In case you couldn’t tell from this other post I wrote about choosing an awesome prep space for your wedding day, I’m pretty passionate about couples having an awesome wedding morning. Why?
- This is how you’re starting one of the most important days of your life. You deserve an awesome wedding morning. You deserve moments that are beautiful and sentimental – ones you will remember for the rest of your life. Some of the most beautiful moments on your wedding day will happen during prep, while you’re surrounded by your most favorite people in the whole wide world.
- I know you’d never expect to hear this coming out of a photographer’s mouth (sarcasm)… but reason number 2 is because having some awesome prep time together makes your wedding pictures better. Not just your prep pictures (which are super important and often end up being favorites for many couples), but your portraits, too. If you can have some awesome, fun, intentional time with your friends the morning of your wedding, I promise your wedding party portraits will turn out better. If you spend some time reflecting on your future spouse, your relationship, and all the moments with your friends that led up to this point, I promise your whole wedding day will feel just a little more real and awesome, and that’s going to make ALL of your pictures better. And if you can plan a morning that will be fun and relaxing and joyful, I promise that feeling will carry throughout your wedding day.
Turn off your phone, and turn off the TV.
Be present! Don’t scroll through social media today. Don’t worry about watching the game. Pay attention to your friends, and enjoy this time together. This is one of the biggest days of your life, and you get to spend it with a select group of some of your very best friends. Enjoy this. It will never happen again.
This goes for bridesmaids and groomsmen, too! Nothing kills a vibe more than one lone bridesmaid or groomsmen scrolling through their phone or watching TV in the corner during prep. Even if you don’t know your fellow maids/men that well, take this time to get to know them! You’re all in this together, and it would probably mean a lot to your bestie to see you happy, and making friends with all of their other friends.
Turn ON the music.
Spotify has some great wedding/wedding morning playlists, but this is also something you could task one of your bridesmaids/groomsmen with! Have them pick out songs you love that are upbeat and fun, with some more romantic or sentimental songs mixed in, too. Without music, the prep space feels like a waiting room, and it shouldn’t!!
Plan a toast.
Ahh yes, weddings… One of the only times it’s socially appropriate to start drinking at 8am.
Have a few bottles of champagne chilled and ready. Splurge on that fancy bottle of whiskey and a few cigars. If you’re a Maid of Honor or a Best Man, take it upon yourself to stop for a few minutes and make a short toast. Tell your bride/groom how much they mean to you, and how excited you are for them. It’s the perfect time to say a few things to your friend if you’re not giving a speech at the reception (and if you are giving a speech at the reception, it’s a great time to share a few of those saucier anecdotes that may not have ended up in the final speech!) Also, make sure you keep some snacks around, too, so things don’t get too crazy too quickly!
Exchange gifts or notes with your maids/men and future spouse.
Don’t do this the night before. Do it the morning of, and do it all together. These don’t have to be expensive gifts – we planned our wedding when we were young and our budget was teeny tiny, so my gift to each of our bridesmaids and groomsmen was a long, heartfelt note. That cost us almost nothing, but I got to say some things to our dear friends that I’ve always wanted to say. It made everything feel more real, and it made such a difference in the vibe of the day. If you’ve agreed not to exchange gifts with your future spouse the morning of the wedding, totally fine… but do exchange notes.
Do something you love.
If there’s time in your schedule, plan a group activity nearby for you guys to do together before your photographer arrives! Maybe it’s yoga. Maybe it’s a quick round of golf. Maybe it’s an early morning tasting at a local winery or distillery. If it’s something you love and it makes you happy, do it with your friends the morning of your wedding. (But remember – if this involves moving to/from the prep space with a group of people, build in a TON of buffer time. You don’t want the relaxing activity you choose to be the thing that stresses you out the most.)
Stay on time.
Whatever you’re planning, make sure you can stick to your wedding day timeline. While prep is a wonderful part of the day, it’s also most often when things start to run behind. Start ahead of time, and plan to finish ahead of time.
Don’t hold back.
Whatever you’re feeling, feel it. If you’re more of the quiet thoughtful type, plan a morning that will allow you to be that way. If you’re a cryer, go ahead and cry. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve had brides or bridesmaids get emotional during prep and then say “everyone stop it we can’t cry, we’ll ruin our makeup.” A lot of times, I’ll gently remind them that yes, you can cry. In fact you should. If that’s what you’re feeling, feel it. Let it happen. You will never get that moment back. And you probably won’t ruin your makeup, because wedding makeup is designed with tears in mind. So go ahead and cry.
Find more of the “For Brides” blog series here!
Lindsay Campbell is a wedding photographer specializing in natural, romantic wedding photography with a bright and airy film look. She photographs weddings in Chattanooga, Franklin, Nashville, Sewanee, and the surrounding areas, and travels across the country to photograph weddings! If you’re looking for a Chattanooga wedding photographer, Sewanee wedding photographer, Nashville wedding photographer, or Franklin wedding photographer, get in touch!