If I could pinpoint one of the things I was most nervous about for my wedding day, it was wanting to look and feel beautiful. For guests, for photos, but MOST of all, for my husband-to-be.
I was nervous because I didn’t feel that I had a ton of control over how I looked. Yes, I’d been working out more and eating healthier for the past few months. I’d been taking better care of my skin and had a fresh cut and highlights. But I was still concerned. After I finished getting ready and put the dress on, what if I didn’t like how I looked?
Being a photographer for countless weddings has taught me that this fear is not uncommon. Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life, and all your closest friends and family are there. You’ll look back at photos of this day for the rest of your life! Obviously, you want to look your very best. While there are millions of articles and blogs out there that will give you “bride bootcamp” workouts, diets, etc., there are also small things you can do on the day of your wedding that make a huge difference.
I know what you’re thinking – “I want to relax on the morning of my wedding, not do a work out!” Trust me when I say that yoga is a great way to relax and mentally prepare for your wedding day.
As wedding yoga teacher Carianna Hebert explains, “yoga is a direct pathway to love. When we choose to slow down and recognize our thoughts, we are reminded of the beauty of the present moment and all that we are. As a bride, taking just a few breaths to reconnect and honor the magnificence of the occasion can truly change the outcome of the entire day. By practicing choosing joy, we become love.” (Read more of her thoughts on wedding yoga here).
Even if you’ve never done yoga before, the practice is an amazing way to refocus your mind and heart on the day that is before you. The feeling of calm and peace experienced can help relax you, and a relaxed bride is a beautiful bride!
If you’re anything like me, you’re probably going to be tempted by a mimosa on the morning of your wedding. Nothing makes a morning feel fancier than a fizzy orange drink, am I right? However, you’re going to look and feel way better if you save the carbonation and alcohol for the reception!
Eliminating these beverages will help you avoid bloating and feeling exhausted. Replace these drinks with a lot – and I mean A LOT – of water. Ideally, you should start drinking several glasses of water per day a few days before. This will brighten your skin, make you feel more alert and keep you feeling all-around more healthy. Be sure to use the restroom a couple times before you put your gown on!
When you arrive at the reception, the work is done. Let loose and have a few drinks!
I highly recommend working with professionals for your wedding day hair and makeup. For some brides, this is a no-brainer. For others, skipping the professionals may seem like a good way to save money and have more control over how you look. As a past bride myself AND a photographer, I cannot emphasize enough just how important it is to hire professionals for your hair and makeup.
Hair and makeup professionals are just that – professionals. They specialize in making women look their very best, and they know to achieve a huge variety of styles. They will be able to create a beautiful look in a short amount of time and can easily adjust to your preferences. When you work with professionals, there is no work for you to do – you can completely relax!
If you haven’t had your hair or makeup done before (or had a bad experience), you may be worried about the results, and understandably so! You don’t want your makeup to look too intense or dramatic, or your hair too over-the-top. For all brides, I suggest scheduling a trial with both your hair and makeup artist. Yes, it is an extra expense, but the peace of mind you will have leading up to the wedding day is well worth it. This also gives you a chance to let your professionals what kind of changes you’d like to make to the look, instead of leaving those decisions to the wedding day.
You should also choose your professionals wisely – ask for referrals from your married friends, read their reviews, view their portfolio and have a conversation with them before officially booking. If you don’t like what you see or hear, move on to the next option!
If you’re working with me for your wedding day, be sure to ask me for my top recommendations!
The best way to look and feel the freshest and most beautiful for your photos is to schedule them early in the day. Having your photos taken before the ceremony eliminates the factors that can change the way you looked at the beginning of the day. Sweat, tears, sore feet or a dirty dress train are all realities that are normal for any bride. In person, these things will hardly be noticeable. However, in photos, you probably will notice that your lipstick faded or the bottom of your dress got dirty. By taking photos early, you don’t have to worry about any of these.
Some couples don’t want to see each other before their ceremony, which means that many of the photos (wedding party, portraits of the bride and groom, some family photos) will have to wait until after the ceremony. If this is the case, I suggest at least scheduling your bridal portraits and photos with your bridesmaids pre-ceremony. This way, the images that are focused on just you will take place when you are your freshest.
If you’re on the fence about seeing each other before the ceremony (a “first look”), check out this article to read why I think it’s a great idea.
It’s crazy that I have to say to enjoy yourself on your wedding day, right? But after shooting countless weddings, I have found that it still needs to be said. On the day of your wedding, all the work is done. There is no more planning that can or should be done. It’s so important to let the little things go and just enjoy yourself! Something will probably go wrong (it always does!), but allow yourself to take a step back and celebrate the occasion – you’re getting married!
A happy bride is a beautiful bride. Relaxing and soaking in your wedding day without worrying about the details feels absolutely amazing. When you are truly enjoying yourself, it will show in your photos. Instead of worrying if every hair is in place, every tie straightened and the ring bearer has his shirt tucked in, focus on the joy and celebration of the day. You won’t regret it!
Romantic with moody fall vibes and jewel tones, this wedding was cozy and so beautifully designed.
La Vie En Rose photographs their 100th wedding at an all-time favorite wedding venue, Rockhouse Hotel.
Mixing sophisticated style with family traditions and meaningful moments - our kind of DC wedding!
Washington, DC | Naples, FL | Destination
La Vie En Rose is a wedding photography and videography studio for couples who want photos that live in the moment with them. They are based in Washington, DC and Naples, FL and are available for travel worldwide.