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Planning the morning of is often neglected and actually just as essential as other elements of your timeline.

Planning

The morning of

Let's get planning!
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This morning of resource is highly geared toward the bride.

Let’s face it to you men, your to do list is significantly less and far less stressful in a typical morning of situation. While I still think you (groom) should follow a morning checklist, this one is for your lady. It is my goal as your photographer to help in anyway possible to make sure your day is smooth , relaxing and as close to your fairytale as possible. 

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When Creating your timeline..

Whether it be your morning of timeline or the start of the festivities remember to give yourself more time then less. Chances are, things have a tendency to take longer than shorter or even necessarily on time so count on having a buffer. Having a buffer time will not be used through out the whole day by any means but when you need it you will be glad to have it.

The Getting Ready Part

One point I really try to emphasize when planning your day is your getting ready part. This part can really make or break your peace so having it super planned out and organized is essential. In a typical situation I always recommend getting ready (Hair and makeup) offsite from the venue and as early as possible. Most venues offer a bridal suite to “get ready in” typically two hours prior to the ceremony. This is a good time for you not to be getting ready outside of putting on your dress and touching up hair and makeup . Take that time to really enjoy your bridal suite. I’m talking champagne with your ladies, exchanging gifts, and just having a good time. This is also when your photographers typically come in. We love bridal suites and they’re often the perfect spot to start taking your pictures.

The Woes of Clutter

Another advantage of getting ready offsite is CLUTTER. I’ve documented, attended and took part of many many weddings. Girls get ready and stuff is everywhere. I mean everywhere. When we leave the last minute details to the bridal suite (touching up hair and makeup getting the dresses on) and leave it at that there is significantly less clutter. Why is clutter such a problem? It will be in all of your pictures. When you have several people getting ready start to finish in a space, there is a a lot of surface area that gets covered. The clutter takes away from your images and takes extra time away from you because as your team of photographers we will try to shift things around to make your space as clear as possible. So with all of that When planning how you are getting ready and when hair and makeup comes, get that done prior to arriving at the venue if possible.

Ways to Prepare for the Day

  1. Create a playlist. For what ever the occasion may be. Have a specific getting ready playlist. Something you really vibe with. Then create a playlist for enjoying the bridal suite. Could be the same playlist or different.

  2. Make sure you have a day of bag. Also in the bag have organizers to make it as easy to find your stuff as possible. You'll need a place for your make up, hair stuff, garter, under garments, emergency kit items ( sewing stuff, scissors, bandaids, tweezers), snacks, chargers, comfy shoes, and what ever else you should need. 

  3. All bridal party should have a day of bag somewhere they will be able to store their belongings so they’re out of the way.

  4. Select a hair and makeup artist. If you chose to go this route. Keep in mind if you want them to do the whole bridal party or just the bride. 

  5. Do you plan to get your nails done for the wedding? Set a time the day before the wedding or however many days prior you are comfortable with. Saving it for the day of can cause you to feel rushed with everything else you need to do.

  6. Think about food for the day too. Plan on a good breakfast and lunch ( assuming it's an evening wedding). Don't forget about snacks either. The excitement of the day can cause everyone to skip the eating part and that's quite essential.

  7. Plan when the bridal party and mothers will be meeting up. This is super important. If one bridesmaid is not on time to the meet up it can set everything behind. Set clear expectations on when they should arrive. Also if the people in the bridal party have kids joining for the wedding set clear expectations on when the kids should arrive. ( this part is for the guys too)

  8. Set an expectation on when the bridal party should be done getting ready. (You’d be surprised how many times the brides ready for photos with her girls and one lone bridesmaid showed up late and not ready. It stalls quite a lot)(for the guys too)

  9. How will everyone be arriving at the venue? Everyone for them self or will there be some sort of group transport( group transport is great but keep in mind for how everyone will be getting back from the venue at the end of the night) It's the little things to keep in mind when planning out the day.

  10. Decide if you are planning to take full portraits prior to the ceremony or after. By that I mean all bridesmaids, groomsmen, family, bride and groom.

  11. Will pictures be at the same location as the ceremony and reception?

  12. Is the ceremony and reception at the same location?

  13. When do you want to sign the marriage license. Some chose to sign the marriage license at the rehearsal dinner to save time day of.

  14. Set a time for the ceremony.

  15. Set a time for all guests to arrive( many chose to have guests arrive 20-30 minutes prior to ceremony start time to lessen the chance of stragglers when the procession starts)

  16. Think about if you want to have matching outfits with your bridesmaids. These are super cute in pictures. A fan favorite are cute little robes. They make for great pictures too! Typically this is the outfit you will wear to the venue together. 

  17. Think of your wedding day morning as the pre-party ( don't get wasted or anything) but enjoy it, yes there are things you have to do but leave time for enjoyment and plan it out so you have the space to relax and enjoy.

  18. Think about staying at a hotel the night before the wedding so you can wake up in your own space( with out out of town guest staying with you) maybe invite your bridal party and make it a girls night.

  19. Have accessories in an easy place to give to your photographer for pictures (invitations, shoes(bride and grooms) rings(engagement, wedding band and grooms band), jewelry, perfume, ring box, any details you want to have documented.

  20. Plan to have a steamer on hand.

  21. Give everyone the schedule of the day so that no one is in question of when each event is meant to happen( as far as getting ready and pictures)

  22. Think about what shoes you want to wear while getting ready. Think about everything from head to toe to really coordinate yourself on what you want. want everyone to wear just socks maybe add that to their gift.

Timeline of the Morning

Once you have settled on ways to prepare for the day, next up is to set up your morning of timeline. This is just a general idea of how your morning can flow.

  1. Wake up- Make sure to get a good night of sleep and set an alarm for the morning.

  2. Take some time when you first wake up to do something relaxing. Help ease yourself into the day with the assurance that it will all go smooth.

  3.  Have a good breakfast. This might be a good time to start the day with the bridal party.

  4.  From breakfast start your prep to get ready

  5. Enjoy a favorite beverage ( hello coffee)

  6.  Get your hair done to the point that it only needs touch ups( You know your hair best so if this needs to be the last step before you head to the venue definitely go with what you know. As someone who's hair tends to fall out of its styling-- I totally understand)

  7.  Get your make up done.

  8. Give bridesmaid gifts( especially if they benefit for the rest of the day) (or wait until your with the photographer to capture the moment)

  9. If you have time left over after everyone has finished getting ready just spend some time chilling!

  10. Check if dresses need to be steamed.

What's the hitch?

This timeline may not work for everyone, definitely not a one size fits all but it is my hopes that it helps cover all the necessary points of your wedding morning. It is my goal to provide you with the things to think about to make your day perfect. So no this is not one size fits all. We can work to alter and cater to your needs. Not everyone has a bridal suite at the venue, not everyone can get ready in the same place, whatever your situation we can help come up with a good plan for you!

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