Eight Tips for Wedding Day Success

October 31, 2023


Get ready in a bright space with natural light. Lauren got ready with her bridesmaids at Hotel Walloon.

Here are a few tips from a Northern Michigan and Petoskey photographer to help set you up for success on your wedding day. You have a lot to navigate between all the various people and events, so take a look at a few ideas that will help you make the most of your wedding photographs and will also help your wedding day feel more stress free and enjoyable!

Location Matters

Get ready in a nice space. As convenient as it may be, the church basement doesn’t ever photograph well. Try to find a space that has character. Bright, natural light (light coming from windows) is ideal, but also a rustic cabin or cottage with character will give you some meaningful images, as well. If you are getting married in Northern Michigan and are looking for a hotel, I love the Inn at Bay Harbor or if you’re getting married on Mackinac Island, check out Lakeside Salon & Spa!

Keep a Clean Room

Have your bridesmaids put all their stuff in a hidden area of the room, or another room. This way there aren’t water bottles and food and piles of bags in the background of your beautiful images. Keep a clean room for getting ready.

Symmetry at the Ceremony

Ask your coordinator or planner to mark on the ground where you, your partner, and your officiant will be standing during the ceremony. This will help ensure that you are centered on the aisle and your photos will look evenly balanced and symmetrical.

Take it all In

At the end of the ceremony, when you are your partner are exiting, walk s l o w l y back down the aisle. Take it all in: look at your guests and say hi! Remember to look at your sweetie, too! You just got MARRIED! And last, stop and give each other a big romantic kiss when you get to the last row. This can make for a fun photo of you two kissing and all your guests cheering you on in the background.

It’s all in the Details

Usually your photographer will start the day shooting the dress, rings, shoes, jewelry, invitations, and other details. Think about sentimental items you might have. I am always looking for little props to use with the detail shots… do you have something that would look great? A small silver tray, old ring box, handmade lace, a little dish from your grandmother, etc. I have my own set of props, but it’s so much more special if the image has your grandma’s handmade lace instead.

Speaking of details, it’s easiest for you (and your photographer) if you have all those aforementioned items gathered in one place before they arrive. That way you can just hand them the box and they can get right to work and not keep bothering you for more items. Don’t forget both sets of rings and a clean copy of all your papery to the wedding. Have the outer envelope addressed to yourselves or someone special like parents or grandparents… or your favorite celebrity.

Bring an attractive hanger for your dress, if you want shots of it hanging. BHLDN has some gorgeous options, but if you don’t want to spend the money, just grab a quality wood hanger from your closet and it will look great!

Invitations by Caitlin did such a great job on this custom suite for Kelly & Cody.


Have a backup hair option. If you’re planning on wearing your hair down and you wake up and its going to be blowing 25mph or 90º and humid, you might want to reconsider if you think your curls will fall or your hair will frizz.

I know that is a lot of information. But if you follow along, your photos will look beautiful and it will help you stay relaxed so you have so much fun at your wedding!

share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I have been photographing weddings in Northern Michigan for 16 years now and have found some spots really stand out.  I have compiled a list of my favorite locations and would love to share it with you to help in planning your Northern Michigan wedding!

My Fave Northern Michigan Wedding Venues

Nerves be gone!  I'm here to help your day feel joyous and stress-free.

© 2008-2024 Stephanie Baker Photography