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Useful Tips Before Your Wedding

You wedding day is coming in 2 or 3 weeks. Your timeline is read. It’s time to review the last tips with your photographer.
Find Here a list of advice in order to keep it smooth all day. I will try to make it short.

1. What to bring

what you need

What You Need In Your Trunk

  • An umbrella (Transparent is best).
  • Some ballerinas or other comfortable shoes (at least during the photo session). I need you to be able to move easily and don’t have pain when you walk.
  • Instant Stain Remover pencil, such as Tide To go (for the dress)
  • Kleenex: if you cry, if you sweat. It’s always useful.
  • A second (or third) shirt: you will probably be completely wet.
  • Props: if you want props for a special picture (ex: thank you panel, sunglasses, balloons)
  • Double-side tape: depending on your dress.
  • Sewing kits for the dress and the suit, just in case.
  • Make-up.

2. Getting Ready


Choose the right place for Preparation.

A big room with light, and set yourself close to the windows to have natural light for the make-up. Make-up is always done with natural light. And natural light is better for pictures.

clean the room

Clean the room before I come

Take off all the plastic bags, the plastic bottle and all what could catch the attention of the picture.


Have Everything Ready

Have your shoes, jewels, rings, dress, veil, perfume bottle, flowers, petals, ribbon, suit, watch, etc.
Have everything unpacked and ready to be photographed, so I can take pictures.



If you want a picture of your rings/band/jewels/watch with your stationery, make sure to bring one for the pictures.


Refuel Your Strength Before the Wedding

  • You could be the most beautiful girl in the world, with the best make-up artist. If you don’t sleep enough, you will look tired. So sleep the night before! 😀
  • Eat: take some energy. (Preferably before you put the glossy red on your lips).

Champagne / Whisky

Champagne always helps people relax during the preparation. If you bring champagne, we can take funny pictures when you open the bottle.

Make sure you have nice glasses (and not cheap plastic cups)

read letter

Exchange letter and Make a Surprise to Your Beloved

It’s usually during the preparation, but it could be whenever you want. It could be a simple letter or a more sophisticated gift. And it could be many surprises: D


bride bustle dress
bride having her dress bustled

Do you know how to bustle your dress?

Some wedding dresses with a long train can be especially tricky to bustle, and you can easily waist 20 min.

You might do it yourself or need help from family members/friends.

In both cases, ensure you know how to do it before the D-Day.

detail of wedding dress white and cream

Beware of translucid material

Some dresses made with delicate material can be a bit transparent, which can cause people to notice dark underwear.



For the bride’s dress, the bride’s maid’s dress, and for the groom. A nice wood hanger is always nicer than a cheap plastic one.


Reveal the Dress

We can plan a reveal-the-dress moment (when the dress is still on the hanger or once you are wearing it) and take pictures of the dresses together.



Does anyone bring the bouquet? It could be a « special » moment to take in the picture.


men prepration

Men’s Preparation

If you have the time, it could be a good opportunity to do something fun with your best men (ex, a barber shop).

groom with glasses blue treatment
blue glasses

Do you have Glasses? Avoid blue light-blocking glasses.

Unlike regular glasses, they present a vivid color (blue) you don’t want to see in all your images.
If you have the option, contacts are best.

blue bell ross watch


Avoid the Apple watch (or other similar big modern watch), and favor beautiful classical watches.

family friends


There are 3 kinds of shorts.

  • Some are made for cufflinks (without buttons at the sleeves)
  • Some are made with buttons where you can’t add cufflinks. Those are the most common.
  • The rental has both options.

I recommend that you bring an extra white shirt, in case you get wet or dirty.

family friends


If you are planning to wear an underneath T-shirt, make sure that we can’t see the T-shirt Collar once the shirt is buttoned up.

flying tie


  • If you want a special knot for your tie, I strongly recommend that you train before.
  • You don’t need a tie clipper if you are wearing a vest.
  • The pochette could also be difficult to fold, so make sure to watch this YouTube tutorial before the D-Day.
bow tie still life image

Bow Tie

There are two kinds of bow ties: the clip-on ones and the traditional ones made of one piece of fabric.

If you get a clip-on one: wear it an afternoon a few days before the wedding to make sure the system works and that the bow tie does not fall on the ground every 10 min.

If you have one piece of fabric, practice before the D-Day!

perfect pocket square

Pocket square

Those can be surprisingly tricking: they can fall in the pocket, or they can take a weird shape.

There are tons of options to fold your Pock Square (flat, triangular, flowers, etc).
Go on YouTube, pick a tutorial and practice before!

Sometimes, I have seen guys using a piece of cardboard to have the pocket square stay in place in good shape.


Men: Button and Pocket

Do you have tailor-made suits with 2 or 3 buttons? Then you should not close the last button.
The last button on the jacket sleeve (surgeon cuff) must be open.

Some pants & jackets and some pocket that are sewn. It’s made on purpose, so the suit/pants look nice on you. Don’t open and don’t use those pockets.


