal Prep

Wedding Planning Tips & Tricks


Planning your wedding requires careful consideration, no matter how casual, offbeat and informal you want the ceremony and reception to be. You don’t have to have a day run to military precision, but having a good plan as a foundation for your wedding means that you can kick back and enjoy your day without worrying about running late or missing events.

We recommend allowing sufficient time for bridal prep, so that you don’t feel rushed or stressed in the lead up to the big “I do”. Adopt a chilled attitude, and plan the key stages of your preparations, and you can relax and go with the flow.

Weddings at Derwentwater Youth Hostel


When does the Big Day kick-off?

Your wedding bridal prep kicks off the moment you get out of bed but we aren’t usually there for that bit! Typical photography start times begin approximately 2-3 hours before your ceremony is due to start. Our minimum start time for bride preparation is 1.5 hours before the ceremony (travel time not included). To avoid looking stressed or rushed in the photos, less than 1.5 hours isn’t a great idea and may mean that we miss photographing details such as the dress. Everything takes longer than brides usually expect, particularly when getting ready in a room full of people buzzing about.

Planning yoru Wedding bride prep pouring champagne

Should make-up be done in advance?

Planning your wedding means that the details are entirely up to you. If you’re super chilled about your appearance you’re unlikely to require as much time for application as someone who is mega concerned. If you’re worried how your skin will look, ask the make-up artist to put on a single layer of foundation before I get there. Concealing, highlighting, contouring and layering can be finished off later. Don’t worry about looking less than “perfect” in your photos. Remember perfect is boring – we want the real you.  If you are super distressed about being photographed without make-up, because you have a skin condition, it’s a good idea to have make-up fully applied before I arrive and I can photograph any touch-ups that happen later.

Planning yoru Wedding bride prep looks in mirror


Should the room be tidy?

Although the general ‘explosion’ of a zillion girls getting ready in one place is part of the wedding day story, I do encourage bridesmaids to do a quick tidy up of things that would look out of place in the photos before I am scheduled to arrive. I begin photographing as soon as I arrive so it is a good idea to let your chief bridesmaid know my arrival time and ask her to have the room tidy 15 minutes earlier.

Please avoid moving all the clutter to one side of the room as I photograph from all angles and this could be worse than not tidying at all. Items which are particularly distracting to the photographs are: medications, plastic shopping carrier bags, energy drink bottles, plastic wrap from clothing, etc.

Planning yoru Wedding bride prep putting on perfume

When is it dressing up time?

Approximately 30 minutes before I leave is the ideal time to slip into your wedding dress. This should also include all make-up and hair touch-ups. I finish 15 minutes before the bride is ready to leave. If my departure is delayed, due to morning events running late, the bride’s departure should be not less than 15 minutes later. This allows me enough time to get to the venue and into position before the bride arrives. If the bride arrives at the same time as me she may end up waiting in the car, or the vicar/registrar may insist that the wedding begins before I am ready to take the photos!

Planning yoru Wedding bride prep getting into wedding dress

When do you take individual portraits?

After the bride is in her dress and all touch-ups have been done, I ask everyone to leave the room so I can take a few portrait shots. Most brides are happy for quiet time away from everyone. These portraits make up a handful of the very few posed photos during the day and I promise to make them quick and painless.

Planning yoru Wedding bride prep Bride portrait

Can I have a photograph of my mum/dad seeing me for the first time?

If you want a special ‘father/mother reveal’ shot of your dad/mum seeing you in your dress for the first time, it is best to move your dressing up time forward by 10 minutes. As part of planning your wedding, please ask your dad in advance if he is comfortable having that personal moment photographed. It’s better to have the authentic moment with no photographs, than photos that show your dad with a ‘stiff upper lip’, as he wrestles with his emotions for fear of being photographed crying.

Planning yoru Wedding bride prep mum reveal

Can I have a photograph of me opening my gift from the groom?

If you are keen to have the groom’s present photographed as it is opened, please don’t open it before I get there. I know it sounds silly but the excitement and suspense might be too much for you to take. Give it to a bridesmaid/bridesman to hold onto until I arrive and then I will definitely get a shot of you opening it up – and possibly tearing up (or cracking up)!

Planning yoru Wedding bride prep laughing hug

Do you photograph the details such as dress, shoes, etc?

I do make every attempt to get the important details that I can see in the scene. However, I don’t typically opt to take large amounts of time away from the bride to photograph the shoes, dress, etc. I typically photograph them in-situ or in an area nearby so I can get back to the interaction between the people who are important to you. If you have small details you are worried I may not see (such as a pin sew into your dress, etc.) please make sure you let me know about it on the morning.

Planning yoru Wedding bride prep Dress


Are you getting married and looking for relaxed, informal wedding photographs that capture all the fun? Give us a ring and let’s chat awesome photos.



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