April 19, 2016
Every photographer knows to bring their camera gear and back up gear to a wedding they are photographing, but what about everything else? What do you wear to a wedding? What other important things should you bring?
I’m going on my 6th year of shooting weddings so I’m constantly trying to prep and prepare for each new season. The night before every wedding after I pack my camera bag, I get all my other wedding day essentials ready. From choosing my outfit to reloading my emergency kit, I make sure I’m fully prepared for whatever the wedding day has in store for me!
Copy of Wedding Timeline
By the wedding, you should have a finalized timeline you have created with the bride and the groom of everything that is happening on the big day. I always have a space for addresses of the venues and phone numbers on my timeline too in case I have questions or there is an emergency. I carry my timeline with me throughout the day to stay on track.
Wedding Invitation and Program
My couples always send me a wedding invitation not just because I love getting mail but also because I like to have a copy for when I’m shooting detail shots. I pick up a program early in the wedding day too! This is a great way to learn the names of everyone in the family and bridal party so you’ll be prepared for group and family photos.
I believe it’s very important to look the part for a wedding day. I want to look dressy but I never want to stand out with my outfit and I also need to make sure I’m comfortable for a whole day of standing and shooting. My ultimate goal is to look like one of the guests so I can blend right in and get those really great candid moments. For me, this means wearing a dress (always long enough so the wind doesn’t sneak up and surprise me.) I always find amazing dresses at Loft (you’ll see me rocking their dresses HERE, HERE, and HERE.) I wear long-sleeved dresses with black tights for winter weddings and I have fitted dresses for summer. No matter what I wear, I always bring a cardigan along. I find indoor receptions are usually pretty chilly and I want to be prepared for that. For fun, I always pair my look with a cute statement necklace.
Ahh! This is the hardest thing to prepare for. What shoe can you stand and shoot in for 10+ hours but still make sure they look dressy? I have struggled with this one for years but I finally found a few pairs of shoes I LOVE! If I’m wearing heels, I wear a nude-colored low wedge heel from DSW and for flats I wear a black pointed toe flat with Memory Foam Cool Fit insoles from Dr. Scholl’s. Finding shoes are tricky so if you think you found the right pair, always wear them for a day first before trying them out on a wedding day. I always keep an extra pair of shoes in my car just in case my feet start hurting and I need to switch before the reception.
I’m all about over-preparing so I pack an emergency kit for every wedding. It’s full of items that I, the bridal party, the bride and groom, or a wedding guest might need. Inside my kit you’ll find band-aides, Tide-to-Go stick for stains, needle and thread, mini-scissors, extra AA batteries, bug spray, sunscreen, deodorant, ibuprofen, phone charger, and hand wipes. Sometimes I’ll switch items out for special circumstances – for winter weddings I add hand warmers to the kit or for weddings in the woods I add heavy-duty bug spray. This kit has come in handy MANY times and saved myself and others from many would-be disasters.
Water & Snacks
Chances are the only time you will be eating on the day of the wedding is during the reception so make sure you pack water and snacks to keep you going throughout the day. Fainting during the ceremony is never a good idea. My snack of choice is the oats and honey KIND Healthy Grains Granola bars, I always keep some in my car and my bag in case I need a quick bite. I also keep multiple bottles of water with me to stay hydrated all day.
What are some of your favorite Wedding Day Essentials that get you through your weddings?