A wedding morning story

A wedding morning story:  Often things run later than expected on your wedding morning & minor hiccups such as mislaying items or zips malfunctioning happen.  But, if you’re ready except for putting on your dress, you’ll feel more confident & relaxed & capable of managing any minor crises.  Plus, it’s nice to get involved & enjoy the conversations around you.  If you’re last in line for hair or makeup & the schedule slips then you’ll feel rushed, which will cause stress & upset.

Anne’s* Wedding Morning Story … that didn’t go too well.

(*Anne isn’t her real name.  ** All instances of photographer is short for photographer &/or videographer)

The wedding is at 1pm.  Anne’s house is close to the church & we agreed I’d be at her house from 11am-12noon.  Then I’d go to the groom at the church.  So the plan is she’s dressed for 11:30am & I get some lovely bridal portraits.  And if time allows, we’ll get some with her bridesmaids, friends & family.


I arrive as agreed at 11am & am met with an anxiety inducing sight.  The bridesmaids, all of them, are tucking into a full Irish, with hair & makeup finished.  The bride is with them but neither her hair or makeup have been started!  There’s no chance she’ll be ready by 11:30am!  This sight makes my heart sink & I know how this will end.  So, I take a few candid shots & capture the details of the shoes, dress hanging up, flowers etc.

I don’t add to the stress on the day so I act as if all is going swimmingly.  That said, I have a job to do, so big delays add pressure & can compromise my job.  Ideally I need a few minutes to setup & get detail images in the church before I meet the groom & his guys.  And if I can, I get the guests arriving too.  So the later I arrive at the church the less time I have to do those tasks & get those images.


At 12:30pm I checked the bride’s progress; her hair is done but she’s still in her PJ’s getting her makeup done.  I casually ask the makeup artist (MUA) how long before the bride can get dressed.  At 12:50pm the bride is still getting her makeup top-up & I suggest that I should make a move towards the church.  The MUA dismissively declares that Anne has loads of time and “isn’t the church only down the road & it’s not even 1pm yet!” 😮

Making Do

In the end I got a few shots of the bride before I left but I felt very sorry for her as she was flustered & I knew she’d missed out on so much.  If she’d been ready, she’d have enjoyed the banter with the neighbours when they arrived rather than getting almost hysterical with her mother as the house filled.  She didn’t see & enjoy the car arrive & didn’t share a toast with her bridesmaids.  My heart went out to her.


After the ceremony, Anne confided in me, saying she hadn’t remembered a word of the ceremony.  She was so flustered & so late leaving the house that she was only beginning to settle now.

This was probably the most extreme case but it certainly isn’t unusual for the bride’s makeup & hair to be left until one of the last.

Thing is, the main interest to the photographer** is the bride.  It’s lovely to have the detail shots & mingling images but some bridal portraits are key.  If the others aren’t ready by the time I’m leaving, that’s fine.  But your photographer needs to leave for the ceremony long before you do, so bear that in mind.

And even if you’re not having your photographer to your house, it’s still important to be ready early & then sit back & enjoy the morning.  Leave your house stressed out & that feeling will linger with you.

But if you’re ready early & the schedule slips for the others then it’s not a problem.  If a bridesmaid isn’t ready until nearly 1pm, then it’s no biggie.  And she’s probably not as prone to stress as you are on your wedding morning.

What can you do differently?

  1. Allow lots of time to get ready including time to eat, time for mishaps & time to chat with others on your wedding morning.  If your dress has a bustle it may take 20 mins to hook up.  And that’s in addition to the 10 mins searching for the crochet needle!
  2. Arrange to go first or second in line for hair & makeup.  Discuss with them what time they’ll have you entirely finished with hair & makeup.
  3. Set out a time schedule with your photographer & stick to it!  Make sure this schedule is compatible with what you’ve discussed with your hair & MUA.

I hope you have a better wedding morning story than Anne, but if you have any questions or concerns re your wedding morning details, you can ask me here:

    Don’t forget to check out my wedding gallery, blog & main website