The Wedding Day - Primping and Prep

Picture of a bridal gown hanging on a window.  The gown is Amsale, white, and framed by a doorway.

The morning of the big day is here.  The pungent smell of hairspray fills the air.   Artists are transforming beautiful you into resplendent glory.  

Your eyes moisten, but maybe that’s just the sting of that hairspray.  Today is the day, the day you will marry your true love.  

During these moments, your photographer scurries around, capturing your dress, your shade of Chanel, all of those pretty little details you pinned on boards months ago.

Here are a few tips that allows your photographer to capture all of your pretty details in a magical kind of way. 







Image of a bride getting ready on her wedding day.  She is sitting on a couch in a living room reading her letter from the groom.

Choose a location with lots of natural light.  That light will make all the difference in the outcome of your images.  It also helps your hair and make-up artist as well.   

When possible, choose a room or house with minimal clutter and light walls and furniture.  Anything stuffy and busy will color cast and distract from the focus of the images.  

Tip: Some of the most beautiful getting ready areas that I have captured have been inside the homes of a family or loved one.  






Tidy Up

The wedding day is bound to be full of some chaos and mess.  But, you have your team of girls to help you manage the crazy.  

Ask your bridal party to help by keeping their belongings in their bags and in a corner, out of sight.  Often I help clear areas that are cluttered, but I also want to be careful when touching other people's belongings.  It's always most helpful when the area is already clear.  

Most photographers will be using the space near the window and door light.  Those areas are most important to have cleared.  We will also use table, chairs, and surfaces for styling details.

Tip: Create a wedding day playlist on your phone or customize your fave Pandora station so you have some fabulous tunes in your background.  You can play this on a portable speaker, like this one.  



Bridal Details

Prior to your photographer arriving, place all of your custom details in a bag or designated part of the room.  

Image of a veil carefully sitting on a white striped plush chair.
  • Bridal Pieces
    • Jewelry
    • Headpiece or Veil
    • Shoes
    • Garter
    • "Something Blue"
  • Bridal Gown 
    • Gown out of the packaging
    • Gown hung on an elegant hanger  
  • Guest Memorabelia
    • Invitation suite
    • Watercolor maps
    • Welcome bags
  • Bridesmaids Gifts
  • Styling Details


Consider where you would like your gown to be hung.  Some brides love the idea of their gown going outside for some beautiful natural light.  When doing this, I always bring along an assistant, either my second shooter or an available bridesmaid, to ensure the safety of the gown.

If you prefer the gown staying in the room, it will be styled wherever it can be safely hung and there is beautiful light.  

Tip: Mail the wedding invitation suite to your photographer.  This way it can be captured in advance, allowing more time for creative styling.  




Picture of a bride on her wedding day, getting ready in a bright room.  Her hair is down and long, she is facing left, towards the window.

Tick-tock, your timeline is swiftly marching onward.  Be conscious of the time because every minute that is delayed means a minute taken away from another part of your lovely day.  

Ensure all bridemaids and family members having hair and make-up done have made that appointment in advance.  The biggest reason for lost time is unexpected work for the Hair and Make-Up artists.  

Enlist a bridesmaid or maid-of-honor to assist you in keeping everyone on schedule.  Then, always plan buffer time - you will need it.  

Tip: Have fresh fruit and light breakfast food for your girls, this will save anyone from leaving to grab something to eat.  This is a really good time for you to eat as well, it's going to be a long day and we don't want any of the bad kind of swooning. 

Breathe in these moments.  

You are entering a new adventure with these loved ones surrounding you.  Look around at their beautiful faces, the collective love of these women.  The ones stilling the butterflies.

XOXO Lovelies

Your Brand of Love

Image of a coastal city on the Mediterranean, in Villefranche Sur Mer.  There are tall palm trees and a port with mountains in the distance.

Jet-setting became normal for Ben and me.  It was bound to be a part of our story from the moment we were born in separate countries.  

He is from Ontario, Canada, I am from the eastern coast of Florida.  While neighboring countries, there were over 1,200 miles of varying terrain separating us the moment we entered the world. 

We began our relationship on a beach trip with friends.  Shortly after, I left to work in China teaching English.  He left Oklahoma setting up a finance system there.  


We missed each other so much!  But, we actually really enjoyed the travel.   It quickly became a part of our couple identity.  

While living a half a world apart, we would write books worth of emails back and forth.  At the end of every day, I would sit down and write about my day.  I would tell him if his day was about to be a good or a bad one based on my 12 hour advance on the subject.  He would write back, telling me about his day.  I longed to hear even about the boring things.

Later, we married and started life together in Canada.  Our marriage would take us to Malta, Barcelona, Italy, France, all over North America, and the Bahamas.  Travel.  Lots of travel.

It seemed so normal that we didn't even think about it as being a part of our "couple identity".  It was and it still is.  We love traveling every chance we can get.  We have a trip to Paris on the schedule right now for 2018.  Dreaming together is half the fun.  

Couple Identity


A wedding celebrates that new life together.  Two, unique, personalities coming together forming a stellar team.    

Often times we can't see our "couple identity" because we are too close to it.  Others can see it and can absolutely help in the discovery process. 

Those characteristics that make you so unique should shine on your wedding day.   Each detail you choose sends a message.  Little choices reveal the overall vibe of your day.  The hand painted sign, the signature drinks, the charming cake topper, all showcase your couple style.  

Understanding your couple identity helps in selecting your artist and vendor team. You can search for those who shine best with your vision.

