Planning Your Wedding Morning - Timeline & Tips

Planning Your Wedding Morning – Timeline & Tips

Below is a little walkthrough of how I like to approach shooting on the wedding morning. Of course not all weddings are the same so this is kind of an amalgamation of observations from all the weddings I’ve shot over the last few years.

I’ve included lots of timeline & practical tips for planning your wedding morning so hopefully any future brides & grooms will find this guide helpful!

So, typically I like to start my day with you about three hours before the ceremony. It might sound like a lot but I really like to  have  plenty of time to arrive, get settled, make introductions to everyone & have enough time to shoot loads of candids & details with both the bride{s} & groom{s}.

I also usually arrive early to do a lap of your venue/house to take some nice establishing shots & venue details.

Wedding venues, the millhouse Slane, Wilton Castle & Kippure Estate

{The Millhouse in Slane, Wilton Castle in Enniscorthy & Kippure Estate in the Wicklow Mountains}

The strand at Spanish Point beside the Armada Hotel, Planning Your Wedding Morning - Timeline & Tipsvenue details at the Millhouse in Slane, Planning Your Wedding Morning - Timeline & Tips


Next I like to focus on getting detail shots.

You’ve put lots of time & effort in to picking every last little detail so I want to make sure to take gorgeous shots of everything!


  • Makes sure to bring a copy of your invitation/stationery so that you can get a nice flatlay image of it.
  • It’s handy if you put all your accessories & bits {outfit/invites/perfume/any sentimental items/gifts etc} together to one side so that I don’t miss out on any of the important stuff.


Custom embroidered portraits as a wedding present, Planning Your Wedding Morning - Timeline & Tips


Cool, funky alternative wedding accessories with skulls & neondetail shot of a tulle wedding dress hanging from a chandelier

Gold & earth tone wedding morning details - shoes, perfume and jewellery, Planning Your Wedding Morning - Timeline & Tips


For the rest of the morning then I focus on snapping away & capturing candid, behind-the-scene style shots of everything you’re up to.

Here’s a few more tips to make sure the prep runs smoothly, stress free & looks as awesome & photogenic as possible!

Important Tips

  • Give yourself TONNES of time to get ready. The morning flies by so you really want to give yourself enough time to enjoy it and not be rushed. Once you hire good professionals {your make-up artist & hairstylist} they will give you a clear timeline & suggest when to start to have you ready on time. But still, build in extra time – shit just always takes way longer to do than you think! Plus if you’re ready early than all you have to do is sit back & have another drink ^^,
  • Consider the space you will be getting ready in. The best spaces for photos are rooms that are big & full of natural light. Of course I can shoot in any light but it’s just to be aware that the quality of the available light really effects your pictures.
  • Try to keep the areas you’re getting ready in as clutter free as possible. Often there can be a bit of a crowd all getting ready together {parents, wedding party, other family members} & everyone will potentially have lots of gear {coats, bags, suitcase etc}. So if you can you should designate a hidden dumping ground {a corner, spare room etc} that will keep random things from photobombing all your nice prep shots.
  • If there’s any set-up/decorating to be done by you at the venue try to do all these bits the day/night before or else delegate them to family, friends or the wedding party- they’ll always be happy to help!


Planning Your Wedding Morning - Timeline & Tips

Some Random Tips

  • Make a banging playlist & bring a good speaker! … If you’re liable to cry maybe don’t put lots of tearjerkers on it >.<
  • You can never have too much alcohol or snacks on hand. It’s a long old morning & often you’ll be too nervous to eat a really big brekkie so lots of little snacks are a lifesaver. And well, alcohol for obvious reasons!
  • Make a little prep kit/emergency kit of things you just might need. For example, I’ve had a good few weddings that needed a sewing kit {usually for bridesmaid dresses} when buttons flew off or a rogue zipper broke. Other handy bits include: baby wipes, scissors, safety pins, a power bank or spare phone chargers, panadol, chewing gum, a steamer for the dresses.


Planning Your Wedding Morning - Timeline & Tips

Tips for Brides:

  • If you’re a fan of perusing wedding blogs I’m sure you’ve already noticed this, but I’m putting cute pyjamas in as a tip anyway! It serves the dual purpose of looking really nice in the photos & also being practical – you usually go for buttons, a robe or something with a really wide neck so that you can take it off without messing up your hair/make-up. There are tonnes of options to suit all styles. So if you’ve an inner goth like me you don’t have to go down the usual floral route, there’s tonnes of funky choices!
  • Another detail people often bring are personalised hangers. Now I’m not going to suggest everyone goes & raids Etsy for these but shooting dresses & suits on their plastic hangers doesn’t look amazing. So even if you can bring along a nice plain wooden hanger, that’ll do the job!
  • If you’ve got fresh bouquets leave them in a nice cool room to prevent them from wilting. Also if they’re delivered in water make sure to dry the base fully 30 mins or so before you leave – just to ensure you don’t get water marks on your dresses.


Groom & groomsmen toasting with whiskey on the wedding morning


Tips for Grooms

  • For grooms there can be quite a lot of dead time on the morning {as you don’t have the couple hours of hair/make-up}. It can be nice to add something a bit fun into the mix to make your morning a bit of craic. I’ve been to weddings where the guys go for a nice freezing dip in the sea, where you get your own pampering on & go to the barber for a hot towel shave or even just plan an extra special brekkie or time to have a relaxing pint before the day kicks off.
  • If you plan on doing a fancy tie knot or if you’re wearing a boutonnière I’d strongly suggest you practice them in advance. Even if it’s just watching a few quick Youtube tutorials to familiarise yourself with the technique. I can’t count all the time I’ve spent watching grooms & groomsmen struggle with these!


Finally I like to finish off the morning by taking some quick portraits of you & some pairing withs parents & bridesmaids/or groomsmen. Also if you were planning on doing a ‘first look’, now would be the time for this. If you don’t know what a first look is it’s essentially just where you see each other before the wedding ceremony & take your couple photos. I highly recommend first looks for winter weddings as you lose the light so quickly after your ceremony. You have to re-jig your start time & logistics a little if you want to do one but they’re super fun & a really nice way to have a moment to yourselves & calm your nerves before all the craziness kicks off!  I’ll do a separate little post to give some more info on first looks & I’ll link it up here soon.

Headshot portraits of brides during the wedding morning,Planning Your Wedding Morning - Timeline & Tips by Wild Things Wed bridal portraits on the wedding morning


Portrait of a bride & her father before the wedding ceremony



Click below for part 2 of my Wedding Walkthrough Guide ‘Wedding Ceremony Timeline & Tips’