Men’s Boutonniere

  • Be careful with the size of the boutonniere. If it’s too big, it won’t be nice and it will probably fall. For example, a rose you found in a bouquet is too big.
  • The boutonniere has to be pinned on the LEFT side of the jacket. We should not see the pin!
  • You can have someone special (your mom, grandma, mother-in-law) pinning it.

3. Bride and Groom photos

historic concord exchange

First Look, Parents

It’s an option some brides and grooms like to consider.

Ex : Your father comes to pick you up to drive you to your fiance. Your father may bring the bouquet or offer you a gift at this moment.

first look

Bride and Groom First Look

If you want to do a first look before the ceremony. I recommend you choose a nice place with no guests/family. A moment just both of you will be stronger, and better for the pictures.

best location for photo

What Are The Best Places?

Wide open space. Not too many people and no guest! I need you to feel at your ease and not be distracted by your guests.
If we have enough time, we can go to several locations!


Be Sure That The Location For Your Photo Session Is Still “Available.

You want to go to a park or special place to do your photo session. Be sure that nothing will take place here on this day (ex, no festival).

how to pose

How to pose? What to do?

  • Natural: You are not a model, so let’s be natural.
  • Fun: Try to have fun. It’s only when you really have fun that pictures are good. Improvise!
  • Complicity: The key word for loving pictures is complicity. You don’t have to look each other in the eyes all the time, but we need to feel something between you!
  • It’s the woman who comes to the men. Men should not bend. Girls, when kissing, push on your feet to go kiss your guy!
  • Use your entire body: when you kiss (or whatever), all your body should be engaged. So do it for real, with passion: not loose hand.
what not doing when posing

How to pose? What NOT to do?

  • Avoid looking directly at the camera all the time.
  • Guy: when you kiss, don’t go down to her, even if she is small! You don’t want to look like a grandfather.
  • Don’t look down all the time when you walk.
  • Try not to hold your dress all the time.
  • Groom: I want your pockets empty! (phones prohibited)
walk line

Girls should pretend to walk in a line

The best way to walk is to literally but one foot in front of the other one, as if you were walking on a line.
Walking legs wide open looks like a guy walking.

special car

Photo With a Car

Will you have a special car? If yes, let’s think of a nice place to make a picture. It could be in front a nice building/lake, or the long of a road. But not in the parking!

special picture

Special Picture?

I am totally open-minded. If you have seen a picture/idea you want to reproduce, I don’t see any problem trying to reproduce it if it’s possible, of course.

4. Group photos

french touch photography

Bridal Party

We usually do those pictures before the ceremony.

For couples who prefer to discover each other at the church, the process should take between 15 and 30 minutes, depending on how « stage » you want your pictures.

french touch photography

Chairs & Stools

Three or four nice chairs could be useful for staging nice group pictures. You can also use other unexpected things (e.g., barrels or boxes).


Family Groups

Make a list of all the groups you want to be photographed. Print the list and give it to someone in charge of calling people.

We can finish all the group pictures after the ceremony if needed.

It would be nice to have big group pictures for everyone.
I will need a place fully in the shadows (or fully in the sun), and I will need to climb on something.

5. Ceremony

officiant with red shirt

Officiant’s dress code

Make sure your officiant is dressed in a neutral color (black, grey). Gently tell them to avoid vivid colors such as red (except if you want the attention to be focused on them).

french touch photography

Guests and pictures

I have no problem with guests taking pictures as far as they stand in front of my camera.
So if you can tell your guest not to be in front of me. Especially during the entrance!

french touch photography

Important points

  • Your entrance’s order.
  • Everyone walks slowly and lets at least 15-foot distance each couple.
  • Wearing a pant? Empty your pockets!
  • Do you enter with both of your parents? If yes, have each of them holding you by the arm. Avoid having one walking just behind you, or he/she won’t have any pictures.
  • Rings: who gives the rings? Best Men? For Kids under three years old, ask an older one to help.
  • Do you put the rings on a special « pillow »? If yes, I may want to take pictures before the ceremony.
  • When you exchange the ring: make sure your fingers don’t hide the ring and make sure I can see your hand and the ring. Turn your hand to me if needed.
  • Tell the officiant I will be there!
  • Do you want to take a picture with or signing the certificate?
flower girl walking down the aisle

Flower Girls – Ring Bearer

Do you have kids throwing flowers? If yes, train them before.

Make sure the tallest one is behind the smaller ones

brides veil

The Bride’s Veil

Tell me who will take you off your veil, and when, so I will be ready. And take it off, SLOWLY.

symbolic ceremony

Symbolic Ceremony

Sand, treasure box/time capsule, whisky mix, plant potting, rubans.
Stand behind the table facing your guests!

outdoor ceremony

Outdoor Ceremony

How to set up your guest.

For guests:
The best for the guest is to have the sun in their back or in their face (even if you may squint). But avoid having the sun coming from the side.

For you:
Sun in the face or in your back.
Most of all, you must both have the same light on you! Avoid having one part to guest seating in the sun, and the other ones in the shadow.


