We remember the dress, the rings, the shoes. We have the boutonnières and the floral arrangements. We remember the big things on our wedding day but often overlook some of the small details that can make a huge difference! After shootings tons of weddings in my hometown of Chattanooga, TN and up and down the southeast, here are my top 10 must haves for your wedding!
1. A wooden hanger: I know, sounds plain–but hear me out. One of the most important detail shots a photographer captures on your big day is the wedding dress. The last thing you want is that picture to be memorialized on a plastic hanger that says David’s Bridal on it. For a bonus, grab one from Etsy with your last name on it!
2. Extra Champagne: You’ve brought champagne for the mimosas in the bridal suite, but grab one more for fun! I love a champagne pop with either you and your girls or your groom! It makes for a fun shot on what can be a more formal day.
3. A Steamer: If you have ever dated a guy for more than five minutes, you know ironing is generally not on their list of talents. A small steamer in the girls and guys suites can help avoid the wrinkled walk of shame down the aisle.
4. Multiple dress shirts: If it is even slightly hot, your guy is going to sweat. Probably ALOT. I always recommend that the groom (and even groomsmen) has more than one shirt so he can change once things start getting sweaty!
5. Printed Timelines: When brides book me, I always create a custom timeline just for them for their wedding. I always tell them to print multiple copies to give to the bridal party, family, and anyone else who is involved in the big day! This helps everyone know where they need to be at all times and keep a day that can get very chaotic organized (at least mostly organized).
6. Handheld electric fan: The majority of weddings I book are in Tennessee and Alabama, and YALL. It gets HOT. This past June, I shot a wedding in Chattanooga on the literal longest day of the year. The high was 93! My bride was SO smart though! She got each of her bridesmaids an adorable pink electronic fan, and those girls used them all day! A serious summer game changer.
7. Friction guard: Okay, so can I just be transparent and real for a moment? As a former bride and a bridesmaid in quite a few weddings in the middle of summer, after a few hours outside in my bridesmaid dress, things start to get uncomfortable. I’m six foot tall with no “thigh-gap”. Friction guard literally makes ALL the difference! It looks like a deodorant stick and you can buy it for cheap on amazon! I promise your legs will thank you!
8. Invitation Suite: When you are picking all the items for your detail shots (jewelry, garter, something blue) make sure to pack your wedding invitations. Bring it all– envelope, rsvp card, etc. These make for some of my favorite pictures of the day!
9. Blue Jean or leather Jacket: Getting married when it is a little chilly outside? Nothing makes for a better contrast to the beauty and elegance of a wedding dress than a blue jean or leather jacket! For even more fun, get a local calligrapher to put “Bride” on the back! (BTW, if you are one of my brides reading this, I used to do calligraphy on the side! We can definitely get this done for you!).
10. Extra Long Sparklers: When it comes to your exit, the longer you have to strut down the walkway, the better! I always tell my clients to take all the time in the world–dance, dip kiss, lift the bride up. The more movement, the longer you have sparkler glow, the better the pictures.