For Brides: Preparing for your Wedding Day Photography


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If you’re a bride and looking to make the most of your photographs on your wedding day (who isn’t?!), I’ve put together this little blog post just for you. Preparing for your Wedding Day Photography requires organization and planning, so that you don’t even have to think about it day-of.

  • Work out your finalized Wedding Day Timeline

My brides all know that for me, organization and preparedness is of the utmost importance. In my previous time as a courtroom lawyer, I was always prepared for trial. Why? Because preparation exudes confidence. This still defines how I do things, even as a wedding photographer. You can never be too prepared. In my business practices, I always work with my couples on their wedding day timelines, adding in pockets of time here and there in case something should run off-course. I usually make several copies of the timeline so that we can work together with the key figures, like the maid of honor, to make sure we’re always ahead of schedule. This practice takes the stress out like you would not believe.

  • Send your final family shot list two weeks prior to the wedding

Secondly, having your Family Shot List prepared (listing all combinations of your immediate family photos) should be sent several weeks before the wedding. This might be the biggest time-saver of the day. Your only task ahead of time is letting those family members know where to be, and then they can enjoy the rest of your day after some quick photos.  **Pro tip: let your family know where to be and WHEN!  It’s super difficult to try to round people up who have no idea they are scheduled to be in photos.  Communication beforehand is key!**

  • Have your details laid out in your getting-ready space

For every single wedding I’ve photographed, I always find it helpful not only to me, but for the success of the entire day, if details are prepared and laid out ahead of time. Details are always the first thing I photograph.  As a checklist, here is a rough sketch of what you might want to prepare:

For Brides:

  • Dress
  • Veil
  • Shoes
  • Jewelry
  • Rings
  • Invitations
  • Other Heirlooms

For Grooms:

  • Tie
  • Shoes
  • Watch
  • Pocket square

If these items are gathered together, I’ll be able to dive right in while you worry about literally nothing except putting your dress on.

  • Make sure the area near the biggest window is CLEAR

Sometimes when I go into the getting-ready area, it can be a bit of a mess. Think about it: your bridesmaids’ bags are everywhere, hair and makeup is fully underway, and the Wedding Tornado is in full effect. To make sure the day starts out smoothly, be sure to keep the areas close to windows clear of bags and other items. With that in mind, we will be able to jump into your portraits as soon as you put your dress on.

When all is said and done, being organized at the beginning of the day sets the tone for the rest of the day.  Here are some favorites from the beginning of a wedding day:


Carolyn of Tesora Photography is a NYC, CT & Westchester Wedding and Engagement photographer.  Booking into 2019.

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