This is a big part of my Photographic approach.  I look for the little details that speak to your personality and brand of love.  My editorial bent is motivated in story-telling.  I am striving for a cohesive gallery, from the moment I enter your day.  

Every detail that I capture on a wedding day will be captured in a way that reflects the mood of the day.  For example, that ring shot, if it's a rustic chic event, I will find some beautiful whitewashed wood.  If it's black tie glam, I will find a backdrop reflecting that elegance.  I'm always thinking about how everything will look in your album spreads.  Your own art gallery of wedding images.

Not sure what your couple personality looks like?  Here are some tips on discovering your "brand of love".



Here are some questions to get the brainstorm sesh started, have fun with it!

Picture of an engaged couple on a date.  They are sitting down together, facing each other, holding hands and smiling.
  • What is your favorite date?
  • What are your favorite color pairings?
  • What is your favorite atmosphere? 
  • What would you do if you had a free afternoon?
  • What is your ideal vacation?
  • What are your thoughts on pets?
  • Are you an Introvert, Extrovert, or Extroverted Introvert?
  • What is your Love Language?
  • How would you describe your fashion sense?
  • How would you describe your dream home?
  • What is your dream vehicle?
  • What is your living style?
  • What kind of music do you enjoy?
  • If you were playing tourist for a day, what would that look like?
  • What are his/her best qualities?
  • What does his/her dream job look like?
  • What is your proposal story?
  • How did you meet?


Still stuck?  Reach out to your bridal party.  Ask them what they think of when they think of both of you?  Is there any word or overall style that comes to mind?  What adjectives would they use to describe you, as a couple?



Discover any Overlap

Now it's time to look for that common ground.  Based on your answers, what are the similarities in your lifestyle?  

Did you fall in love over music?  Do you both love sports?  Are you a "dinner and a movie" couple or would you rather be somewhere with live music?  Much of the overlap is found in how you spend your time together.  What are you doing?  Even binge watching Netflix is a clue to your couple chemistry.  

Still stuck?  Draw on your story.  Special milestones, places, pets, even silly inside jokes, anything that brings you together.  



Create a Mood-Board

Drawing from what you love doing together, start a Pinterest board.  Fill it with anything that speaks to you couple vibe.  This can be any and everything that speaks to you.  Don't filter yourself.  It could be a literal fave (like a picture of your pet) or concepts like carefree, fun, or vaca dreams.

Still stuck?  Simply start pinning your literal favorite date locations and concepts.  For instance, if you are a couple who loves artisan coffee, live music, and history podcasts, then begin pinning pictures from those actual places.  Pin a picture of your local coffeeshop, your fave music lounge, historical landmarks you've visited, etc.  

Picture of a Pinterest board about engagement inspiration.  The board has many pictures of an engaged couple as well as Pinewood Estate at Bok Tower.



Let the Planning Commence!

Now that you have a confident mood for your couple identity, it's time to translate that to a wedding day.  

Sometimes it's a pretty literal correlation.  For instance, if you both love country living and white barns, you already know what venue you are looking for.  

If you love tennis, maybe incorporate that into your wedding logo and with your favors as something adorable like these tennis ball candies.  There are absolutely ways to maintain wedding elegance while embracing your interests.  

Now, it's time to create a list of themes you feel exemplify your look and feel.  Use descriptive words based on your inspiration board.  

Still stuck?  Use Pinterest to search your common interests in a wedding setting.  For instance, if you both love nature, but also modern conveniences, then look up themes like "rustic elegance, wedding".  Can you tell I'm a fan of Pinterest?  You guys, it's such a fabulous ideation tool.  


Hiring A Wedding Stylist


A Wedding Stylist is super helpful when it comes to translating your couple identity into a wedding vision.  It is absolutely worth the investment.  Take a look at what a stylist does by viewing my Amber Veatch Design's work.  I love working with her!

A Personal Example


Picture of celestial wedding details.  This is a collage of six images that show a stationary suite, hand lettering, candles, cake, and a globe.

In 2016, Ben and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary with each other.  In that season of life, getting away just wasn't an option. Instead, we opted for a private evening with cake, flowers, and pretty things on a gorgeous beach.

When Ed Sheeran's song released, "Thinking Out Loud", it struck such a rich connection with me. It is a modern song, with so much depth about the real kind of love. Love that is selfless, kind, and choosing to romance each other daily. 

So, I created an anniversary design with a celestial feeling.  My talented friends and colleagues brought the vision to life with hand lettering, a delicious two-tier mocha cake, custom stationary with wedding images, and my littles dancing around with star wands.  

Music has always played an important role in our relationship (starting with that mix CD he made for me when we were just friends).  We danced on the white sands of Ponce Inlet, Ben brought his guitar and serenaded me.  It was so incredibly special.  

Every time I look back at these images, I remember all of the thousands of miles we've traveled, while kissing "under the light of a thousand stars". 

Photography - E. M. Anderson Photography / Cake - Bliss Pastry / Florals - Arrangements / Hair + Make-Up - Amanda Hopcraft Makeup Artist / Globe - Jacqueline Biddle / Print - The Scribble Studio / Stationary Suite - Minted / Gown - BHLDN/ Confetti - A Crafty Studio

All right, Lovelies, start brainstorming!  I can't wait to see your custom couple brand in all of it's wedding glory.  


P.S. This Style Me Pretty Weddings book is super fun for discovering your brand of love.

It walks you through five types of bridal styles: 

  1. Classic
  2. Modern
  3. Rustic
  4. Whimsical
  5. Al Fresco


While you may not fit into one box, per se, it will definitely give you inspiration for defining your own look.