Imagine you’ve just checked into your hotel. It’s the first day of vacation. You set your bags down, open your suitcases, hang clothes in the closet, drape your sweater over a chair, set up your toiletries and makeup in the bathroom, somehow have 5 pairs of shoes all over the place and in walks 8 people and a photographer ready to capture it all! UGH, NIGHTMARE! I’m here to give you some tips so you can AVOID looking like you’re on an episode of Hoarders and have the best possible prep pics! (Say that 5 times fast!)
- Book a suite or joining rooms. TRUST me. You want that extra space. With the bridesmaids, the mother-of-the-bride, mother-of-the-groom, Aunts, sisters, cousins… you name it… there isn’t a lot of comfortable space in a regular sized room for everyone. The perks of 2 rooms is being able to have all the bags in one and keeping the second room completely clean so I can take photos of all the bridal details not get in anyone’s way. Having more room also makes it a lot easier for your hair/make-up artists to set up their equipment and not get trapped in a corner!
- Make the bed. I don’t mean to sound like your mother, but nothing is worse than a messy bed in the back of all our photos. (Unless you decide you want this shot and it gets messy anyways… :)!!)
- Use the closet! Throw all of your extra suitcases and bags in the closet. Extra gift bags, suitcases, or anything taking up space and isn’t being used.
- Use a pretty hanger. You just spent hundreds (maybe thousands) on a GORGEOUS wedding dress. Nothing takes away the beauty of it than an ugly white plastic hanger. I recommend using a neutral wood hanger OR getting yourself a cute one from Etsy!
- Keep the window area clear. I always have my brides get dresses near the window so I can use that beautiful, clean light. Keeping that area clear of cups and clutter helps a lot! Don’t get me wrong, I love that you got your “Bride” Starbucks cup for your big day (because it’s totally cute and caffeine rocks), but you don’t want clutter in the back of all of your shots!
- Gather bridal accessories. When I’m ready to take close-ups of your details, I want your shoes, your rings (all 3! your engagement ring and both wedding bands! Hold off giving those to the Best Man until after I’ve shot them), your necklace, earrings, your something blue… anything that you’re wearing or any details that is special to you. Maybe you’re wearing your grandmother’s ring or wearing a penny in your shoe for good luck – whatever it is, I want it!Gather those before I get there so you’re not running around like a mad woman trying to find it all!
- Details/Accents. Bring an extra copy of your invitation suite! It makes for a nice background for detail shots! **BONUS!** I HIGHLY recommend having your bouquets delivered to your room! Those blooms tie in your details and you’ll want them for bridal party photos if you’re not getting ready at the same place as your ceremony!
- Make sure your bridesmaids are dressed. Well, duh. What I mean is, make sure your bridesmaids are dressed in their nice dresses before you get into your gown! Pictures look a lot prettier when your everyone looks their best!
- Give yourself time. Even if you aren’t a “girly girl”… you need more time than you think to get yourself ready especially if have a hair/make-up team coming to glam everyone up! It might take you an hour MAX to get ready on a regular day – but girl, this ain’t a “REGULAR” day. You’re probably having a mimosa party, dancing with your girlfriends, talking and laughing… a LOT. That’s all part of the fun!!