Kiss, Kiss, and Have the officiant out

Once you are introduced as husband and wife, don’t forget to kiss again and again.
Also, before the ceremony, gently ask the officiant to move away from the “hotel” when you are kissing (at least 10 feet left or right).

ceremony exit

Ceremony Exit

Do you plan anything special? Petals? Rice? Bubbles? Confetti? Ask your best men to provide everything to your guests.

6. Cocktail


Sunset Photos

Depending on the month and the sunset time, I may ask you 10/20 min to take pictures before the sunset.

saint james hotel redwing

I am also here for your guests

Your parents, or your maid of honor and her husband might want a picture together? I am here for them as well.
Tell your guest to come toward me and ask for their picture!

7. Dinner & Party

grand entrance

Grand Entrance

Do you plan something special for your arrival? It could be a good opportunity for pictures.
You can tell your bridal party now, so they have time to find a good idea.

Make sure there is nothing (not a table) in front of the door you plan to do your entrance.

seating in front window

Avoid seating in Front of a window

If seat just in front of a window, you may risk having some flash reflection on the glass? Here, I would recommend covering the glass with a delicate fabric.

flowers decorations

What to avoid on your table

Avoid Tall Flowers or High Decorations just in front of you! Otherwise, they may hide you in some pictures. If I need to use a flash, you may have some ugly shadows on your face.
Regarding the bottles, make sure they don’t hide your face and body from me. Make sure not to have any plastic bottles or cans.

lightening of the venue

Lightning of the venue

If the Dj offers you an option to add lights, I strongly recommend you take it.
Lasers: most DJs use lasers (green or red) on the dance floor…well they will probably be on the pictures, too, if you choose this option.
If you have any color theme for the light, let me know.

group with smoke machine in background

Smoke machine

If the venue allows it, I suggest the DJ to use a smoke machine. It diffuse the light, and really change the aspect of the pictures.

cigar times

Cigar Time

If you plan that, let me know! We can set-up something with flashes.

first dance

First Dance

  • The slow: the easiest dance ever created for the groom who doesn’t like to dance (and sometimes also for the bride).
  • Who should you face? If you plan to do some specific move that you want a picture of. Make sure to be facing me to do that.
  • Turn off the light. If you are holding a “simple event” with no DJ, don’t forget to turn off the major lighting or at least to dim it off.


Do you plan any surprises for your guests, such as fireworks? Cake? Other? Let me know.

grand exit with sparklers

Grand Exit, Sparkler, and Lanterns

Let me know if you plan any of this.
If you plan to use sparklers, I would recommend buying the longest ones 36 inches.
If you plan sparklers or lanterns, buy a bunch of torche lighters.

8. Regarding your photographer


Your photographer needs to eat something

Like everyone on the big day, I need fuel.
So I ask for lunch if the coverage starts in the morning (ex, a sandwich).
And I ask for the dinner. The best would be that I am served among the first one, so I can quickly eat, and quickly be ready to take anything happening during the dinner, and have more time to set up the light for the first dance.
I eat everything.

outdoor photo booth

Photo booth?

1/ Let me know if you know where I should install the photo booth.
Here are the common recommendations:

Tell me as well when would be the best moment to install it.

2/Any image you want me to use?

3/ What names do you want me to use (ex, Nick for Nicholas, etc)?

special car for phtoos


Most of the time, parking is not a problem in Minnesota, but in the big cities it could maybe become one. Let me know if there is any special instruction to park. (Well, do be honest, until now I have never struggled to park in the USA, but so many times in Paris, that I prefer to ask!)

9. Final Recommandations

to shoot list

To Shot List for big weddings

I usually always understand who is who and try to focus a bit more on the bridal party and the family members. But at weddings with 300 guests, I might miss someone important, especially if it’s a shy person.

If you want to be sure I don’t forget anyone important, provide me with a list of the most important VIPs.

Limit the list to a small number ( ex 10-20). If you put your 300 guests, it will not make sense.


Pieces of information

Did you provide me with all the information I need? Address? Schedule? Phone numbers?


Enjoy the Day despite Unexpected Events

There is always some unexpected event. You have probably dreamed of this day for many years, and you clearly know what it should look like. Be aware that you may face some minor unexpected events.

Don’t forget that you are here to enjoy, so don’t be in control; take it easy, relax, and have fun!

Black and White Portrait of Alexandre Mayeur, photographer at French-Touch-Photography

Born and raised in Paris, I am now a proud Wedding Photographer in Rochester, MN, serving MPLS.

I don’t only capture emotions in candid pictures, I also create timeless images and artful photographs.
Recognized as one of the best photographers in the Twin Cities.

I serve Duluth and also far beyond the 10,000 Lakes State (Wisconsin, Iowa, and destination). I am more than happy to discover beautiful landscapes and new horizons.

Have a look at my previous publications to learn more. As an experienced professional photographer, I don’t limit my field to lifestyle, family, or event photography! I invite you to visit my portfolio and discover my photography and work out of the studio.