How to make make your wedding prep pop

example of a flat lay kit at a wedding prep with wedding vows and wedding rings

As a self proclaimed ‘storytelling’ wedding photographer, I find the getting ready portion of the wedding day extremely important. It’s a really key aspect that ties it all together. As much as I’m ‘documentary’, sometimes it pays to just give things a little boost. Here’s some ideas that I've discovered over the years on how to make your wedding prep pop:

Things you can do before the wedding day to make make your wedding prep pop

This is where you come in- and it’s before the day has even begun! There are a couple of things you can do to really help your wedding photographer out to make the best out of your wedding prep shots.

Write up your vows in a nice vow book

If you haven’t already, you should read my previous post about writing your own wedding vows as that will tell you my opinion of vow writing and how to make it so epic that there won’t be a dry eye in the house!

By simply picking a nice vow book to write them in instead of a scrappy piece of A4 paper or worse, your phone [no no no] this will truly elevate your photos. Do it a few days before the wedding and have it ready for the photographer on the day. Etsy always have some really pretty vow books to choose from. This one is one of my favourites, and you could even have them framed as a piece of wall art afterwards!

Get a nice hanger for your wedding dress

If I were to take a guess, I would say that you already own a wooden hanger, or several that are hiding somewhere in your closet right now!

You’ve spent SO much on a beautiful wedding dress, so give it the hanger it deserves! Whether it’s wooden, velvet, just something nice that makes it look even more stunning in the photos. Your photographer may have one already, but they will also be trying to pack all of the equipment they need for the day. Even tasking one of your wedding party with this is a great idea, and also makes them feel included.

brides wedding dress on a hanger that reads bride

Consider a ‘Flat Lay Box’

Many photographers bring these themselves, but if you are set on a specific style or vibe to go with our colour scheme, then think about purchasing a ‘flat lay kit’. Or even just a nice wedding ring box would go a long way.

These are ready made boxes of little trinkets and accessories to complement your wedding attire into a nice flat lay set up which is perfect for photos of your beautiful things!

Things you can do on the day to make make your wedding prep pop

Have everything prepared

The likelihood is that you’ll already be at the prep location with your wedding party already getting things started before your photographer even arrives.

What us photographers love more than anything else is to have these things readily accessible as soon as we get there:

- Rings

- Flowers

- Dress

- Shoes

- Letters

- Jewellery

By having these close together and accessible it gives the photographer so much more time to then get these shots done and to be able to move onto documenting you and your party in the throes of the excitement!

flat lay wedding prep with shoes, jewellery, ring and invite


It’s so easily said- you’ll probably be stressing over all the things, making sure everyone is where they are supposed to be. Has the caterer accounted for everyone? Has your partner got everything they need for their getting ready? Is the car picking us up at the right time? How are the grandparents doing? What about the kids?

These are genuine concerns, but I can assure you that your friends and family, those very people that are with you helping you to get ready are your team, they are the runners for your most important day. Try to not let these things consume you. Especially when your photographer is trying to take photos of you getting ready. They want to see you happy and excited and smiling! 

bride with her bridesmaids smiling and getting excited about the day

As a wedding photographer I see a lot of different variations of wedding prep, and these are my thoughts on what I’ve experienced, and if any little part of this helps you in the planning of your day then I’ve achieved what I set out to do!

If you think I’d be a great fit for you wedding day, then get in touch!

  1. These are such great tips! I especially love when couples have nice and unique hangers for their attire!

  2. These are such great tips to elevate the story of the beginning of your wedding day and making everything special. Definitely check out all the links too for fun product recommendations!

  3. Yess! Great tips for helping to tell the story of a couple’s day. Too often these things can be overlooked! Beautiful photos.


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If you like unconventional, honest, friendly and real photos, I’m your person.

Sam Wildridge is a candid + lifestyle photographer / filmmaker based in Wainwright, Alberta. Sam has been capturing wedding, family + corporate photos for 9 years and defines her style as "organic storytelling".


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