Wedding days are some of the most exciting (and busy!) days in my life. They are incredibly fast paced and can be very stressful if you’re not prepared!

In order to ensure that I can handle even the busiest of wedding days, I follow a very specific routine in the days leading up to a wedding.

 

Three Days Prior a Wedding: Technical Check Day

I have a recurring dream and it goes like this: I am at a wedding, pull out my camera and… I don’t have my SD cards.. my flash doesn’t work.. my batteries are dead.  This is what a nightmare looks like for a wedding photographer! To ensure that this dream NEVER comes true I do the following:

  1. Layout all my gear to make sure I have everything I will need on a wedding day. This includes two camera bodies, an assortment of lenses, flashes, SD cards, and batteries
  2. Charge all batteries
  3. Format all SD cards
  4. Clean lenses
  5. Test all equipment to make sure they’re working correctly

Two Days Prior a Wedding: Administrative Day

This day is all about making sure I have all of the administrative items prepped. This includes:

  1. Reviewing my client file. I make notes after each client meeting outlining any important matters that I will need to be aware of during the wedding day (e.g. special photo requests, surprises planned for the day, etc.)
  2. Mapping out my driving route. Typically I use my phone’s GPS but I also print a hardcopy of the driving directions. I have had my phone’s server drop on a wedding day. Luckily my in-car GPS was working, but the stress I experienced in those moments was enough that I never again have left for a wedding without a physical print out of my route!
  3. Inputting all wedding day emergency contact numbers into my phone (I collect these names and numbers during my consultation with the bride and groom)
  4. Sending an email to the bride & groom confirming the final schedule
  5. Printing the schedule and any other important details/reminders

One Day Prior a Wedding: Physical Day

If you’ve photographed a wedding, then you know it can be a physically draining day! In order to ensure that I can perform my tasks optimally, I do the following:

  1. Drink LOTS of water! Most wedding days involve a lot of running, sunshine and very few opportunities for bathroom breaks. To avoid complete dehydration, I try to get my body at its peak hydration levels the night before a wedding
  2. Eat well! I typically don’t eat out at restaurants the day before a wedding. I want to avoid food poisoning at all costs! I also ensure that I eat fairly clean and include lots of protein sources
  3. Moderately workout. The day before a wedding probably isn’t the best day to run a marathon. I plan a light workout for the day prior to a wedding to ensure that I don’t head into a wedding with workout related injuries or muscle fatigue
  4. Go to bed early. I try to get between 6-8 hours of shut eye the night before a wedding

The Wedding Day: The Small Details

It’s finally here- it’s the wedding day!  I try to keep my morning as stress free as possible! I start my day by:

  1. Doing some light stretching
  2. Packing my bags with a couple bottles of water and some quick and easy snacks (e.g. granola bar and apple slices)
  3. Putting on my wedding day uniform. I have a wedding day formula when it comes to how I dress. I always wear a black dress (knee length, high neckline and has pockets! I own way too many of these dresses now!) with a blazer. I always wear my hair up in a low bun, and minimal makeup (the less make up I wear, the less it will smudge!)

 

BONUS: No matter how late I am getting home after the wedding, I also do the following:

  1. I brew myself a cup of soothing herbal tea (usually chamomile). It helps me wind down from an adrenaline packed day
  2. Take about 30 minutes to stretch/foam roll. Trust me, your body will thank you the next morning for taking time to do this!
  3. Take a quick shower. I am usually exhausted by this point but the thought of climbing into my bed with a day’s worth of grime and sweat always motivates me to hop in the shower for a quick rinse

I hope you find these tips helpful in preparing for your next day photographing a wedding!

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If you’re a bride, check out our favourite tips for planning your wedding day photography below!

 

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