What To Do the Week of Your Wedding

So it’s the week of your wedding! Hopefully you’re feeling like things are going TOO smoothly, you’ve been TOO productive, and you can’t possibly think of what else you have to do to prepare for the big day. I’m here to fix that.

Below are my most useful final tips for your wedding day. These are all based on my experiences – good and bad – and what could’ve been done to better prepare, avoid issues, get the best shot, and/or just make the most of the best moments.

Detail Photos

  • Gather all detail items in a box at the getting ready location.
    • Common items include: all engagement & wedding bands, any other bridal jewelry, extra florals, the invitation suite, vow books, veil, shoes, any family heirlooms


  • Any fresh wedding party bouquets (including the bride’s!) should be removed from water and toweled off before portraits. We don’t want any water marks on dresses!
  • Any hair ties or smart watches should be removed from wrists.
  • Any phones/keys/wallets should be removed from pockets and left somewhere safe during the ceremony.
  • The dudes will likely need help with tying ties and putting on boutonnieres. Make sure someone is around to help, or they at least have access to YouTube!
  • Locate the rings!! Make sure the correct person has them for hand-off at the altar when the officiant asks.


  • Make sure that the officiant tells everyone to stand as you walk down the aisle, AND to sit back down after. It sounds obvious, but people forget how to act!
  • Ask your officiant to step aside during your first kiss so they don’t photobomb the money shot.
  • Hold that kiss for 3 seconds! Especially if you have both photo and video teams – this gives everyone the chance to get THE shot so you have the ultra special moment frozen in time forever!
  • On your way out, pause in the middle and at the end of the aisle for a quick kiss shot and to make the crowd go wild 🙂

Family Formals

  • These typically take place at the altar immediately following the ceremony. If the light isn’t right, or if you have a different spot you’d like them taken, we can easily adjust!
  • After you walk out of the ceremony, wait somewhere private while your guests head to cocktail hour. Otherwise everyone will stop & chat with you and steal all your time! Head back to the altar once the coast is clear.
  • Ask everyone from your family formals list not to go to cocktail hour when the ceremony ends; they should wait in their seat or at the altar for photos instead!
    • The rehearsal dinner is a great place to give everyone a heads up. OR, have your officiant announce that immediate family should stick around for photos!
  • BE PREPARED & PATIENT; these can get hectic!
    • Uncle Bob could go to cocktail hour and a search party has to be sent for him.
    • Cousin Karen might be offended she wasn’t included in the family formals list. Blame me, we’ll add them in, and we’ll keep it moving!


  • Your caterer should be providing vendor meals. My contract requires that my second shooter and I are served a hot meal and given a 15-minute break.
  • It’s best for us to get our food right after the wedding party so we don’t miss any action (like speeches)!

Grand Exit

  • If you choose to do a grand exit, as you head out through the sea of sparklers, streamers, bubbles, or something else fun…
    • Go slow! Savor this LAST moment of the best day of your life!
    • Pause for a kiss halfway through and again at the end. Hold those kisses at least three seconds.
    • If you’re doing a sparkler exit and they’re still burning, go through twice! Really make it count, and get extra photos!

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