13 Tips for your Wedding Day from a Wedding Photographer - Poppy Carter Portraits - Wedding Planning

1. Get your hair & makeup done near a window! This may seem silly but the more natural light the better! Most makeup artists will position you in the best part of the room but if you are getting ready at home - move the furniture, prep the room and make sure it is ready for when they arrive so you can comfortably sit in the best possible place for them to do an amazing job!

2. Have all the 'details' out for your photographers arrival - invites, rings, jewellery, shoes, perfume, handwritten notes! I absolutely love capturing every tiny detail of the day and remembering to bring a perfect set of invites for me to photograph is something that is sadly often forgotten! Add it to your packing list so you don't forget. When I arrive I will ask - where are your shoes, where is your jewellery - put a bridesmaid in charge and tell them to get every thing ready! Then you can sit back and relax instead of rooting around a suitcase searching for your garter! ;)

3. Take your time going down the aisle! I know it can be nerve wracking for everyone and bridesmaids have been known to power down the aisle to get it over with - but try to take your time. Take a nice deep breathe. Smile at everyone you love and just enjoy the moment. If you want to get nice clear shots of everyone coming down the aisle make sure there are nice big gaps between each Bridesmaid! :)

4. Consider having an 'Unplugged Ceremony'. There is something so wonderful about walking down the aisle and seeing everyone you love smiling back at you. Now give Auntie Susan an iPad that she's trying to figure out, Uncle Bob with his 'big camera' that the flash keeps popping up on and everyone you went to uni with trying to get a selfie for Instagram... that magic is gone... Put up signs, get the registrar to mention it, shout it from the rooftops...but just enjoy your moment - technology free! There will be plenty of time for Insta Stories and Boomerangs afterwards!

5. Get confetti canons. I am a firm believer in more is more when it comes to confetti! Big, bold, colourful and fun! Why not!? Confetti Canons make an amazing impact - and the groomsmen absolutely love firing them!

6. Get your group shots done right away - with a clear list. As soon as your guests head into the venue - you have lost them... there is champagne, canapés and they are no longer listening to instructions. It becomes incredibly difficult to get the right people in the right place - so I always suggest shooting them the second the confetti has landed! You will have everyones attention and with super clear lists we can get through the shots and back to the party in no time! I love it when guests comment on how easy and efficient I made everything - and that is down to prep and a really good list! :)

7. Make sure your ushers know what they are doing... This may sound silly but ushers rarely know how to 'Ush'! If you want them to move your guests, give out confetti, help in any way - tell them! They are not mind readers and likely haven't done the job before so don't really know what is expected of them!

8. Make a bad weather plan. Check with your venue - are the toilets outside? Where will the guests go while the room is changed over? Out onto a lawn? Either pick a different venue or supply umbrellas just in case! The reality of getting married in the UK is rain may play a part in your day! If you have planned for it theres no way it can ruin your day! Clear umbrellas are a great addition and mean we can still go and shoot outside! If you are up for it - I always am! :)

9. Food, food and more food! Fed guests are happy guests and usually it means no-one gets 'too drunk'! If you are looking for ways to cut costs - don't do it with the food! The best weddings I've been to have had wonderful canapés, (not too long to wait for dinner!) 3 courses and then food later to snack on while dancing!

10. Put your speeches first so everyone can relax! When everyone sits down for dinner you will have their attention - they will be ready for a wonderful evening - let the people that are possibly more nervous about making speeches get it done right away. Once it is done they can relax, have a drink and enjoy knowing the pressure is over!

11. Set aside some time at sunset for a magical couples portrait. I try to leave you alone for as much of the day as possible so I can capture the real emotion of your day but if you are getting married in the summer - factoring in another 10 minutes of your day for portraits at golden hour can create something truly magical!

12. Don't rush your first dance! Enjoy the moment, dare I say it - but practise before hand and make a little plan - throw in a spin if you are feeling fancy. You will feel so much more comfortable on the dance floor and if you can stretch to a dance lesson or two - I cannot recommend it enough!

13. Don't be afraid to show your personality... This is your day and you are only going to do it once. The most memorable Wedding days are always days that show off 'you'. Memories with your partner, shared obsessions, you can do it in a tasteful and delightful way for all your guests that know you so well to enjoy! There is no 'right way' to have a Wedding - as long as you marry your best friend and have a bloody great time doing it - then that's all that matters!

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