Many couples tell me this was the favourite part of their day. The pampering mixed with nerves and a little prosecco. Lounging in their gowns having hair and makeup perfected and fussing over surprise gifts and cards, Mammies proudly adjusting their hats, emotions are high but the mood is excited and giddy.
Try and keep your space clean and clutter free
Try to find a bright space for your hair and makeup preferably close to a window with lots of natural light. A nicely lit room will add a lovely ambience to your photos.
It’s also good to have your jewellery, flowers and accessories out and ready for your photographs. You don’t want to be running around trying to find bits and bobs before the church. Remember if you’re getting ready and with the bride’s maids and mothers also your room can get trashed, quickly!
Pro-Tip, ask your bridal party if they can keep the space tidy (as possible), think about your images if there are knickers on the floor I’m not picking them up! Try to get any ironing done before we get there and put away packaging and bags. Tidy room equals better photos.
The wedding dress
You have spent ages finding the perfect wedding dress tucked away safe in a case and travelled with it to Italy so you want it to be perfect on the day. Its a really good idea to have everything as organised as possible early in the morning before the wedding or even the night before. Hang the dresses to encourage any creases to fall out, I have seen people use a steamer to get rid of any final creases on the dress.
Pro-Tip, bring scissors! Remove any plastic tags or spare buttons that are often attached to the dress. Cut the small threads that I have often seen attached to belts or waistbands. Often there are additional straps to hold the dress on the hanger as they can be very heavy, these should also come off. It’s a good idea to do this before final buckle up so as not to have a stray strap sticking out!
Buttons! Many dresses have a zip fasten at the back but they also have a line of a million tiny buttons that still need to be done up by hand. So give yourself additional time for this. It’s also a very good idea to have a crochet needle or a hairclip. Remember the manicures, nobody wants to go snapping a nail while fastening a button. A father once managed the fiddly task with a fork! It did the job!
Learning how to lace up a corset dress is something you and your bride’s maids really need to practise before your big day. This can be tricky and again needs to be practised to perfect as it will affect how the dress sits. Practise, practise, and practise. And remember the bow goes underneath once you have woven all the way down not hanging out the back.
The wedding shoes
The shoes without a doubt should be worn a few times before the day. The biggest problem getting married in the heat of the summer and I have seen it endless times is swelling! It doesn’t sound so glamorous but believes me it happens. Mild swelling of fingers and feet is very common in hot weather and especially for females. So remember when choosing shoes you need to think about wearing them for the best part of the day. And once they are off you have no chance of getting them back on. Flats are a life saver.
Don’t forget to take the price tags off the bottom of your shoe. A bit of wet cotton wool works wonders if you cant scrape them. People will see the soles of your shoes when you are kneeling at the altar. Try not to drink too much before the ceremony or you will need a ‘comfort break’ during the ceremony, I have witnessed this! However, make sure you have some water on hand especially in the church. It gets hot and sticky in Italy.
Get the right underwear. Big knickers work wonders for smoothing your waistline Just make sure they don’t have bows or any attachments which can show through the dress if it happens to be tight fitting or satin. You want to be smooth all over no tracks. Seamless knickers are probably the best idea. Be careful with bras especially straps you don’t want them falling down your shoulders and also be sure your dress is high enough at the back to cover whats underneath. A peaking bra strap back can be distracting for the photo.
As for the ‘Tit Tape’ well in some cases, it works well but I really don’t think the idea of overusing it works. Mabe best to have your dress altered beforehand, sometimes the dress or straps can fall away from it so we have the tape showing in your photos. Use it discretely and sparingly.
It might be fairly obvious but you really should try your dresses on before the wedding and make sure they fit and zips can close. I have had a few weddings where we could not pull up a zip and another where none of the bridesmaids dresses actually fitted them. This to me is pretty careless and the last thing a bride needs to be worrying about being ready and also check out the best underwear to suit the dress. Again bra straps hanging left right and centre are a killer.
I have two words for the guys, Labels and Phones!
Firstly, I have no doubt you have spent time and money choosing a smart suit and are feeling confident and possibly very Hot! I find most blokes are quite proud, taking the time and effort to look good. They feel handsome and confident. There is one very important point I want to make, It is common practice the designers put a label on the sleeve of the jacket.
It could be an Armani, Paul Smith or M&S and it seems some people are under the impression it is part of the suit. That little label with only a few stitches on the sleeve is for browsing the suits and easily displaying the designer without disrupting the display, it’s for practical reasons and is not part of the suit! No matter how impressive the label might be, take it off! In fact, take it off when you get home, don’t even think about it just do it!
You want to give the right impression and look like your suit has been made for you, and don’t forget the sole of your shoes! You might have found a bargain pair of shoes in the sale but you don’t want us to know that.
Pro-Tip, it is a very good idea to have a second shirt for summer weddings, you will feel much more comfortable if you have a fresh shirt to change into if needed.
If you decide to go for the Tux look make sure you practise with your tie beforehand. Better still get a clip on, it looks as good without all the nervous fidgeting beforehand. Having said that it’s also really nice for photos to have the open tie look later in the evening to give a more casual look to the pics. You do not need a vest under your shirt for starters its way to hot and also nothing worse than big tracks when you take off the jacket. Leave the vests at home unless you are part gorilla!
I have said it before and will say it again, Please do not shove your phone in the pocket of your trousers. If you have to carry it put it in the inside pocket of your jacket or give it to a guest or family member to hold. There is nothing worse than having you all dressed up and looking handsome to have big bulgy pockets with the outline of your phones. Its tacky and your photos will look bad. You can live without it for a few hours at least.
So, the wedding morning …
I do love this part of the day. I am always a little nervous before meeting you all for the first time in the flesh then getting into the swing of it, trying to suss everyone out getting caught up in all the drama. I really love the wedding preparations, there are so many such lovely moments and all the little details you have been putting together. It also gives us all that time to connect and get to know each other a bit better. Meeting Mums and Dads, I love seeing my brides all polished and ready to perfection before the trip to the church.
I am also told many couples love to look at these shots after the wedding day showing each other what they got up to on the morning of the wedding. Sometimes the boys will have a cigar or a shot of whiskey.The girls giddy on prosecco everyone excited and looking sharp.
And despite being under the constant gaze of the camera, try not to be too conscious about it. I prefer you to do your own thing and be yourself and enjoy the moment. There are no rules in my book. It’s your day. Have a laugh, you all look brilliant at this point so strut your stuff and strike a pose!