As my couples are tying up loose ends before their wedding, I too am busy going thru my personal checklists for my wedding photography prep routine! And while each wedding photographer has his or her own way that they choose to prepare for the wedding, there’s one thing that we can all agree on; It’s an absolute necessity to make sure that you’re truly prepared. It’s imperative that you make sure your charging your camera batteries, cleaning your gear, packing your memory cards, testing your lighting equipment and packing your camera bags. There’s nothing worse than getting to a wedding and realizing that you’re missing something. While you might get lucky and it be something very minor, at the same time it could be a HUGE game changer for the day.
Shooting weddings in itself can be stressful and so my thought process is that if I can make it easier on myself and try to eliminate as much unnecessary stress than I should do it. And throughout the past few years I have added a few items or chores to my wedding prep routine that you might not consider to be as important as prepping your gear yet they are essential in making sure that you’re truly prepared. There were some really important things that I needed to prepare in order to make my day go much smoother.
So besides your normal list of prep work and getting rest here’s 5 ways that I now prepare the day before so that I can just load my car up and pull out of the driveway feeling prepared, stress free and focused!
5 Wedding Photography Prep To-Do’s
Rest Your Mind & Body
If there’s anything you should do besides gear & bag prep it’s making sure that you’re rested up for the wedding day! I stopped shooting the day before a wedding and choosing to use that time to rest my body & mind and to relax and enjoy time with my family. Doing this has single handedly changed my mindframe and therefore the quality of my work. Wedding days can be grueling on your mind and especially your body. So be sure to get your rest before the wedding!
Couple’s Wedding Folder
Sometimes at certain locations we might not have the best service so we can’t pull up our wedding client information on a tablet, email or client management system. So I like to make sure that I have access to any important information when it comes to wedding just in case.
- Copy of the contract
- Wedding Questionnaire
- Family Formal Shot List
- Wedding Timeline (I also have it set as the lock screen on my iphone just in case I loose my paper copy….it’s happened before)
Outfit of The Day
This one was always a struggle for me. I would try on 3-4 outfits before I “settled” on an outfit. I often walked out still worrying if my outfit looked professional enough yet not uptight looking. There’s nothing worse than putting on that outfit and realizing the hem has come undone or it’s a wrinkled hot mess. Ask me how I know. It was terrible. I was already pushing on time and here I was with a wardrobe malfunction and no way to fix the hem. So I had to go back to the closet and stand there stressing over what to wear.
- Try it on & Ask Yourself- How does it look? Is it appropriate for the wedding? Are you comfortable?
- Look for any runs, snags, loose strings, etc.
- Do you need to steam or iron it?
This is something that is constantly growing. I’m telling you if it can happen, this chick right here is the one that it happens to. From blisters, migraines, smoking hot temperatures and the shakes it’s really smart to have a bag with a few items that can help get you back on track. So I just make sure that nothing from my bag needs to be restocked such as:
- Motrin or Excedrin
- Deodorant (I hate to sweat!)
- Power Bar or Something Sweet
- Bottled Water
Remember just a few paragraphs ago I said there’s nothing worse?? Well there is. Getting into your car to head to a wedding and you realize that you’re going to need gas but you’re stressed because you’re not sure if you have enough time to stop. Or you’re heading to the venue to start your day only to realize that the GPS is not taking you there but somewhere else. Yep both true stories! And they both scared me enough that now I make sure that do these few things the day before:
- Fill the Gas Tank Up
- Double check my directions (most of the time it’s not entered in correctly)
- Clean the car out (you never know if you’re going to have to let the bride & groom ride with you)
- And if I have time I’ll run the Rogue thru the carwash LOL
These are things that I have learned throughout the years on the go. Some of them are so easy that you would think how did you not think of that. And hopefully I have been able to share some helpful tips here that might save you. I would love to hear what from you, something that you too have added to your wedding prep routine that has helped make you more prepared and saved you a little stress?
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