Simple advice & tips for your wedding day

The morning prep..

1. Distance between you. The closer you are getting ready to each other and the ceremony the better. This makes more time for photos and less time spent driving.

2. Get your rings cleaned for extra sparkliness!

3. Drink lots of water and make sure you eat something before getting dressed. After you are dressed, you will probably feel too nervous and excited to eat.

4. Make sure your hair and makeup is near completion by the time I arrive.

5. Tell your Mum and Bridesmaids to be dressed and ready before you put on your bridal gown to ensure they are looking great while helping you into your dress.

6. Designate your Maid of Honor to keep the schedule on time so that you don’t have to stress about it.

7. Choose a spacious room with natural light coming from a big open window and declutter it, remove furniture etc. This space will be used to get your detail shots of your gown and accessories and for taking the formal portraits.

8. Put all your accessories in a box to have ready for easy access, this saves time on the day trying to gather them all.
Items to put in this box for the bride: shoes, rings, ring box / pillow, perfume, garter, jewellery, your something old / new / borrowed / blue, hand written vows, invitation suite, bouquet.
Items to put in this box for the groom: shoes, rings, ring box / pillow, cologne, watch, cuff-links, handwritten vows, boutonniere, tie / bow tie.

9. Hang your dress / suit on a nice white or wooden hanger for display.


The Ceremony..

1. Every ceremony is different, so be sure to let me know if you will be doing anything unique – such as a sand ritual, lighting candles, and so on.

2. Don’t rush it… A nice slow walk gives me plenty of time to take photos of you both as you see each other for the first time. If you think you are walking slow, walk even slower!

3.  When exchanging rings, put them on slowly so that the top of the ring is visually available for me to photograph. Enjoy this beautiful moment!

4. Respectfully ask your guests to not stand in the aisle to take photographs. Consider having an ‘unplugged’ ceremony so that your guests can be fully present. Ask your Celebrant / Priest to make a short announcement at the beginning.

5. When kissing each other, hold it for a few seconds, it doesn’t have to be a quick, short peck. Making it last a little longer will help me get a few great shots of it. Consider doing a second kiss later on for your guests to take a photo.

6.  It is often best to do family photos right after the ceremony. Make a list of groups you want photographs with and ask a coordinator or your Maid of Honour to gather the appropriate family members for each shot. Allow 30 minutes for this.

7. Don’t let the weather get you down. Just grab gumboots, a white or transparent umbrella and enjoy this special day!


The Reception..

1. Make sure your feet are comfortable. Every bride wants to have stunning shoes on the wedding day. They look great for the ceremony and beautiful in photographs, but they don’t do well on the dance floor. Make sure to bring some flat shoes for dancing and to give your feet a break!

2. Plan to get the formal part of the evening to happen in the earlier hours, rather than breaking it all up. Begin the speeches after the entree. Keep the speeches short and sweet, allow 30 minutes in total then serve the main meal followed by the cake cutting, bridal waltz, throwing of the bouquet. Then you and your guests will have uninterupted mingling and more time to go crazy on the dance floor!

3. Consider changing into something more comfortable. After the first dance, swap your veil and train for a little white dress. If you and your new spouse are comfortable enough to move freely, you'll dance more, chat more and laugh more, and that'll rub off on your guests.

4. Have a smaller bouquet made for the bouquet toss. This means you can keep your main bouquet for photos throughout the night and you can take it home with you unscathed.

5. Have your Master of Ceremonies announce each table number one at a time to have group portraits taken on the dancefloor or against a nice backdrop at the venue. This makes for much nicer photos than having an awkward table shot with dirty dining plates or empty glasses.

6. No one wants your wedding night to end, but since it has to, go out on a high note! I recommend a sparkler exit if outdoors or blowing bubbles or confetti poppers for indoors. Your guests will love it, and it will make for some amazing photos!
I am not a fan of the 'farewell arch' exit, while it might seem like a fun idea, it does not photograph well.