To the Bride

Dear beautiful bride it is your day, it is finally here, the day you have been planning for so long, congratulations. I wanted to write you a letter expressing my love for your wedding day and to give you some advice, tips and thoughts based on the many many weddings I have photographed over the past eight years. 

Above all I want you to relax and enjoy your day, so my first piece of advice, dear bride, is to allow the people you have hired to make your day so special, to do just that. Everyone you have hired knows about weddings and know how to do their job to make your day go perfectly. You chose us all because you trust us and like what we do. Let us all do that, you relax and enjoy this most special of days.

Can I be mumsy here for a second? The night before your wedding day, you are going to be nervous, excited even a little scared - will it all go to plan? Spoiler alert - yes it will! Please get any last-minute preparations, setup of the church and or venue done early in the day or evening of the day before. Then, my lovely bride, plan to spend some time with your friends, your maids, your family. Have some yummy food ordered in, a few drinks to relax you - but only a few. Drink lots of water. I love the idea of relaxing music, essential oils, scented candles and a good chat. Talk about your journey, how you met, your hopes and dreams for the future - enjoy yourself. But do get to bed as early as you can, perhaps with some herbal tea - I can recommend this sleep tea - it is terrific. I can guarantee you are going to be up early in the morning, and it is going to be one heck of a long day - magical, yes, but long. There is some more advice that you may find useful about getting the very best from your wedding photographer.

Getting read for a wedding

When you wake up fresh and excited for your day ahead, don't forget to treat yourself to an excellent breakfast before everyone arrives - you are going to be busy as soon as that first knock on your door happens and the hair and makeup crew arrive. It's so important to start the day off right so a little bit of "you" time - even a short meditation or some beautiful music, a cup of coffee and a nice bite to eat. Then you are ready for your day to begin.

It can be so easy for the room(s) you are getting ready in to get cluttered from the get-go, keep an eye on things, ask your maids to try to keep things tidy for you so you can find something. If you have stuff all over the room and hidden in suitcases and carrier bags, it'll only add to the stress later in the morning when you are trying to find that hair clip or clutch bag. Photographs always look better without numerous Tesco carrier bags lying around too - just a thought. Don't worry about being obsessively tidy, but do try to keep things organised. 

Wedding dress hanging on bed

This brings me to your beautiful dress. Have it hung up somewhere safe where it's not going to be trampled or have anything spilt on it. Your photographer will want to get some lovely shots of the dress so think about where you can hang it safely for those important shots. If you are in a room with a four-poster bed or many venues have a hook ready for the dress, then they can make the perfect location for your dress. Your photographer will also want to photograph your shoes, and any accessories you may be wearing - jewellery, hair vines, the veil and will even probably photograph your maids dresses and shoes as well. They are nice to look back on when reliving the story of your day in your photographs.

The morning will whizz past in a blur, so try to take little bits of quiet time when you can. Open those bubbles by all means, but also drink plenty of water and snack throughout the morning to keep your sugar levels up - especially if you didn't take my advice and have a good breakfast first thing.

You'll probably start to get butterflies and a bit more nervous as the morning progresses. Your suppliers will keep you on time, so don't worry about that. Try to relax and honestly enjoy the pampering, you will look stunning. Use your maids to help keep on top of things, tidying up dirty cups, clearing away discarded bags and generally looking after you - and making you laugh. The morning of the wedding is a lovely time and often a delightful and funny time so enjoy it.

Your photographer will have been capturing everything going on in the morning, but will likely have kept back and just worked quietly to capture hair and makeup details. You will love these shots when you look back on them I promise you.

It's time to get you in your dress, your hair and makeup are all done, but they will do the final finishing touches when you are in your dress. Don't forget to get the maids and other members of the bridal party ready before you. You don't want to be getting stressed because you are prepared and ready to go, and they aren't. You will want them to help you in to your dress anyway - another lovely photo opportunity. Your maids or your mum will, of course, know and have practised doing up your dress, so there won't be any delay there - will there. Seriously, do practice ahead of time. The only wedding I have seen almost called off was because the bride was nearly an hour late because they couldn't work out how to do the complicated lacing on the back of the dress - no one needs that sort of stress on their most beautiful day.

The reveal, ooh this is a lovely moment, take the time to reveal yourself in all your beauty - as the ready radiant bride to be - to your maids and your family. If you Dad is walking you down the aisle - or your mum or brother or friend - then having a first look moment is lovely and again makes a beautiful photograph. 

You are ready. Your man is nervously waiting for you in the ceremony room or church. Take a big deep breath, have your maids ready and in position, let the music start and then in you go as the bridal party. Take your time, don't race down the aisle - I know you want to see your handsome groom, but lots of your closest friends and family will be dying to see you as you enter. Let them take you in, take your time to look at them and before you know if you'll be side by side with your soon to be husband.

Wedding ceremony exchange of rings

During the ceremony, you'll be guided by the presiding clergy or the celebrants, try to relax, there are no lines to remember, everything is prompted for you - enjoy the meaning and symbolism of the ceremony and then in nothing short of a flick of a lambs tail you'll be married and invited in for that first kiss.

You are married - you are husband and wife - congratulations.

The rest of the day, just like the morning, will now fly by, remember to take some moments to yourselves - your photographer will help here by taking you away for short periods to get some photographs of the two of you together. Enjoy these moments - enjoy every moment it is your day.

Your maids are there to help you, and they do have a job to do, don't let them run off to the bar and forget about their duties once the ceremony is over. You'll want them close by to help with keeping the dress looking nice - especially for the photographs - and for the occasional makeup maintenance and possibly to help with the odd wee break.

Your husband and his best man will be nervous now - it's the speeches! Try to be kind and supportive, and he'll no doubt say some beautiful things to you, so do have a tissue at the ready to catch those happy tears.

After the wedding breakfast, you may well have a little bit of time before the party starts, again use this time to perhaps have a short break, some time to yourself or just a cup of tea and a chat with some of your friends and family.

Let's get that party started then with the first dance. Enjoy it, use that dance floor, hold each other close and do move around so people can see you - including your photographer. Then let your hair down, and party, but again not too much - you don't want a hangover on your first morning as husband and wife, so heck yes have some drinks but take it easy and drink plenty of water as well.

Have a great time, have fun in the photo booth, chat to everyone - everyone! Dance that night away, after all, you have something to celebrate, so go for it.

Have a beautiful, wonderful, magical day, a day that you will remember with love for the rest of your life together with your soul mate, your partner, your husband.

Lots of love and happiness to you,

Paul x 

The Lemon House

Wedding couple first dance

"When somebody else's happiness is your happiness, that is love."

—lana del ray