Wedding photographer, Lover of Ferrero Rocher. Wife. Girl Mom. Dreamer.


Let's connect!

 Hello future brides! Today on the blog we will be discussing bridal prep. Often times this can be a very stressful time for the bride, but guess what? It doesn’t have to be! Today I will be going over some key things that will ensure that you are prepared, as well as relaxed on your special day. During your bridal prep stage, you should be able to sit back & enjoy that mimosa Can I get an Amen? Keep reading!

It’s the morning of your wedding, & hopefully all of the little details are taken care of so that you can relax with your best friends while your hair & makeup is being done. If certain items haven’t been checked off of the to-do-list, it’s time to hand them over to someone else. Yes, trust me on this one. Delegation is a key part of a stress-free wedding day. I know it’s hard to hand over the decorating duties & all of the last minute things that need to be done, but it really is important to relax the morning of your wedding. The rest of the day is going to be fast paced & filled with a lot of emotions! Take advantage of this down time

There are a few things to consider about the bridal prep portion of your day. Do you want to share a “first look” with your dad or any other person who plays a huge role in your life? Will you & your groom be exchanging gifts or letters during this time? If so, who would you like to deliver them? Are there certain women in your life who would appreciate seeing you get into your gown? Some brides want very few people around for this moment. Other brides love having aunts & grandma’s present! It’s completely up to you.

A few other things to consider…as you get ready to put your dress on, refrain from putting any jewelry on. I love shooting all those final steps once you’re in your gown! Speaking of the gown, if your gown is on a plastic hanger, try to make a note to bring a wooden hanger along for picture sake. If you forget, no big deal! I’m usually pretty good at scouting wooden hangers at venues

What Should I Bring?

Anyone who knows me well knows that I love starting the day off by capturing details. I always ask my brides to gather any details they have before I arrive so that I can say hello, & then quickly grab what I need to begin photographing. So you may ask, what are these items that you speak of? Like I always tell my brides, whatever you have for me I will gladly use. While capturing details I will include your dress, veil, hair pieces, rings (yes, make sure you have ALL 3 rings), shoes, bouquet, jewelry, perfume, your invitation suite, your borrowed & blue, etc. Also, I promise you that I will take extra care of your dress while making sure my hands are spotless before I begin!

Timing Tips

When you’re planning a wedding day timeline, the best advice I could give is to ADD cushion time! Sometimes the most simple things can take an extra 20 minutes & then all of a sudden, the whole morning is thrown off. I have seen “getting the bride in her dress” take almost 40 minutes because of the corset not being laced properly. It’s a smart idea to add in an extra ten minutes here and there so that we have some wiggle room to work with! This way, if one part of the day gets thrown off by 20 minutes, I can help you compensate that time in other areas. There are so many different things to think about when you’re planning a wedding day, and so here are some tips for the pre ceremony timeline! I realize that every single wedding day is different and so not all of these tips will apply to every wedding day schedule. Something else to consider is that not EVERYTHING will go as planned, & I promise you, that is COMPLETELY normal!

1) Bouquets & Bouts

Besides needing your bouquet and boutonniere for when I capture your detail shots, if you plan to have a “first look” you will need to make sure they are close by. Be sure to have them delivered to the room where you, the bride, is getting ready. We will also need the bouquets and bouts for wedding party photos which will follow shortly after the “first look.”

2) Travel Time

Be sure to think about travel time and most importantly TRAFFIC to and from your getting ready location and your venue! I know Northern VA traffic is no joke, especially in the summer time when there may be special events taking place. This is where some cushion time may be necessary, even if your GPS says that you’re only 5 minutes from your venue.

*Photo taken in the Bridal Suite at the beautiful Oxon Hill Manor

3) Hair & Makeup

This is huge! I have seen more weddings run late due to hair and makeup running late. First, I encourage brides to have at least their makeup done before I begin shooting because who wants a ton of shots without their makeup on?! LoL- seriously, nobody. Also, depending on how large your bridal party is I would suggest hiring one separate person for hair, and one separate person for makeup. Sometimes hiring one person to do everyone’s hair and makeup can be pretty stressful. I know most hair/makeup people bring a team with them, but it’s always nice to make sure you have enough help to avoid running behind. This way while one bridesmaid is having her hair done, the other bridesmaid could be having her makeup done, & vice versa. It goes much smoother this way

4) Groomsmen Prep

This is probably the easiest part of the day because let’s face it, guys get ready in 5 minutes! My second shooter will photograph the guys getting ready if they are getting ready at the same location as the bride or within 10-15 minutes of the venue. My second shooter may also capture a few details during this time (shoes, tie, or any accessories). If the groom and his groomsmen are already dressed, then my second shooter may ask to capture some “mock” photos of them getting ready.

5) Getting In the Dress

The most exciting part of the day! Besides seeing your handsome groom of course When the time comes I will instruct you to get into your dress close to a window, so be sure to clear any junk or clutter that may be nearby (because we don’t need bags or Aquanet bottles in the background) . It would also be fabulous to have your bridesmaids, and Mother (if she wishes to be present) dressed when you’re getting into your gown! These make for some of the prettiest candid shots!

6) Create A Cushion

A 10 minute cushion every now and then is a GREAT idea! It’s amazing how fast time slips away the day of! You are much better off having extra time to sit around & wait, rather than rushing around in a panic. This may also result in possible missed photo opportunities. I will do my best to be your timeline tracker so don’t worry 😉

“I hope this was helpful to all of you future brides! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask! If you are interested in learning more about my Wedding Experience, be sure to contact me here!”


Bridal Prep

Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017


Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This past weekend I had the pleasure of catching up with the Blanton Family at the Historic Oatlands Plantation in Leesburg, Virginia. You have no idea how amazing it felt to pick my camera up again since COVID19. I was so glad that we were able to capture their family photos before their son, Kenny, […]

You May Also Enjoy:

I can never stress enough to my clients how important it is for them to fully trust their wedding photographer. One key part of trusting your wedding photographer is acquiring the confidence in their decision making for your portrait locations. Some may question, what exactly do you mean by this? It should be pretty simple, […]

I had the absolute best time with Melissa & Brendan for their engagement session this past weekend at East Lynn Farm! It was nice to see Melissa again after all these years as our families grew up together in the same church. When Melissa reached out to me by email regarding her wedding, I was […]

If Alex & Scott’s wedding at 48 Fields is even the slightest preview for what my 2020 wedding season is going to look like, it’s going to be pretty hard to top this year. With a 55 degree day in February, the most beautiful golden light for portraits, combined with such amazing company…you could not […]

"Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance."
-Coco Chanel

© 2020 With Grace and Gold Showit Template.
 Photography By Brooke danielle photography