Handy wedding checklist

You’ve spent countless hours planning for your dream wedding day, so now it’s time to ensure everything goes off without a hitch. Here is a handy pre-wedding checklist to ensure you have a perfect wedding day experience and get amazing photos! I thought I would put a handy list together after being part of countless weddings both as a photographer, bridesmaid and bride; I feel it would be good to share my knowledge. Whether you are planning a small intimate wedding in the South of London of a large oversees wedding, this essential checklist will be helpful for all the things you may have or haven't thought about.

Getting Ready

Whether you are getting ready at your one-bedroom flat in London or have a spacious hotel room, we can do many things to help get those perfect getting-ready shots.

  • Have your bridesmaids put everything in a hidden corner of the room when getting ready. This way, there aren't random garments, plastic cups and sandwich boxes in the background of your photos.
  • If you're having your make-up and hair done, don't go last because if things overrun, you will feel rushed, and no one wants that on their wedding day. It's much better to be ready earlier and have a few touch-ups.
  • Bring a nice hanger for your dress shot/ bridesmaid shots if you want to photograph all the dresses hanging up together.
  • Get ready by a window, but also try to leave one clear too– I love shooting near window light, so when you are setting up and bringing things into your room, keep stuff away from the window.
  • Eat a Snack Before You Put Your Dress On; we don't want any fainting or stains on the dress before the ceremony.
  • If you want a first look shot with your parents or bridal party, let me know beforehand, and we can ensure I'm in the right place before they walk through the door to see you.
  • If you want any group photos before your ceremony, we can plan the time for this and make sure you communicate this with your make-up/ hair artists.

A handy list for the "just in case" moments

We all know the feeling of a sudden panic when something goes wrong, and you wonder: "How am I going to deal with this?" That's why it pays to be prepared; this list has been designed for those times. Containing everything you need for quick fixes, this handy list is a must-have for any situation and ensures you are prepared for anything on your wedding day! N


Tell the bridesmaids to smile and walk slowly when walking down the aisle. Ensure there's a big enough gap between each bridesmaid. Otherwise, I might not get time to shoot each bridesmaid walking down. 

Wait till all your bridesmaids have walked down before you make your entrance. This will help me get the perfect shot and give your guests the wow factor.

Carry your bouquets at the waist, and if it's not too awkward, hold them facing out so we can all see the beautiful arrangement.

Look towards each other when saying your vows.

Hold Hands During Your Ceremony it looks super awkward during your ceremony photos if you are standing 5 feet apart and not touching somehow.

Kiss Slowly – don't have a quick peck – hold the kiss for a few seconds.


  1. Embrace the confetti; I have a load of confetti shots where couples hide, grimacing and generally looking quite upset at the confetti being thrown at them. It is a weird old thing and could be painful if you get it in the eyes! But try to look up and smile.
  2. Lots of confetti always works best, be sure to have an ample supply if you want an excellent confetti shot.
  3. Colourful confetti always looks impressive, and you can match it with your wedding's colour theme.
  4. I prefer confetti that is larger as it captures more in the photos.

There are many suppliers for bio-degradable confetti; one supplier I always recommend is yourconfetti.com. They have an incredible array of colours and are lovely to work with, use the discount code "YCHANNAHB" for 15% off.

Group shots

Group shots are a must at a wedding, and with London venues, I find these are best done straight after the ceremony, generally outside the registry office or wherever you choose to have your 

  1. Create a list with your photographer about who you want in your group shots. I send out a questionnaire beforehand to capture this.
  2. Try to keep group shots to a minimum.
  3. If you have all your guests standing round whilst you have the group shots, maybe think about having some drinks ready for them.


  1. When planning the room's layout, consider where the photographer can go. Ideally, a bit of space to walk around would be great, but I am a pro at finding some if there isn't any space. I think years of commuting on the London underground have helped with this.
  2. When you raise a toast, ensure you don't hide your face with your glass, toast out rather than in front of you.

The First Dance

  1. When it comes to the first dance, couples might feel nervous as not all of us are natural dancers and having so much attention can be intimidating. However, it doesn't have to be! The dance is all about you two. Have a blast, twirl your partner around and give each other a big squeeze! Those moments are always so special. Remember, everyone is there because they love you and just want you to have the best time. Plus, the more significant the twirls, the more interesting the photos are.


  1. Sparkler shots can be great fun, but be sure to check first with your venue, and if they are allowed, please buy long sparklers . This is so we can have shots of everyone holding sparklers and not worry about half burning out before the camera is ready.

Last tips

  1. Don't Worry About Time – I'll keep us on schedule as much as possible. The main job on your wedding day is to enjoy it as much as possible and bring the vibe. Your happiness and enjoyment will be felt by your guests and will show through in the pictures captured for the day. And remember, if things don't go as planned, then remember to have fun and enjoy the moment.

Let's start chatting about you wedding


A little about Hannah Bain, London Wedding Photographer

I'm Hannah, a London-based wedding photographer. I live in South East London with my husband, our son, Isaac, and our small terrier, Edith. I've photographed many weddings across London, including Marylebone Town Hall, Islington Town Hall, Brixton, Shoreditch studios, and other venues.

If you are thinking about having a wedding in Shoreditch and are looking for a wedding photographer, then feel free to send an enquiry or message me on Instagram. I love getting to know new couples and especially love hearing more about your engagement and wedding day plans. I'm a big romantic at heart.