I love this time pre-ceremony and feel it is an important part of the day to capture as your photographer. However, most brides, when I mention bridal prep break out into a cold sweat as they perceive that its all going to be hair rollers, knickers and no make-up! I think I am right in saying that every bride to be I have photographed feels so much more comfortable that I am female, relaxed, organised and above all discreet. What happens in bridal prep stays in bridal prep, LOL ! 

So, don’t fear, Sharon is here to give you some tips for a stress free and enjoyable bridal prep session:

1. Pick a large room with lots of natural light. 

There are going to be a lot of people milling around you and you’re going to need lots of room and space for this to happen. Natural light is far more flattering than articial strip lighting. Artificial lighting tends to give you shadows where you don’t want them and gives your skin tone a horrible colour cast (think tantastic here!) If possible try and sit central in the room facing a window, that way we can all move round you and I can capture beautifully flattering photos.

2. Please clear away the crap! 

Think about how the photos are going to look when you show people, not just know, but in years to come. I have lost count of the number of rooms I have had to tidy and “stage” first before I take a single photo. Are you going to be embarrassed by the bras on the floors, snacks on the shelves, knickers on the bed and the obligatory bright orange sainsburys plastic bag that finds itself into every room, LOL!

3. Wear something nice whilst getting ready. 

There are some lovely silk dressing gowns and lounge wear nowadays. Try not to wear your old faded PJ’s with holes in …no angle is going to make them look good !

4.Put to one side the all details. 

It saves me loads of time when I arrive and have to find them or second guess which are yours. These items include your dress, shoes, flowers, jewellery, garter, tiara , perfume and other special keepsakes. If there is anything really important to you i.e. your grandma’s brooch please point these out so I can make sure they are documented. 

5. Give your dress (and your bridesmaid dresses too) the respect it deserves. 

So NO cheap plastic hangers, or tags on dresses and ideally, take it out of its protective wrapper. Think about where you would like it to be photographed and place it there before I arrive. A large window or a door frame is always great. It makes me so nervous when I have to move wedding dresses and they are so heavy as well. So, please save my back and my nerves, and hang it somewhere nice. 

6. Take you time putting on your dress. 

Clear to room of clutter and people except your Mum and/or Maid 0f Honour. This is your Mum’s moment and in my opinion one of the most beautiful photos to capture is a mum dressing her daughter on her wedding morning. Allow plenty of time for this as mum’s always become tearful and have to stop for hugs or can’t do the buttons for nerves, LOL ! Don’t worry about your knickers being on show either. I never do this photo as no bride is ever going to thank you for showing her “Bridget Joneses” to the world. 

6. Plan your timings and allow extra. 

Its far better to be ready way too early and relax with a glass of champagne than rush at the last minute. Make-up and hair always take longer than expected and try and get them to do yours first. Remember as well that I have to leave approximately 30 minutes before you to get to the venue to photograph your partner. 

AND FINALLY…Relax, put your feet up, get some favorite music on and have a lovely time getting ready for your wedding day. 

After months and years of planning… you deserve it !